We continue our interview with Eric McCabe - pro disc golfer and newest member of team Cushe. The first part of our interview had Eric chatting about his game today, which included a list of his favorite courses for all you disc golfers out there looking for a challenge and some scenery. So catch up on that if you haven't already. Part two takes us through McCabe's turn from amature to pro.
Cushe: You started playing disc golf back in 1995 – how did you make the transition from amateur to pro? Was going pro always a goal?
EM: I started in 95 and turned pro in 2000 after winning the Amateur division at the Kansas City Wide Open. Turning Pro was always a goal of mine, I always enjoyed watching the Pros play at my local tournaments and knew one day I’d be competing against them.
Cushe: Did you have anyone coach you, or take you under their wing when you first got started?
EM: I did, I looked up to a lot of people, including, "Crazy" John Brooks, Bruce Hudson, Kevin Babbit etc… but most of my influence was from LaRon "The Who Man" Harris. I always looked up to LaRon's game and he definitely inspired me. I pretty much owe all my success to him, he took me under his wing and showed me the ropes of the tour.
Cushe: Nice. It sounds like you had access to a great community of pro supporters to get you started. What was the most difficult aspect of the sport when you were first starting off?
EM: Learning control and disc selection was definitely the most difficult aspect starting out. But this didn't stop me from getting to the field and working on it day in and day out.
Cushe: Learn by doing – that’s definitely our style too. How has the landscape of Disc Golf as a sport changed since you started playing?
EM: The plastic has come a long way since I first started playing. Disc technology has been amazing in the last 10 year of the sport. Discs fly twice as far as they used to making courses easier and easier. Newer courses adjust for that now and typically have longer holes and are much more difficult. Most of our National Tour Events have courses with a par of anywhere between 58 and 65.
Cushe: How did you get hooked on the game? What made you decide to give Disc Golf a try?
EM: I was in High School, and grew up in the small town of Emporia KS, 35,000 people. I lived about two blocks from Jones Park which at the time had 1 18 hole Disc Golf Course, so myself and a couple friends gave it a try and were hooked immediately.
Cushe: That love at first try thing is definitely a sign you’ve found something you’ll be doing the rest of your life. If you could go back to your early days and give yourself one piece of advice – what would that be?
EM: To be patient, and know that like Ball Golf, Disc Golf is 80% mental!
Cushe: Solid advice. We assume the other 20% is a secret sauce of skill, natural talent, and 7 herbs and spices. Thanks for hanging with us, and giving us a little background on your story so far. We wish you all the best for the rest of the year and into next season! You definitely live the Cushe Life.