Upper Park has sponsored players for years. With our recent change in ownership we thought a lot about the connection between the players, our brand, and our collective audiences. Naturally, we want the pro players to help spread the word about our brand, but we also want to help the players grow their brand. Because building our brands together helps #growthesport. It’s a virtuous cycle and aligns with one of our core values of creating legendary relationships.
So we’re doing things a little differently. We’re giving our team dedicated social media support to help share engaging content. We’re signing players with a wide array of backgrounds and ratings because we know they all contribute and share our passion for disc golf. And we have some surprises in store for 2021 and beyond.
So look for lots of great player-related content on our social media channels, follow all of these amazing players, and join us in celebrating this awesome sport.
CEO, Upper Park Disc Golf
**More players and great content to come!**
Vanessa Van Dyken
My name is Vanessa, I am from San Diego and I have been a full time touring Disc Golf professional since 2015. My favorite part of the game is putting because it is such a fun feeling when your disc lands in the basket.
2014 Amateur Female World Champion
2018 Konopîstê Open Champion
I have always identified as an athlete. I can remember at the age of 8 begging my Dad to let me pitch to him in the backyard. I remember trying way too hard in elementary class dodge ball. I can remember making the varsity football team as a Sophomore at a big Texas High School, it being a huge deal to my peers and my parents. I remember almost making the football team at Harvard. I remember failing to make the football team at the University of Texas at Austin while Mack was still the coach. It hit me hard. All my life I had considered myself an athlete and then suddenly all of it was gone. Reflecting back I actually found myself in a brief period of depression due to the sudden shift in my lifestyle. I continued at UT. I loved my Biology courses but I was missing something without sports. I joined the Bass Fishing Team. I loved it. I was decent. I even won a tournament; the first by a UT student ever. Reaching the top level of bass fishing requires access to resources. A truck, a boat, thousands in gas and entry fees. I had none of those things.
And then I found Disc Golf. I was walking across campus when I saw a group of guys hanging around a Disc Golf basket. I recognized the game. I had played when I was younger. My Dad would take us to play "Night Golf" at Bear Creek park in DFW. A few times in High School I took my friends to do the same. It was fun, but I knew nothing about competitive Disc Golf. The UT Disc Golf team was excited to spill the beans to me about the world of Disc Golf and that there was even a competitive league at the Collegiate level which culminated with the National Championships in Georgia. They invited me to play a local course with them. I was HOOKED! I joined the team. I played everyday. I even rented an apartment next to a course (Roy G Guerrero) in Austin so that I could play more often. I watched every YouTube video I could. Paul Mcbeth, Will Schusterick, Paul Ulibarri, Nikko Locastro, Simon Lizotte. They were my new heroes. I wanted so badly to learn how to throw like them. My good friend on the Disc Golf team, Ben Mandelstein, drove me to watch them play in 2014 at Round Rock. I was mesmerized. I signed up for the PDGA that day. My first tournament was the Collegiate National Championships. It was everything I didn't know I was searching for. A new sport. A thriving community of athletes. And the best part of it all, YOU get to decide how far you want to take it. I signed up for as many tournaments as my bank account would let me. My first official singles tournament my friends told me to sign up for Advanced. I won by 10 strokes. The respect I felt I gained from the 20 people who were there and understood the scores I shot to win was monumental for me. I felt a new calling and I was never going to look back.
Fast forward from 2014 to 2020. I'm so proud to be able to say that Disc Golf is my full time job. It has taken me to 8 different countries and has connected me with a community that is absolutely second to none.
I want to to continue playing Disc Golf for as long as my body will let me. I want to compete at the highest level. I want to win. But more than just the competitive side, I want to share Disc Golf with the world.
Justin Menickelli, Ph.D.
Justin is a professor at Western Carolina University where he teaches courses in motor behavior, sport psychology, and beginning disc golf. In 2014, he was bestowed the EDGE/PDGA Award in recognition for teaching disc golf to young people. In 2016, he co-authored the critically acclaimed book, The Definitive Guide to Disc Golf. In 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 he was elected President of the PDGA Board of Directors.
When not playing, teaching, or writing about disc golf, he enjoys mountain biking and alpine skiing. Justin lives in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina with his wife, Kristin, two sons, Aidan and Noah, and a daughter Addison.
James Proctor started playing disc golf with his Dad in the early 2000’s in Northern California. He loves disc golf for the competition, the lifelong friendships, and the amazing places he has traveled to.
