Starting in the world of Disc Golf can be a daunting task. We all had our difficulties at first and we all had to keep going through them to succeed. Now, my assumption is that most people starting when they were in high school or college and played because their friends showed them or by happen stance. But, I don’t think most of you started when you were under the age of 13 and were even thinking of getting sponsored by Innova as well. There is a very confident girl who did start that way though, and her name is Lucy Burks. Lucy is a champion for young Disc Golfers and is taking the game by storm with her confidence and willingness to grow the sport. She is a junior Disc Golfer with the ability of a pro, so give her amazing story a read and enjoy!
When starting as a young Disc Golfer, it can be hard to be able to get out to a course. You have no way of getting there other than by your parents since you cannot drive yourself. But that was no issue since her father, Marcus, already went Disc Golfing a ton. Lucy told me “there are basically two people who got me into Disc Golf, my dad and Erick Johnson, they are friends.” She would tag along with them while they played and learn from them as she went. She also told me “My dad met Scott Hill one day, Scott was able to teach me the technical aspects of the game.” Scott Hill is a known Disc Golfer from the Portland, OR area. He was able to shape her game and teach her all the fine elements of the sport to really take her game to where it is now. Marcus also told me that he was helping her with the mental aspect of the game as she grew into it. It is hard no matter what age you are to keep going within the sport. Lucy told me “the game is a puzzle to me, trying to figure out how to best get the disc in the basket is how I continue to play because there are so many ways.” I have never thought of the game in that way and using it as a possible shows the intelligence and drive behind Lucy’s game.
Sponsorships are hard to come by, especially when they are for large Disc Golf companies like Innova. But, Lucy is a sponsored player through Innova and wears that name proudly. When asking what sponsorship is like, Lucy told me “Made my confidence higher than it already was before.” Which is remarkable because she started off with an amazing about of confidence in her game. The way to get sponsored comes in many different ways, because different people approach it differently. For Lucy, she explained that “My dad was talking to Innova about me, but not only that, I had a ton of people on my side talking as well.” Which more than anything shows the support this sport gives. People rallied for Lucy and now she is a sponsored athlete for Innova. When asked about being on the team Lucy had nothing but kind words to say. She told me “I have things to work with every day. They don’t look at me as a regular kid. They look at me differently and treat me with respect.” She is truly a remarkable athlete and deserves to be treated as such regardless of how old she is. She does so much for her community both locally and regionally that I am not surprised she gets treated highly and rightfully.
Favorites are hard to choose from, there are so many great discs and courses out there it is such a hard choice for most. Lucy, however, knew exactly what her favorite discs and course were. When it comes to discs, juniors have a harder time since they do not have the arm speed to throw high speed distance drivers. Lucy told me “my go to disc is my Leopard3, I can always rely on my leopard3 and it has a smaller rime which is perfect for my smaller hands.” Which is great to see that even juniors can find a distance driver that suits their needs. Now in Oregon, where Lucy is from, there are a plethora of courses to throw. The most notable being the famous Milo-McIver where the beaver state fling is held. But, Lucy told me that “Timberbeast in Estacada, OR is great, it is wooded and not wooded. It is beautiful, very well kept, and challenges all aspects of my game.” Being from WA I have heard about all of the courses just south of me and Timberbeast is one of the best. It holds a candle to the others around it and I couldn’t agree more with Lucy’s choice.
Growing the sport is something that Disc Golfers pride themselves on and strive to do every day. Lucy is no different, she tries her hardest and best to grow the sport each day. She explained to me “every year my dad and I go to the beaver state fling to volunteer, we deny any tips and just go to spot.” Not only that, she also told me “we give away discs, help out newcomers when we see them struggle, we also hold clinics at least once a week.” She has a pure heart and is someone who just wants to give back to the community and grow the sport. Being able to give back at such a young age is something that is notable and truly shows the character of Lucy and really shines bright when you talk to her. If there are more young players like her, the sport is in good hands.
To finish our conversation, Lucy had so much she wanted to say and it showed her and I am glad to share it. She had to say “I love my life, I have a loving family and friends. I want to thank Disc golf for letting me rely on it in order to get me out of the house and be amongst others. I am active and want to be shown as a giver. I love my life and I love Disc Golf.”
I would like to thank Lucy and Marcus Burks for letting me talk to them and share the story about this young Disc Golfer who is taking the world by storm. Look out for more coming soon, my hiatus is over!
Picture credit goes to Lucy Burks