November 2016 Lady of the Month: Sue Stephens Female Touring Pioneer and 3X World Champ

We have heard that you were the first or among the first women to go on tour. When did you start touring, and what was the most difficult thing about being on tour early on?

I started touring in 1999, I decided to quit my job, sell my house, and hop in the 1973 Winnebago with Al Shack and Todd Branch. Some of the difficulties were long distances between tournaments and small women’s divisions. I did get to meet a lot of great people and see a lot of beautiful courses.

sues2

Do you primarily throw forehand or backhand? 

I am right handed but I throw left handed backhand, and some right hand forehand upshots

sue4

What is your favorite type of cheese?

I love cheese, sharp cheddar is probably my favorite.

cheese

What are your 3 favorite courses in Michigan?

Brewer Park in Grand Rapids,

Mason County in Ludington,

masoncounty

Photo courtesy DG Course Review. Mason County Parks Beauty Course

Blue Gill in Wayland

Putting, driving or approach? Which of these is the strongest part of your disc golf game?

I think that my driving is my strongest part of my game, I think if I would spend more time practicing putting I would shave off some strokes.

suestephens1

What 3 courses in the world would you like to play that you haven’t had the opportunity to play yet?

I’m not sure, I have never been to Colorado, maybe something in Hawaii, and Johnson park one of my favorite local courses is being reinstalled and I think they will be using it for world’s next year.

If you could have a tee off song what would it be?

I like a lot of different music, mostly hard rock, usually something fast to get me pumped up.

(Sue didn’t have a specific song for us, here is one we would suggest as it fits her description of hard rock and fast we hope it would get her pumped up)

 

You are a 3 time world champion, taking 1st in Grandmasters Women in 2016, 1st in Masters women in 2012 and 1st in the Advanced Women’s’ Division at Amatuer Worlds in 1997, any advice on how to deal with the high pressure that comes along with competing and winning a major disc golf event?

Practice the courses, know what all your disc do even your backup disc, bring enough water and a snack, have confidence in yourself, practice putting a lot.

sue6

If you could have an official beer of disc golf what would it be?

Fat Tire or any good Amber

fattire

 

What is the biggest piece of advice you have for someone who is thinking about going on tour?

Pre register for the tournament, try to get to the course a few days early to check it out, find out who the local sponsors are and check them out to thank them, have fun, stay positive, be a good role model.

sue3

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

October 2016 Lady of the Month: Super Sidearm Star Sarah Hokom

When and how did you first learn about disc golf?

I first started playing in Fall 2007 when a friend who played occasionally invited me and my boyfriend to play a course close to both our homes over the weekend. My friend aced off a tree on the 9th hole. It was crazy! I couldn’t believe it! My boyfriend and I joined a local Tuesday doubles league soon after.  I wanted to play well in league, so I started practicing everyday after work.

sarahh5

Since you spend much of your off season in California what are your three favorite courses in California?

I love

DeLaveaga in Santa Cruz, CA

dela

Photo from DG Course Review

Pinto Lake in Watsonville, CA

pinto

Photo from DG Course Review

Morley Field in San Diego, CA

morley

Photo from DG Course Review

You primarily throw forehand, when you first started playing and touring did you receive any criticism or comments from people telling you that you needed to learn backhand? And if so, how did you deal with those comments early on in your career?

sarah8

I definitely got a lot of criticism for only throwing forehand. I had tried early on to learn backhand, but it was so much less natural for me to throw.  I began to simply focus on finding a way to get a sidearm to follow backhand lines, rather than pursue learning the backhand skill, which had become extremely frustrating to figure out by that point.  In addition, one time after several failed backhand attempts and too much verbal beration on my part, a wise fellow sidearm player once told me to just keep throwing sidearms…to do what works for me and forget the people who think otherwise.  It’s difficult to work through criticism sometimes, but if you really know YOUR game, it won’t really matter what most people say.  You can focus on what you need to do, where your weaknesses really are, and at a pace at works for you, not on someone else’s timeline.

sarahh4

Photo credit: Bill Baker

If a grilled cheese sandwich and taco got into a fight, who would come out with the victory?

I’m pretty sure the grilled cheese would just sit on the taco and smash it without much trouble.

tacovsgrilledcheese

We have noticed you often have at least 1 ear bud in when you are competing, assuming you are using an mp3 player to listen to music as opposed to a walkman or discman. If you were to turn on said mp3 player right now, what is the first song that would play?

