Luke Humphries is an American disc golfer from Wichita Kansas. He is currently touring on the DGPT and PDGA National tours while also being the host for the very popular OTB Skins! He won Am Worlds in 2018, took home the PDGA’s Rookie Of The Year honours in 2019 and currently throws for Prodigy and Tree Love Disc Golf.
To get it started, can you tell us about the day you were introduced to disc golf? Was it instant addiction or did it take time to settle in?
Trey Thompson, my neighbor in Wichita Kansas at the time, and already avid disc golfer asked me to go with him. I was attending WSU at the time, and had just gotten my dog Hogan from the humane society. I’d logged hundreds of hours playing casual catch over my 25 years, but hadn’t developed the spin you need to keep a disc going. I’m pretty sure I was garbage, and probably shared my less than complimentary opinions of disc golf outloud a time too many, but it eventually turned into a full blown addiction. Having a golf background made some of the mental stuff and decision making come a little easier.
Hosting OTB Skins has you side by side many of the best players on earth at their most aggressive (ex: Kevin Jones’ now famous Maple Hill ace), do the things these players do ever cease to amaze you?
Honestly, no, I’m literally blown away every single skins. It could be Calvin, Garret, Kev, James… you name it, something absolutely preposterous is gonna go down. Drews 3 on #12 at Northwoods, or Kevs 2 on #1 at Fox Run… The format sets the players up to wow us, and I don’t see a day when that stops.
You won the PDGA’s rookie of the year in 2019, where does that sit on your list of career accomplishments and can you share a few other tops of that list?
It’s top 5 i think. It’s up there, but I think more important to me that year was winning the VPO. Capturing that win secured the Rookie standings, but holding it together for 27 holes that final round in front of the home crowd stands above it. Winning am worlds comes it near the top as well. That was a special week, in a disc golf Mecca. My number 1 career accomplishment is still winning the Junior Olympics in High Jump back in 7th grade. I’d been jumping over my height since 5th grade, and beat kids over a foot taller than me that day.
As odd as it might seem to some, your dog Hogan is actually one of the most recognizable faces in disc golf, can you also share what you feel might be the best moments of his career if he could pick?
Haha what a great question. I think retrieving Uli’s floating disc out of the water on camera during the Idlewild skins was one of his best moments for sure. He knew what we wanted, and delivered. Another truly amazing feat was climbing the Hellbrook trail to the top of Mt. Mansfield beside his buddies Conrad, Perkins, Mcbride and others. It’s the hardest path, to the tallest mountain in Vermont, and he did some BEAST things that day
You have played several of the world’s most beautiful wooded courses. Would you so kind as to pass along your top three tips for players doing most of their throwing in the trees?
Best tip I can give you in the woods would be to commit. Last second guiding, or directing never works. See the line, and throw it like you would any other shot. The best scrambling tip I can give it to really work that forehand approach game. Practice long straddles, and high flexing angles. Saving pars are more important than getting birdies sometimes.
Even for players with a full compliment of shots at their disposal, there always seems to be that one type of shot they really hate doing. What shot did we just describe for Luke Humphries?
For sure a grenade. It just feels bad. There are times when I know it would be the best option, but how do you practice something that makes you want to cry? lol It’s either that, or the overhand shots. I definitely need to practice those more.
Your trademark random backflips while holding a GoPro are always entertaining to see. Has there ever been a time where one went pretty wrong?
The backflips have all gone according to plan so far on film. knocks on wood Little lucky maybe, but I’ve been doing them since I was 10 or something, so longer than half these kids have even been alive. I’ve got it pretty dialed.
Every disc golfer should have a Swiss army knife / utility player type disc to lean on in various situations. What disc is that in your bag and what makes it such?
Gotta be the A3. It’s fastly become one of Prodigy’s best selling discs, and for good reason. It’s very torque resistant, and holds lines well, with fade at the end. For both forehands, and backhands, I feel like I can put one close from anywhere inside 325′
You are a pretty well known rock hound / rock & stone collector and enthusiast. What regions are your favourites for rock & mineral exploration and what regions would you like to dig into in the future?
Rocks definitely play a big part in my life, and the places I travel to. Arkansas is one of my favorites, partly because I have roots there, and partly because minerals abound! One of my favorite places to rockhound is in Oregon. Their agates and chalcedony along the west coast makes for some of the best picking i’ve ever done. I’ve been to a few places in Northeast Canada, but would love to explore there more. Getting to Australia and finding my future wife a fat Aquamarine is the real dream! haha
Every disc golfer has that moment where they find the very first disc that they can throw really well. Do you recall what disc that was for you as newer player?
I do. It was a Buzz. I mentioned that I had a catch frisbee background, so the midrange definitely came easier to me. Both spin wise, and grip wise. I was given one early on, and could throw it on the straightest lines of any disc I had. It could have been a Roc, or an M2, but there’s something to be said for starting with a Mid, and figuring out how to spin the disc.
As both a professional player and an experienced tournament director, what do you think can be done to alleviate some of the overwhelming response to tournament registrations worldwide?
We’re at a fantastic point in our sport. It’s growing like crazy! The problem we see with registration, is similar to the problem we see with plastic shortages. I think it’s safe to say, our sport doubled in the past year. It’ll take a few more months to balance out the stock/registration issues, but evetually the waters will calm, and we’ll really begin blowing the doors off this thing. I expect that in the next 2 years, disc golf doubles again, the courses double, the TD’s double, that budgets for the new courses going in doubles! Ya, there’s speedbumps along the way, but look at where we’re headed!!
We would love to thank Luke for his time as he is one of the busier guys in the disc golf universe. Luke has all kinds of great content across various social media platforms from his own disc golf related content to even his dog Hogan having his own really cute IG. Those that have yet to experience the fun of OTB skins please do jump in for a great time! Check it all out below!