In the grand scheme of Disc Golf, it is hard to make something new and have it work out for you in the end especially when it is a new disc. The reason being is because there are already so many discs out there from various companies. But, there is a company out of CA who is succeeding in making a new disc and discs to come and they go by "Above Ground Level" discs or AGL for short. They have already released the Cypress driver and it has been a hit since its release. I had the pleasure of talking to Josh, the owner of the company and he let me ask hi a few questions. If you could, take your time and read them below and enjoy!
1) How did you get your start into Disc Golf?
- I went with a friend for what he said was going to be a "hike" in 2011. Ends up that my friend just opened a door...
2) Who or what inspires you to continue to play?
- My wife and daughter. I am a cancer patient and I use disc golf as my main means of exercise. I feel it keeps me going and is great for me to bring the family and get out to play.
3) Why did you want to get into a Disc Golf Disc company?
- We wanted to create and design discs that could potentially 'break the mold' from what every other manufacturer was currently doing. We set off on a 6year journey, to create our own unique mold for the Cypress, that led us down many paths and into many dead ends. In the end we persevered thanks to our fan base and support. (Which we will always be grateful for). We will continue to sponsor players (not just pro, but amateurs); and we will continue to sponsor tournaments, or help grow this great sport wherever we can! We are here for our players and our customers are all players; so we always will adhere to the feedback of our players. Which is why we even retooled that first mold and created something that ALL of our testers have loved. We also created a plastic that was reminiscent of the old plastic we all first fell in love with.
4) What’s the significance of the name “Above Ground Level”?
- It's an aeronautical term, but we also wanted it to be a play on our tree name theme. All of our discs will be linked to a specific species of tree; such as the Cypress driver, the Redwood putter, or the Valley Oak mid-range. Our first disc, the Cypress, was in honor of Stancil Johnson. We did most of our field testing out in Monterey, CA at the Cypress course that he helped design and where he taught at CSUMB. We love the Central Coast and all of the love we have received from starting our business there.
5) Favorite Disc?
- Well of course, a Cypress. But if I had a close second it would be my Rhyno. Saved me more times than I can count...
6) Favorite Course?
- DeLaveaga in Santa Cruz, CA.
7) What can we expect from you and AGL in 2018?
- A LOT! Well we definitely plan on the release of our putter in the summer, and hopefully the beginnings of our mid-range will be ready by the end of the year. We plan on making our presence known at tournaments and events, and through player sponsorships.
8) What sets you apart from other Disc Golf companies?
- Our philosophy on disc development. We prioritize the exercise of creativity and out of the box thinking to make a product that will stand apart from the crowd. That and our conviction that the best way to grow AGL is by putting the players first.
9) What made you think of using 3D printing for prototyping?
- Economically, we were able to produce and test more mold designs to get a feel for how it would be in hand, and in flight. Some we keep, many we do not...
10) What advice could you give someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
- Be prepared to not take any vacations! This is an investment of both money, but mainly time. I just wouldn't be spending all this time on this if I wasn't passionate about disc golf. I have started other businesses in my life, some more profitable - but NONE as rewarding!
11) What do you think you do to help grow the sport?
- Listen to the players and implement their ideas and thoughts into our creations. The sport is only going to change as more people start to play. With new players, comes new ideas and new lines too, where people throw or need to throw a different shot. As the sport progresses, and as the players progress - shouldn't we as manufacturers progress too? I think so and that is my goal - to help the players, help grow this amazing sport. Those who know me, or the team members, know that I am here for them. I plan on sticking around too!
12) Is there anything else you would like people to know about you that they may not?
- The fact that we wanted to come out of the box producing something that we were proud of. We could have just put our logo on a disc, or just kept the first mold and created something else in the mean time - BUT WE LISTENED. We heard the reviews and we were not gonna stop until we made what we feel is our best. So we plan on having a smaller lineup. But stuff that will be efficient and designed just for the players!
I would like to thank Josh and the AGL Discs team for taking the time out of his day to answer my questions and even let me ask them in the first place. This company listens to the people and is one of a kind in its nature. I am excited to see what becomes of them in the future. If you would like to know more about AGL Discs you can visit their website at https://agldiscs.com/ on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/agl.discs and even on Instagram at @agldiscs. Look out for more coming soon!
Picture credit goes to AGL Discs