There are not too many books about Disc Golf out there in the world today. However, I got the chance to talk to Innova thrower Michelle Jones who wrote the children's book "Gracie and the marvelous metal basket." She has an awesome story to tell and learning about a new book to read is always great. Enjoy!
1) How did you get into Disc Golf?
I played a couple times with friends in college. But, my husband Clay and I really started playing in 2001 when the company I was working for at the time moved us to a great little town near Cleveland, Ohio called Medina and Rosco Ewing Park Disc Golf Course was right near our house. We got addicted quickly. The addiction continued when we moved back to Ga in 2005. We played for 10 years without even keeping score. It was more about having fun outside.
2) Who inspires you to keep playing?
This sport is like no other I have ever found. It's a community. A disc golf family that helps each other and gives back in so many ways. I'm so proud to be part of it. That hugely keeps me in love with the sport. My husband is also a huge drive to continue to play as his addiction is as strong if not stronger than mine. He is working hard on a private course on our property we are calling Foxx Hills. It is coming along quite nicely and when you walk out your front door and see a beautiful disc golf course, it's hard to want to do anything else. From a playing perspective, I love setting small goals, following the plan and then enjoying the rewards as my game progresses. Like 30 minutes of putt practice a day for 30 days inside 30ft. Works like a champ. I think this sport has an awesome balance of how rewarding it can be yet how challenging it remains. I see myself continuing to enjoy it for the rest of my life.
3) What made you want to start accepting money and be called a pro?
I won Amateur World's Advanced Masters in 2013 and decided to move up after that win. It's was tough to move up. Sometimes I felt like I was merely donating to the more seasoned pros as often pros don't even receive any player pack items. While there isn't anything wrong with that. I always make sure in tournaments that I TD to give all pros a player pack (that doesn't affect payouts). I think that gives players an incentive to move up.
4) What is it like to be sponsored
Sponsorships are so so helpful. Without the help of our friends and sponsors much of my own disc golf success might still be just dreams. I love our disc golf community.
5) What is it like to be on team Innova?
It is a super humongous honor to be an Innova Ambassador. I still get a little heart flutter every time I think about the first time I was informed of the opportunity to be a part of such a fantastic team. It was a huge goal for me and a most treasured accomplishment.
6) What is your favorite disc?
The Star Mamba or Destroyer is probably my favorite. However, my RPro Aviar Putter is one of my best friends. So it's close.
7) What is your favorite Course?
Foxx Hills (our private course) of course. I also really love Redstone Arsenal we played at the US Women's Disc Golf Championships in 2012. And Peter Pan Park in Emporia, KS is quite awesome as well.
8) What made you want to write a children's book?
I was trying to think of great ways to help grow the sport as well as making something I could read to my grand children. I figured if nothing else we would have an awesome Christmas present with our grand daughter Jennifer Grace as the main character. I plan to make books with main characters inspired by each of our grand children in the future.
9) Why is the book about Disc Golf?
My hope is that it will introduce our awesome sport to children and families and grow the sport for decades to come.
10) What does a normal day look like for you?
With the number of events Clay and I work on each year, I feel like a normal day involves some level of tournament preparations. But I'm also a personal shopper for Shipt. I love it because I get to make some money while helping people and it gives me the flexibility I need to promote disc golf and my book as well as other various opportunities that come along.
11) What do you do to help grow the sport?
I was the Tournament Director for 7 events this past year and serve as a board member for the Gainesville Chain Hawks. We hold charity events and clinics throughout the year and we are excited that we will be running a women's global event this year as well.
Also Clay and I have started doing some Disc Golf video producing as well. We are Foxx Hills Disc Golf Productions. With the help of our sponsors, we recently have acquired some incredible equipment and are really excited to help the sport grow by sharing the awesomeness of this sport with the world.
12) Is there anything you would like the people to know about you that they may not?
I love bass fishing!! I don't get to do it much anymore. But I love that tap..tap..tap... of the bite right before you set the hook. It's super exciting to me. Fun!
I would like to thank Michelle for taking the time out of her day to let me ask her these questions and for answering them as well! If you would like to know more about her you can find her on all forms of social media! If you would like to purchase her book you can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/Gracie-Marvelous-Metal-Basket-Michelle/dp/1521883807/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1518420418&sr=8-4&keywords=disc+golf+book Look out for more coming soon!
Picture credit goes to Michelle Jones