For most disc golfers, a round of disc golf after work or on the weekend is a chance to get active and play a sport they love. On occasion a tournament might pop up locally to add a little more competition to the mix.
For Thomas Röhler, disc golf has become a very useful training exercise that helped him become one of the top javelin throwers in the world. In fact, Röhler achieved the ultimate goal when he won the gold medal at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
The Olympic champion, 27, says he’s been an athlete ever since he was a young, “Sports always played a big role in my life and I’ve been an active kid from the beginning. Throwing stones as far as possible, no matter from the shore or at the edge of a mountain lake, was by far my favourite.”
Röhler, from Jena, Thuringia, Germany, started throwing the javelin professionally in 2009 when he was 18.
“[Winning the gold medal] was by far the most emotional sports moment for me,” Röhler says. “You work so hard every day, put in the effort and time. But winning, and winning the biggest thing ever makes every minute in the gym or throwing in rain and snow so worth it.”
Röhler says was initially introduced to disc golf by Antti Ruskanen of the Finnish javelin team in 2012, “I was super fascinated how easy it was to throw far. For sure it took a few lessons to throw my first 120m but then everything went easy by just going out with a disc and having fun getting better and more precise.”
A few years ago, Röhler connected with Discmania CEO Jussi Meresmaa after having a hard time finding discs in Germany. After some texting back and forth, Röhler had some new discs and the training continued.
Röhler typically uses disc golf a few times a week starting in the spring.
“For me, disc golf, is the best warmup or recovery game there is. I really appreciate the reverse movement for shoulder prehab,” Röhler says. “I got a new understanding of precision and flight characteristics when I started testing many different discs – I love the challenge of hitting a good throw with multiple discs. As a training aspect.”
While Röhler doesn’t get a lot of time on a disc golf course, he can easily prove the benefit of practice and field work. Disc golfers typically use disc golf to practice for disc golf, but he uses the sport to further his passion.
Using the opposite throwing motion of a javelin, disc golf provides Röhler an alternative training method to maintain peak performance. While other Olympic athletes have their own training methods, we love knowing the Discmania FD and TD have helped Röhler reach the top spot in his sport.
All Photos: Thomas Röhler.