The stories people share with me are always astounding and great to hear. Talking to Michael was awesome, I am so glad I get to share his story. The biggest surprise came when he told me that he was not sponsored, he currently sits at a 1000 rating. I am amazed that this man has no sponsor but I hope that by the end of the year he finally gets one. Now, I mean sponsor by Discs, he does have other sponsors. Regardless, give this story a read and I think you will truly enjoy it!
1) So, how did you get your start into Disc Golf?
In 2002 I was 2 years clean from crystal meth. My girl broke up with me literally days before Christmas. I wanted to relapse. My buddy saw what I was going threw and wanted to talk. He took me to Cornwall park to play frolf . I was upset and didn't really want to play. I never threw a frisbee before let alone a disc. He told me to throw it like a baseball. I threw it ...it smashed right into the basket. 137 foot thumber ace. My first throw ....no bullshit. I was instantly hooked. I've been clean still to this day. I would say it saved my life. In fact I know it did ....
2) Who or what inspires you to continue to play?
I was a basketball and baseball player. I was lined up for a future in ether. After my 5th broken ankle sports was a wash. That's what started the drugs. I need that competition....that strive for the win. Disc Golf has given that back to me. I learned fast and got good fast. Now that I'm over 40 and have a rating over a 1000 I'm one of only a few. I want to be the best at my age.
3) How are you so good at your age but not considered sponsored?
I just got into the sport at a bad age ...nobody was looking for a 1000 rated 30 year old. The sport is mostly a young persons game. But now I'm over 40 and doing what most young guys can't. I'm not sure if you looked up my stats . But I've won 20 PDGA events. I'm top 20 in the world over 40, I've been injured for the 2 years. At the end of this season I will be sponsored. I will tell some companies no..I've done it before.
4) Since your not officially sponsored, what’s in your bag?
I tell everyone...if your not throwing Innova ..your throwing strokes away ..lol ( stole it from a pro )
5) What’s your favorite disc?
6) What’s your favorite course?
That's a tough one...I've got a few that I consider my favorite. Winthrop gold ,USDGC course. Sea- tac in Seattle.
7) So, what advice do you have to players who want to step up their game?
To start practicing like they play. This means only throwing one off the tee. Keeping score. No drinking or smoking weed during round. Mid range only rounds. Side arm only rounds. Roller only rounds . Practice them putts inside the circle more then normal. I also believe in donating time to your sport. Karma is a huge part of any good players game. There is a reason when I hit the tree it still goes forward...lol
8) What do you do to help grow the sport?
I've been involved building a few courses. Mossy rock in Bellingham ( closed down) I also moved to Ferndale Washington and got a course put in there. I've donated here in Spokane and have plans for helping my friends in Idaho get more golf. I'm currently working with the great guys from the beaver state fling. We are working on a few winter events for an entry to this years beaver state fling . Some lucky advanced player from our area is getting the golden ticket! I also give plenty of free advice and am willing to play with all skill levels without judgement. I just want everyone to be good at golf.
9) What does it mean for you to be considered a hometown hero?
I'm not sure I see myself like that. I'm just one of the guys. The real heroes run weekend events and fund raisers for people in need. The true heroes spend time at city meetings. They sacrifice there time for the rest of us. Those are my heroes.
10) Is there anything else you’d like people to know about you that they may not?
I'm a cat person. I love my heavy metal and I believe every human on earth deserves happiness..lol
I would like to thank Michael for letting me talk to him and ask him these questions, as well as taking the time out of his day to answer my questions! He was truly a great guy to talk to and learn from. If you want to find out more about Michael you can find him on social media or keep track of him throughout the year! Look out for more coming soon!
Picture credit goes to Michael Leslie