He didn’t win the big titles this year – he didn’t even have the opportunity. But Nikko Locastro still stole the most headlines and reactions on social media. Everyone knows why and you can think whatever you want about Nikko’s punishment was too harsh or too kind – he is a character in the sport that stands out!
And he also seems to have both humor and self-awareness. Because soon he will launch perhaps the funnest piece of merch anyone has come up with – a Nikko Locastro stopwatch.
That in and of itself may have its own explanation. Nikko Locastro is really passionate about his disc golf and when we got a chat with him after a while, he was out practicing on his friend’s private course in South Carolina, near Rock Hill where the USDGC was being played during the interview. He is there to support his girlfriend Kat Mertsch. But during the interview he reveals that he would rather play than stand on the sidelines as a spectator. He also has a lot to say about Sweden.
You spent a lot of time in Sweden this summer. Why?
– I have many friends in Sweden and after the European Open I needed to get my head right and find balance in my life. I needed to be in a comfortable place and focus on my mental health for a few weeks. So I stayed in Sweden for two to three weeks and then I went to Finland for a week before flying back to St. Louis where I spent most of the time.
What is your relationship to Sweden and how do you see Swedish disc golf?
– I see potential and growth with many talented young people who are out playing. Then I enjoy the environment. I can see myself getting a house in Sweden in the future. Good people live there. I look forward to going back and run some clinics.
There is one question that feels more given than all others, how do you feel today?
– I have had a lot of time to reflect and I have grown positively. After a difficult time comes brighter times. It hasn’t been easy to heal and accept that I made a mistake. I want people to see me in a positive light, which part of me wants to change. I feel that I am stronger than ever now.
Speaking of people’s image of you, has it been difficult to deal with all the negative reactions on the internet?
– Honestly, I’ve tried to ignore it and remain optimistic. There is no point in looking back too much. I’d rather spend my time looking ahead on my future projects. But it has been tough. Many people spend far too much time at the computer writing things instead of going out and playing disc golf. Even after corona, it seems like they sit at home in front of the computer instead of working or playing disc golf.
– Friends, family and supporters are the ones I focused my energy on and drew inspiration from to craft into the sport.
What are your goals and ambitions for the next season?
– I will focus on my physical and mental health. I want to feel good on the course and be better than ever. Since I wasn’t able to compete, I really want to win a major next season. I will be more prepared than ever and that would mean more than previous years. It has been hard to stand on the sidelines as a spectator. I want to make up for lost time.
– It has been hard weeks now that some of my favorite competitions have been played, such as Maple Hill among others. But with the right attitude, I can achieve the goals I set for myself. Then maybe people will remember me for my best sides.
Finally, Nikko also wants to give a shout out to his Swedish friends Michael Bui, who helped him line up some clinics during the spring, and Ellion & Veronika Luxemburg that helped him a lot after the European Open. We thank Nikko for the chat and let him focus on the course, discs and throws again. He was conspicuously quiet about his new timepiece, but stay tuned for Nikkolocastro.com. The site will soon relaunch and who knows what will happen there…
Three quick questions for Nikko Locastro
When and how did you start with disc golf? – I started as a child. When I was 14 I started touring and before I turned 16 I decided to become the best player in the world. I then set the goal of winning the World Championship. It is important to set goals for yourself regardless of what you do.
Favorite course? – I have to say three. Eagles Crossing, Missouri, the hardest course in the country. My uncle designed it. Maple Hill, Maine, which those in charge put a lot of energy into. Smugglers Notch, Vermont. Two courses at the same facility in a beautiful part of the country. It’s very beautiful.
In Sweden I speak highly of Lundbyparken and the owner just keeps working harder and harder to make it a disc golf destination.
Best disc golf memory? – I have had so many legendary moments out on the disc golf course. Incredible aces, albatrosses. Once I aced the last hole and won the playoff. Well, the last one is probably the coolest moment. We’ll take that one!