Happy by Pharell

 

Any exciting new items planned for Cali Connection coming up in the next couple of months?

We just released a new ladies hoodie for the winter months and are looking forward to fresh designs for 2017.

cali-connection-rasberry-hoody-mock2_400w

If you could only play with 3 discs for the rest of your professional disc golf career which 3 would they be?

Patriot

patriot

Enemy

enemy

Prowler

prowler

True or False: The most important shot in (disc) golf is the next?

True

sarahh3

Photo credit: Rebecca Heiam

If you could have an official beer of disc golf what would it be?

Crispin Hard Cider

crispin-browns-lane

Any rituals or routines you like to do to stay calm, cool, and collected on the course?

Listening to music really helps me stay calm. I like to bust out a little head bob or booty shake here and there to keep my muscles loose too. 🙂

sarah7

Congratulations on your most recent title of United States Women’s Disc Golf Champion for 2016! You worked hard to get to where you are and have plenty of accomplishments leading up to your most recent win. Any words of advice for players who are just starting to compete or to the gals who may think they are not skilled enough to compete yet?

There’s no such thing as not being skilled enough to compete in disc golf. There is usually a division for any level of player, whether they are new or seasoned.  Disc golf is a sport that gives newer players the opportunity to jump in and try it out for a relatively inexpensive fee.  In addition, success and failure are part of life, so don’t worry about it if you didn’t do as well as you want. That’s the fun part…figuring out why and how to do better.  Disc golf is a sport where you win a few and you lose A LOT!!! Lol.  Try not to attach your self-worth or much of your ego to your score….the fact that you are out there doing your best and having fun in really all the matters!!

 

Photo Credit: Mom Mary Ann Wallis

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

August 2016 Lady of the Month: World Champion Young Hope Brown

 
Well young lady you came and sat at the picnic table with me and a couple of my sparkle sisters at the 2016 PDGA Amateur World Championships, I was impressed with your confidence, attitude and demeanor. You explained to me that you aren’t just Hope Brown, you are the Young Hope Brown:) Can you explain to our readers why they call you the Young Hope Brown?
First of all thank you for making me lady of the month! Second of all I am the “Young Hope Brown” aka “YHB” because about 1 ½ hours away from my home town lives another Hope Brown that plays in the Open Women division and when people hear the name they think of her. So, one time during a tournament a disc golfer named “CuTT’ made up a hashtag which is registered as
#younghopebrown
.yhb4
Have you ever met the other (older) Hope Brown? If so, have you discussed joining forces in a doubles tournament?
I have indeed met the “other” Hope Brown and we have competed against each other many times. On August 20th of 2016 we competed as doubles team to try and qualify for the amateur division for the USDGC Doubles event that will be held in September in Rock Hill, SC.
 At what age did you start playing disc golf? Do you remember the first time you threw a disc?
I didn’t really start playing disc golf seriously until I was 7 or 8 years old. However, my dad has played since before I was born and I have been on the disc golf course with him since I was 3 months old. The first time that I ever “threw” a real disc not a mini was about 3 years of age.
yhb2
Do you spend your summer vacation from school playing disc golf? Do you play all year?
I do play during the summer months. However, it is not always the most pleasant when it gets supper HOT! One time I was complaining about the heat and my dad poured his water bottle over my head to cool me off. I do play all year round no matter the weather (preferably no rain unless in a tournament) even though it may get to some uncomfortable extremes.
Do you have other hobbies or sports you play outside of disc golf?
I really don’t play a lot of other sports except for dance and archery. I dance and shoot archery for my school and love every minute of it especially dance.
If you could have an official candy of disc golf what would it be?
If it was a hard type candy then it would be Jolly Ranchers, but if was a chocolate type candy if would have to Kit Kats.
jollyrancherkitkat
What is your favorite driver, midrange and putter?
Driver – Leopard or Teebird
Mid-range – Roc 3
Putter – 30th Anniversary Big Bead Aviar
All players have their strengths, some are incredible putters, others have mastered the
art of parking their upshot under the basket, and some can just really crush their drives.
What would you say is your best strength as a disc golfer?
My biggest strength I would have to say is my driving. My max distance I’ve ever thrown if about 330’ and that was my recent milestone that I hit. My biggest weakness is a back hand roller, I’ve never landed one in front of me.

