Sexton talks Firebirds, media, his style of play and more
May 8, 2018 by Christopher Wiklund in Interview with 0 comments
Nate Sexton is one of the most consistent players on tour; the last time he was rated below 1000 was July 2005 when he was 981 rated. For those keeping score at home, that is 13 years of 1000+ rated golf. What’s more, the last time his rating dipped below 1020 was 2011, almost seven years ago.
For the past year or so, Sexton and his Innova teammate Jeremy Koling have done commentary for Jomez Productions. The ‘BigSexy’ commentary team has helped make Sexton a household name in the disc golf community. Oh yeah, his tour series Firebird’s are fun to throw and sell like crazy.
Sexton took some time out of his schedule to talk with Ultiworld Disc Golf about Firebirds, the Sexton Shootout, and life on the road.
The following interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Ultiworld Disc Golf: Have you been or were you surprised by the popularity of your Tour Series Glow Firebird?
Nate Sexton: Yeah, I think the surprise was more like three or four years ago when they first came out. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I hope we will continue to be able to make a great product moving forward and it’ll be the hottest disc out there.
UWDG: Can you tell us a bit about the Sexton Shootouts?
NS: It’s been going fantastic! We’ve run 20 already in last two months and have had 1,300 players come out. We’re super thankful for everyone who has come out to play, there has been really fantastic support so far.
UWDG: What has been your favorite course that you’ve done a shootout at that maybe isn’t well known beyond local disc golfers?
NS: It’s hard to remember them all. We look for a more beginner friendly type courses so we haven’t been playing super long, technical courses. I had a good time at the course in Decatur, Illinois. It made nice use of hills and good little tree shots. It was nothing too tough but lots of fun. That one stands out as a fun course.
UWDG: You’re often described as a “smart” player. What does that mean to you?
NS: By necessity, you can get to the top a lot of ways, if you hit every putt you throw you don’t necessarily have to have the biggest arm. Golf is fun that way, I think. I throw a lot further than people think I do, but I lean on my forehand, which is more of an accuracy shot. A lot of times I play for the birdie over going aggressive for the eagle, which isn’t to say I won’t go for eagle when it’s available. Maybe my game plan is less volatile, my scores will have a higher floor. My rounds are usually going to be between 990-1070 and I think that’s borne out in the finishes where I’m generally pretty consistent, I usually don’t find myself too far off the lead card.
UWDG: What has it been like touring with your family?
NS: It’s great. It was awesome traveling with Paul [McBeth], and I wouldn’t have formally toured without his offer, and I’m a greater player now because of that. Being with my family is fantastic. I don’t feel that burnout or nagging feeling to get home because my family is with me. I’m able to stay more mentally fresh and happy.
UWDG: You’re a fan favorite and probably aside from Ricky Wysocki and McBeth, you and Koling are arguably the highest-profile players out there thanks to Jomez Productions. How have things changed for you since the growth of Jomez? Do you feel any added responsibility or see yourself as more of an ambassador with Jomez?
NS: No, I don’t know. I think it helps me connect with my fans. I think it’s a good thing that I think people are more able to get a sense of my personality. But, no I don’t feel any pressure. I always try to be myself and I always try to put a good face on the game, I don’t change much about myself.
UWDG: What is the biggest change in the touring scene since you started touring?
NS: I think it’s got to be the media stuff, and that’s only been since about five years ago. It’s crazy to think the first thing Jomez did was in 2012 and that’s not even close to what he does now. I’ve met players who have only been playing eight months and they know all about rare discs, different types of discs, stuff that took years for me to learn or understand when I first started playing. The accessibility for people to be in the know and be in the disc golf community is so much faster. If you want to dive in and stay up for two straight days on Reddit you can learn so much, compared to when I first started there wasn’t anything like it. I didn’t have the opportunity to see how I could learn more on YouTube because it didn’t exist. I mean, I remember getting a VHS of the last year’s worlds for Christmas and wondering who would win.
UWDG: What do you see yourself doing after disc golf?
NS: More disc golf. I see myself doing a lot of stay at home dad and professional disc golfing. In the next five to ten years, I’d love to be able to purchase land and run a course and pro shop. I’d host lessons, summer camps, maybe run some tournaments. The dream would be to have a Maple Hill type facility.
UWDG: Your commentary with Koling has, recently, ventured into a variety of subjects. In that spirit: what is your favorite tree? Favorite juice?
NS: Tree, that’s tough…I’ll say a good old Douglas Fir. I like a Douglas Fir. And juice…I’ve been staying clear for my diet, but I’d go for a smoothie, a conglomeration of juices with some fiber in there as well.
UWDG: Nate Sexton gets a disc golf genie and can make three wishes: one for your own game, one for the game in general, and one for the disc golf community, what are they?
NS: 1- Not to win every tournament because that would be boring, but I’d like to go on a pretty epic run, probably three or four of the most dominant seasons ever in a row and go down as the greatest disc golfer ever, which I think could be possible if I win four Worlds and four USDGC’s in a row.
2- A bunch of cooperative and financially backed projects for courses. It’d be great if cities all over the world decided to put their parks budget towards building courses, and bring in great designers with multiple teepads and baskets, trash cans, benches, pro shops and make it the best we can.
3- That they all decided to support the media guys so that we could get coverage for multiple cards and getting more and more content out there so we can turn the heads of the next step in media. Whatever we can do to be more relevant to big sponsors. And one ace per person. Everyone gets one ace on the same day. We all go out and throw on the same day and everyone gets an ace.