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The man versus the course- Robert McCall Interview

January 11, 2019

 

 

Dynamic Discs has been releasing more and more practice round videos and in each one of them there seems to be one common thing, Robert McCall. Robert is the team director for all of trilogy and is also one of the team members of the Disc Golf Answer Man podcast that himself, Eric McCabe and Bobby Brown. After following Roberts career and seeing him commentate on the videos and podcast I had to talk to him and learn all I can about him. He has a great story and is well worth the read. Enjoy!

 

Starting the sport of disc golf is always different for everyone. Robert started in an interesting way, he started by the fuel of competition and his competitive nature. To start off Robert told me that “I had some friends in high school who won AM worlds doubles in intermediate, they though they were the best.” After hearing about the sport, he played a couple rounds with them and said, “I thought the sport was dumb.” So, originally Robert did not want to even try to participate within the sport, was not initially hooked like the rest of us were the first time we played. A few years had passed, and Robert had found Disc Golf to be in his life again. He told me “I was around 22 years old and one of my fiends had me play him. Out of pride I wanted to beat him because I’m competitive, but it took about 20-30 rounds before I got close.” From then on, fueled by his competitive nature, Robert began his career in disc golf and began to take it to the next level. He eventually found a love for the game while trying to out do his opponents.

 

Finding an inspiration to continue to play after several years is often difficult and can be tricky to do. Sometimes you have to take a break or other parts of your life get in the way. To no surprise the competitive side to the game is what keeps Robert going through the years. He said that “I love competing not only with people but just in general.” He went on by saying, “it doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing, it is just you and the course.” A mentality like that is like no other. Often people who are competitive find themselves wanting to only be better than others but just wanting to be better along the way. The competitive mentality and inspiration through that is what drove Robert to compete at the highest level. In 2010 Robert started his career in advanced. He told me that “some of the guys who I had played with were in advanced and we were even.” But not only that, he said “I won the tournament but made so many mistakes.” Finding out that advanced seemed to not be as much of a difficult situation as it he had thought, he decided to make his way to open.  He told me that “I moved up to open to really see what was possible, and to compete with the best players in my area and tournament.” There he learned that open was the division he needed to be in. After playing in that first tournament he told me “I missed cash by 1.” Which is unfortunate, but, for a first-time open tournament that isn’t bad.

 

Robert as some of you may know works for and is sponsored by Dynamic Discs. When taking about Dynamic Discs Robert said, “Working for and being on team DD is awesome. I would agree that it is a dream job working in disc golf.” But Robert wasn’t always on team DD and his road to the team was one filled with plenty of potholes. He told me that “in 2013 I was sponsored by millennium and a local DD guy had me throw some of the plastic and in 2014 I got picked up as a sponsored disc golfer but had surgery that year.” But that surgery that he had didn’t stop him from doing all that he could for the company. He said that “the only thing I could do was go to local events and show myself and show that I care and don’t want to disrespect them.” He persevered and turned a situation that could’ve derailed a lot of disc golfers and made it into something great. From that point on he began to show himself and prove himself to the company through adversity. Then in 2017 “Rusco called me and offered me a job, I had only a bachelors in Church ministry and was not trying to move form Texas.” Well, Robert eventually moved to Kansas and began his career in Disc Golf as the team director for all three trilogy brands.

 

Working for all three trilogy brands (DD, Westside, and Latitude 64) can often be a daunting task and a lot to handle at points. Essentially what Robert does is “I make sure that the players are taken care of.” Which is a bigger task than it may seem. Robert is in constant contact with players, making sure they are signed up for events, have the discs they need, place to stay, I could go on and on. Not only does Robert have to make sure the players are taken care of with discs and the such, he also helps write contracts for players. Robert told me “I help write contracts for players who are staying with us or moving to our distribution center.” But it is not a year-round worry for contracts. Robert explained that “I only have to worry about that in October/November/December time. When it’s not contracts season, we look at players who are looking to come up and scout.” So, Roberts plate is never empty, he always has something to do whether it be behind the scenes or not. While Robert handles a lot of the aspects of the behind the scenes work, he also shows his face once a week on Disc Golf Answer Man (DGAM). Robert told me that “Joining the DGAM podcast is a big thing I have joined. Bringing a different set of eyes to each of those questions is great, I look forward to being on that show each and every week.” The passion he has for DGAM is something you could only tell from his voice when describing the show itself. He does a lot for the company and it shows through the talent and product being produced.

