The season is winding down up here in Maine and I got the chance to talk with Team SDG member Nate DeLisle. Last year Nate ended the season with eleven Top 3 finishes, a handful of wins, and he decided that he’d be moving up to AM1, the advanced division. This year Nate has had two top 3 finishes. Now that he’s had a year to play in the AM1 division I got to interview him.
What’s the main difference between AM2 and AM1?
According to Nate it’s not the putting, driving, upshots, or shot selection. Players in AM1 generally are better all around than AM2 and there’s a lot more of them. This year, Nate finished 14th in the Maine State Championships out of 49 players. Last year he competed against 13 people.
How’s your distance changed since last year?
Nate has been working with Mainer and Team Discraft player, Tyler Grady. Tyler showed Nate how to spin on his heel and Nate’s said that has added significant distance to his drive. He’s getting around 300 feet on a good backhand pull.
What’s the toughest shot for you right now?
Right now consistently hitting his backhand upshots has been Nate’s most difficult throw. He’s trying the Innova Firefly out and has found that to be his best disc; although he’s still working on early releasing. After playing a warm up round with Nate a couple weeks ago, I could see what he was talking about. But I’m pretty sure he’ll clean that up soon, he doesn’t just take a miss and move on. I saw him think about it and throw another shot where he adjusted his line and missed the trees. That’s a great way to get better, see what you did wrong and take a shot to fix it.
You seem to be better on wooded courses, why is that?
I initially wanted to know if it was easier for him because of the distance, or if it was easier to pick the lines out. But he told me it’s because of the wind in the open fields. Nate is only 13, so he’s not throwing max weight discs. His discs are generally more affected by the wind than heavier ones. That’s leading him to have more difficulties than the average player on a windy day.
Do you have any disc golf rituals, something you do before a tournament?
You’ve been competing for 5 years now, what drives you to practice all the time?
Nate simply wants to be the best. He takes joy in beating other people at disc golf.
We talked a little about the Maine State Championships and how despite him shooting the same score on the Patriot course both years, the rating was 10 points higher this year. It was incredibly windy that day. Nate continues to enjoy video games and beef jerky. So he’s a regular 13 year old boy who just happens to be better than most of the planet at disc golf. If you want to throw what Nate is throwing, he’s big on Star Wraiths, Firebirds, and he’s putting with our new Discmania P2’s featuring our Sabattus Disc Golf stamp on them. Nate has managed to bring his rating up 14 points from a year ago. While that’s not the big jump he had last year, it’s important to see that he’s averaging 1-2 strokes better per round. That’s not just growth, that’s consistent growth for Nate. Once he gets some elite distance he’s going to become unstoppable on even the open courses.
We’re wicked proud of Nate for all the work he’s put in this year. He’s funny, smart, and a hard worker. You can catch Nate at the Dragan Disc Golf Classic, or the Devil’s Grove Season Ender at the end of October/Beginning of November. He’s extra hungry for his first AM1 Win, so if you’re playing him, watch out.
May your discs miss all the trees,
Andrew Streeter #70937