Scott Stokely reflects on being absent for most of the decade, his new line of discs, and his return to disc golf.
Scott Stokely first came to my attention around 2005-ish. I was scouring eBay looking for disc golf deals when I came across his book. It was and still is a great read for anyone wanting to get better at disc golf. Since then I never heard a word about him. Scott Stokely, with the PDGA# 3140, left the sport for other persuits, endured some major ups and downs, and then decided to come back to his roots – disc golf.
“…I got back into the sport because I went through a horrible divorce and had a period of about 8 months that were the lowest of my life…I had lost my wife and my business had failed and as a result I lost my home. I feel like such a piece of shit and a failure. I was being self destructive and my life was spiraling downward. It was far and away the worst thing I had ever been through. I got back into disc golf because I need my family. I needed the love that the disc golf community offers and I needed my identity…”
Recently I just happened to be reading my facebook updates and saw that Scott Stokely was announcing a 2015 Tour and his latest venture – Fly High Discs. So I decided to ask Scott why he was getting into the disc golf business. “The reason I started my own disc line first and foremost was to make money” Scott said. ” I know that sounds bad but nearly everyone who starts a business and says money is not a primary motivation is a hypocrite and a liar. The fact is I want to be very successful and lead the life I want to lead and I want to do it with this company.”
I asked a few more questions:
What cities you gonna hit up on your tour this year? “My partners are arranging my schedule but what I told them is to just find out where McBeth is going to be and sign me up there”, says Scott, ” I want to be the best player in the world and the only way to do that is to compete against the best in the world. So I will be at all the major events pretty much all over the country.”.
Your disc golf backround is well known, but what about your business backround? “When I was out of the sport I created, made profitable and sold eight online businesses. I did very well for a lot of years until the last couple years when I made some bad businesses decisions along with a bit of bad luck and everything went to shit. When I came back to the sport I was told by so many people how much they missed me and loved me and looked up to me. I was a broken man and the love of the people in the sport rebuilt me. I’m not exaggerating when I say the sport saved my life”.
All of Scott’s previous businesses were legal, but in “edge industries”. They were in the adult industry, gambling, medical marijuana, etc. “I chose these because this is where the most fun is. I am not a conservative guy and and wear the label “anti establishment” proudly” he said.
“…If I can make money while also circumventing the government and pissing off ultra conservative people it’s a win/win for me. It’s ironic actually because I’m also 100% professional and honest with everything I do…”
Scott goes on to say how he intends to leave his mark on the sport. “I am not perfect but my intentions are and I do my best to run businesses people are proud to work with. Nobody is going to be disappointed when they work with Fly High Discs.” He adds that he plans on doing it by “producing amazing discs that lower players’ score by gripping and flying the best.”
At the same time Mr. Stokely wants to represent and champion a segment of the disc golf population that are like him and don’t want to buy their discs at Walmart.
Although Scott Stokely wants to be successful he NEVER wants to be a sellout and cater to the status quo. Scott thinks disc golfers are way cooler than ball golfers because disc golf is an alternative sport. He never wants to be like anyone else and is proud of the people who built disc golf.
“…I am not ashamed of the fact that we were built by a fringe community and as the sport gets more and more mainstream it will be those on the fringe I want to champion…”
Scott Stokely wants to be financially successful, but he will never make decisions solely motivated by money and will be happy representing those people who, like him, don’t want to be like everyone else. OF course the joke will be on everyone else because Scott plans on making the best discs in the world. Scott closes by saying “Be afraid, we are coming to get you and we are going to win!”
As told to TooNA by Scott Stokely…