Brads been living at my house since coming to ST Louis for the St Louis open back in May. He started putting with Magics right away and had immdediate success out west with a tie for first at the Masters Cup NT and a 3rd place finish at the Beaver state NT.
As part of the Mixed bag Sponsorship program by Gateway, he uses, Magics, Wizards and Speed Demons and was working on incorporating a Blaze into his game last week! (since its so windy in Oklahoma and Texas).
He has used St Louis as a hub for touring this season, which is something several of the top pros have done over the years, including Ron Russell and the original Winnie Crew ( Dave Feldberg, Todd Branch and Al Shack).
We have lots of great courses to practice on and its smack dab in the middle of the country making travel easy to a lot of the events.
Brad is an athlete with a lot of talent and is gaining experience quickly. I dont think of Brad as a natural frisbee player but he’s getting there by playing a lot of catch and training. He’s certainly a player that once he gains more experience will be someone to watch out for in the future, (especially if he sticks with it long enough). I’ve watched him work on his game a lot or as he calls it ” HIS SWING” but like Nikko, just doesn’t seem to take it seriously enough all the time, as say a Ken Climo will do week in and week out. ( Kens 20 years of competitive fire is unmatched as far as I’ve seen and hands down the greatest disc golf competitor of all time,, with Dave Greenwell a close 2nd). Theres a lot of Dave G and Ken in Nikko when it comes to the desire to win and its something not every player has in them or can be taught.
I’m still speculative if its really in Brad.
With Brads 1st full year on tour just about under his belt he is developing into one of the top players in the game and quickly learning exactly what is needed to take it to the next level.
While he’s got 95% of the shots in his arsenal, it just takes more than physical skill to win at the highest level.
Too often this year he just didn’t seem focused on winning, explaining he just likes to throw straight shots and play his best and winning isn’t important ( yeah Right, but it probably put less pressure on him to not think about winning while he gained the experience and maturity !!!).
Brad expects to throw perfect shots all the time, something I don’t see as that necessary to score well enough to win events, something I’ve tried to explain this to him several times this season. I’d say “give your self a putt on as many holes as possible, dont take too many bogies and give yourself a chance to be there at the end for the win”.
After his second place finish last weekend at the extremely challenging and physically demanding course at the Ozark Fall Harvest, he didnt skip a beat, got up Monday morning and spent the whole day practicing at Endicott.
Tuesday he went with me to put some finishing touches on the front 9 of a new course in Potosi, Wednesday he got up early again and spent the whole day at Creve Coeur. Leaving Town later that day, I asked him a very simple question for the first time all year, ” Do you want to win this week”. He didn’t take long to answer, saying “YES I do want to win” and then preceded to go out and make it happen.
The morale of the story is you can have all the skills in the world and do all the training necessary, but if theres not a fire to win, start learning how to except and be happy with 2nd through 9th place!!!
Congrats to Brad on the Win!!