In case you haven’t heard, US champion disc golfer Will Schusterick has created a new subscription based instructional video series for disc golf. We have a very special interview with Will to discuss the new company – Disc Golf Instruction – and the video content they are producing.
About Will Schusterick
I’ve had the opportunity to attend an in-person clinic put on by Will. He is a fantastic teacher who really understands the mechanics of the throw. He also throws really far with some of the smoothest form you’ve ever seen.
And here’s a great, multi-angle video of Will’s throw.
Rodney: Hi Will, thanks for taking the time to talk with us! I had the pleasure of meeting you at the Mishawaka Meltdown in 2016 where you put on a great throwing clinic (the one where Scott Stokely was in the crowd asking questions). I was immediately excited when I heard that you would be starting a new company for disc golf instruction. Can you give us a quick overview of DGI?
Will: Disc Golf Instruction is the first subscription, membership, video platform for disc golfers. Right now we have 1 video out for purchase with more in the works. We keep production level as high as possible, and when it comes to filmed clinics any paid member of the site has access to those when released. We currently have plans for Advanced and Professional series coming as soon as possible.
Rodney: How did you learn to throw so far?
Will: I’ve gotten really good at answering this question :-). The true answer, beyond just “practice”, is the WILL to be the best. As soon as I stepped foot in the disc golf world at 13yrs old I lived my life through this sport and have always wanted to be the best, throw the furthest, putt the best, etc etc. Getting out and learning is a piece of how bad you actually want to do throw further.
Rodney: Did you have any videos or other resources available to you when you were learning?
Will: The only video content available was the 2003 USDGC DVD where Ken Climo and Barry Shultz played off. It showed professionals playing at a high level throwing far, making putts, throwing rollers. etc. I think a HUGE part in learning how to be successful on the course is to watch what the top players do and adapt into your own style.
Rodney: What disc golf fundamentals do you see beginners struggle with the most?
Will: Choosing the right disc. With the wrong disc selection you are guaranteed to have the wrong form. A beginner player, and most intermediate players, HAVE to learn how to throw a lightweight putter and midrange before a fairway/driver.
Rodney: What’s one of the worst flaws you continue to see at your clinics?
Will: One of the most common problems I see with players is their reach back position. In the Advanced series I go more in depth about getting into a good position to accelerate when you start to pull through your body. It is a necessity to have the arm and disc in the correct position to have correct form.
Rodney: There are a lot of disc golf instructional videos available on YouTube. Some of it is actually really good, but there is a lot of poor content with completely false instruction. We agree that the sport needs some professional instruction from a reliable source.
Will: Thanks 🙂
Rodney: Many disc golfers enjoy and/or expect free content (Jomez and CCDG tournament coverage, manufacturer’s posts and videos, pro clinic videos, etc) and free or cheap to play courses. The beginner series is a one-time $8.95 cost – certainly not expensive especially given the great production quality we’ve seen in the first video. What do you think about the current disc golfer mindset regarding free content?
Will: I agree. I am also working to set a precedent that not all things need to be free when it comes to disc golf. When it comes to clinics, discs, tournaments, etc. I want other pros to follow my lead and start to profit from their knowledge of the game because it is worth a lot of money to understand how to do something on a professional level.
Rodney: What makes DGI stand out from other disc golf instruction videos you may find on YouTube?
Will: The information, production quality, sound quality, professional graphics, and an all around consistent feeling. We keep our production quality on a high level with the intent to be the best in the business.
Rodney: From what we’ve seen so far with the beginner video, you’re on par with professionally produced instructional videos I have purchased in other arenas. Here is your marketing video to give our readers an idea of the quality they can expect.
Rodney: What do you hope disc golfers will take away from the DGI beginner series?
Will: I hope all disc golfers will take the beginner Series and learn the basics of the disc golf throw. Stance, body position, reach back, follow through, and of course several other points are very important when learning the correct form.
Rodney: Who is your primary audience for the beginner series?
Will: My primary audience is the player who has never played disc golf before, but also the player who is stuck in a certain point of their game and looking to improve. There are thousands of players who have never learned the basics of the sport before and, in my opinion, they need to learn the basics of what it takes to improve their game.
Rodney: What sort of content should we expect to see in the future for the beginner series? Sidearm? Rollers?
