Matt Stelter – Grand Rapids, Michigan

“A perfect round of disc golf for me would be just a fun casual round with my two sons joined by a top touring pro disc golfer. Perhaps we met this pro by chance at Fallasburg Park, and said pro needed some locals to play with to show him/her around the course. All of us would be shooting well that day – hitting all of our lines, throwing perfect upshots, and making every putt within the circle. We would be having the time of our lives…”

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 Matt Stelter (PDGA #230442)

Tell us about yourself! How old are you? Where do you live? What do you do (work/school/etc.)?

My name is Matt. I’m 47 years old. I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I’m a full-time truck driver employed by FedEx Freight for my day job. I’m also an imaginary entrepreneur, constantly trying new business ideas (mostly online) in an attempt to bring in some extra income.

Tell us about the most important people in your life! Who do you live with (family, friends, etc.)?

My wife, Susie, and I have been married for 18 years. We have three children… Ethan (16), Eli (13), and Elena (10). These are the most important people in my life at this time, and they are also the people who I currently live with!

Do you have a nickname or just something else that you go by?

I sometimes refer to myself as MattyGo! My kids call me DaddyGo. I was MattyGo long before I learned about the professional disc golfer (Matt Orum) that everybody calls Matty O.

Disc Golf Journey

How long have you been playing disc golf?

I’ve been playing disc golf for over 10 years, but the first many years were just very casual. We’re talking 2 or 3 rounds per year where drinking beer and having fun was the main objective, and carrying frisbees around a disc golf course and throwing them at baskets was just an excuse to get out there. I’m currently in my 3rd year of being a “serious” disc golfer.

How did you get started with disc golf?

I played one casual round with my sister’s boyfriend about 20+ years ago at a local disc golf course. That was my first experience on a real disc golf course with real baskets. Before that, I will admit that I played frisbee golf (with regular catch frisbees) using random objects (like trees) as “holes.”

Next… I got invited to a friend’s bachelor party, where the first activity was going to be a round of disc golf. I purchased my first-ever real disc golf disc to bring to that gathering. This was about 15 years ago. It was probably another 5 years after that before I played another round.

About 10 years ago, my kids and I found a decent disc golf course in a town near where our 2nd home is (our weekend getaway place). We purchased a few more discs and started playing maybe 2 or 3 times per year.

Fast forward to 2021, and my sons and I became obsessed with the sport! We started playing as much as we possibly could. Today, disc golf is ingrained into our lives, and we are loving every minute of it.

Share some of your memorable disc golf moments…

So far, I have 4 aces. Each one is memorable in its own respect. Both of my sons have been with me for all 4 of my aces. However, the last one stands out above the rest. My first 3 aces were all on shorter holes (less than 200 feet). But my last ace was 273 feet on a very open downhill shot. I threw one of my MVP Relays… I floated it way out to the right and watched it fade perfectly toward the basket before it crashed into the chains and settled into the basket. It was SO sick!!!

Some Random Personal Stuff

What do you do when you’re not playing disc golf?

I enjoy working on my side hustle businesses – which mostly revolve around internet marketing and blogging. This website that you are reading right now is a result of one of my side hustle ventures! A few other activities I enjoy are… taking walks, reading books, taking road trips with my family, sitting by campfires, going out to eat, or just a chill night of playing video games (mostly Fortnite) with my kids.

What is your absolute favorite food (something you couldn’t live without)?

Ice cream! Without a doubt… I eat ice cream almost daily as an evening snack while watching TV before I go to bed at night. I rarely eat one flavor at a time. My favorite mix is cookie dough and mint chocolate chip.

What’s your favorite fast-food restaurant?

I have to go with McDonald’s on this one! Mostly because I love the founding story of McDonald’s. But, also because I really enjoy the food. McDonald’s french fries are consistently good, and nothing beats a classic Big Mac or just a plain old quarter pounder with cheese.

What are some of your favorite movies of all time?

The Big Lebowski – that movie gained a cult-like following that still exists today.

When Harry Met Sally – starring Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan. I may have had a bit of an obsession with Meg Ryan for a period of time.

What are some of your favorite TV shows/series?

Seinfeld – will always be an all-time fave.

Stranger Things – I love the 80’s vibe because I was a kid who grew up in the 80’s!

Do you have any pro or college sports teams you are fanatic about?

Detroit Lions – as a lifelong resident of Michigan, I became a default Lions fan.

Detroit Tigers – watching the 1984 Tigers team win the World Series when I was only 8 years old was enough to get me hooked for life.

Michigan Wolverines – for no reason in particular, I just picked the University of Michigan to be a fan of when I was a kid, and I’ve been following Michigan football and basketball ever since.

In the Bag

What is the first disc golf disc that you ever owned?

Innova Dragon – I purchased the disc from a local sporting goods store, and I picked that particular disc solely because it had a sticker on it that read, “I float in water.” I figured I’d be less likely to lose a disc that floats. I still own the disc today (more than 15 years later)! However, it is no longer in my bag.

What are some of your favorite discs that are in your bag right now?

MVP Relay – a 6-speed fairway driver – easily my favorite disc. I can throw it reliably straight for 220 to 240 ft shots, and it has a nice little fade at the end. I have 2 of these in my bag. The newer one seems to fade just a bit more than the older one.

Axiom Envy – with the James Conrad commemorative stamp to celebrate his Holy Shot and 2021 World Championship – this disc is a staple in my bag. I use it as a throwing putter for upshots anywhere from 80ish to 180 ft.

