Since Ace Runners’ inception in 2015, we have tried to support the growth of disc golf by running tournaments, sponsoring tournaments, supporting clubs and sponsoring players. Our sponsorship of players has always been based on a player’s contribution to our sport – volunteering time to maintain courses, being active in local clubs and associations, running events, introducing new players to the sport, etc. – and how a player carries themselves on and off the course. As the number of Canadian disc golf vendors have increased over the years, opportunities for players looking for sponsorships have also increased. So in 2022, we decided that instead of supporting specific individuals over the course of a year, we would support the people who were volunteering their time to run tournaments and leagues.
This year we have decided to change our focus and support an individual who has committed to touring full-time. Did you know that only four Canadian players have a United States Tour Ranking? These rankings, based on the results of U.S. based majors and elite series events, rank the best disc golfers on the United States Tour. Players must have at least 2 Elite Series finishes and at least 1 Major finish within the last 18 months to be ranked. MPO must have a Rating value of 1000+ and FPO must have a Rating of 880+. 118 MPO players and 64 FPO players were ranked in 2022. For our Canadian players, Thomas Gilbert is ranked at #44, Max Regitnig at #76, and Martin Hendel at #111; and Chantel Budinsky at #58.
Most people know that Thomas, Martin and Chantel are Ontarians. We want to introduce everyone to Max, currently the lone full-time Canadian touring player in western Canada. Max's hometown is Invermere, British Columbia where he grew up excelling in various sports. After university, with his Canadian Swedish dual citizenship, Max moved to Sweden in 2016.
Max joined Team Discmania in 2019. Most major sponsors help cover touring costs with discs, gear, tour series discs, stipends, entry fee payments, and/or performance bonuses. With the exception of the highest ranking and/or popular players, many full-time touring players are lucky if they break even for the year. Full-time touring is expensive. At a minimum, touring players have to pay for reoccurring expenses such as transportation, food, lodging, phone bills and tournament entry fees. These expenses can be off-set by tournament payouts but as the talent pool gets deeper every year, the likelihood of cashing big gets smaller. This is why many full-time disc golf touring players need our support.
This is Max's second year as a full-time touring pro. We believe Max has the talent, dedication, focus and work ethic to succeed. The fact that he played professional indoor volleyball in Sweden from 2017 to 2019 shows that he can excel in his chosen sport. Congratulations to Max for winning at the recent Little Rock Games 2023 with a 1039 rated second round. Please join us in rooting for Max (and our fellow Canadians Thomas and Chantel) at the Music City Open this weekend and all the rest of his upcoming events.