McBeth Interview: What Comes Next?
McBeth also points to an issue of major change in our sport. As the sport grows, the center of gravity is possibly changing from the US to Europe and Scandinavia. We have the top players in the world, but the professional players from overseas are building their ratings and starting to move into the upper ranks of players, both men and women. And their back benches of well-developed players are becoming deeper — much deeper and more skilled.
The Disc Golf World Tour brings players from across the globe together and connects the different regions of disc golf. This is where the sport must go to grow, but it might make some in the US feel like we are losing part of our dominance. They would be right, but it is not bad for the sport. Our touring pros have helped inspire players around the world. However, if we want to stay in the top ranks of the sport we created, we had better start throwing more plastic.
According to Jonathan Poole, the registration for the 2016 United States Disc Golf Championship (USDGC) in early October at Winthrop’s infamous Gold Course in Rock Hill, South Carolina, has more players from overseas qualified this year than before. The World Tour overseas events were qualifiers for the USDGC, which allowed more overseas players the opportunity. And, as he says, every single one of them would like nothing better than to capture the US championship. This competitive spirit will only increase year-to-year. (You might want to turn out to root for your home team in October.)
The sheer numbers of players in the US will likely always be significantly greater than overseas. But numbers alone do not tell the story. It’s about the dedication to playing and the energy injected into the sport.
Can you play disc golf like Paul McBeth? Maybe, if you are young, dedicated, and start now. I do know this — if you do not put as much time and energy into disc golf as he does, you have no real chance. And you will need the mental attitude he uses — play yourself and the course, then see what happened at the end. I hope you make that goal, but do not think that beating the best of the best will ever be easy, especially when that person is as collected in his or her game as McBeth.
Can McBeth lose? Sure. Can Wysocki beat him on any given day? Yes. It is also possible for another player to beat both of them. It is just as possible that none of that will happen, and betting against McBeth on a consistent basis is not a good investment for your money. That will be true for many seasons of disc golf.