The Minnesota pro wants people talking about his on course play
December 3, 2019 by Christopher Wiklund in Interview with comments
Jordan Castro has been in the spotlight early in the offseason for what could be considered a…mixed bag…of reasons.
On October 30th, Castro announced via Instagram that he would no longer be sponsored by Dynamic Discs for the 2020 season. Castro wrote, “Unfortunately we will no longer be continuing our partnership for the future…The decision wasn’t in my hands.”
Castro presents himself as a generally positive and upbeat person, and reading that post, his mix of emotions was coming through loud and clear. Known for being active on social media, Castro has shared plenty of pictures of him in DD attire with captions such as “For the kids” and “Trust the Process” in the time since announcing the split. There is another photo of him and the entire DD team simply captioned, “Family.”
Despite more video coverage exposure in 2019 with his tournament performance, the last month has been all about Castro’s endorsements. Would Castro prefer to be in the spotlight for his play on the course rather than sponsorship issues? Definitely.
“It feels good that people have noticed, for sure, but it’s not how I would have wanted it to be,” Castro said. “I mean I have a good image no matter what and I think this could help or hurt it. I think everything is going to happen for the better.”
We caught up with Castro to talk about his evolution as a player, life on the road, his plans for the offseason and what he has in store for 2020.
Ultiworld Disc Golf: How does the shift happen between being a “regional” and “touring” pro?
Jordan Castro: I think it could be the pressure and experience, and you know, we all started that same way too. Coming up I was a household name in my area and then I go down to Memorial and I’m like, “Let’s do this!” and I didn’t play well the first year, but did better the second year. We play with so many great players that you learn and pick things up. I still do that now.
One of the cool facts that I learned is that I’ve played with almost every touring professional out there, and playing so much with so many different players I try to learn something from each guy in each round. I pick up stuff that I can incorporate into my own game. One of the key highlights is playing with Nate Sexton and trying to focus on playing to my strengths. I have a turnover game and I’ll approach a sidearm hole I just try to lean on what I know. It’s so simple too, everyone can relate to it for their own game. One little thing like that can go a long way.
UWDG: What was the biggest adjustment for you making the leap to touring level competition?
JC: Just getting the reps in, take it as work. When the round starts it’s like, now it’s game time, time to clock in and get to work. This is the first offseason where I’m going to practice harder, play more, train harder, and work harder in the gym to hopefully get better results on the course. After Christmas I’m going to go down to Arizona and do a lot of field work and get the reps in. I don’t want the weather to make me take time off and my plan is to be the best and outwork the best.
UWDG: Looking at your UDisc Live stats, you were middle of the pack in a lot of areas, around the 40th-60th place on tour, especially on scramble.
JC: Absolutely, getting off the tee pad or throwing one bad shot or whatever. Another thing I plan to do in the offseason is watch film and take notes about how I had approached a hole and how I might play it differently. Just go back and look and see. I love watching disc golf and I see these guys compete and I know that I can compete. I see the simple mistakes they don’t make that i might make.
For scrambling, it’s usually the second shot on a par 4 that’s the biggest thing for me. Not being in position off the tee. I’m working on slowing it down and playing on the angles to make sure the disc can handle it. I think my vlog will cover a lot of that.
UWDG: What is your offseason routine? What and how will you be practicing or focusing on?
JC: I’m working on a vlog to show people what I’m doing in the offseason. Main thing is sidearm, approaches and putting. My drives over the last three years…I feel like I’ve thrown 1100-rated drives but then I walk up to a 20-footer or 30-footer like, “Ok dude, so simple,” but then I don’t execute. I think it’s execution and mentality. This whole [sponsorship] scenario has fueled the fire and I want to go out and show people that I can do it.
UWDG: What was your personal highlight from the 2019 season?
JC: My highlight was the little C-tier I won in Minnesota. Just because I won, and that was my mentality, I want to win. I did good at Beaver State, Music City and Vacationland but the point is to win and perform well. Those events were great and I played well but at the end of the day it’s about winning. I’m competitive and like winning. These days it’s so hard and it makes me more motivated to train hard and prepare. I want to win.
UWDG: If you could change anything about the professional or touring scene, what would it be?
JC: I would say people enforcing the rules more. I think I’ve been kind of known for enforcing the rules on a few things, and I’ve been bashed for that which is frustrating because I’m trying to do the right thing. We play so many tournaments and I see so many violations. I think if we called more on all levels the sport would grow better. I think we need to better at enforcing the rules. It looks better for the players and the fans.
UWDG: What is your one major goal for next year?
JC: I’ll look at one event and look at what I did last year and see if I can improve the score. That’s the main goal, to improve the score. So it’s like I look back and clean up a couple holes and improve. Play better and stay positive, really. The mental game was tough in the middle of the season and was down at the end of the year. Right now I’m in the best mental space I’ve ever been in. I’m ready, I’m so ready.