There isn't much left for Ricky Wysocki to accomplish on the disc golf course. He's a 2-time World Champion and four-time PDGA Player of the Year. He has 25 National Tour and DGPT Elite Series titles amongst his 125 total titles. He's got over $600k in tournament winnings and owns a career highlight reel that could last for hours.
With all the awards and accolades in his eleven seasons on the pro tour, it's hard to believe that Wysocki is only 29 years old. The young guns are rising the ranks, but Ricky is still in the prime of his career. If last season is any indication, he's not going anywhere. Here are some interesting facts about the current #1 player in the world according to PDGA rankings.
He Went to School on a Disc Golf Course
Like fellow top player Eagle McMahon, Ricky was homeschooled. He discovered disc golf in his teens, and his unique schedule allowed for a lot of practice time on his home course: Roscoe Ewing Park in Medina, Ohio. He would finish his studies early and spend the rest of the day learning to throw a disc.
Wysocki drew on his athletic background as a baseball player but had to teach himself to play disc golf. Designed by the so-called “Father of Disc Golf,” Ed Hendrick, Roscoe Ewing is the oldest course in Ohio. It offered a little bit of everything and helped Ricky build an all-around skill set.
He Won PDGA Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year Back-to-Back
After he graduated high school, Ricky hit the road and went all-in on his disc golf dreams. In 2011 he completed his first season on tour, playing in 47 events and winning 15 of them. He also won his first Major, the 2011 PDGA Championship. He easily won the PDGA Rookie of the Year award.
The following season he continued his meteoric rise, winning 15 of the 42 events he played, including second-place finishes at the two biggest events of the season: the World Championships and the United States Disc Golf Championships.
His consistent excellence earned him the 2012 PDGA Player of the Year award, making him the first player before or since to with Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year in consecutive seasons.
He Was a Perennial Runner-Up
Wysocki may have won Player of the Year in 2012, but his second-place finish at Worlds was to a young Paul McBeth. That was McBeth's first of four consecutive World Championships. During this dominant stretch, Ricky was runner-up in 2012, 2014, and 2015.
Some consider their showdown at 2014 Worlds in Portland, Oregon, the greatest one-on-one battle in disc golf history. Played out on the classic Blue Lake Disc Golf Course in Fairview, OR, Wysocki entered the final nine with a two-stroke lead over his rival. It would take five dramatic sudden-death playoff holes for McBeth to prevail.
Do yourself a favor and watch the two best players of their generation in an epic showdown:
His Famous Rivalry with McBeth
Going into the 2016 season, the uber-confident McBeth threw some shade Wysocki's way. In an article in the L.A. Times, Paul said of his closest competitor's consistent second-place finishes: “If it's close, you can pretty much count him out.” Ricky responded by having his best season and solidifying his place at the top of the sport.
The key win of the season came in late July. A few weeks earlier, Ricky had come up short against Paul yet again at the European Open in Finland, melting down on the final hole and fulfilling McBeth's prediction that he would fold under pressure. But at European Masters in Stockholm, Sweden, the script, as they say, would be flipped.
Tied on the final hole, McBeth barely missed a long putt for birdie. Wysocki drilled his 25-footer, took home the Major victory, and got the proverbial monkey off his back. Watch Ricky finally vanquish his toughest foe here:
He Won Back to Back World Championships
Fresh off his victory in Europe, Ricky went on to beat McBeth by six strokes en route to the 2016 World Championship in Emporia, Kansas. If anyone thought that was a fluke, he hammered the point home the following season, beating Paul by eight strokes in Augusta, Georgia at 2017 Worlds. Ricky was officially the best player in the world over these two seasons.
From 2016-7, Ricky won 28 of 54 events played, with Major victories at the European Masters and the Australian Open tournaments to go along with his two World Championships and two more Player of the Year awards. McBeth still held his own through this stretch, but Wysocki proved he was right there with him.
He is the Scramble King
Ricky is an aggressive player. To consistently shoot the lowest scores on the pro tour, you pretty much have to be. But a major downside to playing an attacking style is ending up off the fairway in some tough situations. Wysocki balances this out by being an exceptional scramble player. He is perhaps the best scramble player of all time.
He has a deep bag of tricks and always finds a creative way out of awkward situations. Combine that with his exceptional short game, and Wysocki saves more pars from off-fairway than any other player on tour. In 2022, he ranked #1 in the world with a 64% scramble rate (according to UDisc).
He's Got Raptor Legs
Ricky is an absolute sniper on the putting green, and when he's really feeling it, there is no limit to his range. He's always willing to take aggressive runs at the basket, and when he cashes in from especially long distances, he takes off on a dead sprint toward the target. Fan dubbed this high-stepping signature celebration “Raptor Legs.”
Watching Wysocki putt is a thing of beauty. Note the prominent weight shift, impeccable timing, and super clean release during some of his most impressive Raptor Leg moments in this compilation:
He Has Over $600k in Tournament Winnings
Wysocki ranks second all-time to Paul McBeth in career PDGA earnings, and set the single-season cash record in 2022 with $105,776 in prize money. The biggest chunk of change came at the Disc Golf Pro Tour Championships, where he took first place and walked away with a record $35k for a single event.
