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David Feldberg: Taking Disc Golf to New Heights

Former Disc Golf World Champion, now retired, takes the sport to the younger generation

Story by Emily Henderson

In the realm of disc golf, one name stands out above the others. David Feldberg’s tremendous achievements in the sport combined with his contagious passion for it are an inspiration to all whose lives he’s touched.

David Feldberg watches as his putt lines to the basket. Photo contributed by Feldberg

Originally born in Silver Spring, Maryland, Feldberg moved to Delton, Michigan at the age of 10. He stated that he played all the sports he could, but one stood out among the rest--soccer. Despite his multifaceted talents, fate had a different plan in store for him.



After high school, he decided to continue to pursue his love for the sport as he was offered a walk-on spot on the Western Michigan University roster. However, fate dealt another blow right when a college soccer career seemed within reach—a devastating ankle injury shattered those aspirations. But amid the wreckage, a glimmer of hope emerged—a new passion was born.

Feldberg's love of disc golf began as a serendipitous detour due to his injury. Introduced to the sport during his recovery, he quickly discovered a natural aptitude for it. Disc golf, also known as frisbee golf, is a game similar to traditional golf, but instead of hitting a ball with a club into a hole, players throw a disc into a basket.


Starting with local city league tournaments and advancing to the amateur world tournaments, Feldberg continued to improve his skill. After much practice, mentoring, and a new college degree from the University of Oregon, he became the first teacher of disc golf at the college and subsequently advanced quickly in the rankings.



“I decided to go back to college and, year after year, I morphed my own technique with what I taught and learned,” Feldberg said. “By the time I graduated college, I won the world championship my senior year and was the No. 1 player in the world and I stayed there for about 10 years.”


Within that time, Feldberg was challenged with something unexpected. Upon graduating from the University of Oregon, he soon became a disc golf teacher and then the head coach for the team at his alma mater. Within two years of being the head coach, Feldberg created a NCAA championship team from scratch that captured the College National Championship title.


Towards the end of his career, Feldberg suffered a neck injury, causing him and his wife, Synthya, to start looking for a place to settle down. After deciding on the South, Feldberg and his wife narrowed down different lakes in the area that would fit them.


“We looked at Lake Hartwell first and that didn’t work out,” Feldberg said. “It was during the drought and there was no water. After Synthya talked with the EPA in Georgia, they said the two lakes that were safe from drought were Lake Oconee and Lake Sinclair. So, we started looking and found the most miraculous six acres on deep water.”

Feldberg and Synthya settled for Eatonton and have since welcomed a son, Leomax , now age 5.


David, Synthya and Leomax enjoy a day out on the lake. Photo contributed

While Feldberg does not compete on the professional tour anymore, he and his wife are committed to giving back to the community that embraced him. Together, they created and serve as CEO of the National Amateur Disc Golf Tour. Their tour provides more opportunities for kids to succeed in disc golf than was available when he was introduced to the sport.


“The whole tour that we run stands out not only because it is an amateur tour but because we are providing a branch to professionalism that has never been created in our sport,” Feldberg said. “These kids play in our tournaments all year, and then at the end if they qualify, we have given them huge prizes like a brand-new car or a full tour card to play on the professional tour completely paid for.”


Feldberg and his wife are also involved in multiple charities: The Educational Disc Golf Experience (EDGE), which is a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing disc golf to schools across the country; and Kids Disc Golf, which helps kids subsidize costs associated with beginning competitive play.


Within the Baldwin County community, Feldberg is putting in countless hours to help improve different areas of Milledgeville. With the initial idea from his wife, Feldberg designed and helped create Milledgeville’s first county disc golf course at Walter B. Williams Recreational Park. After years in the making, the course finally opened in October of 2023.


“I decided to make it friendly,” Feldberg said. “I tried to make it so you would enjoy disc golf. I wanted to make a course people would love and want to come back to.”


Feldberg also is currently working with the redevelopment board of Milledgeville to help redevelop Central State Hospital. Through this partnership, he is working to transform parts of the campus into a vibrant hub for disc golf, recreation, and community engagement. Feldberg has opened a disc golf warehouse and future retail store, called DiscHub, with the largest selection of discs golf products in Georgia. They are also planning to add a disc golf course and pickleball courts to the campus.


As Feldberg reflects on his journey—from humble beginnings to global prominence—he remains humbled by the impact that disc golf has had on his life and the lives of countless others. For him, the true measure of success lies not in trophies or accolades but in the lives he has touched and the communities he has helped to build.


“My major accomplishment is that I made something that is going to stay,” Feldberg said. “My No. 1 ranking will always be in the record book, but this will continue to organically grow after I'm gone.”

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This story appeared in Lakelife magazine, Volume 18, Issue 2 and is the property of Smith Communications, Inc. No portions of the story or photos may be copied or used without written consent from the publisher.


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