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Team Discraft's Barrett White

Barrett White / Team Discraft NAME: Barrett White  
HOMETOWN: Forest Park, IL
PDGA #: 16737
2013 PDGA RATING: 923
BORN: 1968
STARTED IN DISC GOLF: 1999
CONNECT:  
day gig: Manager of Revenue Support, FMC-NA
All THAT GLITTERS:
  • 2X Master Women's Pro World Champion (2013, 2010)
  • 1st, 2011 Mad City Open
  • 1st, 2011 IL State Championships
  • 08, 09 USWDGC Master Women's Champion
  • 1st, 2009 Greater Peoria Open
  • 1st, 2006 St. Louis Open
  • 1st, 2006 IL State Championships
  • 1st, 2006 IL Open Series overalls
  • 6th, 2006 Women's US Nationals
  • 2nd, Am Worlds 2000
  • co-Rookie of the Year 2001
  • MEMORABLE DISC GOLF MOMENTs
    Worlds 2013: being neck and neck with Anni Kreml for six days only to end up tied going into the finals, then the amazing final nine we played. She is an enormously talented competitor.

    Still pretty giddy from Worlds 2010. Became the Master Women's World Champion in 2010, shooting past a super-talented (legendary) field that included 5-time Women's Open champ Elaine King and Discraft teammate Sheila Kirkham. Unbelievable event. Gorgeous park complex. Wonderful group of competitors. Volunteers were unbelievable. And I got my Worlds Crystal Buzzz autographed by the lead singer for Bad Religion at his book signing. Finishing 2011 by shooting -8 in a tournament round at Dretzka winter layout.
    Barrett's Disc Golf Tips
    Look At Your Options:
    Take the time to look at all the shot options you have, instead of over-focusing on one choice when looking at a hole. This means exploring and playing with your discs off the course, too. A disc will fly in almost any position, which is useful when you have thrown yourself into a sticky situation. Experiment, play. Also, play catch as much as you can. Get to the point where throwing discs is fun and feels natural, so you don't put so much pressure on yourself and get into your head so much in pressure situations.

    Check Your Stance:
    So many players throw from an awkward position to keep their 'front' foot behind their marker. I'm always surprised by how many experienced golfers I will see throwing from the rough, with their center mass less than three feet from clearer throwing zones. I have worked with players to explain the 'pivot foot' concept (carryover from Ultimate), which allows for more reach when an initial shot does not land in a clear area. If you use the pivot foot as a starting point and step out from there, without feeling obligated to keep your toe pointing directly towards your mini, you have the full 180 degree rotation available to you behind the line of your mini, which opens up your options a lot.

    Barrett White / Team Discraft


    Isolate and Hone:
    The big jump in my distance came with my first reconstructive ankle surgery. It forced me to stand up on my release rather than stepping down and around my marker, as I was accustomed to doing from Ultimate. While I don't recommend surgery as a distance-adding strategy (playing 18-54 holes on crutches is a bit tiring), it does reinforce the need to occasionally slow down and evaluate the components of your approach. Work on driving from a standstill and really focus on your arm and trunk motion; this will allow you to isolate and hone the motions that really work for you. Do the same with your footwork, slow down your steps and see if your footwork is helping or hurting your throw. If you can learn to isolate the different components of your drive, it will be easier to tune up your throws, if you find something is working or not working for you. A fabulous takeaway from playing multiple times on crutches is that I can drive with little to no approach as conditions dictate. Don't be too over reliant on a high-speed, high-power approach; sometimes one or two steps and a bit more control will do just fine.

    Experiment (Just Not During The Tourney):
    Often you hear players say from the rough that they don't have the throw they need to get out of where they are. Even more, they'll find themselves in an awkward lie and try a throw they have never tried to get out of where they are. A tourney round is the worst place to practice new throws--you're nowhere near as relaxed as you should be while you're learning. In non-tourney time, learn all the throws you can. Grab a buddy and a putter or an UltraStar and go to an open field and play catch. Try different throws. Try odd throws that might not work--you could be surprised when it is a better idea than you thought. If someone in your group has a really great forehand, and you can't quite get yours down, ask them about theirs when the round is over. Then take what they tell you to that open field and practice it until it feels natural. Learn your new throws in low-pressure, fun situations so that when you break them out in a tourney, it's just more fun for you and your disc.

    Remove Your Distractions
    Early on in the season a couple of years ago, I realized that I was exceptionally distracted at tournaments, especially towards the end of the day, and it was not just the glacial pace of tournament play. I was asking to see the scorecard multiple times, and spending a lot of mental energy wondering where I was in relation to the group--then speculating where I was in the division. I changed a couple things, and have seen a major improvement in my tourney play. First, I got an iPod. The shuffle has really cut down on my negative mental chatter, kept me on the hole I was playing, and helped me keep my mood consistent and upbeat. Second, I realized it doesn't matter how other people throw--it's my play that I can affect; in everyone else's game I am a spectator. Once I got out of my head, off the scorecard, and into the moment, I found my distractibility had dropped nicely, and my scores improved.

