Andrei Betea is yet another member of Team Discmania who at one point in his career turned heads and made a name for himself. Betea won the German Championships at just 15-years-old. At the time, he was still relatively new to disc golf.
Betea didn’t have the resources to travel Europe, or the world, and had to focus on his education and career. While the focus might have shifted, the interest in disc golf never went away.
He has since increased his commitment to disc golf and has plans for jumping back into the scene whenever possible.
Who is Andrei Betea when he is not playing disc golf?
I work as a system engineer in a very cool German middle-class business IT company. I supervise multiple server landscapes for different companies. I’m part of a unique team which I’ve liked to work with since the very first day. Disc golf is very important for me because the most of the time I’m sitting in the office so I need to get out and get some fresh air and let those discs fly.
You’ve been playing for a long time already and even won the German Championships in the early years as a 15-yeard-old… When and how did you find disc golf?
This is actually a great story…. I started playing disc golf after the local town Bad Nauheim built a six-hole course. During this time I was 12-years-old. I bought a regular Frisbee from a local store. The disc was very understable and vulnerable in the wind. I managed to record my first birdie with this disc on a 50-meter par three after only one month of playing. After a while, I had to fix the crack in the disc with ducktape. The flight pattern became a little bit different, but I was still happy with it.
One year later, I met some guys who played with real disc golf discs. I asked them where it’s possible to order one. My first disc was a Innova DX Roc which I lost right away on the first day before I had even paid it. After that I bought a some more including the Innova KC Eagle and some DX Aviars. I played almost everyday for nearly four hours per day. Most of the time I played on my local course (max. 70m holes). I started to play tournaments and after two years I had enough experience to win the German championship in the Open division.
After winning the German Championships Betea had to shift his focus on other things for some years. Photo: Eino Ansio.
You had a long break at one point… What kept you from disc golf during that time?
Over time the travel became too expensive for me. I missed so many great opportunities to play great tournaments like the European Championship in 2008. So I decided to focus on other things. During that time I lost almost every disc and kept playing with the ones I still had.
What made you return to playing disc golf?
I never gave up thinking about or playing disc golf. After I started with my actual job, I kept an eye on the actual ratings of other disc golfers and I was sure I could make it into the German top 20 in short time.
I decided to register for the German Championship in 2014. I finished in 19th. That good result motivated me to start training and playing disc golf again. I decided to use only discs from one company and for me it was definitely Discmania. That’s how I started throwing those great FDs, PD2s, and P2s.
What’s the plan now? What are your plans as a disc golfer? Are you otherwise active in disc golf?
The plan is to play as much disc golf as possible and become a German champion again and, who knows, maybe one day the European champion.
I want to organize some clinics for local schools and keep growing the sport. I am also looking for the opportunity to organize my own PDGA disc golf tournament on a golf course which would be pretty awesome.
When will your 2018 season start? How have you prepared for this season?
In late May at Vulkan Open in Herbstein, Germany. Last year, this tournament was part of the German Major Tour series. My preparation was a two-month fitness and diet program where I managed to increase my fitness level and lose almost 30 pounds. I learned a lot about how to become fit and how the combination of doing sports, eat healthy food, and having enough sleep work together.
Andrei has his disc golf sights set high but this year's top event will be his own wedding. Photo: Eino Ansio.
What do you look forward to most in 2018?
After almost 10 years of beeing together with my girlfriend, I made a classic proposal under the lights of the New Years fireworks and she said yes. So the best, the greatest, the most beautiful thing I am looking forward in 2018 is my own wedding!
Is there a specific Discmania disc that has helped you to reinvent your game?
There is definitely one special disc that helped me reinvent my game. I was always looking for a understable midrange disc. The D-Line MD2 helped me to fill the gap between my shots.
I use it for long turnover shots, straight tunnel shots, and sometimes also as a roller disc. It feels very familiar in the hand and I can always predict the flight of the disc. In my opinion, this is the best disc for every beginner who wants to learn how to throw a disc. For me, I always carry two of them in the bag.