Behind the Throw - Curtis Payton

Behind the Throw - Curtis Payton - Flippy Disc Golf Apparel
Share your favorite disc golf course that you’ve played and a favorite course that you’d still love to visit.

Curtis: My favorite course is Northwood Black. I played it during the third round of the 2023 Am Worlds and let me tell ya, it is hard. But, I absolutely fell in love with the challenge. Throwing hard tight lines was so fun. A course I would like to visit is Maple Hill. So many pros rave about it and it has high ratings for good reason I am sure. I just haven't gotten out to the east coast to get a round in.

For newcomers to disc golf, what's one technical tip or aspect of play you think is undervalued but can make a big difference in their game?

Curtis: Pretend you are playing catch with the basket. It seems so simple, but the hyper-focus often throws you off. The mechanical motions take away from confidence. Just play catch. I have found this to be a huge success especially on the putting green.

Can you recall a particularly challenging course or hole that you've played and how you navigated it? What made it stand out?

Curtis: Hole 12 on Northwood Black. It is typically a backhand turnover off the tee, but I went forehand, forehand, forehand to get up to the mouth at the top of the hill. I was throwing forehand really good that day and I new that it would give me the most progress up the fairway even if it wasn't the intended shot shape.

Disc golfers often have a favorite disc in their bag. Which is yours, and why does it hold that special place for you?

Curtis: Oh this is tough. Probably my Fusion Judge or my Fusion Felon. Both are beat into perfection and I throw them really well. They go straight and glide forever without turning over. If I threw either of those discs in the water, I would go swimming!

Disc golf, like many sports, has a community aspect to it. Can you share a memorable moment or story that stemmed from your involvement with the Flippy Disc Golf community?

Curtis: Lefty Tyler (Flippy Sponsored Player) always puts together tournaments on Disc Golf Valley which is a great way for the community to connect especially when we all live in different states. This is a great way to build friendships even with those who are not apart of your local disc golf scene.

How do you prepare for a big tournament or match? Are there any specific routines, mental exercises, or physical training regimens you follow?

Curtis: Well I typically practice the course if I can. But in the morning I do a devotional, pray, have a cup of coffee, and head to the course about and hour prior to warm up. I get a couple throws in and some puts but nothing too major. Honestly, I just pretend like it is any other normal round. Just do my best and enjoy the fact I am competing with friends at my local scene.

Are there any disc golfers or athletes in general who have inspired your journey or whom you look up to? Why?

Curtis: Honestly, probably Brodie Smith. Just a normal guy who stepped on the scene and has been crushing it. To take a non-disc golfer and make him into a sponsored and competitive pro in less than 3 years is a feat to behold. It made me believe that I too could progress in the sport rather quickly.

With the growth and evolution of disc golf, where do you see the sport in the next 5-10 years? And what role do you think platforms like Flippy Disc Golf will play in that future?

Curtis: In the next 5-10 years I will be in the MP40 division which is crazy to think about. But I would love to compete in Masters and see how I fair there! Now, all the touring pros may flood that scene too, but who knows! I am sure I will still be playing. This game is too fun to give up just because I get old.

Outside of the technical aspects, what's the most valuable life lesson disc golf has taught you?

Curtis: Some things are not loosing your cool over. You throw O.B. and loose the tournament, its better to take a deep breath and laugh at yourself for shanking your shot than become a guy no one wants to be around when you are playing poorly or make a mistake.

What’s the very worst score you’ve ever recorded, and on what hole?

Curtis: I think a 7 on a par 3? Elevated basket and I proceeded to 5 putt haha.

To keep up with Curtis's adventures on the course, follow him on Instagram @discgolfdisciple. Stay tuned for more inspiring stories from the amazing players of Team Flippy!

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