Will: There will be a sidearm piece in the advanced seres, with a touch on rollers, but mostly the advanced series is going more in-depth on all points brought in from the beginner series.
Rodney: Will the series cover anything related to disc selection or will it focus more on the player?
Will: Disc selection could be a piece of the video series but it’s also quite difficult to discuss exactly what players should use based on their power, form, and overall disc ability. It’s easy to say “Throw more overstable” but that really is not the case when it comes to learning the correct form. 90% of the time I suggest less overstable, learn to throw your putter, and slowly move up from there.
Rodney: What about an intermediate player who can throw over 300′ and consistently score in the top 50% of local leagues, is there anything he or she can learn from the beginner series?
Will: Yes, just because a player can throw 300-400′ does not mean they have good form or that they understand what it takes to get better. With the disc technology nowadays 400′ has turned into short distance and anyone with a small amount of athleticism and flexibility can reach that distance with what I call a “shank and flex” type of shot. Meaning they turn over their disc out of their hand and make it flex out and get more distance. If you watch pros play during a tournament, they hardly ever, if ever, throw that type of shot. To be the most accurate, improve distance, and pick up strokes it is a necessity to learn the basics of the disc golf throw. Whether you are pro, advanced, intermediate, etc. almost all players should understand the basics.
Rodney: When do you expect the Advanced Series to be ready? Put another way, what’s the expected deadline to get in on the founder level?
Will: I have the first edited version of the advanced series right now and its in the review process. We need some extra footage mixed with some more audio and teaching segments but we are working hard to get it out to everyone.
Rodney: Great news! What sort of content do you think we’ll see in the Advanced series?
Will: Take the beginner series and go to the next level. Training techniques, sidearm, understand reach back and acceleration, are just a few pieces.
Rodney: Do you have plans to discuss on-course strategy, shot selection, etc?
Will: Yes this is planned 🙂
Rodney: How will the Advanced and Pro series content differ from the beginner series? Will it be necessary to complete the series’ in order?
Will: Yes we will go from Beginner-Advanced- Pro series and, if we see gaps in creating more content we will most certainly do that. We keep our production quality to a high level. Going through our process takes time, longer than your average video, and we make sure to make it top notch before release.
The Future of DGI
Rodney: Will these videos ever be offered in a physical DVD format?
Will: Yes 🙂
Rodney: Do you have plans to offer individual, personalized video lessons? Maybe where someone submits a recording of their form to you and you review it with them over a video chat.
Will: Yes we do plan on it.
Rodney: And finally, do you have any DGI merchandise available or any plans to do so?
Will: Yes we are working with some distributors on offering some items.
Rodney: We’ll be on the lookout for all of these future offerings.
Getting More Personal
Rodney: If you don’t mind, we’d like to get a few personal questions in too. What’s your favorite putter and why?
Will: 350G Pa3 from Prodigy. Stiff, good glide, flies well when throwing it off the tee. Overall it is a fantastic disc.
Rodney: Excellent, we actually just got one of these to test as a recommendation from a reader. A review will be coming very soon. What disc do you like to use for those touchy approach shots?
Will: 300 Pa4 from Prodigy. Out of the box it is a straight to understable putter. I think everyone needs a Pa4 in their bag.
Rodney: What disc would you carry for a one-disc challenge?
Will: 350G Pa3
Rodney: I suppose it helps when you can throw your putter so far. What do you like most about disc golf?
Will: I like the fact disc golf has so much room to grow. Basketball, baseball, golf, all other sports are almost tapped out with business and different opportunities. Disc golf has a world that has never been touched, and I’m on a ship sailing to that new world ready to plant my flag.
Rodney: Great analogy! So what do you like to do when you’re not disc golfing?
Will: When Im not playing disc golf Im working on disc golf and my different business ventures. Setting up clinics, planning travel, and of course spending time with my wife.
Rodney: Thank you so much for your time today!
Here’s the bottom line. The Beginner Series is only $8.99. This contains the current video and any future video in the beginner section, including all filmed clinics through DGI. If you order soon this also gives you a discount on the future Advanced and Pro content. I picked up a few new tidbits my first time watching and I also now have a few new ways to explain some basic concepts to beginners. I’m happy to support Will in this venture and I’m excited to see where DGI will go.
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Header photo is property of Disc Golf Instruction (DGI) and is used here with permission from DGI.