Sunday, May 12, 2013
Ricky Wysocki, the world’s No. 1 ranked disc golf player, travels all over for tournaments and to check out new courses. His travels brought him to North Augusta on Wednesday night and to the Hippodrome to play the course for the first time.
Wysocki’s rating of 1047 on the Professional Disc Golf Assocation is the highest ever. The Fort Mill native’s play has also garnered him a nickname Sockibomb.
"That’s a nickname people kind of came up with for me over the years I’ve been playing," Wysocki said in the midst of draining multiple putts in a row. "It’s kind of developed, and I don’t mind it. I think it’s a pretty unique nickname. It’s a one-of-a-kind."
In addition to winning the 2012 Players Cup and Brent Hambrick Memorial Championships National Tour, Wysocki has been adding others wins to his impressive résumé. In March he won the Texas States Championships and the Disc Til Dawn Open. In April he won the Ironwood Open at Moraine State Park, and this past weekend he claimed victory at the Disc Golf Hall of Fame Classic in Appling, Ga.
On Wednesday evening, Wysocki, along with Killer B Disc Golf owners John and Marcy Borelli, played the Hippodrome in a casual matchup. Wyoscki walked away with a glowing review of the course following his venture.
"Pete May (the course designer) put a lot of obstacles that I’ve never seen before out there," he said. "He placed baskets where it was tough to get to. I’ve never played a course like this. It’s kind of unique with short holes and tough basket placements and tough angles. It was fun, and he definitely made it tough to put on the greens some were raised up and some were in the ground, and it was a nice variety of holes."
As far as his favorite, without hesitation, Wysocki pointed toward the first hole.
"It was a tough hole, I didn’t start off too good," he joked. "It’s right next to the pond, and it’s a cool starting hole."
Wysocki, 19, has played disc golf for "four of so years" and turned pro three years ago. Currently he is sponsored by Prodigy and is part of their 11-player team. For beginners who may be intimidated by some of the crazy shots he pulls off, which are all over YouTube, he has some key pieces of advice.
"The courses around here are beginner friendly," he said. "So just stick with it, and practice a lot, especially on these courses. If you can get past the beginning stages and stay with it, and stay focused that’s what I did."
Scott Rodgers is a reporter at the North Augusta Star and has been with the paper since January 2013 after previously working at the Aiken Standard. He is a graduate of Alvernia University and currently attends Drexel University.