Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Future Looks Bright For New DD Team Member AJ Risley

A lot of people didn’t have such a great 2017, as memes about it were spread far and wide across the internet. Yet for AJ Risley, it was a huge year, bringing along major career milestones and a switch to the Dynamic Discs team. We got a chance to chat with AJ before he embarked on this season’s tour to get an idea of what’s in store for 2018.

Positivity Above All Else

If you’ve ever met Risley, you’ll instantly notice how nice of a guy he is. With a happy demeanor and the ability to view any situation from a positive perspective, it’s helped him to propel his mental game while on the disc golf course. Going on tour can prove to be a grueling challenge, but AJ brings an empowering perspective: “[Don’t] compare yourself too harshly to others, never give up until the final putt drops, and enjoy and appreciate the time off the course and the opportunity to be in the position you’re in.”

And what a position to be in, as Risley has a long list of accolades from 2017. From a 20th place finish at Ledgestone to playing on the lead card at USDGC and rounding out the year in 10th place in the National Tour Points Series, you can say that he’s got the momentum needed to make a huge splash this year.

Focusing On The Mechanics

Having first played disc golf at age 10 and turning pro in 2013, AJ has had plenty of time to get his game dialed in. Part of his secret to success can be attributed to his earlier involvement in baseball and football combined with his ambidextrous abilities. “I throw righty backhand, but I’m actually left-handed,” he said. “Batting left-handed helped develop my right-hand backhand muscle memory.”

Despite his ability to execute flex shots, hyzer-flips, and anhyzers with ease (his three favorite shots to throw), Risley finds there’s still room to improve. “Mechanically, I’ve been developing my forehand game over the past couple months and I’m excited to utilize that in 2018. My primary focus for this season is to maintain my 1000-rated consistency and continue to elevate my game from there.”

Secrets To His Success

AJ has a distinct advantage when it comes to getting practice time in as a resident of Southern California. He notes that the temperature rarely drops below 50 degrees, allowing him to fine-tune his game during the winter season. Not only does he hit the course, but he makes sure to get in some gym time and even watches film to stay fresh.

We’re all eager to see what this season has in store for AJ and are excited to have him on the team. It seems the feeling is mutual: “Being a part of this team is more than just a chance to throw some Swedish plastic. It’s an opportunity to represent a company and group of individuals that are as passionate about this sport as I am.” Keep your eyes out for big things this year from this talented player!
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