Calvin Heimburg is no stranger to competitors in the southeast (check out his 2018 PDGA stats—they’re filled with top 5 finishes in the 25 events he played). For 2019, he’s branching out from his home state of Florida and made a statement at the PDGA National Tour opener at the Las Vegas Challenge in February. Be prepared to see the name Calvin Heimburg more often this season. To get to know him better, we asked Calvin about his game, the 2019 tour, and what he’s looking forward to this season.
How did you discover disc golf?
I discovered disc golf through a starter pack that my grandparents gave me for my birthday. I started by going out with my dad once or twice a month and then it slowly progressed into an every weekend occurrence. Eventually, I found out that another one of my friends, Kyle Sawtelle, played as well and he introduced me to the local competitive scene and tournaments.
What aspect of your game do you feel is the strongest and why?
I think that my backhand drives are the strongest part of my game. In particular, I feel that I have good control over my fairway and distance drivers.
The Las Vegas Challenge was your first NT win. You’ve had a few days to reflect… what does it mean to you?
Winning the Las Vegas Challenge was a huge accomplishment for me. It was validation that I could compete with the best in the world. It also gives me some confidence going into the rest of the year to know that I was able to come out on top against an NT field.
You’re committing to a longer tour schedule in 2019. What event or course are you really looking forward to playing and why?
This season, I am looking forward to getting back to the Beaver State Fling because I haven’t been back there in a couple of years. Milo East and West are two of my favorite courses that I have played. I enjoy the terrain and the scenery at the course and I look forward to being able to visit the Northwest for a few weeks this year.
What’s your favorite food?
I am not sure if I have a favorite food. When it comes to fast food, I like to stop at Chipotle and Chick-fil-A. However, when it comes to real food, I like just about everything. The only thing that I really avoid is slimy squash.
What’s your favorite local course and why?
My favorite local course is Cliff Stephens Park in Clearwater, Florida. Cliff Stevens has been my home course since I started playing and gives you a good mix of shots. It isn’t the most technical or wooded course, but it has lots of water and gives you the opportunity to practice a wide variety of shots.
You recently finished an engineering degree, right? In what field and how does this impact your disc golf future?
I graduated from the University of Florida with my Chemical Engineering degree in the fall of 2017. I spent some time working and traveling before I started touring during the summer of last year. Currently, my degree has no impact on my disc golf future. Graduating with my degree has made it easier for me to get out and tour since I am not tethered to UF by my classes. Only time will tell if, or when, I will start using my degree.
What’s in your bag right now (plastic/model)?
Which disc in your bag is your fave? Why?
My favorite disc in my bag is my Champion Rhyno. I have bagged a zipper top Rhyno for over six years and it has become a crutch for all my short driving and upshot needs. It is overstable enough to handle some wind and always has a predictable finish.
What’s your practice routine like?
I like to play a bunch of rounds. I will throw multiple tee shots on every hole that I play and try shots that I may not be as comfortable with to become better at those shots. I also tend to not practice putting while playing practice rounds. I try to practice putting on its own. When I practice putt, I tend to switch up the distances and stances constantly for 30 minutes to an hour depending on how I am feeling.
What do you look forward to most while touring this year?
I am looking forward to the west coast swing this year (Utah through Beaver State). The only tournament that I have played on the west coast in past years is the Beaver State Fling. I am excited to see some new courses that I have heard about and do some sight seeing while on the way.
Best piece of advice for new players?
Practice putting. You have to putt on every hole that you play and the better you get at putting, the worse you can be at driving.