    Putting is fun. Repeat. Putting is fun.
    Until you are just outside your comfort zone in a close, every-stroke-counts match and you are staring uphill and upwind at a basket that couldn't look less receptive. Then, putting can be less fun. Unless you have developed a routine and made it become more fun in your mind. Here's how: play putting games with yourself and with others. I play horse and point putting games against friends when we want to play, but don't want to play a full 18 holes. It helps make putting more fun and gamelike, while making it competitive. When I am by myself, I leapfrog my putters -- I spray a bunch of shots and then line up groups of putters. Starting with the close ones, I shoot from each close shot, then bring the discs to each next shot and putt from there, etc. Not woo hoo fun, but add in an iPod, and I find myself spending 20 minutes putting and getting in rhythm pretty nicely. I also play 'Darwin' with my putters to keep them hungry. Before a tournament, I will take a bunch of the putter out to the course (again, this is where an iPod shuffle is fantastic--I find that most things don't distract me since I have been putting to the Ramones) and progressively putt all the putters, see which ones made it into the basket, eliminate those that didn't, add 3-5 feet of distance from the basket and repeat. Keep repeating and eliminating until you have the number of putters you need for the tournament. When the weaker putters have eliminated themselves, the strongest few get to be in the bag for the tournament. Survival of the fittest. Plus, it lets all the putters have a chance to be in the rotation, which keeps them fresh and happy.

    Adapting to Negative Weather Conditions
    If you are going to play in less than perfect weather, you cannot possibly be too prepared. Start with cold. I cannot tell you how many times I see people in jeans and flannel shirts playing in sub-freezing weather, then saying how cold they are. Duh. Layers are the key to cold weather golf, and if it is cold and wet, you'll need extra sets of all layers. Inner layer should be something heat-conserving and wicking. Underarmor is great for that. Second layer, light cotton, heat-retaining. Third layer, another light cotton layer. Fourth layer, light fleece, possibly wind-lined. Fifth layer, Gore-Tex. Liner socks under waterproof socks, waterproof boots, gloves, and head/ neck covering. And multiple extras for all layers if there is any hint of precipitation. I have seen many golfers dress perfectly for the weather, but suffer through round two because the first round was rainy--it's surprising how little heat you retain when you are soaked to the skin. Discomfort, let alone frostbite, are huge mental drains to your tourney game. Dress appropriately, and bring loads of towels (or chamois, they last longer), and you'll be able to keep your mental energy where it belongs, on your game.

    Play Catch
    Play catch whenever you can--the more you can do this the better. If you are new to throwing discs, grab a soft putter (I recommend the Banger or Challenger) and a friend and play catch. If you are just starting, get 20-30 feet of distance between you and toss the disc back and forth. You can gradually increase your distance as you become more comfortable. When I was learning Ultimate, our captain gave us 'homework' of making and catching 100 throws a day. Our throws got better, and we became more comfortable making the throws in pressure situations. If you can practice throwing and catching with your putter, it becomes a natural, comfortable motion, a fun activity, and something you can do by muscle memory. It is also a great way to warm up before a tournament.

