Team talents: Ben Wiel-Lake from New Zealand
Ben Wiel-Lake, born 1999, is already one of the best disc golfers in New Zeeland. He is one of many super talented players in our team. Here’s a chance to get to know him a bit better.
What was your proudest moment in disc golf life?
“That is a tough question, but the answer is probably finishing second on the New Zealand tour in 2016 or becoming the ninth ranked player in Oceanasia. These two accomplishments reflect a whole year of disc golf rather than just one tournament which is why they are my proudest moments within the sport”, Ben says.
It is common to face challenges in sport. Is it difficult to balance disc golf and school work?
“It is tough, I am in my last year of High School, meaning school life is pretty busy. I travel to quite a few tournaments near and far from my hometown, meaning i take a lot of time off to play Disc Golf.”
Being a team member of Latitude 64, how much time is spent practicing and training for disc golf?
“I spend a lot of time practicing, Whether it be heading to the course after school and playing until it is dark or playing multiple rounds on the weekends I dedicate a lot of my time to disc golf. All the time I dedicate to the sport, I tend to see results. The more i play, the more experience i gain. The ability to throw further, putt better and have a solid mental attitude towards the game. I have recently found that since i haven’t been able to play as much, I have not been playing to a level that I am happy with.”
What words of advice or encouragement do you want to share with younger athletes?
“You get back what you put in. Meaning it is up to you to decide how far you want to go in the sport of Disc Golf. Whether it is playing a few times a week to get out of the house and have some fun with family and friends, to as opposed to Playing from dawn to dusk. Going to the gym to build better athleticism, and eating well to remain healthy and conditioned in an effort to become the next world champion. The Decision is up to you and relies on your determination to become the best.”
Are your parents supportive of you and disc golf?
“Yes, very. They understand very well how much I love the sport and they do their best to support me in my endeavours whether it be helping with getting to tournaments or financial support, they are always there to help.”
Why did you join Latitude 64?
“I was lucky enough to play with Latitude 64’s team manager and 2008 World Champion David Feldberg at the 2015 New Zealand Disc Golf championships. After the tournament Dave approached me and gave me the opportunity to join the team and represent Latitude 64 in New Zealand and I was extremely grateful for the opportunity, and of course I said yes and have been a player for the company ever since.”
What is your goal as a Latitude 64 player?
“Just to be a positive role model on and off the course. Be a good representation of the company and strive to be the best I can. To become a 1000 rated player is a goal I have. I know that I can reach this goal, all I need is to maintain consistency.”
How is the disc golf scene in New Zealand?
“Being in New Zealand the disc golf is very different over here. We have a lower standard of play but still some great competition. Every couple of years we are treated with some pros coming to our country which is a welcome site. As such an isolated country, disc golf is slowly taking off. There are around 200 players who play on the New Zealand tour.”
Thank you Ben! Good luck on the course!