 

 How did you feel when you won the 2016 Am World Championships in Madison, for the Junior III Girls (12 and under)? Do you plan on attending the 2017 Amateur World Championships, in Quad Cities, IA?
Honestly, I was really surprised. I was unaware that we wouldn’t have a finals and we finished at Bird Ruins and turned in the card and the course Marshall said congratulations. I was confused because I thought we were playing a finals the next day. I didn’t cry at the ceremony but when were eating I didn’t know what to do because after not winning my first worlds in 2015. I set a goal for myself to win worlds and that was my only goal leading up to worlds 2016. Once that was accomplished I remember feeling sad and I didn’t know what to do going forward. My dad simply told me “Let’s go get ready for next year, you gotta defend your title…right?”
Do you have any words of advice for young ladies (10-14 years old) who may be just starting to play disc golf?
I would definitely say keep trying and believe in yourself. I know it sounds really corny but it’s true. It’s easy to get frustrated (trust me I know) but it really helps to take a deep breath and channel all your emotions into getting better for the next time.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Lady of the Month July 2016: Sara Nicholson Disc Golf Promoter Extraordinaire, Nature, Music and Animal Lover!

Did you learn to play disc golf in a National Park? Tell us more…

I played my very first round of disc golf with my brother in Easley, South Carolina. He bought me

my first discs, an Innova Aviar, and JK Valkyrie. I honestly don’t remember enjoying that first

round I played with my brother and his friends. They were throwing further and better than me

and being the competitive person that I am it was incredibly frustrating. I am, however, forever

grateful to my brother for those first discs that changed my life. I use that first frustrating

experience now to encourage new players to stick with it, letting them know that we’ve all been

there.

Photo credit: PDGA Media

After that first round in South Carolina, it wasn’t until I started working in Yellowstone National

Park and playing with the other employees on the Mammoth, Canyon, and Old Faithful courses

that I got hooked on the game. At first, it started just as a way to get away from the guests in the

evenings, have a couple of beers, and relax. Then it became a healthy obsession, playing disc

golf is all I wanted to do. I joined the PDGA from Yellowstone National Park in August of 2007

and still remember the excitement of receiving my first disc golf magazine and membership

package. I traded my member disc for a water pump, but such is life living in a national park.

You are a co-founder of Throw Pink, can you give us the basics of the Throw Pink

program? Who can run one, how and why should everyone run a Throw Pink event?

I founded Throw Pink in 2013 after running my 3rd Magnolia Open event in Appling, GA. At The

Magnolia Open each year we pick a charity and raise money for it during the event. This

tradition started with Karolyn O’Cull and Addie Strozier, who started The Magnolia Open in

2009. I took it over in 2011 and ran it for five years before moving to Washington.

Photo credit: Kimberly Pruden

Photo credit: Kimberly Pruden

My first tournament running experience was with the Columbia Disc Golf Club in South Carolina. I

helped create and run Throwing for Tomorrow, a charity event that helped the Dickerson

Children’s Advocacy Center. I went to the University of South Carolina and majored in

Psychology with the dream and hope to make a difference in this world. When I got out of

school, I worked at a battered women’s shelter before joining Americorps. Throw Pink is a way

for me to combine my passion for giving back and making a difference with my love of disc golf.

Photo credit: Mom Wallis

Throw Pink is a non-profit with the mission of encouraging women and girls to get out and be

more physically active through the game of disc golf. The program was established to make a

difference to women’s health related charities by raising money through fun disc golf initiatives.

Anyone can run a Throw Pink event. It is fun, easy, and your community will thank you for it. If

anyone would like more information, please email me at Sara@throwpink.com.

Imagine this: You are playing a 3 round tournament, you can have a song played on

your first hole of each round, what 3 songs would you choose?

These music questions are the hardest ones in this interview. Picking a song is like picking my

favorite cat, impossible. In the interest of not prolonging my answers any longer, I’m going to

sidestep this question entirely without picking three. I will say that during the 2012 USWDGC,

the year I won Advanced Women’s, the Brandi Carlile album, Bear Creek, had just been

released, and I listened to it throughout the competition. I don’t listen to music anymore when I

play, but now that I’m thinking about it, I haven’t won anything since I stopped listening to music.

I just discovered something about my game here. Thank you, Ladies First Disc Golf!

Fill in the blank with one word– disc golf is _______ ?

Disc Golf is Life
They asked me why I play (2)

What is your favorite Grateful Dead song? 

I love the Grateful Dead. I always have thought I was born in the wrong generation. I’ve been

listening to The Beatles, Dead, Joplin, Hendrix, Dylan, etc…since my early teens. I can’t pick a

favorite. I just can’t do it. I will say these days I’m more into the ballads, Stella Blue, Must Have

Been the Roses, Ship of Fools, He’s Gone, Attics of my life

I honestly love every Grateful Dead song, so it’s impossible to pick.

