home ultimate disc golf freestyle video catalog order team resources frequently asked questions contact


Sign Up for our FREE newsletter
for disc golf news every month
your email:



Team Discraft's Erik Smith

Erik Smith / Team Discraft NAME: Erik Smith  
HOMETOWN: Falls Church, VA
PDGA #: 25987
2013 PDGA RATING: 993
BORN: 1982
day gig: Solar Control Specialist
STARTED IN DISC GOLF: 2002
Disc Cred:
  • 21 PDGA sanctioned wins
  • 2nd, 2011 Delaware DG Challenge
  • 11th, 2011 Pittsburgh NT
  • 2x Hawk Hollow Open Champ
  • Top 20, 2009 Vibram Open
  • 21 to 35 tournaments played per year since 2005 season
  • MEMORABLE DISC GOLF MOMENTs
    The weekends with friends at amazing places. Paw Paw, the Grange, perfect examples of incredible weekends for your soul. The people, the atmosphere, and incredible disc golf.... what beats that? These times I will remember my entire life. Physical disc golf memories include playoffs for the win and finishing rounds where you know you are in contention of a win. Having your mind and stomach going crazy with nerves, then calming yourself, allowing your body and mind to perform to perfection. I love the intensity and these moments always stick with me.
    Erik's Disc Golf Tips
    Bad disc selection is a very common mistake I see newer players making. Choosing the right disc is very key and a lot of players will go for the farthest flying disc off the break. They may even keep switching discs, looking for the one that does what they want. My advice to a newer player who is trying to figure out how to throw, is start from the ground up. Start with easier turning and shorter discs. Throwing a Force is going to look similar to throwing an Surge out of the hand of a new player. With no spin or technique, these discs go out and fall left, although at high speed, they are totally different. Also don't try one and give up, switching to the next disc. Technique takes time. Find the disc that feels good in your hand and is described as having straight or understable properties. Once that disc starts to turn over for you, it's time to move up the ladder. Maybe ignore the name, and skip drivers the first few months. Drive with mid-ranges and putters. These discs may give you a better feel of what it is to throw a disc. This patience will reward you with a much better understanding of disc flight, in return making you a much better player in the long run.

    Erik Smith / Team Discraft I see a lot of intermediate players trying to absolutely destroy the disc. When learning to throw, not only will that result in a bad shot, but it will delay your learning to throw long shots consistently. Throwing smoothly and fast, with a good snap will give you the best result. It is also easier to repeat. Practice well formed shots and focus on being smooth. While doing this, also put emphasis on speed, not strength. Go to a field and your local course working on this until it becomes second nature. It won't feel like your killing it, but you will have a longer walk to your disc for sure.

