"At 14 years old, Blær Örn Árnason became the first disc golfer in Iceland to win an international tournament in the Open Division at The Battle of Bluebell Woods in Dunbar, Scotland. The acheivement was all the more impressive given that the tournament was a Eurotour event. The following weekend he went on to lose the British Open at Quarry Park by a single stroke.
Since then, Blær has toured the European circuit extensively and gone on to become the first Icelandic player to receive international brand sponsorship. Now, a mere 15 years of age, he has just returned from Scotland where he battled through a recent back injury to take 3rd at Bluebell Woods, the very tournament that first launched him into semi-stardom.
RGV: When did you first start playing disc golf?
Blær: I first discovered disc golf when visiting Flateyri with a friend and they were in the middle of installing a course there. When I got back I told my parents about it and less then a year later I got my first discs for a birthday present. I then entered my first competition five days later. Still I really didn´t start to get into it that much until a couple years later in 2016 when I played my second competition.
RGV: When did you first realise this was something you could get really good at?
Blær: The thought never really struck me until I left the B and Junior divisions and started playing Open. As soon as I faced stiffer competition I started progressing much faster and before I knew it I was playing for first place at most tournaments, which in turn inspired me to put in more work.
RGV: Who is your biggest role model in the sport?
Blær: My biggest role model is Eagle McMahon, who is the best player in the world in my opinion. He puts in endless practice and sets good goals or himself. He is also a vegan, which is something I really admire.
RGV: How do you practice and set your own goals?
Blær: I try to practice my putt at least one or two hours a day and play practice rounds ten to twenty hours a week.
RGV: What has been the reaction to your success from friends, family and fellow players?
Blær: My family has shown me great and very important support. My parents have joined me on tournament trips abroad and shown me a lot of support, while also reminding me from time to time that I´m also in elementary school.
RVG: What are yout favorite tournaments and disc golf courses:
Blær: My favorite tournament is probably Bluebell Woods, because I love wooded courses with a lot of beautiful holes. The tournament is also very well arranged. My second favorite tournament is the Spanish Open, because the course is so much fun to play and the settings are gorgeous. The course is, however, very demanding but totally worth playing nonetheless.
RGV: What was your reaction and that of those around you to winning a Eurotour event at only 14?
Blær: I originally registered for the Junior Division for that tournament, but later switched over to Open. I had the lowest rating of all players in the division at the time and I never even thought about winning until the last putt was in the basket and I realised I had won. At the time I was very happy about it, but I didn´t realise how big it was until some weeks later.
RGV: What´s your tournament season been like thus far?
Blær: Honestly, it hasn´t started according to plan. My back has been hurting a lot, but I think it‘s improving. I stil can´t fully crush my drives yet, which means opting for more understable discs (less controllable drivers that fly farther), which isn´t that much fun.
RGV: What´s on the horizon for the rest of the year and what are your main goals going forward?
Blær: There are a few bigger tournaments left on my touring schedule for the season. The major ones being the Tyyni Open in Helsinki, the British Open in Leamington Spa and the European Championships in Croatia, and of course, the Icelandic Championships in September. My main goal for all of these is to average over 985 rated golf, make lead cards, and for the British Open and Icelandic Championships, to walk away with the win. If all goes well, my goal for the 2019 season is to hit the US touring circuit, and preferrably the United States Disc Golf Championship in Rock Hill, South Carolina; the sport‘s flaghsip event.
RVG: Any last words?
Blær: I want to thank Reykjavik Disc Golf for all the help and support in getting me to where I am today and Frisbigolfbúðin for the support ever since day one when I started competing locally. I also want to give a shoutout to my family at Innova Champion Discs for beleiving in me. Especially Gregg Barsby, Sam Ferrans and my team manager Jonathan Poole, and last but not least, Dave Dunipace, without whom our sport wouldn´t be what it is today.
Practice makes perfect.
I want to place top 10 in the European Championships and I am going to putt every single day!
"I want to practice my putts every day for at least one hour.
I want to qualify at Monday qualify at USDGC 2019 "