Discgolfkanalen has talked to Jeremy “Big Jerm” Koling about the season and about beeing the Big part of a commentary duo on Jomez Productions.
What´s the story of the Big Jerm?
I grew up obsessed with playing sports. First it was soccer, then in high school it was basketball and in college I discovered disc golf. Now I’m 34 years old and that’s my entire life history.
I found disc golf at the perfect time in my life. I was 20 years old and had just finished my 2nd year in college. At the time I was playing basketball at a very high level and was even considering going pro. A couple injuries helped me see the big picture and pursuing a professional basketball career no longer seemed realistic. Sadly, it seemed like my lifelong dream of becoming a professional athlete was over. At the same time I had slowly started becoming obsessed with Frisbee. I literally took my lids with me everywhere I went. I joined my school’s Ultimate team and was officially introduced into the world of Frisbee culture. One day a couple of us from the team started playing our own made up version of Frisbee golf. It took me to places on campus I had never explored and provided a really fun social atmosphere all while remaining highly competitive which was something I desperately craved. I was completely obsessed with the flight of the disc and the idea of throwing Frisbees at stuff. When it got dark at night I had tricked my brain into thinking that if I went to sleep earlier it would feel like less time until I woke up so I could go back outside and play more Frisbee golf. When I came home that summer I discovered that Charlotte was a mecca for disc golf. While playing my first official round at Renaissance Park I knew somewhere deep inside that I had finally found something that would be with me for the rest of my life and it was disc golf. The rest, as they say, is history.
You´re known as a fantastic sidearm thrower. Was this a natural move for you?
The forehand motion has always been a very natural athletic motion for myself. I grew up next to a pond where I’d skip rocks all the time, I threw a baseball and a football a bit more from the side than over the head, and in racquet sports such as tennis, ping pong and racquetball I always felt much more comfortable hitting a forehand rather than a backhand. When I started playing disc golf I taught myself how to throw exclusively throwing forehands.
The season of 2019 didnt bring you any real big wins. What your thought about the season?
I think the 2019 season was a huge bounce back season for myself. I’ve been touring against the best in the world for long enough to know that a successful season isn’t always defined by big wins. Disc golf is a sport where you get to decide how satisfied you are with your results. Considering my back injury and how it affected the busiest and arguably most important stretch of the season I was still able to capture a 5th place finish in the European Open and 2nd at the USDGC.
Season 2020 is coming closer. Whatś your goal for the upcoming season?
My main goal for the 2020 season is to stay healthy. At 34 my body is more demanding than ever and if I want to continue to compete with the best I need to protect my lower back from further injury. On the course my goals are to continue improving consistency, trust and patience. Other goals for 2020 include continuing building a successful relationship with Jomez Productions as well as finding more time to work on graphic design projects. More details on that to come…
Are you coming to Europe in 2020? What do you think about playing over here and the discgolfscene in Europe?
I’m definitely coming back to Europe in 2020. Coming to Europe annually is one of the highlights of my job. I love everything about the European disc golf scene. The general public really embraces the culture and the fans turn out for the big events unlike anything we see in the states.
While we’re talking about discgolf in Europe. How about the Worlds in Europe?
I’m all for it! I believe it’s somewhat silly to continue calling it the World championships if we refuse to host the event anywhere outside the US. There are several international venues that would serve as fantastic sites and would be honored to host such an event. I hope to see this one day.
You are also known for being on part of the commentary duo BigSexy together with Nate Sexton. How did it become you two and why do you think you are such a good duo?
Nate and I first met at the World Championships in 2010 and from the very first round we played together I knew we were going to be great friends. When he and his family moved to NC it gave us a chance to travel to several events together. I don’t recall listening to music even once because we just couldn’t stop chatting about disc golf and life in general. The ‘Big Sexy’ commentary team came together in Texas in 2017. I had just began my career as a commentator while Nate already had quite a bit of experience working with both Central Coast and of course, Jomez Pro. I remember looking forward to the dynamic of working with a close friend who knew how to work with my humor and play off my occasional silliness. The result was even better than expected and before long we were working together almost every big event.
I have seen some kind of graphic designs from you. Are this another Big Jerm passion?
Graphic design is a very important outlet for me. When I’m in design mode I feel like I’m in a completely different world. There’s really no talking to me. It’s something I really look forward to dedicating more of my focus to once I begin scaling back my touring career.
I have the impression that you likes to have fun. I played the last round with you at the European Masters together with Zach Melton and Leo Piironen. Jokes was thrown around all over the place and the vibe was great. Is this important for you?
The only time disc golf ceases to be fun is when I start taking it too serious. When I get upset on the course I begin to lose sight of what’s most important. My body then starts behaving strangely and I begin making poor decisions and errant throws. So, for me, it’s essential to my career that I have fun playing disc golf. It keeps me loose and best replicates what I do in practice. There’s certainly a fine line between having a lot of fun and losing focus. It’s an essential balance that I’m aware of each time I step up to the tee.
Who on tour is the funniest to joke about and who do you always have fun with?
That’s a tough question! Disc golf, by nature, attracts a bunch of really good natured, funny people. I love joking with so many people but my favorites would probably be Nate Sexton, Paul Ulibarri, Zach Melton, Madison Walker, Eric and Tina Oakley, Calvin Heimburg, Chris Dickerson, Simon Lizotte, Thomas Gilbert, Chandler Fry and of course, the entire Jomez crew. These are all really funny humans who make my life richer.
If you could throw a cake on anybody on tour. Who would you throw at?
Simon Lizotte. I just think a carrot cake would fit around his face nicely. I’m sure he could even turn it into a cool trick shot which, in turn, would make many people happy. Everyone wins.
Top 3 courses:
- Maple Hill Gold
- The Beast
Top 3 events:
- European Open
- MVP Open
Best disc golf hole?
Hole 5 Winthrop gold
Favorite discs in my bag?
Thunderbird, Wraith, Destroyer, Concrete Slab, Mortar, Aviar x3, p2