“I have a few goals, some easier to obtain than others. I want to win more tournaments, and move up from MA4. I’d love to make it to MPO in the next couple of years. I would like to play in the National Amateur Disc Golf Tour whenever I can. I also thought it would be fun to own some land to put my own course on, but that may be a bit more unrealistic at this point…”
Welcome to another edition of our Disc Golf Player Profile publication – where we feature disc golfers that you may or may not have heard of before. Everybody has their own disc golf story to tell. This is the place where those stories are being told and shared with the world!
Meet Alex Burke (PDGA #231409)
Tell us about yourself! How old are you? Where do you live? What do you do (work/school/etc.)?
I am 30 years old, living in Bloomington, IN. I am a surgical assistant, working in an outpatient surgery center. I mostly assist on orthopedic and sports medicine surgeries.
Tell us about the most important people in your life! Who do you live with (family, friends, etc.)?
My number one favorite person in the world is my 5 year old. Runner up is my wife. We have two cats and a dog; we’re one big happy family!
Do you have a nickname or just something else that you go by?
Mostly everyone calls me “Alex,” very few call me “Al.” In high school, everyone called me “Burke” or “Burkey.”
Disc Golf Journey
How long have you been playing disc golf?
I’ve been playing seriously for a year! I played a couple rounds several years ago, but didn’t get into it until recently.
How did you get started with disc golf?
I got an Innova starter set several years ago after my now brother-in-law introduced me to it. I didn’t play much, but last year some friends talked about playing disc golf and got back into it, this time with a lot more intensity.
Share some of your memorable disc golf moments…
My first tournament sticks out. It was a couple months after I started playing seriously and I really wanted to try the competitive side of disc golf.
A few months after that I hit my first ace during a casual round. It was a short hole in a wide open field, and I threw my drive on a sharper hyzer than I wanted. I immediately thought it was a bad throw; then it went in!
And, of course, I will always remember my first win. I was ahead by a few strokes after the first round, but I lost the lead about halfway through the second round. I made some good drives and putts which gave me the lead and the victory.
Some Random Personal Stuff
What do you do when you’re not playing disc golf?
I have several hobbies. I lift weights, play guitar, play video games, and play with my son. We go to parks, or in bad weather, just stay inside and “fight” each other.
What is your absolute favorite food (something you couldn’t live without)?
I love Greek food, specifically lamb kebabs.
What’s your favorite fast-food restaurant?
Wendy’s. There’s one close to my house and work, which makes it easy. I always enjoy their specialty sandwiches.
What are some of your favorite movies of all time?
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is definitely up there, along with Field of Dreams and Knives Out. My #1 favorite movie is Blazing Saddles.
What are some of your favorite TV shows/series?
Modern Family and Family Guy are my go-to tv shows when I have nothing else to watch. I really enjoy M*A*S*H, Bob’s Burgers, and Archer. My favorite TV show is Boston Legal.
Do you have any pro or college sports teams you are fanatic about?
I have a wide variety of teams I follow. I’ve been a Chicago Cubs fan my entire life. I like to watch Indiana University in college basketball, and I am a big Pittsburgh Penguins fan.
In the Bag
What is the first disc golf disc that you ever owned?
That would be the Innova starter set; a leopard, shark, and aviar.
What are some of your favorite discs that are in your bag right now?
I have a Fission Photon that is my go-to distance driver. I also really love my Neutron Crave. My Prism Neutron Pyro is probably my favorite overall disc.
What else is always in your bag other than discs?
I always have sunglasses, my range finder, and a big bottle of water.
Disc Golf Courses
Do you have a course that you consider your ‘home course’? Tell us about it.
My “home course” is the one I started my disc golf journey on. My first round there was +14, using the highest-par layout. It’s a pretty open course, not terribly challenging, but still the one I go to most. My best on the par 3 layout is -3.
What are a few of your favorite disc golf courses to play?
My favorite I’ve played so far is BC3 in Nashville, Indiana. It’s 24 holes and has a great mix of open and wooded holes. It’s where I first won a tournament, and where the state championships are held.
Next door to that one is Deer Run Park, also a challenge and fun course.
Another one that’s up there is Beaver Creek in Conifer, Colorado. Breathtaking views compared to Indiana.
What is a dream disc golf course for you that you hope to play someday?
I really want to play Maple Hill. That course looks beautiful.
Let’s Play Disc Golf
Do you have any pre-round or post-round rituals that you do when you play disc golf?
For a casual round, I’ll do some putt practice and a couple drives, then I’m ready to go.
For league or tournaments, I’ll warm up with some approach shots, then big drives, and then putts. I’ll play through any holes I need to work on, then I’ll get a good full body stretch in.
Do you drink, smoke, snack, or partake in anything else while playing disc golf? What’s your go-to?
I keep it pretty minimal. I may be superstitious, but any time I snack (or have a beer) during a round, I start playing worse. I just stick with water or Gatorade; it’s more important anyway.
Are you just a casual disc golfer? Do you participate in any local leagues? Do you compete in disc golf tournaments?
I do it all! I play in a local league and try to make it to at least one tournament a month.
Do you have any tips for aspiring disc golfers?
Nothing that hasn’t been said elsewhere; be patient, and focus on your weak points! It takes time to become a complete disc golfer. Don’t rush through your field work, and take a break if you’re feeling frustrated.
Disc Golf Fun Stuff
Do you have any favorite professional disc golfers that you follow?
I follow Kristin Tattar more than any other disc golfer. Her dominance this season (2023) is amazing.
I also follow Stacey Rawnsley, as we are both Indiana natives.
From the MPO side, I really like to watch James Conrad and Paul Ulibarri. James fascinates me with how he plays the game, and Paul is a great teacher.
Do you have any disc golf goals that you are trying to achieve?
I have a few goals, some easier to obtain than others. I want to win more tournaments, and move up from MA4. I’d love to make it to MPO in the next couple of years. I would like to play in the National Amateur Disc Golf Tour whenever I can.
I also thought it would be fun to own some land to put my own course on, but that may be a bit more unrealistic at this point…
Who do you typically play disc golf with?
Alone, or I drag my son along with me. Sometimes I’ll play with some friends.
What would a perfect disc golf round look like for you?
No bogeys! I would be totally okay with par on each hole.
Let’s Get Social