He Has a Walk-Off Ace
Wysocki stepped up to the final tee of the 2017 Utah Open with a comfortable two-stroke lead. However, anything can happen on hole 18 at Mulligan's Disc Golf course. It's a 200-foot water carry to a heavily protected green. Bogey is definitely on the table. So does Ricky play it safe? No way. He blows up the chains for an emphatic win:
He Dominates in Texas
There's something about the Lone Star State that brings out Wysocki's best. He has six consecutive victories at the prestigious Texas State Championships. This season the event has moved to a new course in Houston, and we'll see if Ricky can make it seven in a row on March 24th.
He's in a Major Drought
By any statistical measure, Ricky has been one of the top two disc golfers in the world over the past five years. He shreds the Pro Tour, winning the overall points title in 2021 and 2022 and coming in second in 2018 and 2019. Despite his consistent excellence, he hasn't had a victory at a Major tournament since 2017 Worlds.
It's really hard to win a Major these days. The field is deeper and more talented than ever before. But Ricky needs another Major (or two) to truly cement his legacy as one of the greatest players of all time. The biggest gap in his resume is his lack of a title at the United States Disc Golf Championships.
He has Lyme Disease
While on tour in Europe in the summer of 2019, Ricky contracted Lyme disease. When left untreated, Lyme can have disastrous consequences. The threat is especially prevalent for disc golfers, as the disease is spread by ticks that are common on courses.
Early detection is vital in combatting the effects of Lyme. Wysocki did not identify the disease quickly enough to take the recommended early rounds of antibiotics, so Lyme hit him hard. After noticing a decline in his play and overall health, he sat out the remainder of the 2019 season.
He eventually became bedridden and barely able to walk. He experienced symptoms like swollen joints, mental impairment, and extreme fatigue. On an episode of “Runnin' It with Nate Sexton,” he describes this period as “one of the most traumatizing experiences of my life.” He says there were times when he wondered if his career as a pro athlete was finished.
Wysocki fought Lyme by seeing a nutritionist and changing his lifestyle in a variety of ways. Critics point out that Wysocki did not follow suggested medical guidelines in his treatment of Lyme, foregoing prescribed antibiotics for an alternative approach.
I'm not going to judge him for his personal medical choices, but in the end, Ricky went his own way and appears to be back to his normal self, playing as well as ever. He remains open about how he manages what is now a lifelong battle with Lyme disease.
He Cashed in with Dynamic Discs
Ricky was sponsored by Latitude 64 when he won his two World Championships. In 2019, he parlayed that success into a multiyear deal with Innova, where he had his signature on the Destroyer, Teebird3, and Pig. The partnership would last three years.
After the pandemic-era disc golf boom, Wysocki realized he was worth more than what Innova was giving him. Dynamic Discs stepped in and made him an offer he couldn't refuse: 4 years, $4 million guaranteed, and a $250k signing bonus.
The deal was a homecoming for Ricky, as Latitude 64 is a partner company with Dynamic, so he was familiar with their product line. This made the transition relatively easy for him on the course, while the cash set him up for life off it.
He Invests in Crypto
In a move that raised a few eyebrows, Ricky asked Dynamic for his $250k signing bonus to be paid in Bitcoin. In the year since, this volatile investment has dropped about 50%, severely underperforming a simple index fund. But if you follow his Twitter feed, you know he isn't planning on selling anytime soon. Wysocki believes in the long-term value of cryptocurrency.
He Created a Non-Profit Foundation
Ricky's contract with Dynamic Discs included a promise to create a charitable organization. The Sockibomb Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to growing the sport by supporting youth disc golf, and their “First Putt” initiative put thousands of discs in kids' hands last year.
They are a 501(c)(3) organization, so any donation is tax-deductible. Learn more about the organization on its website.
How old is Ricky Wysocki?
29 years old. He was born on June 5, 1993.
Why did Ricky Wysocki leave Innova?
Despite having two years left on his contract with Innova, Wysocki signed a more lucrative deal with Dynamic Discs.
Who is Ricky Wysocki’s Manager?
Up until 2023, Ari Hyer was Ricky's long-time tour manager. Her trademark “WOO!” could be heard echoing across the course each time Ricky or one of his card mates makes a good shot. According to a recent interview with GK Pro, Ricky has a new tour manager for the upcoming season.
Who is Ricky Wysocki’s new sponsor?
Ricky Wysocki's new sponsor is Dynamic Discs.
How tall is Ricky Wysocki?
6 feet, 4 inches (193cm)
Where does Ricky Wysocki live?
How far can Ricky Wysocki throw?
While he's not in the very top tier of distance throwers, Ricky is no slouch. He can accurately throw 500+ feet backhand and 450+ feet forehand. He doesn't compete in long-drive competitions, but if sheer distance was his only goal, I assume he can easily eclipse 600 feet on a pure distance line.