    COURSES YOU SHOULD PLAY:
    Course Comments
    Lemon Lake Silver
    Cedar Lake, IN
    This is a beautiful, challenging course that makes excellent use of the terrain (it is also dog-friendly, and looks like something out of Lord of the Rings, alternating between Fangorn forest, Lothlorien and Mirkwood).
    Sioux Passage
    St. Louis, MO
    he course is beautiful, scenery-wise at any time of year, and forces you to play your best game, requiring smart, big, and accurate golf.
    Hiestand
    Madison, WI
    The course was raised with money from the 1993 WFDF Ultimate Worlds held in Madison, and is a beautiful, challenging course that had gotten a little overused seeming until the local club gave it a facelift.
    McNaughton Park
    Peoria, IL
    While the course is mentally and physically challenging, if you bring your best mental game and your best physical game, it can reward you beautifully - excellent spot for wildlife encounters, as well.
    Camden II
    Milan, IL
    Well-designed course, with different challenges - both mental and physical - on every hole, and stunningly beautiful in every season.
    In The Disc Golf Bag: Drivers
    Disc Comments
    ESP NUKE
    (150, 160 - 169)
    This disc, and the consistent distance it gives me was one of the keys to my success at 2010 and 2013 Worlds. The ESP has risen to my favorite plastic status in this disc, because it is dependable, nigh-invulnerable, and goes forever (much farther than I can throw). I use the 150 class in a tailwind and can trust it to be steerable and ginormous on distance. Just got my first Nuke ace with a 167-9 ESP that had been in my bag since Worlds 2010 two weeks before Worlds 2013 - amazing disc. Exercise the Nuke-lear option when you need to bomb it.
    D NUKE
    (150 class)
    It is a little version of a big disc with a huge amount of distance and tenacity, even upwind. 150 class has been a huge factor in keeping my arm feeling good even at the end of a long tournament. With this disc, you get the benefits of a light disc with the power and distance of its bigger siblings.
    Z Flick
    (150 class)
    I love this disc! It is still the most steerable, land-on-a-dime disc in my bag. (One must allow for the fact that it is completely skippy, and then adjust for that when one throws). The flick threaded the pines on 24 at Oxbow park in Goshen Indiana to give me my only tournament ace - and a skip ace, of course, as is natural for the Flick. Easily the disc with which I have gotten the most aces, including two with the same Flick in less than three months. It also is a super choice when throwing up steep inclines. Torque it over into a hard right anhyzer, and let it fall further uphill as it comes back left.
    ESP Avenger
    (150 class)
    This is an easy to throw, easy to steer disc that is great for the end of the day when fatigue sets in. Downwind, the disc glides forever, and it has the steerability and consistency of its larger sibling. It tends to be very understable in a headwind, but is great for a long, gliding anhyzer. When I have a tunnel shot through the woods that is > 250, this is my go to disc. It is also another disc I give to newer players - it is easy to throw for a beginner, yet maintains big distance and steerability for experienced players.
    ESP Flick
    (150 class)
    This is one of the fastest discs I have ever thrown. Same extremely overstable flight pattern as the Z Flick, but zippy fast. Because it is so light and so stable, it is another good choice for an uphill shot with little effort. When I need a disc to hang a sharp left into a headwind and land on a dime, the Flick is the perfect choice. I have also found that for sharp right to lefts with tree action and a landing zone where I don't want to roll, that the Flick will settle back right to left nicely, after a sharp left to right turn.
    ESP Crank
    (167 - 169)
    This is a disc that has worked its way into my bag since last year. It is the similar distance to a Nuke, with less overstability and a much gentler finish. You can steer it anhyzer and it will finish to the right, but not crazily so. The disc is already adding distance to my game, and comes out of my hand so easily and smoothly. While I am generally an upbeat player, I can see my game going Crank-y to great results!
    Z Crank
    (160 - 166)
    This is a disc that has jumped into the bag quickly. This has the distance of the ESP Crank, but a bit more tenacity upwind. I love this disc so far, and am looking forward to finding out even more situations when it will be amazing for me.
    In The Disc Golf Bag: Midrange
    Disc Comments
    X Wasp
    (167 - 172)
    This is my go-to upshot disc. It has great range, and I can use it for almost any situation. It is stable enough to be very good with an upshot forehand, and steerable enough that I can flip it into an anhyzer with a stable finish as well. This disc does its job of making the putter's job easier, reliably landing within an easy putting zone much of the time for me.
    Cryztal and
    Glo Z Buzzz
    (167 - 177)
    I love the Buzzz! For a line drive tunnel shot, or a shot that you need to have glide in the direction you steer it, this is the disc. It has all the glide and steerability you expect with a tendency to stay on target (like Luke Skywalker shooting Womp Rats in Beggar's Canyon on Tattooine). It is also scaleable, and can stay on target for a longer flight (like Luke took to the Death Star). I have given the Glo Buzzz to players who were thoroughly hooked on other upshot discs and they have loved the consistency it brings to their bag enough to ditch their old favorites. My Cryztal Buzzz is a touch understable compared to my Glo Buzzz, but that makes for a softer, more gentle landing which can be useful. At the annual Disc'n for Dogs event in Milan, IA, this disc has been the key to my making the finals every year I have played.
    X Comet
    (160 - 169)
    This is the primary disc I have on hand to give to newer women players when I see them. It is straightforward, and can be trusted to go where you throw it. I often see women players out with their guy friends throwing 175 Predators or Venoms, or whatever their friends are throwing. These discs are fabulous discs if you have the power and experience to control them, but are not beginner-friendly unless you are built for them. I love seeing the players immediately get the straight, directed distance that the wicked overstable discs were not giving them.
    In The Disc Golf Bag: Putt and Approach
    Disc Comments
    D and X Soft Banger-GT
    (170-172)
    I credit the reliability of this putting combo with the vast improvements I have seen in my putting game, most of which is from the confidence I have in these putters. Unless they encounter thrower error, the Banger will hang on to the chains and settle into the basket nicely. It knows where its home is, and definitely wants to go to its home. The soft version of the Banger has nice, soft landings, gentleness with the chains -- especially during the cold months, this disc is velvety smooth, and fun to putt with.


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