I don't spend much time on this forum these days but this topic seems to have gotten quite a stir. So here are my thoughts on the subject.
The Kansas City disc golf community and the KCFDC have always supported and welcomed women golfers, so I thought it was odd and the reason I investigated both sides of the "down under incident". Everything has been worked out and I'm happy that that has not changed.
But we need to keep the dialogue and communication open- we tend to be a little sensitive about this topic. Guys maybe you can be too when you find yourself in a situation like that. Are there jerks out there - YES. But they aren't limited to the disc golf course. Heck, read this forum and it won't take you long to find a jerk or 2
Mostly we are blessed to have a great group of guys here in KC that welcome us on the course and at events.
As for growing the sport, no matter who you are an advocate for: women, youth or disc golf in general it takes passion and action. Thanks Crispian for being passionate and wanting to take action.
All the support aside, it takes women
to truly grow womens disc golf!
I started the KC Disc Golf Divas several years ago after the torch was passed to me by Kristie and Tiffany, instigators of our original Girls Night Out back in the day
I recently ran across an old article about womens disc golf from the Summer 2003 Issue of Disc Golf World News magazine. I thought I'd share so I copied below the part that Kristie Svejda wrote about our womens group 11 years ago:
Women’s League here in Kansas City began three years ago. I had been on a short disc golf tour in 1999 and had heard about women who started a women’s league in their hometowns. This sounded like a great idea at the time, so I placed it in the back of my mind and forgot about it until the next season. In 2000, I was playing a lot of disc golf, usually with men, and I started figuring out the details for a women's league. I made a few signs, put them up at our parks, and on that first night, I showed up along with a couple of other women. That year ended much like it began, with little success in the number of women players, but I was beginning to see how successful such a league could be if it caught on.
In 2001, I was a little discouraged about running a women’s league. I had dropped the $2.00 entry fee, and the signs in '01 read: "Ladies League" instead of "Women’s League." The biggest difference was that Ladies League now had a regular player. Tiffany would come to play every Thursday night, and since we were usually the only two girls, we came up with ideas on how to get more women to come out to play. Looking back on it, we must have looked crazy telling the women we would see playing with another group, "Come play with us on girls night." They would ask us about the details, and we would say something like. "You're looking at it. This is it." Thus, Ladies League began, and before long, we consistently had a full card.
By the end of 2001, we had conned a few women into coming out almost every week, and word was starting to get around. Almost every week, I would go to our regularly scheduled league nights and announce, "Tell your girlfriends or wives to come out to Rosedale on Thursday nights to play women’s league with us." Our league was starting to bloom, and we were having a blast watching it grow.
During 2002, the name "Ladies League" was dropped and replaced with "Girls' Night Out," and the league was running itself. Our turnout doubled to about eight, and by the end of the season, we had 15 women showing up to play on Thursday nights. The hardest part about watching the growth of our league was that we couldn’t all play on the same card anymore. We started splitting up in to two groups and eventually three.
So far, 2003 has been great. Everyone has filled a position of sorts in running Girls' Night Out. In addition to running the league this year, Annie has made scorecards for us and is always there with extra discs to loan or sell. Tiffany, our mother hen, watches over all the girls and was key in making the league successful. Rhonda, our marketing guru, not only made business cards for us to pass out to other women, but she is also working on a Girls' Night Out website. We even started a funny tradition of bringing snacks for after the round. Looking back to 2000, I would have never dreamed Girls' Night Out would be such a success in just three years.
My advice, if you want to start a Girls' Night Out in your hometown, is to make sure everyone is having a good time. Cut out all of the competition crap, and just take it easy for a night. Ask your friends and their friends to come out and play. If they don’t want to play all of the holes or quit during the round, that’s cool, because you're not trying to find the next champion, you're just hoping to be able to play disc golf with some cool chicks. Eventually, if your league works out like Kansas City’s has, more and more girls will start playing at the local events. Some will join the club; and sooner or later, they may join the PDGA; and voila, you have 15 new friends, and a women’s division at the next tournament.
And we're still growing. To some it may not look like we're much in numbers but travel to some other cities events and talk to other women out there and you'll find out they are jealous of how many women play in KC. The area we need to keep growing is the competitive side.
Competitive golf is not for everyone but one of the biggest impacts you can make ladies is to play more tournaments! Then and only then will the number of womens spots in events be raised. I can't count the number of tournaments I have played over the years where I was the only woman at the event so it's exciting to me to see womens divisions filling up! I like to think of it as growing pains. Just another perspective.
I wasn't going to say anything about this publicly for awhile but since it was brought up....
I am planning a women's only tournament for May 2015 here in Kansas City. Nothing official just yet- it's still in planning stages. It will be an annual event, but every other year also tie into the PDGA Womens Global event.
I'll need volunteers to help with the event- because most of the ladies will be playing - I hope