By P.J. Harmer — Rattling Chains staff
Disc golf has gone through quite an evolution.
Even to those of us who are newer to the sport, there’s a history to be celebrated. From the early days of Frisbee to discovering disc golf and “Steady” Ed Headrick, the history is much longer than one might think. There are tournaments and historic courses. Players such as “The Champ” Ken Climo are known for all they’ve done in the sport.
Saying the name Dave Dunipace to many will quickly help turn a disc golf conversation to Innova.
Then there’s the more current names in the game — players such as Dave Feldberg, Nate Doss, Eric McCabe and Avery Jenkins — all recent world champions.
Then there are the young guns.
These are the players who might make people take notice as the next group of fun and exciting professional disc golfers coming through the system.
When discussing that next bunch of players, the conversation often begins with Ricky Wysocki, a 19-year-old out of North Carolina who is a member of Innova’s Star team.
And for somebody who isn’t even old enough to legally purchase alcohol, Wysocki is already making a name for himself in the disc golf world. In fact, he’s won more than $20,000 playing the game this year as a full-time touring pro.
His victories aren’t a low number, either, as he’s won nine tournaments this year. Wysocki also has an additional 14 top-5 placings among the 29 tournaments he’s played in so far this year.
That’s not too shabby for a kid who graduated from high school in 2011.
Now, Wysocki will bring his thoughts and everything else to the readers RattlingChains.com. His columns will be featured every two weeks or so, appearing on Wednesdays. His first is scheduled to run next Wednesday, Oct. 3.
“I’m glad I’m on board with (Rattling Chains),” Wysocki said. “I appreciate us hooking up and I’m definitely pumped to do these stories. It’s going to be cool.”
Wysocki is a breath of fresh air into the game. Young and powerful, he’s fun to watch out on the course as his game continues to develop.
He’s also making a living doing something he enjoys, despite it sometimes being a tough life. He goes from tournament to tournament in a 2005 Honda Accord, knowing gas mileage is an important thing. Since buying the car about a year ago, he’s logged more than 20,000 miles on it, most of which he said are disc golf related.
It’s not always easy, though. Trying to maintain a healthy diet isn’t the most simple thing as it’s sometimes easy to just grab something at a McDonald’s.
“It’s tough,” Wysocki said. “We try to avoid fast food places. We try to eat at sit-down restaurants or sometimes we get lucky and somebody will cook for us or let us cook at their place.”
The road to success has been quick for Wysocki.
He began playing when he was 14 years old at Roscoe Ewing Park in Medina, Ohio, where he lived at the time.
It was love at first throw, so one could say.
“I pretty much played every day for two years,” Wysocki said. “I kept practicing to get better. I was motivated and I had a passion for it.”
He won the 2010 amateur junior world championship and soon turned professional after that.
The sky seems to be the limit for this young player and he continues to grow and experience new things during his disc golf travels.And he’ll be bringing all that to the Rattling Chains readers.
“It’s definitely fast-moving,” Wysocki said of playing as a full-time disc golfer. “It’s one place to another. Once done with one tournament, it’s on to the next. I’m always doing something. That’s why I like it. We’re doing different things each week.”
P.J. Harmer is the founder and lead blogger with Rattling Chains. E-mail him at pj [at] rattlingchains.com.