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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: 916
BORN: 1968
STARTED IN DISC GOLF: 1999
day gig: Billing Group Manager, 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
    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
    McNaughton Park
    Peoria, IL
    This course is mentally and physically demanding, if you bring your brain game and consistent throws, the course is delightful. Even when I shoot it poorly, it is scenically marvelous. Usually can count on wildlife encounters.
    Sioux Passage
    St. Louis, MO
    This course has been redone, and there is a local club that takes wonderful care of their parks. While the course is bigger than my arm is, it is challenging, and forces smart golf. Again, a beautiful course, scenery wise.
    Hiestand
    Madison, WI
    It's not only that the course was put in with money raised from the 1993 Ultimate Worlds in Madison, but the course is gorgeous, with holes that look like they were taken straight out of Lord of the Rings. Challenging pro tees, with a great view of the capitol from the hilltop.
    Camden II
    Milan, IL
    Another mentally and physically challenging course. The holes are well-designed, the course flows well, and every hole looks like a scene from Lord of the Rings. Also, it is exceptionally dog-friendly.
    Lemon Lake Silver
    Cedar Lake, IN
    This is a challenging course that makes great use of the terrain. It allows the use of a variety of shots, and is scenically amazing in the fall. This is also one of the most dog-friendly courses in my area.
    In The Disc Golf Bag: Drivers
    Disc Comments
    D NUKE
    (150 class)
    For a little version of a big disc, this plastic gets all the distance of its Z and ESP relations. It is amazing downwind, and easy on the arm at the end of a long day on the course. Holds its own in most headwinds, and is steerable. Trust it to hold its line, treat it like you trust it, and it will be a valuable addition to any bag.
    ESP and Z NUKE
    (160 - 166)
    This disc consistently goes farther than I can throw. At Worlds, this disc was one of the keys to my success. The glow plastic is steerable and fast, Z has an unbelievable glide, and the ESP is dependable and amazing. It flies like a dream. I exercise the Nuke-lear option whenever I need to bomb one.
    ESP Surge
    (167 - 169)
    While this is no longer the biggest distance driver in my bag, it is my most precise disc in my 280-300 range, and it still requires less effort for more distance than most drivers in this distance range. Holds a line and comes back nicely, even upwind.
    Z Flick
    (150 class)
    I love this disc! It is the most steerable, land on a dime disc I have (it makes sense, once you figure out that the Flick will skip on landing, and adapt to that). The Flick was the disc that threaded through the pines on hole 24 at Ox Bow (Goshen, IN) during the Michiana Open to give me my only tournament ace -- a skip ace at that. Since that ace, this disc has been an am-ace-ing driver for me, with basket love at holes 16 and 25 at Mokena. It tends to run at the basket nicely, when one allows for the (righty) left comeback/ skip.
    ESP Avenger
    (150 gm)
    This disc is great for the end of the day when fatigue sets in. Downwind, this disc glides forever, and it has the steerability of its larger sibling. It tends to be very understable in a headwind, but is great for a long, gliding anhyzer. This is another disc I am giving to newer players I see on the course. Easy to throw for a beginner, and steerable, great distance for experienced players.
    ESP Flick
    (150 class)
    This is one of the fastest discs I have ever thrown. Same flight pattern as the Z Flick (extremely overstable), but zippy fast. Because it is so light and so stable, it is easy to throw uphill, giving a lot of distance with relatively 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.
    FLX Surge
    (167 - 169)
    For anyone who plays during the fall and winter, this is an amazing disc. I have seen lesser plastics explode when thrown into a tree in the cold, and the FLX Surge just bounces off. It is like throwing a super ball. Where the ESP plastic is a little skippier on dry ground, the FLX plastic is grippy, and hangs on when it lands.
    FLX Surge SS
    (167 - 169)
    Where the Surge is a solid distance disc, which can be thrown with relative ease for huge yardage, the FLX SS edition gives all the distance, with a slightly gentler flight pattern and less of an overstable finish. I have also found that I can use it for longer left to right curves, which makes it a great addition to the bag that didn't require adaptation to an entirely different profile and flight path. With no to minimal run up, this disc is a great bang for your buck when throwing out of the rough or from less than perfect footing. I am loving the distance this disc has with a tailwind.
    X Avenger
    (167 - 169)
    This is such a great all around disc. I use it for poppy anhyzer drives. It holds a straight line through a ceilinged tunnel shot like a dream, and it is great for steerability as well.
    In The Disc Golf Bag: Midrange
    Disc Comments
    X Wasp
    (167 - 172)
    This is my go-to upshot disc. It has a great range, and I can use it in almost any situation. I keep an older one for my glide-y anhyzer shots, a less beaten one for arrow-straight lines through wooded tunnels, and a newer one for upwind/ hyzer shots. This disc is steerable, and I can rely on it to do the job of the upshot disc perfectly (de-necessitate a difficult shot for Mr. Putter).
    Ti Buzzz
    (175 gm)
    It's got Buzzz precision and steerability as you would expect, with the shiny speed that makes for a ridiculously fun disc to throw. It stands out beautifully from its surroundings, and has quickly worked its way into the bag.
    Z GLO Buzzz
    (170 - 172)
    I love this disc! For a line drive tunnel shot, or a shot you need to have glide through the direction you steer it--this is the disc. It has all of the glide and steerability of the Buzzz ESP with a tendency to stay on target that is off of the charts. It also has a great scalability in being able to stay on target for a longer flight. I have given the GLO Buzzz to people who have been hooked on other upshot discs, and they have loved what the GLO Buzzz brings to their bag enough to replace their old favorite.
    ESP Buzzz
    (167 - 172)
    With a little more finish stability than the Glow Buzz, this is a disc I am working into my bag. Thus far, I have been pleased with the consistent flights, and this disc's ability to follow directions. It is a steerable cousin to the Wasp with less action on the finish.
    Z Buzzz
    (175 gm)
    With a little less stability than the Glow Buzz, I am working a CryZtal version into my bag. Thus far, I have been pleased with the consistent flights, and this disc's ability to follow directions. At my first Ace Race event last year (go Discin' for Dogs!), this disc was key to me finishing in the top three of a coed field.
    X Comet
    (170 - 172)
    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 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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