2022 PDGA Amateur World Champion, Paul Krans, officially joined Team Discmania! At just 17 years old and 2 years into his competitive disc golf journey, our excitement to have him on the Team overwhelms us.
If Paul only carried his World Title as an asset, his signing would honor us. But he fits perfectly on Team Discmania for much more!
A Love for the Game
Paul started playing disc golf a mere 3 years ago in the Summer of 2019. Already an active ultimate player, that community introduced him to disc golf. After an ultimate friend (and we mean that in both senses!) gifted Paul a few disc golf discs, he quickly fell in love with tossing them into some bushes over and over again. He found himself pushing to get better with each volley. “I liked that I could focus on just myself versus a team sport.”
Fast forward a year, and Paul dives head first into competitive play. “Looking back, a 3 day, 3 round tournament was a lot for my first one.” Despite the mental and physical fatigue, Paul managed to shoot an average 964 rating over the 3 rounds. Impressive for a first tournament ever at just 15 years old! Yet, he was not content. He knew he had more in the tank.
Determination and Self Motivation
Paul continued throughout the rest of 2019 and early 2020 honing in his game, practicing every day. In his second tournament of 2020, Paul came ready to shred the course - shooting a 996 rated round! (Mind you, this was 9 months after his first time touching a disc golf disc)
When asked about his criteria for tournament success he said, “My goal is to win. If I don’t win, if I play my best, I should shoot over 1000 rated rounds. If either of those happen I feel like I accomplished something.”
Paul shot a round over 1000 rating for his first win in the Advanced division less than a year after his first tournament. This is all thanks to his work ethic, and studying his favorite player - Simon Lizotte! Paul said, “I spent every day for two summers throwing into a net copying Eagle and Simon’s form, then it turned into my own style.”
A World Champion
2021 allowed Paul to compete in a dozen tournaments, taking top 3 in Advanced 6 times. “I had to get rides from my dad to and from tournaments so I couldn’t go to as many as I wanted. I wasn’t even planning to go to Am World’s this year.. but it was my only chance to play before going into Open [division].”
He recalled sticking to his usual game plan at the 2022 PDGA Amateur World Championship - start out hot in his first round. He was 100 percent from C1x in his first 3 rounds and felt like his tee shots started connecting during his third round, boosting his confidence on the course.
Come rounds 4 and 5, he experienced something he never had before - a wave of nerves. “I woke up incredibly nervous for the first time ever. I knew the people chasing me down perform in the clutch, so I was way more in my head than the first few rounds.”
Incredibly, his goal oriented mindset and countless hours of practice took precedent over this foreign experience. “[Winning] felt weird - it didn’t feel spectacular because the last round didn’t feel good. I was still thinking about things I could have done better. On the car ride home it finally hit me. ‘Wow, I can’t believe I actually went out there and won!’”
The pursuit of perfection may never be over for him, but his incredible achievement is finally starting to settle in with the support of his friends, family, and community. “The next tournament I had the week after, they congratulated me on my win during the player meeting. Coming home to that was really cool to see.”
Team Discmania Member
We have had our eye on Paul for a while now. Most notably, through our very own Simon Lizotte. Fellow Team Discmania member Raivis Markons-Craig had pulled some strings earlier this year to get Paul and Simon on the same card for a tournament round. Simon used that opportunity to invite Paul on his vlog.
Simon invited Paul to another vlog session after his big win, but this time we armed Simon with something special - an offer letter! Check out that full video here. We’ll let Paul’s words describe the experience;
“Discmania was the only team I wanted to be on. Obviously I love Simon and Eagle, but I also love the plastic. When I got the offer, my brain was not even functioning. He pulled the offer out of his bag, I looked at it for 3 to 4 seconds before processing what it was. I was shocked! I didn't have any words or expressions. I was mind blown because I wasn't expecting it at all. I knew I was going to take the offer, but Simon said make sure I read it and take my time.”
Just a few days later we received a signed acceptance for Paul to join Team Discmania!
Congratulations to Paul on these achievements! Our excitement having a World Champion with such a strong work ethic, connection to community, and passion for Discmania is immeasurable. Make sure to check out Paul’s Instagram, and welcome him to Team Discmania!