While Team Discmania is highlighted by big names like Simon Lizotte, Eagle McMahon, and others, there are a number of team members who represent the next generation of top disc golfers. Tuomas Hyytiäinen, 19-years-old from Kerava, Finland, is one of those young disc golfers with a cannon for an arm.
Hyytiäinen has only played disc golf for a few years, but he’s quickly working his way up the leaderboards and making a name for himself. Filled with a lot of energy and passion for the sport, Hyytiäinen is showing no signs of slowing down.
We talked with the upcoming disc golfer to learn about his plans for 2018 and experience within the sport so far.
Who is Tuomas Hyytiäinen when he is not playing disc golf?
I’m a 19-year-old young man who is about to graduate from high school. Disc golf is my favorite activity, but when I’m not playing or training I’m usually hanging out with my friends… Often you’ll find us playing video games. Lately I’ve been playing NHL 18 and Fortnite a lot.
What are your plans after graduating? how does disc golf fit in to your future?
Right now, I’m just focusing on disc golf for the next six months before going to the army. All adult males have compulsory military service in Finland. I’ll see how it goes when I give all I’ve got for disc golf. After the six-month (hopefully!) military service I’ll have to review my situation again and see what the future brings.
I’m hoping to keep on playing disc golf as much as I can. Luckily, most military bases in Finland have disc golf courses nowadays, and so does the one I’m heading to and I can practice while I’m in the army.
Tuomas visited the US for the first earlier this year when he attended the Las Vegas Challenge & Memorial Championship. Photo: Alyssa Van Lanen.
You started playing disc golf in 2013… How did you get introduced to the sport?
It happened by accident. My uncle had gotten an idea to try out this new sport and asked me to join him. So we went to a course nearby and gave it shot… Like many others, I was immediately hooked and kept playing actively since then.
How often do you play or practice disc golf? How do you split the time between practicing and playing/competing?
I play almost every day. I practice about five days a week and I’m planning to attend 10-15 events this year. I’ve found a good balance between practicing and competing. I set the event that I’m going to play very early in the season and I planned my schedule based on those.
You found your way to Team Discmania through the Combine. Tell us a bit about the experience… How did you feel during the event? What did you get out of the Combine day? Was there something that you enjoyed in particular about it?
The Combine event was really cool. I got to challenge myself in various trials that have different focus points. I also got to meet new people and make new friends. I really enjoyed competing for a spot on Team Discmania.
I was thrilled and a bit nervous on the Combine day. I knew I had a good chance to make the team through the event. As the day grew older I loosened up and was able to perform the tests at my own level.
I got so much out of the Combine. While going through the many trials I noticed my own strengths, and more importantly, my weaknesses. That helped me to improve as a player. After the Combine, I was able to concentrate my efforts and training on the aspects that needed amending the most. I really enjoyed meeting and spending time with Avery Jenkins, that meant a lot to me.
My favorite thing about the Combine was how well the event was organized, the numerous and versatile challenges that allowed me to really show what I can do. Also competing for something concrete that really changes your career as a player was great.
Tuomas impressed the Combine coaches at Nokia in summer 2017. Photo: Alyssa Van Lanen
Are you otherwise active in disc golf?
I help running clinics for beginners. I enjoy introducing disc golf to new players, helping them in finding the right technique and improving their skills. I also help my club with course work and other kinds of bees. I want to see the sport growing, courses improving, and I like to do my share in it.
What’s your favorite thing about disc golf?
I love challenging myself all the time and disc golf is perfect for that. I have a quite competitive personality and I get a kick out of competing and challenging others. The competitive side of disc golf is really important to me. And, of course, there’s something magical about disc leaving your hand and doing exactly what you envisioned.
What is the thing that you’re looking forward to most in 2018?
This one is easy - Konopiste Open! That’ll be my first PDGA major and from what I’ve seen & heard the course is amazing.
Is there a specific Discmania disc that has helped you to reinvent your game?
This one is a bit tougher… If I’d have to pick one it might be the PD, it has been a staple in my bag since the beginning. Of the more recent molds P3x has helped me to take my approach game to a completely new level.