McBeth Interview: Equipment
Everyone is curious about what discs professional players carry and throw. What are their favorite plastics, weights, and other elements that help make their throws something the rest of us want to duplicate?
You’ll find that Paul’s disc loyalty is concentrated in a few models of Innova discs. (I want to add a disclaimer for those who think that they can duplicate Paul’s discs in order to match his throws. Life and disc golf do not work exactly like that. I tried, and I’m convinced that I will never be able to throw a Roc like Paul McBeth. But I’m good with that, now.)
“For drivers, I use the Star Destroyer on all shots. I carry a lot of them in my bag, usually six to eight. I’m not picky on weights at all. I go more for how it feels and how it throws, and it might be anywhere from 167 to 175 grams. I don’t believe that there are any bad discs — every disc has its own characteristics and benefits. I want to know if it has a throw I can use.
“My mid-range throws are done with a Roc3. I carry six to eight in my bag in different weights, plastics, and wear. My favorite is the McPro Roc3 . I change discs in my bag according to the course I’m playing, and I really work my Roc3’s that way, like I do with my Star Destroyers. I’m constantly working with my Roc3’s.
“For putting, the McPro Aviar is the one I use exclusively, on the Aviar mold. I like its straight flight and grip, and it is a good-wearing plastic. It’s a reliable disc.
“My disc selection is what I need for the course, and then what I need for the shot. And I tend to stay with the discs I know and work well for me. Some discs are for more specialized shots that I don’t need as frequently, and they might work their way out of the bag if I don’t need them, but the main discs are always there.”
McBeth Interview: The Future of Disc Golf
Disc golf is changing and growing. McBeth is one of many who are helping bring those changes about. He is passionate about disc golf and growing the presence of the sport worldwide. When he talks about disc golf, he is not the quiet McBeth most people know. So, where does he see the sport going over the next five years, and where does he want it to be?
“Disc golf finally made it onto TV, though only in a small way so far. We decided we wanted that as a goal back in 2008, and it took until 2015, but we made it. We can work off of that, and it seems we are making progress. In Europe and Finland, disc golf receives much more coverage, but the image of the game is different there.
“We need to move into live broadcasting and then into our own sports channel. That’s where I want to see us go. It’s going to take a lot of work, but we are closer than we were.
“We need more big sponsors in order to increase professional player support and tournament purses. More money has to be in disc golf to grow it, because the dedicated professional players who are required to build disc golf do need to eat. If your career is going to be disc golf, as in other sports, you should to be able to make a living.
“And, we must all work on the goal of growing disc golf. It requires a lot of energy and focus, and we all need to work together — the athletes, the media, and the tournaments. Those are the three components, and it is our collective responsibility to make this happen. We need to work together on it until it does happen.”
As Paul’s position in the game rose, he became the subject of more interviews and claims on his time. Everyone wants a piece of Paul McBeth. The media knows that wherever Paul and Ricky are, the story is close at hand. It’s a media no-brainer. Disc golf is his job, and that also carries a responsibility to promote the game. Do all of those claims on his time, just like this interview, affect him?
“It’s flattering. It is very busy and time-consuming. I’m pulled in a lot of directions. But I’m still young and I’ll handle it. I want to do more, and if my schedule is open and it works out, I’ll definitely show up to talk about disc golf or visit a school. But everything comes after disc golf and my family. A lot of disc golf is my family, too.”
I would like to add that in my writing career I have interviewed more people than I can count, and Paul McBeth was one of the easiest interviews I’ve had. He is extraordinarily personable, easy to talk with, and a fountain of energy for disc golf as a sport.
But, other people want a piece out of McBeth, as well, and not in interviews. I wanted to know how he felt about being the fastest gun. Everyone wants to beat him. Everyone wants his place. Do we ever become an inch or two paranoid in McBethland?
“I know that I have a target on my back [and he laughed when he said that]. I’ve had one there for a while [he laughed, again]. My injury affected me a little, and during the injury and recovery, I felt like I had slipped some, but now I’m back.
When Paul was injured and recovering, behind-the-scenes talk was about whether the injury would impact his play permanently. Could he fully recover, especially since even a small injury to a finely tuned player can rearrange the tuning. In his case, and for McBeth fans, it appears not. There was no hesitation in the statement, “I’m back.”
When I play, my only goal is to beat me. Nobody else. My biggest competitor is myself, and I’m firing at that target on my own back like everyone else. We are all shooting at the same target. I just need to stay in front.– Paul McBeth
So, if you were curious about what Paul McBeth thinks about as he plays, you now know. Does the stress of competition or the pressure of being at the top bother him? Not enough to give an edge to anyone else.