I am glad pleased that I got the go ahead with BBB to interview one of my favorite Disc Golfers JohnE McCray. JohnE has been around for 20 years. He has the ability to beat the kids on tour and still competes in the Pro Open instead of the Master Open Class. JohnE from all accounts has is an advocate to this growing sport. I hope that this interview will give you a little bit of an idea how cool Mr. McCray is and how determined he is to compete and grow a sport that we both love.
JS: JohnE I thank you for being accessible to players on different levels. Last year I was told about a round you had with a young up and comer. How often do you get these opportunities before tournaments?
JM: I get the chance to play with many different people during practice rounds at new courses. When I arrive to a course for an upcoming event, many locals offer to show me the course. ..which I find very helpful to watch the local routes.
JS: You are taking time away from tournaments to do Clinics. Is this something that you plan to do from throughout your career?
JM: I love teaching about disc golf. I enjoy it so much because it helps retrain my mind and body about the fundamentals. I’ll do clinics as many clinics as possible and will continue to do them for as long as I can.
JS: Gateway was a longtime sponsor of yours, Why the Change to Dynamic Disc?
JM: Things just went a different direction for me. Being able to tour in 2014 was a dream come true and Latitude 64 made it possible for me to do that for 2015. There’s no bad feelings between myself and Gateway, I appreciate everything we accomplished together.
JS: If your putting fails and that is a big if, I do have a Dynamic Disc stamped Wizard, would you take it (free of course)?
JM: I would say that you should keep it but thanks for the offer. I love my new putters.
JS: Amateurs tend to have mixed bags, picking and choosing what they throw. Will there be a time when disc companies will be more accepting of a mixed bag? Is there a possibility of a signature line driver with one company, mid-range with another and putter with yet another?
JM: Well, being a part of Latitude 64 allows me to throw any disc from Latitude, Dynamic Discs and Westside Discs (Trilogy). As far as different signature series discs from all 3 companies. ..that would be a great question for the companies really.
JS: I have noticed many pros have been shuffling through sponsorships with a lot of new disc companies sprouting out, most notably Prodigy and Legacy. Do you see this trend continuing or will multi-year and long-term contracts become the future?
JS: Will Disc golf ever get that big sponsorship and make tournaments to have big payouts to make it easier to tour?
JM: One could only dream of this happening. With the ESPN coverage of ace shots lately. ..maybe that will happen.
JS: This is your second year on tour full-time. I know you wife usually travels with, is it a full family affair?
JM: 2014 we also had our daughter on tour as well as our 4 cats. 2015 we still have the cats but our daughter decided not to join us. We’re a close nit family and it’s hard not seeing both our daughters all the time. This is our first year by ourselves since my wife and I have been married.
JS: You fund-raise to cover tour costs, How can people help your with this?
JM: People can donate directly through our website at www.johnemccraytour.com
People can attend a clinic or buy one of my tour fundraising discs. My sponsors have also made it easy to help directly through their websites by purchasing a JohnE McCray disc. www.dynamicdiscs.com andwww.discgolfcenter.com
JS: Knowing the grind of being a good Husband and father, how do you juggle your time effectively?
JM: MY WIFE helps with all of that.
JS: In 2007 you were diagnosed with Lyme disease, you have said you won the battle, is this something that you constantly deal with or was it caught early enough not to affect you?
JM: I deal with this on a daily basis. However, my wife’s research has done wonders for me. It almost killed me but it made me stronger and made me appreciate my life a lot more.
JS: You played competitive soccer when younger and played semi-professionally, where did you play? what position? and how long did you play on that level?
JM: Well, I played soccer from age 5 through college and then semi pro. We were a military family so I’ve played all over the world. I’ve played every position but played defense in college. ..I made people flop.
JS: Based on the injuries you had and the reason for retiring from soccer, were you the first player in the history of soccer to never flop?
JM: Not a flopper in anything I do. I play to win and I play hard.
JS: I am not trying to grind an ax of any sort here, last year at the US open I stopped watching at hole 11 of the final round and went out to play a round knowing full well you had the tournament locked up. Hole 17 comes and your first drive goes O.B. With the unique rules of the tournament you had to immediately retee. What are you thinking on your next 2 drives?
JM: Get on the green
JS: When Will missed a putt he would hit 8 of 10 times on 18 what did you think?
JM: Will is a good friend of mine. I know he can make that putt probably blind folded. I actually felt very bad for him because I knew exactly how he was feeling at that moment.
JS: What is the key to the turbo putt?
JM: Pretend you’re throwing a baseball
JS: What Pro do you absolutely love playing on the same card with?
JM: They’re all great and friends of mine but if I had to choose just one it would be Uli because we laugh the entire round.
JS: There has to be one, what Pro would you rather not be on the same card with?
JM: Again, all these guys are my friends and I enjoy playing disc golf with all of them. (Even if there was a person I didn’t like to play with, I certainly would not put that out there to the universe)
JS: You choose to play open instead of masters, How long do you plan to play open and then move to Masters Open?
JM: I intend to play Open as long as I can. There might be a few tournaments that I play Masters but for the most part. ..it’s Open for me.
JS: Outside of the state of FL name your top ten courses you would go to play without an event being held there.
JM: Toboggan, Madisonville, The Beast(Waco), Golden Gate, Milo, Winthrop Gold, Josh Franklin DGC, Blue Valley, Parma, Jones East
JS: Outside of Disc Golf what do you do for fun?
JM: We love going to local zoos.
JS: What Baseball team do you follow?
JM: Tampa Bay Rays
JS: What state does BBQ the best?
JS: It has to be asked per the rules of Baseball BEER and BBQ, What is your go to Beer?
JM: Well, I’m not a drinker but my wife loves a good beer. So we’ll go with her opinion on this question. Right now she is liking Leinenkugels Summer Shandy
JohnE Thank you very much for the time you take for the sport, I know I am no Jim Rome or anything close but thank you for giving me an opportunity do interview you. I do wish you the best of luck throughout the year. Please do me one favor and win worlds.
As per my agreement with BBB, I was Drinking Sisyphus Double Rye while composing this email interview.