    Mental approach. I don't often hear this addressed in disc golf clinics, but I strongly feel it should be. This is a broad subject, but how you think while playing disc golf is huge. I believe you need a plan on how to think, as well as how you intend to play the course. You simply can't be a victim of your bad shots or bad luck. A lot of players will dwell on a bad hole and carry negative thoughts onto later shots. "I have to birdie now because I bogied", is a classic mind set for a downward spiral. I understand some players can use this for inspiration, but it is rare. If you have four bad holes in a row are you going to be able to keep using that for inspiration? Your game plan should be to throw each shot as well as you can. This should not change due to lost strokes. It will even help in reverse when you have a great round going and you want keep it hot. How many times have you seen a player doing well, realize what he was on pace for, and completely lose it after that. Each shot demands full attention and focus, so any time you think about something other than your shot, you are losing focus. It takes experience and time to be able to go in and out of complete focus, while counting your score and thinking about other competitors. You want to feed off good players, but if you are too focused on what others are doing, it could hurt you. Michael Johansen will be on your card and not everyone can keep up with a 1070 round. Play your game and always think positive. The human mind is tricky and "don't throw in the water", is the same as "please, let's throw in the water now". Visualize your success and realize every day is different. Take the good with the bad and you will put up better rounds, as well as being more fun to play with.
    COURSES YOU SHOULD PLAY:
    Course Comments
    Maple Hill Airplanes
    Leicester, MA
    My favorite 18 holes of golf to play. A great mix of wooded and open holes, over amazing terrain. Great risk/reward situations and a variety of shots used.
    Hawk Hollow
    Mineral, VA
    Course designer John Biscoe welcomes you to a family cow farm to enjoy some of the best disc golf you have played. An 18 or 27 hole layout of beautifully designed holes over rolling, elevated hills. More than one of my favorite holes ever played come from this course. A must play for everyone.
    The Grange
    Spotsylvania, VA
    Now known as the Blockhouse Country Club. The Grange is made up of two 18 hole courses, the Darkside and the Sunnyside. Both top notch. There's 18 holes of manicured, fully lit, tiki golf as well. Oh yeah, a music stage, arcade games, ping pong... need more??
    TimberRidge
    Bedford, VA
    VA's hidden gem. An 18 hole course set in the Blue Ridge Mountains. How is this course not famous? Some of the best golf in VA to be had. A must play. On the same property, close by, there is Big Branch. Another high caliber VA secret that everyone should experience.
    Paw Paw
    Paw Paw, WV
    You have never been to anything like it. The Woodshed and the Whipping Post are the two 18 hole courses at Paw Paw. Some of the best open holes I have ever played, some of the most insane woods holes I've ever played. If holding a tourney, Paw Paw is one of the best disc golf weekends ever.
    In The Disc Golf Bag: Drivers
    Disc Comments
    Z Predator
    (169-174)
    The most reliable disc in my bag. Brand new, a total utility disc. Chip shots 150-250. Drives 250-375. This disc is in my hand for backhand and forehand. Throw it right, let it fall left every time. Get one a little beat and you've got an amazingly accurate Fairway Driver. You can also trust angles with this disc. Anhyzer pan out flex shots never felt so easy. This is a perfect combination of flight control and stable workhorse reliability.
    ESP XL
    (170-174)
    The XL is the disc I use the most in tight woods. Amazing glide and extremely easy to control. It will impress you with its sneaky d however, I use the XL for all distance shots. It acts as a long midrange at slower speeds, and a ridiculous straight to turnover driver, when thrown faster. Very versatile, the XL handles dead straight lines, left to right sliders, and even rollers. This is one of the most accurate and responsive discs I've thrown.
    Z Crank
    (167+)
    New to the bag, and staying in the bag. It didn't take long to realize the Crank was something special. Farthest flying disc I have thrown and the rim is a very comfortable size for a high speed driver. You can control it at 70-80% power making it quite versatile and allowing it to be trusted in woods as well.
    Z Mantis
    (167+)
    New to the bag and making big noise thus far. With great glide and controllability, the Mantis is becoming a go-to fairway driver. I feel this disc will be a great addition to my golf bag this year.
    X Line and Z Avenger
    (172+ )
    The Avenger is very close to being my go-to driver. Depending on the course, it may be that weekend. These are most driver shots where the Predator is too overstable for the situation, I need to throw softer due to conditions around me, or I simply need a little more glide or distance in my shot. This disc is also used for backhand and forehand. I've never felt such an accurate long range disc. Newer, stable Avengers are used for field reliability and straight to flippy Avengers for everything else under 400 feet.
    ESP and Z Force
    (169+)
    Never have I felt a top speed disc be so reliable. A predictable overstable finish every time and dirty fast. I use the Force for 330-400+ feet shots. Normally when you have a disc this fast, you sacrifice accuracy on your shot. Not in this case. The Force is perfect for wind and open field shots, although it's consistent enough I trust it in tight woods when I need to. Great for forehand and backhand.
    ESP Surge
    (170-174)
    The Surge is a perfect blend of speed, accuracy, and glide. It is definitely my preferred, big distance driver for backhand and sidearm. I can continuously get the Surge on the line I am looking for. If I need max distance with control, the Surge is my disc. Very versatile, I use the Surge for hyzer shots, straight shots, and anhyzer shots. A beat in Surge has beautiful hyzer-flip and late turning properties. Not only predictable in the air, you can control the finish on this disc with ease. This really helps when you want to minimize fade or skip, helping you to stay in your fairway.
    ESP Avenger SS
    (173-174)
    Best roller disc ever made. The controllability of an Avenger, with the flight characteristics you die for in a roller disc. Just put it on the angle and watch it do its thing. You gotta love it when Discraft tweaks one of your favorite drivers into a roller disc. On top of being my #1 roller disc, in the air, this disc is a stroke saver. When you have a bodybuilder stature like me, sometimes being stuck into standstill or just in an awkward position will kill your shot. This disc can be thrown soft for excellent results and I would guess, is one of the best beginner discs for a new player.
    Z Avenger SS
    (167+)
    Best roller disc ever made. The controllability of an Avenger, with the flight characteristics you die for in a roller disc. Just put it on the angle and watch it do its thing. You gotta love it when Discraft tweaks one of your favorite drivers into a roller disc. On top of being my #1 roller disc, in the air, this disc is a stroke saver. When you have a bodybuilder stature like me, sometimes being stuck into standstill or just in an awkward position will kill your shot. This disc can be thrown soft for excellent results and I would guess, is one of the best beginner discs for a new player.
    In The Disc Golf Bag: Midrange
    Disc Comments
    Z Buzzz
    (175+ gm)
    My favorite midrange. I use the Buzzz for hyzers, straight shots, and left to right sliding shots. I can always rely on the Buzzz to hit the line when it matters. Reliable and it has good distance for a mid. Great disc for backhand and forehand.
    Z Comet
    (175+ gm)
    Game changing midrange. The glide on this thing should be illegal. It just keeps going. Once it flattens out and starts to ride, it will go further than your average mid-range. Anhyzer shots and late turning shots are toooooo easy. I've never had a disc I could finesse so easily and also be able to throw it extremely fast without worry of cut rollers from turning too quick. Greatest straight to understable midrange on the planet.
    FLX Drone
    (170+ gm)
    My overstable midrange of choice. When the buzz isn't overstable enough and I don't want the distance of a driver, I use the Drone. This disc has really helped me with open field approaching.
    In The Disc Golf Bag: Putt and Approach
    Disc Comments
    D Focus
    (170+ gm)
    My main putter. Good stability and has the right amount of glide. Great for upshots and driving as well
    ESP Zone
    (170+ gm)
    Game changing disc. My go to side arm approach disc. The stability of a driver, with the distance of a putter. You can really get on the shot and not worry about it carrying too far or flipping over on you. No more finessing drivers when you can just lay into the Zone.


    © Discraft, Inc. Thanks for visiting!