In spring 1980 I discovered an advertisement in a local newspaper, announcing the 1st Frisbee Swiss Championships to be held in Basel, Switzerland. At that time, I was trying out many different sports (soccer, swimming, tennis, athletics) but was not fully convinced to become really successful, did not fulfill the physical requirements or had the money to finance the sport. So, I thought “why not compete and just have fun”. We have thrown some distance (with 110 grams Frisbee), tried MTA and did some Accuracy. It was really fun, even though playing in the rain, but I had no thoughts then to become a Frisbee-player or even a Disc Golfer. It was just trying out something new and crazy.
THE EARLY YEARS
End of the year, a guy from another Swiss city chased me up by phone to ask if I would be interested in creating a Frisbee club with some of the local guys who participated in the championships. He also told me, that they have created the Swiss Frisbee Association together with the general importer of the discs. There it was, the opportunity of my life, I thought, and I was right. The club got founded; I became a board member of the Swiss Frisbee Association and by this got in contact with the former IFA (International Frisbee Association) and Dan “Stork” Roddick. In 1982 I was invited to compete at the Wham’O Frisbee World Championships, held at the Rutgers University in New Jersey, where I’ve played also Disc Golf on real baskets for the first time. That was an outstanding experience.
DISC GOLF – MY SPORT
Even though I continued to play Overall competitions successfully for another couple of years, my interest for the technical events like distance and disc golf became stronger. Also because middle of the 80’s the first aerodynamic disc, the Eagle, was presented and sold during an Overall European Championships, as well as I have constructed my own disc golf basket (the first basket ever in Switzerland) and started practicing. While many players continued with Ultimate and due to the fact that the Overall competitions got less interesting, I laid my focus fully on Disc Golf, as a player as well as an organizer.
A LONG CAREER
Meanwhile, I am part of the flying disc movement since four decades and my enthusiasm for the sport is still unbroaken. One of the great advantage in Disc Golf is the possibility to continue with competitive sport by entering into the so called “age-protected divisions” when getting “older”. After a quite successful “Open” area with a couple of victories at bigger international events, my real career started by entering the “Master” division with 40 years, and continued in the “Grandmaster” division with 50 years. During these two decades I could win innumerable tournaments in Switzerland and Europe, including three European Championships and 15 Swiss Championships. Also I could win three times the EuroTour and holding now 15 SwissTour Titles, as well as competed four times at the PDGA World Championships. The next challenge is the MP60 division, specifically with participation at European- and World Championships, and trying to win another important title for Switzerland again.
To learn more about me, also read: Q&A by “The Disc Jock”
PAUL FRANCZ | PDGA #3239
Hometown: Balsthal, Switzerland
Club: Disc Golf Lucerne
Association: Swiss Disc Golf
Longest Measured Throw: 141.32 m (463 ft.)
Longest Ace: 110 m (360 ft.)
Joint PDGA: 1985
Player Rating: 943
European Ranking: 1 (MP60+)
Member of Kastaplast Team