Franklin’s Tower, Sugaree, Mama Tried, Dire Wolf, Monkey and the Engineer, and China Cat Sunflower are in my top 10 for sure

 

In my early 20s I would have listed the Dark Star > Drums> Not Fade Away > Going down the Road >Drums blah, blah, blah…

but I just can’t take a 45-minute jam session these days, I’m over it. Maybe it is music A.D.D. either

way, finish the song already. I’m sure I’ll get a lot of snubbed noses from Deadheads for that last

statement, but I don’t care. I bet I have more books, live show cassette tapes (yeah I just dated

myself), and CD’s than a lot of those people who are snubbing their noses at me:)

 Your career has provided opportunities to travel to many of the states for events. What

states will you be traveling to in 2016 for disc golf?

I will not be traveling as much this year as I have in the past, but I will be playing my favorite

event, USWDGC in Maine and The Chick Flick in North Plains, OR. The Chick Flick has been

on my disc golf bucket list since it started and this year will be my first year I can make it. The

USWDGC will always hold a special place in my heart. It was my first big event in 2008 that

helped start my love for competitions.

You played a large part in making the Women’s Global Event in 2016 a successful

event for women all around the world. 2016 saw it’s participation numbers rise to new levels

with 1400+ ladies competing, what number would you expect to see for the 2018

Women’s Global Event?

I expect to see the Women’s Global Event growing steadily every year in participation numbers.

The WGE is groundbreaking in its approach to increasing women’s involvement in disc golf. I

played in Chuck Kennedy’s event, the first Global ratings event in 2011 before we started the

WGE and what inspired the creation of the WGE. I remember that first feeling of how cool it was

to see my score on a long list of women from other states and countries.

wgestats

 If you could have an official beer of disc golf what would it be?

Ha! Tough question. I love beer and like trying new beer so I would hate to limit myself to one.

The obvious choice is Bevel Craft Brewing started by two Disc Golf World Champions, and they

have a good IPA!

bevel

What state or country would you like to travel to most, that you have not yet visited?

Australia, Ireland, and Scotland have always been at the top of my must visit places, as far as

disc golf courses go, I would love to play:

Järva Disc Golf Park in Stockholm, Sweden

Oak Grove Park in Pasadena, Los Angeles County, California,

Ashe County Park in Jefferson, NC

Blue Ribbon Pines in Minneapolis, MN

Maple Hill in Leicester, MA.

 You are a PDGA consultant, member of the PDGA women’s committee and former

PDGA membership manager, therefore you have been highly involved with all things

PDGA for quite sometime. In your opinion why should a person become a PDGA

member or renew their PDGA membership?

Photo credit: Leah Taylor

Photo credit: Leah Taylor

This one has always been a tough one for me even during my five years as the PDGA

Memberships Manager. I believe in supporting what you love. I joined the PDGA before I even

knew about tournaments, $10 discounts, and player ratings. For me, it was about being part of

an organization that was supporting the growth of the game. I have a JFK “ask not what your

country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” mentality. Those passionate

words paired with good parenting and growing up in the church where giving back was instilled

in me, makes supporting what you love a clear choice. I started freestyling (I’m terrible) a few

years ago and immediately joined the FPA, started playing Ultimate I’m joining USA Ultimate. It

just makes sense to me.

Photo credit: Scott Walker

With that said, to break it down for the “what’s in it for me” crowd. The PDGA is the governing

body and as their numbers grow the recognition of disc golf as a legitimate sport will increase.

The PDGA does more than just enforcing rules and sanctioning events. The organization has

been incredibly supportive of the growth of the women’s game through the Women’s Global

Event, PDGA Women’s Committee, Innovation Grant Program, and October’s breast cancer

initiative, to name a few. As Dan “Stork” Roddick PDGA # 3 recently said for an article on the

PDGA website, “All we can do is continue the push to introduce this amazing sport to more and

more people. And we will. We ALWAYS will.” As a member of the organization, you are part of

the driving force behind disc golf growth. I look forward to the day that I meet PDGA number

1,999,999, and I get to think how low my PDGA number is at 33589. If you don’t like the

organization, and you don’t agree with their approach to the game, I say that’s, even more of a

reason to join. If you don’t like it, do something about it. Become a member so you can vote in

elections, run for the Board of Directors and make the change you want to see in the

organization.

