For Team Discmania member Lasse Jansson, his life is nearly all disc golf. The top 20 ranked disc golfer in Sweden lives just north of Stockholm in Uppsala. If he isn’t spending time with his wife and son or squeezing in a board game with friends and family, Jansson is thinking about disc golf.
Jansson got started with disc golf in 1997 when his uncle, another Frisbee player, gave him a 9x KC Teebird that he used on a made up course at his grandparent’s home. After hitting a beginner friendly course in Uppsala in 1999, he continued to play a few times a year before regularly playing around 2007. His first PDGA tournament was in 2008 as an amateur before moving to the Open division in 2009.
We caught up with Jansson as he waits out another long Swedish winter before his 2018 season gets underway.
You’re one of Sweden’s top players. You’re not just a competitor though – how are you involved in disc golf off the courses?
I’ve been involved in many aspects of disc golf. I’ve been on the board for the club in Uppsala for six years and one year as the chairman. In 2016, I left my job at the public library and started to work full time with disc golf for Innova Europe here in Sweden. We are two guys working with the DiscGolfPark concept in Sweden trying to grow the sport and helping municipalities get started with disc golf or reinvent old courses that nobody plays. This might be due to a lack of teepads, signage, modern baskets or just a well designed course.
You’re also known as the man behind Pippijakten. Tell us a bit more about it. How did it come to fruition? Has the event changed since the early years?
Pippijakten is now Sweden’s largest one-day doubles tournament. I host it once in the spring and once at the end of the season. The field of 108 players is usually full within a few hours. It has not always been like that. For the first couple of years, we had around 50 players. The players who attended spread the word so more and more people started to come. I would say that the main reason is that there was no doubles tournaments in my region. We also have a great course for best shot and after a few years of hosting I would say I’m doing a good job.
Any new molds or discs going into your bag at the moment? Are you’re experimenting with something?
The latest disc I tried out was really good. It was a Discmania D-Line Glow P2. They felt like one of my favorite P2s in my bag (a prototype P2 from 2008 or something like that). Grippy, stable, firm, but not hard. I also experimenting with the new Discmania S-CD3 as a long hyzer-to-flat or long turnover spot in my bag. The new Discmania Luster DDx might also get a spot as the long bomber. Currently I use a beat up Discmania S-PD2, but they take so long to beat in. It would be nice with an out of the box long bomber.
How are you preparing for the 2018 season and what are your plans and expectations for it?
Watching a lot of Youtube videos of pros playing in warm weather. Swedish winters can be really cold, wet, and dark. I have an artificial turf soccer field next to my house. I try to get out there throwing my Discmania P2s and working on my forehand at least once per week. The basket in the backyard will be put to use when it’s not dark like all day.
My expectations are as usual: to become a better disc golfer. My first purchase for the house was a new DiscCatcher. Hopefully that will shave of a stroke or two during a weekend. I’m planning to play The Open at Ale Discgolfcenter, Skellefteå Open, and Swedish Nationals. Two stops at the Swedish National Tour and a couple of one-day C-tiers in my local area are also on the schedule. Hopefully, I get the opportunity to represent Sweden in the European Championship in Croatia as I’m currently on the bubble. With some good play in the beginning of the season I might get a spot.
Pippijakten at the end of April will be my first event though. There might be a tournament during Easter that I will attend, but no info is out about that yet.
What’s the event or thing that you are waiting for the most in 2018?
If I get a spot, the European Championship. It’s a cool feeling representing your country doing the thing you love. Other than that, The Open at Ale Discgolfcenter. The course looks amazing and I’ve heard a lot of good things about it!