On Jan. 1, the disc golf industry was buzzing about the latest announcement.
Paige Pierce, who is a three-time world champion professional disc golf player and the most dominant women’s player in the sport, was leaving her major sponsorship with another disc golf manufacturer to become a sponsored player with Dynamic Discs in Emporia.
“She is the most talented and most professional female disc golfer and we look forward to standing behind her and supporting her for many years and many world championships to come,” said Jeremy Rusco, owner of Dynamic Discs.
This sponsorship is really a homecoming of sorts. When Pierce first turned pro, she was sponsored by Dynamic Discs — which was still gaining its footing in the industry.
“I was actually with Dynamic Discs back when I was younger, but they didn’t make discs yet,” Pierce said. “So I switched over to a company that I had hopes would be beneficial for me in the long run. Then, one thing led to another and I just realized it wasn’t the right place for me. I have always just loved Dynamic Discs and what they are about — the people — just everything they are about aligns with things I believe in as well. I felt like it was time to come back to Dynamic — come back home.”
“We are very excited to be able to bring Paige back to the Dynamic Discs family,” Rusco said.
Pierce’s road to Dynamic Discs began many years ago when her dad first placed discs in her hands as a toddler. From the time she could walk, her dad would take her out to play. The shared “father-daughter activity” grew into more for Pierce when she began competing in youth tournaments.
“Around 8 or 10 I started participating in youth tournaments,” Pierce said. “I really liked competing and I liked the tournament aspect of it. In high school I was practicing and looking forward to traveling to compete in tournaments and I just fell in love with disc golf.”
Those early experiences led to Pierce’s realization that professional disc golf was what she wanted to do with her life. Once the decision was made to go pro, Pierce never looked back. Since turning professional in 2009, she has accumulated 75 career wins and racked up more than $100,000 in career earnings. At the age of 19, Pierce claimed her first World Championship title.
“The first time that I traveled to Texas with Eric McCabe to host our first tournament in November of 2007, McCabe made it a point to introduce me to Paige and the Pierce family,” Rusco said. “McCabe talked her up and said that she would be a future world champion and I believed it as soon as I saw her first throw. Four years later, she won her first world title while being sponsored by Dynamic Discs before we were producing our own disc line. I believe that Paige will win multiple world championships over the next several years throwing exclusively with Dynamic Discs.”
Pierce lives in Plano, Texas, but has made her way to Emporia on several occasions — tournament play keeps her traveling regularly. She said Emporia is one of her favorite places to compete for several reasons — the number of courses, the close proximity of the courses and the welcoming community.
“Having six courses in that close proximity is remarkable,” Pierce said. “It is unheard of and completely unmatched. You can get to every course in Emporia in a three minute drive — it is awesome. Emporia is one of my favorite locations for a tournament just because you don’t have to rush around to get to your next round.”
She has also staked a claim on her favorite course in town. Recent additions may change her mind though. She has yet to play the new course in Olpe, but has it on her agenda.
“I really like Peter Pan,” Pierce said. “It is so fun and they recently re-did it so a couple of the holes are harder. I’m excited to see some new courses, too. I hear that Olpe Lake is pretty awesome. I haven’t had a chance to play there yet but we play it for the Glass Blown this year.”
Growing the sport of disc golf is a priority for Pierce just as it is for Dynamic Discs. In the coming year, Pierce is hopeful she can continue to represent the sport well, compete to the best of her ability and encourage new players to join in.
“I’m very excited to be throwing Dynamic Discs and I think it will be one of my best years yet,” Pierce said. “Goal-wise I want to compete to the highest level I can and get to some major tournaments that I haven’t been to. I hope to grow disc golf even more. Disc golf is getting pretty big and I’m excited to help with the growth of the sport.”
Pierce said Emporians live in the prime place to give disc golf a shot. She offered some tips for beginners.
“If they haven’t tried it out, they are in the perfect town to do so,” Pierce said. “Go over to Commercial Street and grab a disc or two — they have beginner packs you can grab — and go out to Jones Park or Peter Pan and try it out.”
Favorite Course in Emporia:
Peter Pan Park
Dynamic Discs Lucid Convict
I would say to go out and find a park and seclude yourself for an hour or so and just learn your discs. We get caught up in what’s new and hot and start to trail off into discs we are unsure of. Stick with what you know and work on repetition so you learn said disc with 100-percent confidence. When you get to this point, you will still mess up, but at least you will know why and how to fix it.
Most Memorable Disc Golf Moment:
I would have to say, without a doubt, it was winning my first World Championship. I can remember the events like it was yesterday. I was 19 at the time — had not proven myself quite yet. It was in Santa Cruz, California, which was the home of the 4-time World Champ Val Jenkins and she was obviously the one to beat. I felt confident in my skills, but I had yet to have to execute them in such a high-pressure setting before. It was a true test. When the week was over, I came out victorious and could not have felt more ecstatic with the outcome. It gave me the confidence to believe I can compete against the best, even in a setting where all odds are against me. Anytime I am feeling a bit down and out, I try to replay the events of that week for a little reassurance.