Ron Robertson, 50, who has been playing disc golf since 1997, prefers it over regular golf.
photo by Diana Linsley (click for larger version)
August 09, 2013Ron Robertson has "reached the mountain top" in the sport of disc golf.
Robertson, a Shrewsbury resident, started playing disc golf in the summer of 1997 after a foot injury ended his participation in mountain running.
The 50-year-old recently won the 2013 Advanced Grandmaster division (ages 50-60) of the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) World Championship in Emporia, Kan. The amateur won the major by four shots over 82 competitors. He entered the final nine holes with a five-stroke lead.
Disc golf is similar to traditional golf, but played with flying discs instead of a ball and golf club. Players attempt to throw the discs into a series of targets -- the most common being a raised metal basket called a Pole Hole.
Robertson's scores for the first six rounds were 61, 54, 56, 59, 58 and 53, then 54 in the semifinals and 28 in the finals (nine holes). He shot 12 under par for the July 7-13 tournament. Winning the major in his fifth try was a goal of Robertson's for the 2013 season.
Robertson said he struggled at times during the tournament, but was able to maintain the lead.
"I had my poker face on," Robertson said. "I didn't let it show that I was struggling. I kept my emotions in check."
Robertson has won four Advanced Grandmasters events, including three this season. He has one win in the Masters division and 10 more in the Advanced Masters division in his 16-year career.
Robertson prepared daily for the six weeks heading into his latest victory.
"Repetition was the key," said Robertson, a one-time scratch golfer in high school in Toms River, N.J. "The extra practice, that's what did it. Let's just play golf and see where it goes.
"When you're in the lead, you're the rabbit and everybody else is the wolf. I played solid in the finals. I didn't have any emotions left," he said.
Repeating the major in 2014 is possible, Robertson said.
The hard-nosed competitor said his next goal, though, is to win the 2014 U.S. Masters Tournament.
"I do have goals in mind," Robertson said. "I'm a big tournament player. I like the competitiveness of the game."
Robertson, retired from the software industry, said he enjoys disc golf more than ball golf because he gains the same amount of exercise while saving money and time.
"It's a perfect fit," Robertson said. "It's a game I love to do.
"My approach is very much the same as ball golf. I use the same principles and the same philosophy I took from ball golf," he added.