Throughout the inaugural year of the Disc Golf Pro Tour, we’ll be following two top professionals as they compete on the tour. Nate Doss and Paul Ulibarri will claim the spotlight for the five events before the Tour Championship in September.
For Nate Doss, the Vibram Open not only marks the first event on the Disc Golf Pro Tour, it also marks his first tournament action in a few weeks. As the 2011 winner of the Vibram Open, Doss knows the course well and knows what it takes to take home a win.
We caught up with Doss before the action begins this week.
Are you excited to be a part of the Disc Golf Pro tour?
“Absolutely excited! For me as a player, it’s another Vibram Open and I’ll prepare the same way I have in the past, like the year when I won in 2011. There is a certain way to prepare for this event and that’s my main focus. In the broader picture ,and as a fan, it means a lot be a part of the first Pro Tour event. Very exciting and on home turf.”
What are your thoughts of Maple Hill?
“This tournament… Steve Dodge, the Southwick family, the entire Massachusetts family who volunteer, they make you feel at home. Maple Hill is Tom Southwick’s backyard and you’re playing through a Christmas Tree farm with these great little ponds with history around it. Plus you have so many side games from ping pong, pie eating, and more. There is so much to do.”
“As for the course itself, as Paul McBeth proved a few years ago with his record round, it’s very fair. Its right there for the taking. To have a successful tournament you have to stay aggressive and believe in the discs you’re throwing and the lines you’re trying to hit. I believe on 15 of the 18 holes you can go out of bounds, might not be that much but at least half. You have to be confident and hit your shots.”
“The course we play brings out the best player that week. Whoever wins is the true champion of the vent.”
Currently, what is the strongest and weakest parts of your game?
*laughs* “Thats tough. First, I don’t think there are any weak parts of my game. We kid, but that’s really how I feel. I feel very confident. I have played well in nearly every event but one this year.”
“To really answer it… The strongest part is off the tee and it has been the whole season. Once I start to play, I feel like I have everything on a string and I can place them wherever I want. The practice round today felt great. I haven’t played in three weeks.”
“Weakest part is the long distance putting… 40-50 feet. I just haven’t made a lot of putts from that far. While my driving has been on, in the current state of the sport, you have to make those putts. You have to capitalize on those longer holes when given the chance. Hopefully that comes around.”
Beyond winning, what goals do you have for the weekend?
“My goal in any event, besides winning, and everyone should have that goal, is with three to four holes left is to have a chance to win. You have to be confident off the tee. You can’t get into a scramble mode. I had a few the year when I won it.”
“My goal is to get near the lead and be in contention to be in the lead and a chance to run down the leader. I’ll tell ya, at Maple Hill, and disc golf in general, tapping out on 18 or that big sidearm approach to setup a win is truly a great feeling.”
In one word, describe your feelings going into the Vibram Open?
Thanks to Doss for the conversation this week. We’ll follow up with him after the Vibram Open to get his thoughts on how the weekend played out.