Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Eric Oakley - The Man Inside The Putter Pants


2017 has been a pretty good year for Eric Oakley - he’s been touring the nation while competing in top-level events and hosting awesome clinics, his most recent tournaments show an average of 1000+ rated golf, and he just got engaged to the other half of the WhalePants dynamic, Tina Stanaitis.

Known as one of the most charismatic guys in disc golf, we talked with Eric to find out a little more about his mental game, what he’s doing this offseason, and just how much he values being a part of the DD team.

Professional And Fun All In One

One of the things that makes Eric such a natural choice as part of the Dynamic Discs family is that he has an uncanny ability to have a great time when on the course while simultaneously keeping a humble and professional attitude. Anyone who has watched his vlogs is used to seeing a guy who can joke with the best of them and always seems to have a smile on his face, but there’s a more polished side to him as well.

Oakley’s success this season can be attributed to many factors, but one that he’s particularly thankful for is the support he’s received while on the road. For him, being a part of the DD team “means that you are a part of a family. The support system from employees and other team members is a big reason I feel like I am continuing to make improvements in my game every single weekend. I truly feel lucky to be a part of the best team in disc golf.”

The confidence Eric feels can be attributed to this support system, but also comes from his own introspection after each large event he plays. As his rating continues to soar, he’s noticed that he’s putting unnecessary pressure on himself to perform. Learning to trust his game has been a big part of what’s shaped his year and what’s contributed to his growth as a player.

From A Hobby To A Career

Eric’s athletic background stems from playing soccer for many years, and during his time as a Semi-Pro player, a teammate of his introduced him to disc golf. Just like we see over and over again, after one round he was hooked and soon had a practice basket and a growing plastic collection.

During college, disc golf sat on the backburner as Oakley wanted to hone his coaching and teaching skills. However, true love never dies, and he quickly picked disc golf up again to see what he could do.

His advice for up-and-comers who are looking to make waves in the sport? “Don't worry about how you finish, just keep learning from every round,” he said. “The moments you get to play with some of the best in the world will help you understand how to play better in future tournaments.”

During the offseason, he and Tina are planning on settling down somewhere warm and look forward to taking full advantage of their time to ensure 2018 will be even bigger and better than this year. He’s happy to take some much needed time off the road, as he notes that the long drives while actively touring can really wear him down.

As a self-professed “proud nerd,” we’d bet Eric will be indulging in some board games and anime this winter too. Here’s to a strong finish in 2017 and a restful winter - we can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2018!
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