I am 36. Born and raised in Florida. Played sports all my life. Discovered disc golf in 2013 in California.
Lagoon Valley disc golf course in Vacaville, CA is my home course and where I spent most of my afternoons and spare time away from work. Started playing Professionally a few years later. After 10 years in the USAF, I decided to play disc golf full time. 2018 was my first full year touring and I am still doing it 3 years later.
When I am not discing, I enjoy running, working out, petting dogs, going to coffee shops, reading, and finding new food for my vegetarian-ish lifestyle.
My sister, brother, and nephew all play disc golf(of which I am to blame) and I think my nephew will be a world champion one day.
Andrew Fish (he/him/his) plays out of Baltimore, MD, and is also sponsored by Discraft. Fish tours sparingly, but keeps a busy schedule in the mid-Atlantic with 50 career wins, including 10 A-tiers in MPO, as of 2020. He’s known for smooth midrange shots, alleged “sneaky distance”, grimy trucker hats, and whining when people lump him in with ultimate players. Fish’s preferred UPDG bag is the Shift, but he uses the Rebel on courses with lots of water, because he gets cranky when he loses discs he likes. You can find him on Instagram and Twitter at @fish58320 for social commentary, sass, and rambling like an old guy.
My name is Chandler Fry, aka the Chanimal, and disc golf is my life. I've been obsessed since 2013, and my passion for the sport is only getting stronger. Since turning professional in 2008, I have traveled throughout N. America, playing disc golf, meeting new friends and having countless adventures along the way. I have amassed over 200 tournaments over the years, and have maintained a 1000+ rating for over a decade. I am honored to have Upper Park Disc Golf join me on my journey! The 2021 season is looking bright, and I can't wait to get it started!
Hi my name is Alex Lyon and I live in Sacramento California. Disc golf is my passion and the path that I want to follow in life. My dad always said “if you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life” and that’s always kept me focused on pursuing my dream of competing in professional disc golf as my career.
Disc golf is one of my biggest passions. I love casual rounds with friends and family as well as competing in events.
Over the last few seasons I have been running a putting league at our local brewery and has quickly become one of the biggest putting leagues in the state. We are averaging 55-65 player per week and have introduced over 50 new players to the game.
I also enjoy being a course steward in my local area. Getting our courses ready for tournaments and general course upkeep has always been my way to give back to the sport that has given me so much.
In 2021 we will be relocating and I am looking forward to working on course development.
Courtney "Pixie" Cannon
Courtney joined the Disc Golf Pro Tour in 2017, she has won 4 C tiers, 6 B tiers, and 3 A tiers. She has also made this Disc Golf Pro Tour Championship 2017, 2018, and 2020.
Trevor Lee Harbolt
Trevor (#26860) is a touring Professional Disc Golfer from Elizabethtown, Kentucky. He began playing Disc Golf at the young age of 7 with his father, Butch Harbolt (#19092) and other family members in the early 90's. He quickly fell in love with the game, and began competing as he grew into a young adult in the PDGA's amateur division winning his first event by 16 strokes. The love for the game was instant.
In 2007 Trevor took some time off of disc golf competitively to travel the United States playing and promoting music with his band, Sever This Illusion. After some disappointing news from his band mates in 2013, the passion for music and the lifestyle of a touring metal band just wasn't how Trevor wanted to do things. But there was a fire building inside for a passion that already existed in his heart and mind and Disc Golf from there on out became his every breath.
Since 2014, he has put in time and work to achieve a level of play needed to compete with the best in the world. Trevor has been touring the United States of America with his girlfriend Courtney Cannon (#70634) and dog since 2017 collecting memories and trophies along the way.
His passion does not end on the course for disc golf. He was appointed to the Professional Disc Golf Associations Board of Directors in 2018 for a one year term, and intends on working with the PDGA for years to come.
While on the Board of Directors, Trevor created the Professional Touring Players Committee to help advise the PDGA on how the players within the sport of Disc Golf can help the governing body of Disc Golf. He also created the Historical Courses document to help secure the history of some of the earliest courses in our sport in hopes to help preserve the courses for many years. Along with his philanthropic work inside the sport, he runs tournaments, clinics, fundraiser events, and maintains the high level of play needed on the Disc Golf Pro Tour.
