Interview with Andi Lehmann Young

Andi Lehmann Young – PDGA #2094
2018 Disc Golf Hall of Fame Inductee

Jomez-Pro-PDGA-Women-Fall-of-Fame-Andi-Young-Tall

How did you get your start in Disc Golf?

I started as a Freestyler. I would play Frisbee and do freestyle in the Quad in college. I heard about my first ‘Frisbee Overall Tournament’ in 1981 in Metairie, Louisiana at an old horse racing track that had just been turned into a park. Of course, I had to go! It was there that my flying disc life changed forever.

Tell us about your major highlights and achievements in Disc Golf.

1982 – Being mentored by Brian Harrison and designing Lafreniere Park Disc Golf Course… the same place where I was introduced to Disc Golf the year before.

1984 – Hosting a PDGA Disc Golf tournament in coordination with the 1984 World’s Fair in New Orleans. One of the players ‘perks’ was all the players got to go to the World’s Fair for free!

1984 – First PDGA World Championships. Rochester, New York. Stopped in Detroit on the way to visit Jim Kenner and Gail McColl (Discraft). Showed up at Rochester with Discraft’s newest disc… The Phantom but could not use it in the tournament because there wasn’t at least 100 in circulation yet! Watched Sam Ferrans beat Tom Monroe in a playoff to win. Sold a trunk full of original first-run Innova ‘Eagles’ (renamed the Aero) to finance the trip from New Orleans to Rochester and back.

Andi Lehmann Young MotG

1985 – First person to arrive in Tulsa, OK for the 1985 PDGA World Championships. Spent an entire day practicing all the courses with the next three players who arrived… Tim Selinske, Dave Dunipace and Harold Duvall.

1989 PDGA Worlds – My travel partner was Gail McColl. Finished 4th in FPO playing the final round with card mates Chris O’Cleary, Amy Schiller, and Elaine King.

1990 – Co-Founder Houston Flying Disc Society. Our organization ‘planted the seeds’ of Disc Golf in and around the Houston area. The club hosted the 2002 PDGA Worlds and today continues to run area leagues and support all new entities that have ‘sprouted’ over the years.

1990 to current – Designed and installed numerous courses in and around the Houston area.

1995 – Hosted a charity event. Called it ‘Bang Chains for Charity’. The ‘charity’ was the park. Our HFDS group put up temporary baskets and targets. Invited the public to play with the help of the then locally well-known rock radio station, 101 KLOL. People came to play, we raised funds. I called my friend Tim Selinske and told him we had enough to order 9 baskets for an 18-hole course. He sent all 18 and said pay when you can. HFDS installed them at Agnes Moffitt Park. Disc Golf went BOOM in Houston.

1996 – Started the Disc Golf only Texas State Championships now in its 26th year.

1996 – Introduced ‘The School of Disc Golf’ to health fitness teachers at a Spring Branch ISD teacher in-service. Went on to introduce Disc Golf at the statewide TAPHERD conference the same year. Installed a 9-hole course at an elementary school (Cedarbrook Elementary). The health fitness teacher raised the money for the course selling snow cones.

2004 – Designed a Disc Golf course on a ball golf course plus an 18-hole course through the wooded perimeter of the same property known as Spring Valley Golf & Disc Golf.

Andi Lehmann Young with her Disc Golf Hall of Fame Plaque

2011 – Purchased Spring Valley Golf & Disc Golf

2018 – Inducted into The Disc Golf Hall of Fame

2018/2019 – Hosted the 23rd and 24th annual Texas State Disc Golf Championships with Spring Valley the featured course.

2019 – Became Administrator of The Disc Golf Hall of Fame

Mentally I approach a competitive round one hole at a time. Once you putt out on a hole, no matter how it went…you leave it there.

How would you describe your approach or mentality to the game?

Playing Disc Golf is art. I liken it to painting a picture. Each throw is a stroke of the brush. I’ve never been a distance thrower so my game has always been about placement and consistency. My nicknames include ‘Queen of the Upshot’ and ‘Princess Lay-up’. My approach is ‘Pin it to Win it’.

Mentally I approach a competitive round one hole at a time. Once you putt out on a hole, no matter how it went…you leave it there.

Are you involved in any clubs/volunteer work/outreach?

As co-founded the HFDS I can honestly say the majority of my Disc Golf career has been volunteering my time and experience. I continue to do it today fostering the growth of those on both sides of the disc… new players who want to improve their game or need help choosing the right discs as well as those who want to learn how to run events. I’m happy to share my Disc Golf knowledge with all who inquire.

What is one important lesson you’ve learned from your time as a professional athlete?

You cannot be a professional athlete unless it’s your full-time job so don’t beat yourself up because you’re not the best player in the world.

Don’t try to throw as far as you can. It will only be frustrating. Focus on placement and consistency first. Distance will naturally come as muscle memory and confidence grow.

Do you have any tips for beginners or specifically women getting into the sport?

Don’t try to throw as far as you can. It will only be frustrating. Focus on placement and consistency first. Distance will naturally come as muscle memory and confidence grow.

One of the main techniques I use to explain how to drive to a beginner is to ‘throw by the numbers’. Imagine the landing spot is at 12 o’clock. For a RHBH player the release point is at 2 o’clock. For a LHBH it’s at 10 o’clock. It’s just the opposite for the forehand throwers. It provides a ‘visual’ and I’ve seen a lot of light bulbs come on using this explanation.

In your opinion, what are the best things about Disc Golf today and what could be improved upon?

Improvements, in my opinion, include the PDGA letting go of their stranglehold on the Amateur side of the sport.

The best things about Disc Golf today are the same as they have always been… it’s a goal-oriented walk that gets people outside. It is good exercise both physically and mentally. Disc Golf provides the opportunity for us to challenge ourselves and best of all, no one can cancel you.

We’d like to thank Andi for sharing her story with us.
Stay tuned next week for another Women’s Hall of Fame spotlight!

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