This week, I bring to you an interview with a fellow Tupelo Disc Golf Association member. Robby Harris, PDGA #43412, has been playing in both PDGA and Southern Nationals tournaments in late 2009 and early 2010 according to info available on their respective websites. I first met him at one of the TDGA minis the summer after I started playing disc golf. Well know across the region as a good disc golfer, he has also run a number of tournaments over the years.

Forming a disc golf company this year, he and his wife, Cassie Harris, ran the Weapons of Grass Destruction tournament series earlier this year. The series made stops in several towns in North Mississippi in an effort to highlight the growing disc golf scene in our area. I was fortunate enough to film the stop in my hometown of New Albany. You can watch that video on my Youtube channel. Now, on the cusp of sponsoring some local disc golfers, I took some time to chat with Robby about his new venture.

 

First thing, let’s hear a little history about you and your disc golf journey. What got you into disc golf, and what are some of the highlights from tournaments you’ve played in?

Pretty simple on how i got started, a buddy of mine who i worked with kept talking about disc golf. So, he finally convinced me to go with him after work, I borrowed a champion orc and a dx classic roc, played vets beat him by 4 strokes and was hooked. As far as highlights its hard to narrow down just a few, every tournament has some kinda highlight or story. My favorite would be when I was awarded Southern Nationals Amateur Player of the Year and in a tie with that memory would be when I ran the Southern Nationals Doubles Championship during the awards ceremony, the TDGA gave myself and Cassie plaques for our dedication and work. 

From our interaction since I started playing, I’ve learned that you’ve been a TD for a number of years. Did you fall into being a TD after playing for a while, or was it something you planned on doing eventually? 

I never planned on being a TD, but we had a time around here when i felt TD’s were making way too large of a profit off of the local players and decided to get my feet wet in that department and see if we could change that. I feel like we’ve accomplished that goal over the years and other TD’s around here followed in that dame path, we are very lucky to have as many people as we do willing to run events. 

What prompted the creation of Mississippi Mafia Disc Golf?

Nothing particular really, my wife and I are always looking for bigger and better ways to be involved and grow the sport. Both locally and widespread. So we’ll see how the MMDG goes.

What are your plans for MMDG for the rest of the year and going into 2017?

GROWTH. We are just starting out and would love to build it into something huge. Maybe even onto the Pro Tour level…we have no goals because i feel like once goals are met then you may not know where to go, so we are just gonna keep working.

You posted on Facebook that you were looking to sponsor 3 local players. What criteria have you set for choosing these players?

Love of the game.
Wants to be more involved in the business side of disc golf.
Nothing really specific, we just want players to be themselves and if we think you would help us grow while we help you grow then lets start there.

When you hear “grow the sport,” what does that mean do you? What would you like to see your sponsored players do in that regard?

Obviously anything advertising the sport or brand in anyway is growth. Helping new players with tips, we plan on having some local workshops for free and would love for other players to be involved. Supporting local clubs and tournaments especially workdays and club meetings would be great as well.

How important do you feel a solid social media presence is for a disc golf company and the players?

Well, everyone is on social media now days. It’s how we mostly advertise our brand, any tournaments, and seems to be working nicely up to now. So, right now, I would say it’s definitely important. 

The Tri-State Doubles Series seems to be going well. What is it like working with Dustin Morris of Occam Outdoors to keep the area full of options for disc golf?

That is both of our main goals, and we figured since we both are working towards a lot of the same things then may as well tag team on a few ideas. It seems to be going as planned so far. I’ve known Dustin since before either of us were on this side of the sport playing advanced against each other so we already had a history where trust was based.

Are you planning on doing another “tour” of North MS disc golf tournaments next year presented by MMDG? Will it expand farther out from your base of Tupelo, MS if you do so to include TN and Alabama?

Absolutely, we did The Weapons of Grass Destruction series last year and plan on making that a yearly event. As far as Alabama and Tennessee, if they’ll have us we will be there!

Who do you want to give a shout out to for helping in MMDG & the tournaments you are hosting?

As far as MMDG, that’s another one of myself and Cassie’s ideas. We are so new we really haven’t had any help with that yet besides Chris Russell doing an awesome job on the logos and flyers.
The tournaments we have ran prior to MMDG, I don’t know where to begin…Ronnie McCoy, Kevin Kent, Tony Palmer, Vicki Palmer, Zack Hudson, Joey Ingle, Jared McCall,  and all the disc golfers who have showed us so much support by continuing to support our events.

After editing this interview, on Sunday, September 18, 2016, Robby posted on the MMDG Facebook page that 3 players would be announced as the initial members of the team. A few hours later, he posted a picture that included four (4) area players as the first members of the team. They are Dylan Hembree, Tony Palmer, Jared McCall, and JK Forrester. I’ll be catching up with them soon for a chat about becoming a sponsored player.

Many companies are in need of a graphic designer for logos, flyers, etc.. Robby mentioned Chris Russell as the one who designed his logo and has helped with event flyers. Here’s a little background information on Chris.
I am a graphic designer of more than 20 years and tattoo professionally out of Memphis TN at Memphis Tattoo Co. I run a design and photography business called C and E Race Designs and Photography out of Oakland TN. I have worked for several large businesses in the past before striking out on my own including Competition Cams and Memphis Motorsports Park . I travel and photograph drag racing and offer designing to racers and race coverage. I recently discovered disc golf in the spring of 2015 and fell in love, I have been addicted ever since. I decided to use my abilities to help grow the sport and I hope to provide advertising solutions, as well as video coverage and production in the future.
You can find Chris on Facebook & Instagram.
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