Photo credit: Dean Adams

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Lady of the Month June 2016 Kim McVicar a.k.a. Lady Bug

When was the first time you heard about disc golf?

The first time I heard about disc golf was from my daughter Gina, her new boyfriend (who is now her husband) played disc golf and she thought it was something I would like.

When did you first start playing disc golf?

I threw my very first disc at Token Creek, in Madison, WI the end of August 2009. I was living and working in Madison, WI at the time. I leased a parking spot and the guy (Jason Humphrey) who worked there started talking about this sport called disc golf. My mind goes “hey Gina mentioned this sport to me”. I fell in love with the sport from my very first not so good throw.

kim11

It’s never too late to start playing, right?

That’s right Jenny I was 54 when I threw my first disc.

kim12

You are one of the most stylish golfers we know, always looking sharp, and vibrant, what is your favorite gear to play disc golf in?

A smile 🙂

kim2

What is your most memorable disc golf vacation?

Hands down the 2011 Disc Golf Cruise, yes friends there was such an event.

kim13

What advice do you have for someone who wants to start playing disc golf, or who just started and is new to the game?

Don’t get discouraged and remember to always, always have FUN!

kim9 kim8 kim7 kimfun1

If you could have an official candy of disc golf what would it be?

DOTS of course!

dots

What are your top 3 favorite courses in Wisconsin?

Token Creek
Rolling Ridge
Sandy point

kimtomatsandypoint

Kim and Tom at Sandy Point Disc Golf Ranch and Resort.

If you could have a tee off song for the first round of a big event, what song would you choose?

This Girls is on Fire

What is your favorite recipe to make for others?

Chili

Kim really made this chili!

You turned 60 recently (Happy Birthday) do you have any disc golf goals for your 60th year on this earth?

To win Senior Grandmasters at AM Worlds this year.

Kim1

Save

Save

Lady of the Month April 2016: Liz Carr-Sypien

How did you find out about disc golf?

I was working at a pizza place and all the guys went out to play and didn’t invite me so I went out the next day, bought my own discs and practiced my butt off so I would be able to beat those guys!

We did a little PDGA stalking (cause what good disc golf addict doesn’t) and looking back at your ratings history you had a pretty high rating at the beginning of your career. Did you play casually before playing tournaments or is it natural talent and understanding of how disc fly?

I only played casually for a few months before trying my first tournament. I was instantly addicted to the competition (I finished last), the new friendships and the whole inviting atmosphere that I found. I took practice to the extreme and would go out several times a day until I couldn’t throw anymore.

liz4

What are your top 3 favorite courses you have played in the United States?

Flip City, Shelby, MI – the course that taught me how to be a golfer and showed me the supportive network that disc golf embodies.

De Laveaga, Santa Cruz, CA – challenging and beautiful with a rich history.

liz5

Any Course, Any Town, USA – I find beauty in any course I’m on. I love seeing new shots and I believe that any and every course has the ability to teach a golfer new things.

“They” say little girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice. Is it fairly accurate to say that most disc golf girls are made of beer and cheer and have nothing to fear?

Haha! I can definitely attest to the strong community of disc golf sisters. With all of our combined support and encouragement, we can be a part of fearlessly growing our divisions.

lizladies lizladies2  liz6

Speaking of beer, if you had to choose an official beer of disc golf what would you choose?

I’d go for one of the huge companies like Budweiser. The bigger endorsements the better for the game! I might not drink much of it though.

If someone were to travel to Michigan for a disc golf road trip, what are your 3 must play courses in the Mitten (Michigan)?

  • Flip City, Shelby, MI – a true disc golf experience where you can see and feel the love that is disc golf.
  • Mason County Parks, Beauty, Beast and Goliath, Ludington, MI – all the golf you can take with lots of elevation changes and views of Lake Michigan.
  • Toboggan, Milford, MI – extreme golf, long, challenging and a workout!

Will the Detroit Lions ever win the Super Bowl?

Probably not in my lifetime. But I don’t want to say never!

If Discraft said you could only play with 3 discs for the rest of your career on their team, which 3 discs would you choose?

Soft APX-a reliable putter

Buzz- the best mid range on the market

Crank- a driver that can handle almost any weather condition.

  lizputter

.

How is Scratch?

She is a little jealous of her human sister but she is learning that the baby is always a good place to find snacks!

liz3

You are a young disc golf mamma:) Any advice for expecting mothers in regard to playing while pregnant? Any additional advice for mom’s who play disc golf?

