Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Playing With An Analytical Curiosity - We Get To Know DD Team Member Henrik Johansen

There are a few things that strike you right away when you see Henrik Johansen on the course - first, he’s never far from a smile, as he plays disc golf with a focused yet lighthearted attitude. He’s always reflecting on his performance and makes sure to play shots that are right for his skillset, and you’ll see him in yellow and blue, a lot!

But beyond his sense of style, there’s a depth to Johansen that really demonstrates how passionate he is about disc golf. Despite working a full-time job as a mechanical engineer, Henrik plays as many events as he can and even travels from his hometown in Sweden to the US for a few select tournaments. We chatted with him to find out a little more about his background and how he works to improve his game.

2017 Was A Big Year

Henrik measures the success of his disc golf season not by the money he makes or the wins he takes home, although both are nice to have. What makes the sport memorable for him is the personal side of things and being able to share experiences with his friends and family.

“One highlight was to be able to bring my dad over for GBO. We had a blast and we’re already planning for next year’s GBO, but this time I’ll bring even more family members!” Johansen said when asked about his 2017 highlights. Adding to this opportunity to have familial support in Kansas for the Glass Blown Open, he also had another pretty incredible event take place this year.

Partnering with Latitude 64’s Emil Dahlgren, the two took home the Swedish doubles title, competing on Henrik’s home course with all of his friends and family present. Not only did he bring home the win, but he was also the assistant TD.

Always Look For The Potential

Johansen and DD are a perfect match, as he feels his game really thrives with the support he receives: “It means being a part in a great community of people that see the potential in our great sport; that wants our sport to grow and to have fun doing it! To be able to play with the double D’s is a true honor! Throw in the “Swedish” plastic in the mix and you’re home.”

That level of commitment to growing the sport and having fun while doing it is the attitude that Henrik takes with him to the course, as he’s always looking for ways to improve his own game. He said, “After this season I sat down and went through my notes from each event I played to get a plan on what I need to be focusing on for the next season. I have two areas: putting and sidearm.”

His continued focus on improving and knowing where his strengths lie is also great advice that he gives to anyone who’s looking to start getting involved in their own local disc golf community, suggesting a number of things that individuals can do: “Be curious - ask questions to see what you can do. Everyone has their own area of expertise. It can be anything from helping the local club at league night to pointing a newer player in the right direction where they could find information about a course or equipment and so on.”

Bringing It All Together

The methodical and careful approach that Johansen brings to disc golf is what makes him such a talented player, as he coordinates his off-season activity of hockey with careful consideration of his disc golf training: “I don’t touch a disc [during winter] except for some indoor putting. I like to hit the gym and get my body in shape for the upcoming season. That way I’m as prepared as possible and also motivated to get out and put the hours in needed to compete at the highest level possible.”

Another testament to his planning? He’s had the same playlist on rotation during his tournaments for the last four years. Each round he plays finds him teeing off on hole 1 to the same song every time.

We’re excited to see Henrik’s performance in 2018 and are thrilled to welcome his friends and family from Sweden for the next Glass Blown Open!
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