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Disc Golf Resources: Feature Articles
Cale Leiviska, Young Gun

Interview by David Henrickson / Disc Golf Magazine
Photos by Brian Sullivan / Discraft
A companion video to this story is here

The 2006 season has been a breakout for twenty-three year old Cale Leiviska (pronounced LAY viska). With four Professional Disc Golf Association Tour Open division victories so far this year, including two wins over Barry Schultz, the #1 player in the PDGA's new World Rankings, Cale has announced his presence with authority. In June, Cale snagged his biggest victory to date at the Majestic, A PDGA SuperTour in his hometown of St. Paul Minnesota. We caught up with Cale to find out how a third year pro conjures such a successful start at the expense of some of disc golf's most established players.


 

Disc Golf Magazine: First, congratulations on a great start to your 2006 season. You must be heading into this year's biggest events with a bit of confidence on your side?

Cale Leiviska: Thank you. I do have a positive outlook on every tourney I play but it definitely helps to get some good finishes against great competition for some extra confidence.

Minnesota's Cale Leiviska

Team Discraft's Cale Leiviska lives and plays disc golf in Minnesota.

DGM: You jumped right into sanctioned tournament play back in 2004 in the Open division. What inspired that decision?

CL: I had been playing in some local leagues in the twin cities and when I first came to them I asked to play in whatever division plays for the money. Timmy Gill told me I should sign up for the PDGA and start playing some tourneys. I thought about playing advanced but I had too much fun playing against the best competition.

DGM: You started playing when you were 17. Did you come to disc golf after playing other sports? What got you interested in the competitive side of disc golf?

CL: Yes, I have played all kinds of sports my entire life but baseball and basketball was what I was playing in high school when I discovered disc golf. Although I did play many team sports throughout high school, it was the individual aspect that I loved about disc golf that inspired me to play competitively. I am a naturally competitive person so playing a game where you can only rely on yourself to get through a tournament was something I loved from the beginning. Once I realized that many people were playing competitively, I started to get more into it.

DGM: You got a huge bear hug from Jay Reading after your victory at the Minnesota Majestic. Have any touring players taken you under their wing or offered valuable advice?

CL: Well at the beginning of this year, nobody really knew who I was and many still don't, but the people I have met have been very friendly and eager to share advice. When I was in the final nine at the Majestic, Chris Sprague told me time and again to stay centered and keep taking deep breaths. He must have been able to see that I was a little nervous at the beginning.

See the video

Companion video!
A three-minute profile of Cale Leiviska.

Timmy Gill and Jon Drummond have definitely taken me under their wing though and I have learned more from those guys than they even know. From the beginning, they were the ones I looked up to and they showed me the next level of the game. We all have different styles but the strong mental game is what I have learned from them. I remember in one of my first tourneys, I noticed how calm and collected Timmy was in every situation. He told me shortly after that he hadn't gotten angry playing disc in a couple of years and something about him told me that he meant it. You see so many top pros who get so down on themselves when things are not going great (myself included). The knowledge Timmy has shared with me about this game has helped it stay fun for me and I am still learning from him every time we play.



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