Playing pregnant was tough. Sometimes just walking was a challenge but I kept reading articles about how important exercise is while pregnant so what better outlet than disc golf? I played until I felt I could no longer (about 9 months) and had an easy delivery that I attribute to the regular exercise. I would never have been able to golf so much during my pregnancy, or even now, without the unending support and encouragement from my husband.

liz2

Lady of the Month March 2016: Julie Ferdella

When did you first become aware of the sport of disc golf? When did you first start playing?

I first became aware of disc golf roughly in 2002.  I used to walk around Maple Hill and Pyramids in my hometown of Leicester Massachusetts and watch friends play.  I had not, however, seen another female throw so even as a seasoned athlete I was tentative to try.  I picked up my first disc nearly 10 years later in November 2011, and it changed the course of my entire life.

As a physical education teacher what are your favorite activities to teach?

Of course I love to teach disc golf, but I also focus a lot on Team Building and Project Adventure activities.  I feel this generation is slowly losing the abilities to communicate effectively, respect one another and cope with negative emotions.  I try to incorporate lots activities that foster teamwork, cooperation, problem solving and critical thinking.

What are your 3 favorite courses?

Maple Hill, Leicester MA

maplehill

Holler in the Hills, Brownsville KY

Hunt’s Mean 18, Rindge NH

What food is your guilty pleasure?

Papa Gino’s extra cheese pizza

You are involved in a very active team event that goes all winter in the New England area, can you explain the format and give us a basics of how the New England Team Challenge works?

julieteam

I will try my best to give you the Cliff’s Notes.  🙂  New England Team Challenge will be finishing its 11th season on April 9.  It has grown exponentially in recent years and now the league includes 36 teams though 4 pools (A, B, C, D).  Typically teams consist of 18-20 men and 1-3 women. Teams travel throughout New England and New York to compete once per month from October through April.  The home team is responsible for providing a lunch & beer spread for the visiting team.  Each challenge consists of two rounds; first round is singles match play (a la Player’s Cup)  and second round is doubles stroke play.  A win in match play is worth one point, and in the event of a push (tie), each team earns .5 point.  A win in doubles stroke play is worth two points, and all ties must be played off until there is a winner.  Finals takes place every year on the second Saturday of April.  Each Pool has a final event that determines which teams will advance to the higher Pool next season (or determine an A Pool Champion), and teams who do not qualify are automatically relegated to the next lowest Pool.

julieteam2

All of this fun, winter season New England golf could not be possible without all of the countless volunteer hours by Commissioners, Team Captains and the dedicated disc golfers who play in 3+ feet of snow, freezing cold, wind, and other unimaginably miserable conditions in which we suit up and march into battle with smiles on our faces.  It is so special to be part of this and I am forever grateful.

juliesnow

What was your first disc that you fell in love with?

Discraft Buzzz because it was the first disc I could actually throw straight.

If you could have a tee off song for the beginning of each round in a 3 round tournament what would your first round tee off song, second round tee off song, and final 9 tee off song?

1  Incubus – Make Yourself

 

2  The Used – Box Full Of Sharp Objects

3 Bush – Machinehead

If you could have an official beer of disc golf, what would it be?

Heady Topper by The Alchemist

headytopper

What disc golf events are you looking forward to the most in 2016?

I am most looking forward to the first New England Women’s Tournament Series in 2016.  It is a series of women’s only tournaments throughout New England & New York with an aim to continue growing women’s participation in our area.  We hope this may also encourage membership into our local organization, the New England Flying disc Association (NEFA) and the PDGA.  The two events in this series I am most excited for are the Women’s Global Event at Maple Hill and the USWDGC in Sabattus ME.

What advice do you have for a female who may know about disc golf but hasn’t got up the nerve to try it out yet?

The number one advice I have is to play with other women.  Sure you can play with your boyfriend and his buddies, but that will more likely be discouraging than encouraging.  Women are most often unable to replicate what the guys can do on the course.  Sure they can help us with parts of our game, but the learning really happens when playing with and watching women.

Don’t know any women who play?  Locate a women’s league.  Don’t have a women’s league?  Start one.  Build it and they will come.

