Golf vs Disc Golf

Eric McCabe has skills in both golf (or, ball golf, if you will) and disc golf. See if you can spot the very subtle Cushe shout out. Watch closely though...

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Eric McCabe Interview Part 2

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.
EM: Thanks!

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Eric McCabe Interview Part 1

Say hey to Eric McCabe, pro disc golfer and latest addition to the Cushe team.  Eric turned pro in 2000, and since then he’s nabbed an impressive collection of titles including 2010 World Champion. We caught up with Eric fresh off his run at the 2011 World Championships – here is part one of our two part interview with Eric McCabe.

Cushe: First off – congratulations on placing 6th at the recent PDGA World Championships. Tell us about the competition there.
EM: Thanks! The competition is getting stronger and stronger every year. This year's World Championships was held in sunny California (Monterey Bay). The Worlds haven't in Cali for 30 year, since the first ever Pro Worlds in Irvine California in 1982. We had 453 competitors, which was the most in history! Needless to say, the competition was tougher than ever.

Cushe: Whoa! 453 competitors is no joke. How do you prepare for a major event like that?
EM: For any Major event I spend a lot of time working on my putt. This is the most important aspect of the game, in my opinion. Typically I try and show up at least a week in advance, and try and get 3 to 4 rounds on all the courses being played. After that, I usually go back and work on trouble holes, and putt at least 45 minutes in the morning and the evening. 

Cushe: That’s a serious schedule. Does your practice philosophy change for events outside of the Majors?
EM: Not really. Outside a Major my practice philosophy and schedule is pretty much the same as a Major event.

Cushe: We imagine like any athlete, you put gear through its paces – how do you choose the equipment you use? 
EM: This is true, as a disc golfer probably the most important piece of equipment, besides my golf discs of course, would be a good pair of shoes. It was an easy decision for me to choose Cushe shoes. It is essential to have waterproof shoes with a good tread, and the Xsige WP is perfect for disc golfers, the tread has a unique "foot print" style that is super grippy on all tee-pads, from concrete to natural.
Cushe: We’re blushing over here! We love the kudos, but even more we love that you found a place for the Xsige in your game.

Cushe: Do you have any favorite courses, and what makes them special?
EM: I do have a list of favorite courses, my top 5 are:
1.) Milo McIver - Estacada, OR - This is a beautiful course just outside Portland OR, home of the Beaver State Fling National Tour Event.  The course has pretty much every typo of shot and is one of the fairest courses I've played.
2.) DeLaveaga - Santa Cruz, CA - Wide variety of shots, Every hole is a signature hole, with the 27th hole 'top of the world' having the most scenic view on a disc golf course.
3.) Blue Ribbon Pines -Twin Cities, MN - A well manicured course on a sod farm. Hole four is the most picturesque hole I've ever seen. It’s a 400+ foot hole with 80 foot pine trees lining the fairway.
4.) Maple Hill - Leicester, MA - Just outside Boston MA, and home of the Vibram Open National Tour. The course is beautiful and championship caliber in every way with a great use of elevation, ponds, and wooded areas.
5.) Water Works - Kansas City, MO - A unique course with tons of elevation on pretty much every hole. Hole one has a great view of downtown KC.

Cushe: Sounds like we need to schedule a cross country road trip. As a professional, where do you see the sport going?
EM: Every year the sport is getting bigger and bigger. We now have close to 50,000 Professional Disc Golf Association or PDGA members. The Pro purse is expanding from year to year. All we're missing is that corporate sponsor to step up and help us out and we'll be on our way.

Cushe: What’s coming up for you over the remainder of 2011?
EM: The remainder of 2011 is pretty easy for me. I've been hanging out in Santa Cruz since Worlds ended and I plan on playing the final Major of the year in Augusta, GA later this month. After that I’ll probably head back to Cali and enjoy my winter.
Cushe: That sounds like a pretty good way to spend the rest of the year to us!

Check back later this month for part two of our interview with pro disc golfer and newest Cushe team member, Eric McCabe. Now go practice!

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