Mason Ford and Valerie Mandujano never realized how competitive the sport is. Then they started playing … and traveling the country to compete.
SAN ANTONIO – “I actually quit my job to pursue it,” says Mason Ford, a professional disc golfer.
There’s PGA and WPGA, but have you heard of PDGA? The professional disc golf association.
“It’s crazy, it got to the point that I started at every event and then there are sponsors,” said Ford. “Everything came together at the right time.”
“I became a three-time junior world champion,” added Valerie Mandujano, another professional disc golfer. “So for me. After that it’s like, what are you doing other than going pro? “
Ford and Mandujano played disc golf as a weekend hobby until they realized they could be paid with their skills. Now both are competing on a professional level.
“I think I didn’t realize how competitive I was until I started playing,” said Mandujano.
First they traveled through the Lone Star State to test their skills against other disk golfers. But it wasn’t long before they started traveling the country to prove why they are elite.
“Also, if I go to Texas and stay in Texas, there will be 12 girls in my department. Then when you leave the state there are 40. So that’s a completely different field alone, ”said Mandujano.
“Often we have six weeks in a row that we’re in six different states,” said Ford.
Now, as professionals, disc golf is their full time job.
“When we’re back in town, I do a lot of personal lessons so I can do four in a day, then play a round and a half and still throw a field or go putt,” said Ford.
“Since I’m at home, I can set a routine every day. We only play on the weekends, Friday through Sunday. After that, I’ll go home and work on my game and what I want to improve, “said Mandujano.