Meet Marie Kielas, the newest member of Team 64 Baltic!

Meet Marie Kielas, the newest member of Team 64 Baltic!

Marie Kielas (#173601) boasts a PDGA rating of 887, having competed in 16 PDGA tournaments last season, securing 2 first-place finishes and a total of 7 podium finishes. Her remarkable achievements include a 2nd place at the European Pro Tour All-Stars event in Mijas, where she narrowly lost to Jenni Karppinen by just 1 stroke. Let's also not forget her impressive 4th place finish at the EPT Estonian Open, showcasing her talent in fierce competition!

You're kicking off the 2024 season as part of Team 64 Baltic. Was this something you secretly dreamed of or hoped for? What do you think led to this opportunity?

Certainly, it was something I secretly dreamed of and hoped for. When the team offer came, it was a pleasant surprise. I believe I was quite visible last year, participating in tournaments, pushing my limits, and thanks to that, I got noticed.

How much does being on the team impact your future game? What changes? The contents of your bag or the tournaments you participate in?

Being part of the team definitely motivates me to push myself even harder and to compete in major tournaments. But I've always had mainly Trilogy discs in my bag, so the overall setup remains the same.

What are your top 3 go-to discs?

Harp - for approach shots, I prefer the Harp, especially when throwing forehand. Initially, I had a medium Harp in my bag, but once I accidentally bought a hard Harp, and now I've completely switched to it.

Trust - a very comfortable mid-range disc in my hand, which initially stayed more in the bag, but last season I found myself using it more and more. Trust handles windy conditions well, which is why I initially took it into my bag. I have to say that after throwing a hole-in-one in Sindi during a women's competition, I like this disc even more.

Sword - my favorite driver, with which I can throw long and straight shots. I particularly enjoy open and long courses where I can throw for distance, so this disc is an excellent choice.

How closely do you follow the game on the big stage, i.e., tournaments and players in the USA? Do you have thoughts in that direction? Or is Europe your focus?

I always follow the US tournaments. Specifically, I watch women's games in videos, just to support Kristin. I definitely want to play a tournament in the USA at some point, but when exactly, time will tell. Last season, I participated in an EPT event in Estonia for the first time, and thanks to good play, I made it to the final event in Spain. While in Spain, I realized that this is the sport I really want to pursue and what excites me. I definitely want to participate in some DGPT Europe events in the new season.

Check out this video of Marie throwing a 100m hole-in-one at Mijas Disc Golf Park

Marie Kielas Jenni Karppinen Rachel Turton EPT Mijas winner disc golf europe

📸 Marika Salmi

How old are you, and how long have you been playing disc golf?

I am 20 years old. I played disc golf for the first time in the summer of 2014 in Nõmme, Tallinn. Relatives found online that there's this game and there are several disc golf parks nearby. We went to try it out, and from then on, we played in Nõmme or Pirita in the evenings. Since then, I have been playing, but more quietly or with my family, so I think many people don't know that this sport is not so new to me. In Kilingi-Nõmme, near my school, I used to practice alone in my spare time. At that time, I also participated in some county or school competitions. In 2020, when there was corona and more free time, I went to the course every day and started playing weekly games with my dad. I started to have more and more desire to go to bigger tournaments.

What do you think is the key to bringing more young girls closer to disc golf?

I think there are actually quite a few young girls in this sport. We just don't know it because they do it on their own and are afraid to come to compete. I also started competing with older boys in the same division. If a little girl has to play in the same division as boys up to the age of 18, then no one dares to compete. Unfortunately, that's how it was for me at first, maybe that's why I reached the bigger tournaments so late, considering how long I've actually been playing. To bring young girls closer, the sport should be introduced in schools, disc golf training should be organized, and there could be separate divisions for girls at competitions.

What are your biggest goals for the 2024 season? 

I definitely want to compete outside of Estonia, see the courses there, and gain new competition experience. I would like to add distance to my forehand throw. I try to stay calm on the course and not get nervous right away if something doesn't go well.

Marie Kielas Mijas disc golf park latitude64 team baltic

📸 Marika Salmi

You are known for having a very considerable distance with standstill throws. What do you think contributes to your long distance?

My height probably helps here because my arm span is also larger. I also played volleyball in elementary school, which has added a lot to my wrist mobility.
In the off-season, I've been practicing standstills on the spot now, so who knows, maybe soon you'll see me not just throwing from the spot.

One thing you won't go to the course without?

Since my hands sweat quite quickly, a birdie bag is a must-have.

One player to keep an eye on who could join Team 64 Baltic in the future?

I can't name anyone specific. As the sport becomes more popular, there may be some surprises, maybe even someone we don't know yet.

Good luck to Marie in 2024 and keep your eyes peeled for more team updates coming soon!