With a voice just as buttery as his signature forehand, Nate Sexton has forged a unique path to the top of the disc golf world. Besides being one of the best players the sport has ever seen, his signature combination of strategic knowledge and dry wit make Sexton the perfect viewer's guide through a round of disc golf.
Here are eight revealing facts about the surefire Hall of Fame disc golfer from Oregon: Nate Sexton.
He is a Forehand Pioneer
Nowadays, every pro has at least a decent forehand, but this was not always the case. When Sexton was first coming up, his forehand-heavy game was somewhat of an anomaly. He and his commentary partner Jeremy Koling are responsible for popularizing the sidearm form at the highest level.
Every once in a while on coverage, these two will reminisce about the good old days when their sidearm proficiency was a massive advantage over the rest of the field. In any case, these two are on the shortlist of the greatest forehand throwers of all time.
His Signature Firebird is Incredibly Popular
The reliable and overstable Firebird has been a staple of the Innova lineup for over 20 years. When the Sexton-designed version of the Firebird was introduced in 2015, it took the disc golf world by storm. Slightly less stable and more workable, Nate's version of the Firebird is more beginner and intermediate-friendly.
With the backing of the famous Sexton and a particularly sweet stamp, the “Sexy Bird” quickly became one of the bestselling signature discs of all time. Early runs sell for huge cash on the secondary market, while brand-new runs sell out almost instantaneously.
His Won the United States Disc Golf Championship
While he is a successful and decorated pro by any measure, it took a while before Sexton broke through and won a major title. He finally got the proverbial monkey off his back at the 2017 United States Disc Golf Championships, where he took the lead in round 2 and cruised to a comfortable five-stroke victory.
It was only a matter of time before Sexton took this one down. The Winthrop Gold course in Rock Hill, South Carolina, is well known for favoring forehand shots, and its copious amounts of out-of-bounds lines reward intelligent and consistent play. He finished 5th there in 2022 and is always a solid bet to win the USDCG.
His Maintains a Record-Setting Cash Streak
Sexton has the longest active streak, finishing above the cash line, with an astonishing 265 consecutive events in the money (the top 40% of the field).
Early in 2022, this streak was put in jeopardy in the third round of the Las Vegas Challenge, where he was in danger of missing the cut on the back nine. Nate clutched up and birdied the final four holes to make it to Sunday, eventually earning a modest $450.
He last finished outside the cash line back in 2008 at the Sumptown New Year's Classic, a one-day C-Tier that should barely even count (first place won only $52). Before that, you must go back to 2006 to find the next time the freakishly consistent Sexton walked away from a tournament empty-handed.
He Toured with Paul McBeth
In 2005, Sexton attended the Amateur World Championships to support his then-girlfriend and now-wife on her way to a Junior Girls title. Among the players on her card, one round was a 15-year-old Paul McBeth playing in his first big PDGA event. McBeth states in numerous interviews that Sexton was the first pro he ever met.
By 2014, McBeth dominated the pro scene and invited Sexton to tour with him. Nate jumped at the chance to travel in an RV with the best player in the world. This invitation ultimately became a career-making opportunity for him.
Not only would traveling with McBeth improve his game, but it also raised Sexton's profile in the sport. This same year Paul joined Nate for his commentary debut on the upstart Jomez Productions, a media relationship that lasts to this day.
They also taught instructional clinics across the country. Check out a younger Nate and Paul giving one of these clinics in this excellent video:
He is a Great Teacher
In the second episode of his disc golf podcast “Running It,” Sexton says that if he hadn't gone pro in disc golf, he most likely would have become a teacher. He has brought those educational instincts to the disc golf world, becoming an honorary professor of the game.
He offers a choice nugget of Sexton wisdom in the pod, explaining that disc technology has gotten to the point where you can get reasonably good at the game without developing touch and finesse. For this reason, he recommends mastering a slow and neutral-flying disc as a beginner. Furthermore, he urges amateurs to play a lot of catch to learn the subtleties of flight.
His Has an “Everyman” Persona
Sexton has never been known as a “highlight reel” type player. Instead, he relies on smooth consistency, sound strategy, and analytical thinking to manage his way to the top of the field.
Combine this skillful game with an unassuming frame and demeanor, and average players can quickly identify with him. This disc golf “everyman” identity is a massive part of why Sexton is so beloved.
He Built a Successful Media Career
Even if you finish in the cash every time, tournament winnings are not enough to support a touring player. Pros must find other revenue streams–such as gaining sponsorships, selling discs, and teaching clinics–to keep the dream alive.
When Sexton picked up a microphone, he discovered a new way to support his career.
After his first appearances on Jomez and Central Coast Disc Golf, it was obvious that Sexton had a natural talent for commentary. He has been a huge part of building Jomez into the brand it is today and has introduced thousands of new players to the sport from the commentary booth.
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He continues to refine his media skills with appearances on Jomez and Disc Golf Network. Between his signature discs and media gigs, Nate doesn't need to grind the tour to make a living anymore.
Nate Sexton FAQ's
How Does Nate Sexton Throw a Forehand?
Nate has a few unique qualities to his forehand throw, most notably his stacked two-finger pinch grip and a signature “hop” in his walk-up. Lucky for us, Sexton is a prolific disc golfer educator who taught many clinics over the years. There are several of his instructional videos online, and I find this one the best:
How Far Can Nate Sexton Throw?
Nate Sexton has modest power relative to the pro field, topping out in the 450-500 foot range. His elite shot shaping, accuracy, and consistency are the elite skills that keep him at the top of the game.
What Putter Does Nate Sexton Use?
Nate Sexton uses the Innova Firefly for putting. This versatile mold is an excellent option from tee to green, but Nate uses it primarily for short putts. As he gets further away, he prefers to use the R-Pro Dart to make soft, floaty runs at the basket.
How Old is Nate Sexton?
At 37 years of age, Nate Sexton is an inspiration to middle-aged dads everywhere as he continues to keep up with the young guns on tour.
Has Nate Sexton ever been injured?
According to interviews from 2019, Sexton had what is known as a subacromial impingement in his right shoulder, which is essentially a form of tendonitis that made it painful to throw forehand shots. With the help of a physical therapist and some extra rest, he could manage the injury and get back to top form.
Where is Nate Sexton From?
Nate is from Corvallis, Oregon. He attended Oregon State University, where both his parents taught. He now lives in Olympia, Washington, with his wife and daughter.