 

Robert has experienced a lot of courses and a lot of different discs through his time playing so far. Picking a favorite disc is a difficult choice especially when you have thrown many discs like Robert. Robert told me “my favorite disc has got to be the warden, I have thrown a lot of different discs from a lot of different companies and this one is by far my favorite.” He told me that when he was trying to get sponsored, he tried out various companies in order to build a reputation for them and show them what he has got. He eventually found the warden where he told me “one of my strengths is throwing a putter and across the board the warden is my favorite one.” That is a tall order for a putter, he even added by saying “throwing a disc like the warden teaches you how to throw the disc.” The disc sounds amazing and a putter is something that is a staple and key to the game of Disc Golf, so it is no surprise the disc he likes most happens to be his strength. Looking at his favorite courses there is a distinct pattern that Robert pointed out with his courses, besides one. Robert told me “I had only really played in Texas and a few scattered states before coming to DD so all of my courses are in Texas.” The courses he is talking about are “Dogwood in Tyler, TX. I love the course it can feel difficult and easy at the same time. The other one being Roy G. Guerrero in Austin, TX it has long fairways through trees, more open then Dogwood.” He couldn’t just choose one and I have heard amazing things about both of those courses. Now, he did have one more course and it was “terminalen in Sweden, it is so balanced and fair, but it is so hard.” The courses across the pond are often ones that are goals for people to get to and Robert got his chance and loved every minute of it.

 

Growing the sport comes in many different shapes and sizes. Each individual I talk to has a different approach to growing the sport. Robert is no different, his approach is one I think everyone can follow. Robert told me “I think the thing I did most was just taking people out to play when they didn’t beforehand. Taking people out is the biggest thing, especially newer players.” Getting someone to play disc golf for the first time is often difficult and a tricky thing to do but Robert is doing it and enjoying it as it goes. Robert also describes that “newer players often feel intimidated about playing with experienced players. But I love encouraging players to play and helping give discs away to players who need them.” Helping players is something that the sport needs and making them feel comfortable is something that I appreciate that Robert does.

 

Giving advice is something that Robert does well, and he has a slew of advice to give to players who want to take their game to the next level. The biggest things that Robert had to say was “work on the mental side of the game, the mental side of disc golf is what I love more than the physical side.” The mental game is such a huge part of the game that gets so little recognition in the eyes of the disc golf world. Robert told me that “there are so many good throwers out there that aren’t mentally strong enough to keep their focus. To work on the mental game, I would suggest reading golf mental game books.” There are plenty of golf and disc golf books to help out your mental game and Robert has a few good suggestions for you. His suggestions are “Gio Valiante Fearless Golf and golf flow. These books help you focus on the things you need to focus on. Another good book is Golf is not a game of perfect by Bob Rotella.” Robert swears by these books, he said that “I got to 1000 rated in 2013 and these books helped me along the way.” These books and that mindset are a key to helping your disc golf game.  A strong mental game is a huge part of the game and Robert wants everyone to realize that and help them along the way.

 

The last thing I always want people to say is anything that they feel people should know about them that the public may not. It is often the most difficult question because people don’t know really what the world does or does not know about them. But Roberts answer is great and something worth noting about him. He told me “I worked at a church before DD and led worship. I play acoustic guitar, music is something that I always loved, and I loved music theory. I enjoy music a lot more than people know. I am a lot more into playing and singing music then some may know as well. My wife and I rarely go see movies and I used to play soccer a lot and explored playing in college. Oh! And I tore my ACL when I was 21.”

 

I would like to thank Robert McCall for taking the time out of his day to talk to me and answer my questions along the way. If you would like to see more of Robert you can follow him on Instagram @jrobertmccall. You can learn more about the Disc Golf Answer Man at: http://discgolfanswerman.com/ or finding them on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/user/DynamicDiscs. Look out for more coming soon!

 

Picture credit goes to Robert McCall

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