MVP Hex – in glow plastic with the Lizottle stamp – this is just an awesome midrange disc for me that I use for 180 to 220 ft upshots or drives on shorter holes.

What else is always in your bag other than discs?

I always have my water bottle filled with ice water, and I always have some sort of snack food in my bag. I have a marker, pen, and pencil in my bag, along with a few bandaids, some chapstick, and a lighter (and I don’t even smoke – lol). In the summer, I carry bug spray, and in the winter, I carry hand warmers.

Disc Golf Courses

Do you have a course that you consider your ‘home course’? Tell us about it.

I’m fortunate to live in an area that has a ton of great disc golf courses within 45 minutes of our house. We play so many of them so often, it’s kind of hard to pick just one to call my ‘home course.’ But if I had to choose just one – I’ll go with the Fallasburg Park Disc Golf Course in Lowell, MI (about 25 minutes from our house). I ended up playing in the Fallasburg Winter League there last winter, so I got to know that course quite well.

We also own a second home ‘up north’ here in Michigan, and we play Northend Riverside Park in Big Rapids, MI, quite a bit as well. I would consider that my ‘second home course.’

What are a few of your favorite disc golf courses to play?

Flip City Disc Golf Park – located in Shelby, MI – is a destination disc golf course, and my boys and I decided to make the trip an annual event.

Old Farm Park – located in Kentwood, MI – is a short city course with a unique mix of technical wooded holes, some easy open holes, and even a few longer wide open holes. It’s always a fun time to get in a quick round at Old Farm!

Johnson Park – located in Grand Rapids, MI – is a really fun but challenging course with plenty of elevation change and a layout that forces you to shape many different shot types in unique ways to try to get close to the basket on your drive.

Hammond Hills – located in Hastings, MI – is a top-notch course in West Michigan that is challenging, but not too challenging (if that makes sense). It is very well maintained and is very scenic (especially in the fall).

What is a dream disc golf course for you that you hope to play someday?

Maple Hill – located in Leicester, MA – has to be at the top of my list. I hope to make the trip there someday before my body is too old to throw discs far anymore. Lol.

Let’s Play Disc Golf

Do you have any pre-round or post-round rituals that you do when you play disc golf?

Not really. Not unless you consider a drive in the country a ritual. With some of the city courses I play being the exception – I almost always take a drive in the country before and after a round of disc golf!

Do you drink, smoke, snack, or partake in anything else while playing disc golf? What’s your go-to?

I always have water with me while discing…sometimes I partake in an alcoholic beverage or two. If it’s summertime (hot outside), I might have a Twisted Tea or a Mike’s Hard Lemonade (and maybe a few beers). I usually have some sort of candy in my bag, with Hot Tamales being one of my faves!

Are you just a casual disc golfer? Do you participate in any local leagues? Do you compete in disc golf tournaments?

For most of my first two years of playing ‘serious’ disc golf, I was just a casual disc golfer. Then at the end of year 2, I tried a tournament. Then I accidentally joined a winter league, and now, during year 3, I’ve played several tournaments with plans to play several more!

Do you have any tips for aspiring disc golfers?

Tip 1: Just get out and play!

Tip 2: Have fun. Don’t take it too seriously (meaning don’t beat yourself up when you’re not playing well).

Tip 3: Respect the disc golf courses and respect other disc golfers.

Do those 3 things, and you’ll be alright. 🙂

Disc Golf Fun Stuff

Do you have any favorite professional disc golfers that you follow?

MPO – I’m just an overall fan in general. I like Ricky Wysocki because he was cool to my kids when we met in person at DGLO last year. Who doesn’t like Simon Lizotte, who has one of the best disc golf vlog channels out there.

FPO – I’m intrigued by Kristen Tattar’s game because she’s so consistently good. I like Sai Ananda because I like her style, and she’s always smiling! 🙂

Do you have any disc golf goals that you are trying to achieve?

This year, my goal is to record more birdies than bogeys (for calendar year 2023). I’m a little behind right now, but I have a shot if I stop playing long, hard courses and play more on shorter, easier courses. Lol.

Last year, my goal was to shoot 100 full rounds of disc golf (2022). I achieved that goal and then some!

Who do you typically play disc golf with?

Almost every round I play I am accompanied by my oldest son, Ethan. The two of us are all-in obsessed with the sport! My younger son Eli plays with us as well, but not as often. We enjoy playing with other random people whenever we can (at leagues and tournaments) and sometimes we’re able to get some extended family out to enjoy a round with us.

What would a perfect disc golf round look like for you?

A perfect round of disc golf for me would be just a fun casual round with my two sons joined by a top touring pro disc golfer. Perhaps we met this pro by chance at Fallasburg Park, and said pro needed some locals to play with to show him/her around the course. All of us would be shooting well that day – hitting all of our lines, throwing perfect upshots, and making every putt within the circle. We would be having the time of our lives chumming it up with this pro, and the pro would be appreciative of us for showing him around our local course and pointing out some lines he/she may not have seen otherwise. The pro would destroy our scores simply because they can throw farther and make ridiculous putts – but we would forever get to brag about our storied round with this particular pro at one of our favorite courses on that particular day.

Let’s Get Social

Instagram – I’m not super active, but I occasionally post some pictures and videos

Twitter – Again, not super active, but I might tweet occasionally when the mood strikes

YouTube – this is the official channel for Running It™ Disc Golf, run by my son Ethan. I make appearances in many of the videos.

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