 

Julief

 

Ladies First Lady of the Month February 2016: Rebekah Kersey

How did you discover disc golf?
When I was first introduced I was still an avid softball player. I went out one summer day with a group of friends that I worked with and I was terrible. Usually I can try almost any sport and be halfway decent so it really drove me nuts that I wasn’t very good. It hooked me though and made me want to get better and in the meantime I fell in love with the game, being outside and one with nature, the social aspect, the competition, and the community.

rebekah2

Backhand, Forehand or Both?
4 years ago… forehand. Now, both, definitely. I like having the option depending on the layout of the hole, the wind, etc.

REbekah3

How many disc golf tournaments did you play in 2015?
17 PDGA, 1 Southern National, and about a dozen local club tournaments.

You are the 2014  Rookie of the Year, was that a goal of yours or something that was coincidental to the number of events you played?
It was never a goal of mine from the get go. Only once I knew I was in contention did I make the push to get the title… which involved a LOT of traveling and tournaments.

rebekah5

Since the Rams are no longer the NFL team for St. Louis, would you consider becoming a Green Bay Packer fan? If not Green Bay, which NFL team will you cheer for?
I have no problem cheering on the PACKERS (Go Pack Go!) especially since my good friend it a HUGE fan however I really have been following the Seattle Seahawks for the last few years since the Rams weren’t that great anyway.

Are there any States or tournaments you haven’t played before that you are considering playing in 2016?
I realllllly want to got to Manitowoc this year for the Silver Cup around my birthday. I have never been that far up north for disc golf.

DCIM102MEDIA

Photo courtesy of Silver Cup Pro Tour Website http://silvercupdiscgolf.com/

 

If you could have a spirit animal, which animal would you choose?
So I didn’t really know how to answer without just throwing something out a random for no good reason so I instead when online and found a quiz… ha. Apparently I am a deer. Surprisingly the description was spot on however…

Which are your top 3 favorite courses?
Camden 2 in Iowa, Waterworks in Kansas City, Prides Creek in Indiana

rebekah1

What is your favorite color?
Black followed by teal and purple

If you could have an official beer of disc golf what would it be? 

Hmm well I love IPAs and I love me some Val Doss so I would choose her and Nate’s Understable IPA.

valandnate

Photo from Bill Wilbur Wallis Facebook Page

How to make friends on the disc golf course

I don’t know about you, but I have big goals for my disc golf game in 2016.

Increasing my player rating, playing the Wisconsin Disc Golf Tour, competing at Am Worlds, and having lots of fun of course!

Whether you have performance or competitive goals, or you just want to get out to some new courses this year, it’s not going to magically happen on its own.

In my experience I have found that the single biggest predictor of achieving any goal (disc golf-related or not) is the level of accountability and support I have.

When I first wanted to start playing disc golf regularly a few years ago, I was new in town and didn’t know anybody. I was really self-conscious about going to the course alone. I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb on the course as I was oftentimes the only woman and a beginner to boot. I didn’t want to hold anyone up or be ‘judged’ by the more experienced players. Consequently my rounds were few and far between.

My playing frequency, skill, experience, and overall enjoyment of the game increased exponentially after I joined the Disc On! Ladies League (DOLLs), started playing tournaments with my new friends from league, and after meeting my boyfriend, traveling around to different courses each weekend with him and his friends.

I have learned so much from playing with other people (most of them better than me): proper throwing form and technique, disc flight paths, how to adjust your strategy based on the weather, selecting the proper disc for the shot, course etiquette and rules, and how to stay in the game mentally when you are having a bad round, just to name a few.

So if you’re looking to up-level your game and want someone to join you out on the course, where can you find them? Making friends can be hard at any age. Here are a few tried and tested sources from my own experience and from some of my fellow disc golfers:

Online. Disc golfers are very active online, from Facebook groups and exchange boards to Instagram accounts and more. A simple search should turn up a lot of options. The PDGA website is also an underutilized gold mine – the member database makes it easy to search for players in your area and local coordinators.

On the course. If you catch up to a group and the offer to let you play through, ask if you can join their group! Single ladies, the odds are especially in your favor 🙂 Helping someone search for a lost disc is also an easy icebreaker.

Local shop owners. If you’re fortunate to have a disc golf shop near you, the owners/employees are a great resource. They will know all about local leagues, tournaments, and course regulars to whom they’d be happy to introduce you. Plus you can strike up a conversation with the other shop customers.

Leagues. Many courses host weekly league play and are a great way to meet a lot of people in an organized setting. There are a range of options, from non-competitive women’s leagues like DOLLs, all the way up to PDGA sanctioned leagues that count toward your player rating.

