A Nice Twist
Team Twisted Flyer didn’t necessarily set out to be first, but it wants to make sure it makes an impact that lasts. The disc golf team founded by Joe Rotan made the biggest single-day team launch in our sport’s history with 38 members on March 16, 2012. There are great players on the team, but finishing first on the scoreboard isn’t the ultimate goal for Rotan, who always tells fellow disc golfers to “keep it twisted.”
The team motto is “leaving it better than we found it” and they have been living up to it all across America. “We try to be a little different,” Rotan said. “There are a lot of people and companies out there trying to sell you a million different things. There are folks who roll in to your town get you and your club’s money and leave nothing good behind. We’re known for leaving a lot of good behind. We’re known for leaving it better than we found it when we come to town. We’re doing a whole lot more than selling T-shirts and golf discs.”
Twisted Flyer has been around since 2000. Oklahoma and Texas, where Rotan has spent most of his time since then, are known for their twisters (tornadoes), but that’s not where the name came from. “It came from NorCal; when you’d get off a good shot they’d say nice twist,” Rotan said of his disc golf roots. Since then, the disc golf world has gone through a lot of twists and turns when it comes to technology, as has the rest of the world.
While Twisted Flyer has an online presence, Rotan has always furthered the sport with personal contact. So when Rotan was looking for team members, which includes promoters, tournament directors, artists, activists, women, children and two dogs, he wasn’t just looking at a player rating or a trophy case. He believes he’s found a group that will make the sport more enjoyable for those they connect with. It’s not that the group lacks disc golf talent, as the team has a combined nine world championships, including a crown earned by Rotan at the 2009 Am Worlds.
Family is an important part of the team, too. There are families, couples, and cousins on the team. Rotan loves the players who bring more to the scene than an accurate hyzer or a long putt. Dedication to the extras, going the extra mile and remembering where we came from build the exciting impression Twisted Flyer takes pride in.
During the year since the launch, the team has held over a dozen events, supported events around the globe, installed three courses and swapped out equipment on two older courses.
Team Twisted Flyer is also our sport’s first team to be solicited, recruited, announced, executed and administered solely through social media. The team communicates through their private Facebook page. Rotan says, “I went with the idea to save time and improve the experience for all team members. I can say or post something once and everyone gets it at the same time. We work on ideas, share photos and of course, smack talk together. It also makes it easier for team members from opposite sides of the land to get to know each other.”