Within every disc golf community there are certain players that not only succeed under pressure, but thrive in the face of overwhelming competition. When you exclude the Pros, there is an entire eco-system of players ranging from weekend warriors, joining the occasional Novice spots in a tournament, all the way up to the aspiring Pro players learning the ropes in the Advanced division.
Central Ohio has always been alive and well with avid disc golfers, but with the explosion of disc golf, the region is beginning to grow some of the best disc golfers in the country. From last year’s breakout of Rebecca Cox from Cincinnati to the up-and-coming Christine Jennings from the Dayton area, great players are beginning to emerge from the Ohio scene.
One such player that has been making waves is Columbus’ own Brent Rosen PDGA #75865. Although he has been playing competitively for only four years, he has moved up the divisions quickly and recorded over 10 wins in that short period of time, taking 6 events down alone in the last two seasons. Another statistic that cannot be overlooked is the amount of high finishes that he has recorded. Brent has finished either 2nd or 3rd thirteen times since 2015.
Gifted with a natural ability for disc golf, Brent has moved effortlessly into the Advanced division and is even flirting with the idea of moving into the Open field this year. I asked him how he was introduced to the sport and he mentioned that, “My High School was near Griggs Reservoir disc golf park (a local Columbus, Ohio course) and some of my friends played, so I would play on occasion. Columbus has a tight-knit community of people who have been playing together for years. Ohio also experiences all of the four seasons which creates tougher elements to play in.” The tougher environment no doubt has sharpened his game and given him a unique skill-set that only a midwest disc golfer could appreciate.
Looking back to his early development, I wondered what obstacles he faced as a beginner not so long ago. “My first challenge was being able to just control my shots with a single disc and not knowing how to judge the wind.” He remarked about his quick rise by saying, “In the four years of tournaments my rating has progressively gone up and hopefully continues to go up!” Brent seems to be a practical player as well, not shying away from admitting that when it comes to disc golf, he does what it takes to throw the right shot at the right time, which includes overhand shots when necessary. “What people misunderstand about me is that overhead shots are a part of my game. Many people aren’t able to throw thumber/tomahawk shots so they hate on it!”
Another great highlight in Brent Rosen’s career was his journey playing in the Next Generation tour event. I asked him what it was like to compete in the high profile event and he replied that, “The Next Generation event was a great experience. It was my 2nd out-of-state event and the level of play was tough. The Tournament Director, David Feldberg shared some pointers that has helped my putting to this day.” Brent pointed to another highlight of his career being the “All Day Disc Golf” bag tag league (a local Facebook group) giving him more confidence and has inspired him to compete at a higher level.
Looking across the entire landscape of disc golf, everyone is gearing up for the 2019 season. I asked Brent what his preparation for the new season might look like and he gave me a glimpse into his strategy by revealing that, “In the winter, I do lots of indoor putting. I plan on adding more cardio and weight-lifting to improve stamina and strength.” As such a solid player, I wondered what part of his game he thought needed improvements. “I need to gain more distance and better mid-range control.”
I asked Brent what the future holds for his career in disc golf and he commented, “I played a couple Open events last season. I plan on moving to Open after I have a couple more Advanced wins. The strategy to compete in Open will be a mixture of consistency, shot placement, and making more putts.” Brent has a lot of passion for the sport and seems determined to grow his game while continuing to make a splash in the local scene for years to come.