Ryan Reisbeck Current World Ranking: 4th
How did you get started in Long Drive?
A friend of mine had been to the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship as a spectator and he encouraged me to give it a try. There’s kind of a remarkable story behind it, but I never would have tried it without him suggesting it. I later discovered that is how most long drivers started competing.
How does it feel to be the Rockwell US Long Drive Champion and have a chance to defend?
The Rockwell US Long Drive Tour really showcases the premier talent in the United States when it comes to long drive. It was an honor to have done so well in 2015 against so many great competitors. I think it played out like what we see on the PGA tour when at times players get on a hot streak and somehow manage to keep it going for a couple of months. I still can’t figure out exactly what the difference was, but I really enjoy competing and it was a huge payoff after working at it for quite some time now. I have my work cut out for me this year against some really fantastic hitters. Will Hogue is a perennial powerhouse along with Trent Scruggs and Ryan Winther who have also won tour events this year, but I am up for the challenge. That’s what drives me to keep competing.
After you won the Tour Championship last year, you have been called one of the best players who has not yet claimed a WLDC title. Do these expectations provide fuel for you or get in the way?
It definitely is fuel. Just like regular golf, there are days of frustrations when you just don’t have it. Then there are days where you just flat out get beat and that’s what happened to me last year at the world championship. Jason Eslinger was a buzz saw. He was hitting the ball so well that he was able to bring down Joe Miller, and then, he nearly got Will Hogue too. I felt like I hit the ball pretty well, but that day, Jason was just better than me so you can’t really do anything but tip your hat and applaud him for the performance. After Jason beat me, it made me go back to the drawing board to try and fix some of the flaws in my swing. That’s when I started working with Bobby Peterson and the One Stop Power Shop team. We went back to the basics and started from the foundation of the swing and made some necessary changes that have helped me to, in my mind, become a better player all the way around.
Do you ever run out of time during rounds because of the time limit?
In the past, when we were hitting six balls I would rarely run out of time, but there were times when I was pushing the limits. I would take too much time between swings and think too much about what I was doing. Now, I try to do most of the thinking during practice and rely on just one swing thought when I’m in competition. My pre shot routine is now actually faster and more comfortable.
What can the hitters and fans expect this year at the Rockwell Blast?
We always try to run a fast-paced event that is exciting to watch and play in. The Rockwell crew really brings the fun factor to the event. Rockwell and Farmers Insurance have truly been great sponsors that help make the entire event happen. We also do some fundraising for JDRF to help in the fight against juvenile diabetes and they have been great to partner with. Each year, we try to make it bigger and better and this year with Golf Channel and the Callaway World Qualifying Series part of the action, it’s going to be a blast.
Please describe your life off the grid
Life off the grid is busy. My wife truly is a saint for all she does that allows me to travel and compete. We have five kids and they are all now starting to play sports so it makes it difficult to find time to workout and practice. I find that I am getting less and less sleep nowadays to make up for the shortage of time. Who knows how long I’ll be able to keep it, but I work with my family at our insurance office and I also work as a realtor so my schedule can be somewhat flexible and they are great to cover for me. I definitely couldn’t do it without my family that’s for sure.
By James Niu-Wolfgramm