“When I’m not playing or working or doing school I focus my time on helping my parents as much as possible and being there for my younger siblings. There is seriously nothing more I would do. They helped me more than enough for 20 years and now it’s time I returned the favor…”
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 Jonathan Hernandez Benitez (PDGA #172049)
Tell us about yourself! How old are you? Where do you live? What do you do (work/school/etc.)?
My name is Jonathan Hernandez Benitez, I also go by Jony. My PDGA number is 172049 and I joined in July of 2021. I am currently 20 as I write this, I’ll be 21 the 12th of August. Residing in Winterville, NC. And I am also an Assistant Manager at a restaurant close to home. Looking at returning to school for Sports marketing as I feel it could help do something that I’ve been wanting to do for a while.
Tell us about the most important people in your life! Who do you live with (family, friends, etc.)?
Family is very important to me. I still live with my family right now. Mom, dad, and my brother and sister. Would do anything and everything for all of them as they have always sacrificed everything just so I could have a better life. And for that I will always be grateful.
Do you have a nickname or just something else that you go by?
Disc Golf Journey
How long have you been playing disc golf?
I started playing in October of 2020. After a tough year, a pandemic, family passing away, responsibility of maintaining the family strong and together, I needed my escape.
How did you get started with disc golf?
I have a friend, Landon, who showed me the sport and after the first throw, I was in! Landon seriously if it wasn’t for you I don’t think I would honestly be standing here today. We competed, had fun, and threw plastic all day. All of that took my mind off life and finally gave me a purpose. So thank you Landon.
Share some of your memorable disc golf moments…
As of right now we are 2 years and 9 months in this disc golf journey. And there have been plenty of great moments in my career so far. One will be the first tournament. Nothing beats the feeling of competition again. I played soccer in high school and always enjoyed playing because of that feeling, that need of competing. But after graduation I didn’t have a sport I could go into and compete for again. I felt really lost. But when disc golf showed itself, I knew it was my way back to that feeling of competition again. So when that first tournament started, the nerves kicked in again. The excitement was back and so was me being serious again. I was back and I just couldn’t wipe the smile off my face all day.
Some Random Personal Stuff
What do you do when you’re not playing disc golf?
When I’m not playing or working or doing school I focus my time on helping my parents as much as possible and being there for my younger siblings. There is seriously nothing more I would do. They helped me more than enough for 20 years and now it’s time I returned the favor.
What is your absolute favorite food (something you couldn’t live without)?
Go-to food for me has been pizza. Can’t go a tournament weekend without one.
What’s your favorite fast-food restaurant?
Personally, I’m not big on fast-food. But any taco trucks could count.
What are some of your favorite movies of all time?
Favorite movie has to be Transformers.
What are some of your favorite TV shows/series?
Not a big TV guy anymore, just mostly streaming anything Marvel.
Do you have any pro or college sports teams you are fanatic about?
I am a big sports guy so Go Hurricanes!!!
In the Bag
What is the first disc golf disc that you ever owned?
My disc golf bag has a lot of older plastic mixed in with some newer stuff. The first disc I ever owned was actually an Orange champion Thunderbird that I had when I was maybe 8. Way before I knew what disc golf was. When I actually started playing I got a clear champion Thunderbird (how convenient).
What are some of your favorite discs that are in your bag right now?
So of my favorites in the bag right now are my Star Charger, Champion Eagle, Champion Teebird3, Champion Toro, and a Tour Series ESP Luna.
What else is always in your bag other than discs?
And of course you can’t go without having towels. Water is always needed. And my rangefinder as well.
Disc Golf Courses
Do you have a course that you consider your ‘home course’? Tell us about it.
My home course here is honestly Farmville Municipal Disc golf course in Farmville, NC. I went to high school in the area and it’s also where I learned how to play with my friend Landon.
What are a few of your favorite disc golf courses to play?
What is a dream disc golf course for you that you hope to play someday?
A dream course right now would have to be the Hornets Nest in Charlotte.
Let’s Play Disc Golf
Do you have any pre-round or post-round rituals that you do when you play disc golf?
I really don’t know if I have any pre or post round rituals but before every round I always say “Maximum effort”. Just as a reminder that whatever happens today, just go at it full force and play your best no matter what.
Do you drink, smoke, snack, or partake in anything else while playing disc golf? What’s your go-to?
A go-to snack has to be Sour gummy worms.
Are you just a casual disc golfer? Do you participate in any local leagues? Do you compete in disc golf tournaments?
I’ve been playing tournaments now for 2 years. I also play in league events held by my local club GVDG. And a tip to aspiring disc golfers.
Do you have any tips for aspiring disc golfers?
Don’t forget to have fun. This sport at its core is to just have fun and to enjoy the time. You’re throwing plastic into metal baskets. Have fun, enjoy yourself, and make the best shots in the world while you’re at it!
Disc Golf Fun Stuff
Do you have any favorite professional disc golfers that you follow?
A disc golfer I follow a lot is Calvin Heimberg. Also because he’s just such a cool guy, Ian Burchett. Great guy. I asked him one day if he could send any videos to help out my form and he sent so many that would actually help me out a lot. So thank you Ian!!
Do you have any disc golf goals that you are trying to achieve?
My goals in disc golf sound simple but it’s hard. Make the Pro Tour.
Who do you typically play disc golf with?
Any time I’m at the course I always go with my guys Landon and Matthew.
What would a perfect disc golf round look like for you?
And the perfect round would be a round where I finally learned to correct the mistakes that I’ve had for the longest time.
Let’s Get Social
My socials are as follows
Facebook- Jonathan Hernandez Benitez
YouTube- hopefully soon
Tiktok- hopefully soon