, 2023-02-20 02:00:00,
Liz Lopez makes her return to disc golf eight years after her departure.
February 20, 2023 by Kingsley Flett in Profile with comments
Peoria, Illinois – August 2015.
After shooting an uncharacteristic 13-over-par 70 in the opening round of the 2015 Ledgestone Insurance Open, Liz Lopez recorded a DNF for the first time in her nine-year career. She left for her Texas home that night, bringing eight years on tour to an abrupt end.
Aside from a few social rounds and a couple of local tournaments in 2017, she barely touched a disc for seven years. She was so removed from the game that when a group of work colleagues took up disc golf and invited her along for a round, none of them knew she had played.
When she walked around the course with Maria Oliva in the Portland Open last year, another member of the card asked, “so have you played before?”
Lopez is returning to the game though, as an analyst for the Disc Golf Network. The new show is called Tournament Central, which will air before the start of play, between rounds, and after the close of play for most of this year’s major tournaments. We caught up for a chat recently and talked about what Disc Golf has meant to her, why she left the game, what she has been up to in the ensuing years, and the contribution she hopes to make.
Kingsley Flett, Ultiworld: So why did you leave the game so suddenly?
Liz Lopez: At Ledgestone it really came to a head. Halfway through that first round I was barely able to hold the disc, let alone control it. I’d been experiencing some extreme anxiety in many of the events leading up to it. The feeling of excitement to play tournaments had been replaced by fear. I promised myself that was the last time I was going to feel like that.
I just had this intense feeling like this was no longer where I needed to be. It wasn’t so much that life in those days for a touring pro was hard, although it certainly was. It was more the loss of independence that came with that existence. Always having to rely on others in some way: for rides, to split gas money, or for somewhere to sleep. But none of that would have mattered if I’d felt I was reaching my potential. I’d left college in the second year, at 20, to go on the tour and at 28 I felt that I didn’t have much to show for it. I felt like there was more to me than just “disc golfer.” I didn’t…
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