I've been playing disc golf for 17 years starting in my hometown of Santa Maria, CA. I moved to Tacoma, WA in Nov. of 2009 and that is where I currently reside. My most notable win to date has to be the 2007 KC Wide Open National Tour victory along with 2 USDGC putting championships from 2008 & 2010.
I was born in San Francisco California area then relocated to Austin Minnesota when I was in First Grade. AKA SPAM TOWN USA! I grew up playing Baseball, Football and Basketball. Three sports that I love playing when I'm not on the disc golf course. One of my best friends showed me to this amazing sport. On that day, I witnessed an Ace and have been hooked since. Now I get to travel around the country playing Disc Golf as a Job and meeting so many people. You can reach out and follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube!
Mr. Cloutier is pursuing his passion, a career as a professional Disc Golfer. He represents Innova Disc Golf as an Ambassador Team member, Upper Park Disc Golf Pro Team, and has designed several courses in the East Texas area. His Left Handed independence with the benefit of an ambidextrous nature have led to a quick rise as a touring Masters Professional Disc Golfer, with 28 PDGA sanctioned wins, Top 20 finish at worlds and top 5 at a Major. Mr. Cloutier has two sons, Johnny (31) and Capt. Jake (27) USMC, and two treasured Grandchildren, Philip Keahi (2) and Camille arriving any day!
I am going on my 7th year playing this game that we all know and love so much. I strive to not only get better, but to have fun, play new courses, meet new people, educate people, and to take myself to higher levels along the way. I am from Michigan, and currently living in Detroit. I am adventurous and a go getter! I’ve played 275+ courses in the short 6 years of playing this game and have traveled to all 50 states and 20+ countries before I was 30. I am excited to represent Upper Park Disc Golf, and add them to the list of other great companies that believe in me! I grew up in a Dojo, and with hard work, dedication, and controlling your mental game anything is possible! I’m very excited to be on Team Upper Park Disc Golf and can’t wait for 2021! You can follow me @basketcasediscgolf or @phillyd1834! Remember never give up, even if you’re the underdog!
I'm from Holland, Michigan and proud of it. Been playing for 13 years, touring for the past 4 years and have enjoyed every second of it from car camping to playing with some of the best players in the world. As a left handed player, it can be tough out there sometimes, but just as advantageous at other events. I like long walks on the beach, skiing, and little Caesars pizza. Looking forward to hitting next season hard next year.
Hi, my name is Austin Hoop and I started playing disc golf around 2015 in Northern California. I started competing professionally in 2017. I love this sport for its camaraderie amongst the players and the competition. My most notable win would be my A-tier win at the NorCal Championships in 2019.
My name is Terry Rothlisberger. I started disc golfing in 2012 and started touring full time in 2020. I’m Sponsored by Discraft and Upper Park Disc Golf. My favorite Discs right now are the Anax, Buzzz, and Challenger. Check them out!!
After switching gears from a full-time biologist to a touring professional disc golfer, Madison combines her love for nature with her love for competing by squeezing hiking, birdwatching, paddling, surfing, SCUBA diving, and rockhounding between tournaments. Madison has toured on the disc golf circuit for five years, hitting all 48 contiguous states in the process, and has proudly carried an Upper Park bag for the duration of her professional career (and has even taken the Shift on an 11 mile backcountry hike in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park!).
Madison feels strongly about growing the sport of disc golf, and is actively engaged in clinics and outreach throughout the year. She is an ambassador for the youth disc golf organization UPlayDG that encourages physical activity through disc golf, she has volunteered at the EDGE Village and Throw Pink at USDGC for five years, and she is a member of the PDGA Women's Committee. Madison hopes to one day integrate her passions for science education and disc golf, and believes the options for this are endless with creativity and passion!
Photo credit to Alyssa Van Lanen
My name is Jonathan Foster, and I am from Edmond, OK. I am 21 and am currently a junior at Oklahoma State University. I have been playing disc golf competitively since 2015. I have a passion for not just playing disc golf but also running events. I run an annual charity event “Throwing for a Cure” which has raised over $17,500 for the Alzheimer’s Association. One of my favorite things about playing disc golf is getting to meet new people from all different walks of life. I have had my Rebel bag since 2015 and have used it in every tournament I have ever played in. The comfort and durability of Upper Park Disc Golf bags is truly unmatched!
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Since 2011 Upper Park Disc Golf® has focused on innovative designs, and unmatched comfort. Our bag designs are as versatile as the people using them.