As we've stated on several occasions before, one of the main missions for the Discmania brand and the people working behind it is to fuel the growth of disc golf all over the world. We've seen great success in growth and popularity of the sport at our "home base" of Finland over the last couple of years as well as in many other European countries, like Czech Republic for example.
One of the fastest growing disc golf scenes in the world however can be found very near our home base, just across the narrow Baltic Sea. We're talking of course about Estonia, a country of just 1,3 million inhabitants and vast areas of mixed forests and fields, perfect for disc golf. Finland's close proximity to Estonia has undoubtedly played a factor in the growth of disc golf in Estonia, with hundreds of thousands of disc golf crazy Finns visiting it's southern neighbour each year. The active Estonian players have also been a regular sight in Finnish disc golf tournaments of all sizes for quite some time now.
Players and spectators of the Estonian Disc Golf Championships 2015.
While it's probably safe to say some of the momentum the sport has in Estonia has been accumulated by its success in Finland, it's the local Estonian pioneers that have really put in the hours to bring the sport to the doorstep of mainstream consciousness in Estonia. One of these pioneers is Rene Mengel, based in Pärnu on the western coast of Estonia. Rene runs his own disc golf web shop coined discsport.ee, designs courses and organizes events that help grow the sport in his home country. Rene was also the Tournament Director of the Discmania-sponsored Estonian Disc Golf Championships a couple weeks back. We reached Rene for a quick Q&A about Estonian disc golf scene and more. See the interview below :)
Q&A with Estonian disc golf promoter Rene Mengel
Rene Mengel is the top disc golf promoter in Estonia.
Q: Congrats on running the biggest disc golf event in Estonia to date! How was the event from the TD's perspective?
Rene: Thank you. Tournament was really great. 4 days full of sunny weather and high quality disc golf - what more can you ask for?. Our team worked hard before the tournament to get the course in a excellent shape and I think we did a good job making the event run smooth. Everything went well and we didn't have any surprises, except 5 Hole-in-Ones :)
Q: The sport has been growing fast in Estonia over the last few years. What do you consider to be the main factors that have enabled the popularity of disc golf to grow in your country?
Rene: I think the main reason behind the growth is that in the past 5 years number of disc golf courses have gone up from 3 to 50 and now every player can buy disc golf discs from local retail stores and from well equipped web shops. We also have a number of weekly competitions held all around Estonia and that will certainly help beginners to evolve.
Q: Who are some of the most promising Estonian players we can expect to see battling for top spots in international events in the future?
Rene: You should keep an eye on 2015 Estonian Champion Martin Rotmeister, who is on fire at the moment and Silver "longest forehand in the world" Lätt, who finished 3rd at the Estonian Championships and has shown some exceptional results in the past. We also have some very promising junior players like 2015 champion Karl Aaron Sikka and the 2014 champion Antero Noor.
Q: Are there some aspects of the sport that are more typical to the Estonian scene than most others?
Rene: We have outstandingly beautiful female players, nothing else don't come to mind :)
Some of the top finishing ladies of the 2015 Estonian Disc Golf Championships.
Q: You also run the popular disc golf web shop discsport.ee. What are some of the best-selling discmania discs in your selection? Which Discmania models do you personally like the best?
Rene: Yes, DiscSport.ee represents Discmania in Estonia and we and our resellers definitely have the biggest and best selection of disc golf discs in Baltics. Most sold Discmania discs are the DD2 and P1 & P2 putters. But all the Discmania discs are really good. If you want to beat the best guys out there you should have the full line-up in your bag or at least a PD2 for Estonian windy season.
Q: Where do you see Estonian disc golf in the next 5 years?
Rene: In the next 5 years I see that Estonian disc golf will grow as it has been growing in the past 5 years. I also see that we have couple of players playing for the top spots in the biggest events in Europe and we are ready to host some of the Europe's largest tournaments.
Thanks for the interview Rene!
Watch the Estonian Championships on The SpinTV
The exciting final round play-by-play action from the 2015 Estonian Championships was captured by The SpinTV in cooperation with Bandefilms. Check out the videos below: