If you’re unfamiliar with Brodie Smith here’s a quick recap. He’s a former Ultimate Frisbee star who had to leave the game due to injury. He’s been a tv show contestant on The Amazing Race, and he’s known for his trick shot videos involving him throwing a frisbee against groups of guys throwing things that they’re known for. He just got sponsored by Discraft discs even though he’s an amateur classified player and he’ll be making his debut in the 2020 season.
I’ll start by saying I’m a big fan of Brodie’s, I’m definitely the conductor on the Brodie Smith Hype Train. Some find him loud, I think he’s passionate and outgoing. His trick shot videos are cool and as he makes his way into playing disc golf tournaments he’s going to experience the highs and lows of disc golf like the rest of us have. The sensation when you hit a big putt, and the soul crushing sound of plastic colliding with a tree. He’s a 2x national champion ultimate frisbee player, and played ultimate at the professional level, so he’s already been a pro athlete in a different sport. The question I think many have is, how good can he become at disc golf?
First let’s talk about distance. To compete at the elite level you’re going to have to be able to throw above 450 consistently. Think of all the top MPO players on tour, I think all of them can reach 450 if they have to. Brodie just did some training with Emerson Keith and he’s put up a 494 foot drive on UDisc. He’s got the distance, something we’d expect from a tall ultimate player. He’s only been playing a couple of months, when he finds the right discs I think he’s going to bomb 500+ feet for sure.
But distance isn’t everything Andrew! I hear you guys, and I agree. If distance was everything Simon, Eagle, and Garrett Gurthie would be battling it out in every tournament for first place. Brodie will have to learn how to throw a forehand as a disc golfer, not an ultimate player. This is going to take some learning for Brodie but I imagine with some practice he’s going to have a servicable forehand by June/July. Upshots are something that I imagine Brodie will excel at quickly. He’s well versed in picking his shot quickly from his ultimate days, and he’s used to putting the disc into space instead of throwing at a target. That’s something that a lot of players struggle with, sometimes hitting a large area is better than focusing on a fixed point.
Putting is the great equalizer in this sport. Throwing far is great but if you can’t putt you’re going to add a bunch of unnecessary strokes to your round. Nothing is worse than messing up that birdie chance with a bad putt. It’s mentally defeating and it does nothing for you on the scorecard. I’ve only seen one video of Brody putting, he seems to favor a straddle push putt, something that he learned in ultimate frisbee. I think that’s fine if he’s inside Circle 1, but if he’s outside it requires a lot more effort to reach the pin.
At 32 he’s on the older side of pro players who are looking to compete for an MPO World’s Title, but I always think Michael Johansen has a chance to win and he’s in MP40 now. So I think Brodie has a few years where he could win. I think Brodie has 5-8 years if his knees stay healthy where he can compete at the top level in MPO.
I’ll take a stab at Brodie’s disc golf career. My guess is that he rates around 980 at the end of 2020. He’ll put up at least three, 1000 rated round and if he competes in AM1 definitely win some events. He did say he’s only here to compete against the best, but starting out in MPO sounds daunting. I think that by the end of the 2021 season Brodie can be rated over 1000. Not a world championship contending pro, but someone who could take down an A-Tier. He’s already been a top athlete in one sport and right now he’s showing serious commitment to disc golf. For Brodie, the sky's the limit.
What do you think Brodie Smith will accomplish in disc golf? Will he hit 1000 rating? Maybe make a lead card in a major? Am I giving him too much credit? Let me know what you think.
May your discs miss all the trees,
Andrew Streeter #70397