Tournaments. When I was new to the sport, the idea of playing in a tournament sounded very intimidating. Luckily I was encouraged/lovingly peer-pressured into signing up for a tournament by other DOLLs members and found out that I loved it! There are multiple divisions to choose from so you are competing against players of your same gender and skill level, and you can meet people from all over the state. I’ve had the most fun at all-women tournaments like the Women’s Global Event and the Wisco Disco.

Does the idea of striking up a conversation with a stranger make you cringe? Me too, most of the time. But if there’s one thing that I’ve learned over the past couple years, it’s that disc golfers are some of the friendliest and most generous people around. Even though it’s an individual sport, there is so much camaraderie. The great thing about disc golf is that you can play with people of all skill levels and still have a good time. You’re in good company.

And finally, once you’ve found your new disc golf friends, don’t forget to pay it forward! If you come across a solo player on the course, invite them to join you. Talk to someone you haven’t met before at a tournament or the new guy or gal at league. Put up a post in your local Facebook group inviting anyone to join you for your next round. And grow the sport by inviting your non-disc golfing friends too!

What are your 2016 disc golf goals, and who is going to help you reach them?

About the author:

Casey Pennington, PDGA #74708 started playing “frisbee” golf over ten years ago when she began organizing tournaments on a homemade course at her annual family reunion. (She has since graduated to real discs and metal baskets.)

caseyP

Most days you can find her taking a break from her consulting business (www.caseypennington.com) at one of the courses in Sheboygan. On weekends she loves to travel around Wisconsin for tournaments and casual rounds with friends, rain or shine or snow!

Lady of the Month December: Barrett White Wizard of the Woods…

1.) Your fixation with Frisbees started not with disc golf but with ultimate Frisbee. In what year did you start playing Ultimate Frisbee? What year did you start playing disc golf?

Fall of 1986 for ultimate & late 1999 for disc golf. Technically, my sister and I used to throw a Wham-O Frisbee in our back yard for hours on end when we were pre-junior high.

barrett3

2.) What are 3 simple things a new player can do on the course to improve their game?

Most of the things I would recommend to a new player to improve their game are off the course activities: play catch; throw all your discs in a big open field with different angles so you know what they do naturally, before you try to steer them; and on the course, relax & give yourself a break. We are playing disc golf, usually in lovely places, so relaxing and enjoying the round usually leads to more fun than putting pressure on oneself.

3.) Who is your favorite movie star from the 1980’s?

So many. I loved the Brat Pack – Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Charlie Sheen…

bratpack1

and Matthew Broderick as Ferris Bueller was the smart aleck’s smart aleck.

ferrisbueller

   

4.) You have found yourself in a few “final 9” rounds that determine the winner of a multi-round tournament, these rounds often have a gallery and a little added pressure. What do you like to do before the start of those rounds to relax and take your mind off of those 9 holes?

I love to play a good game of catch – where I can run around a bit. I also like to hang a bit with friends I might not have seen as much during actual tournament play. I find listening to music helps, and will usually throw on some Bad Religion, Green Day, Rise Against, etc. If there is a ton of time, I try and see some of the other women’s divisions if they are still playing; there are a lot of terrific women out there on the course these days 🙂

barrett1

5.) Are you a wizard? We understand if you can’t reveal this information. However based on some of the lines your throw and putts you make, we can see that you are magical.

If I am, I have yet to find my magical superpower (not for lack of trying). Though (to dork out for a second), I tend to be more of a ranger than a magic user in RPG adventures.
Sorry to disappoint, but spending 20 years throwing to a moving target through moving defenders (and being obsessive about ultimate), as well as 50-50-50 warm up drills is more to credit for that than any wizardry. (50-50-50 was where we partnered up and had to complete 50 consecutive throws of forehand, backhand and overhead. A drop or mis-throw reset the count to zero.)

6.) Whether you are a wizard or not, who is your favorite wizard?

Gandalf

gandalf

7.) If Discraft said you could only play with 3 discs, which 3 discs would you choose?

Z 150 Flick,Glo Buzz, 150 ESP Avenger (though I would add my Crank as disc 4).barrett8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8.) If you could have an official beer of disc golf, what beer would that be?

Piece Brewery Dark & Curvy Dunkelweisspiece

 

 

 

 

9.) If you could choose any fictional character as your doubles partner, who would you choose?

It is a close race between Ender Wiggin and Aragorn, son of Arathorn.

10.) We (Ladies First Disc Golf) are grateful for you, and your kind soul. Who in disc golf are you thankful for?

So many people, from whom I have learned so much. Amy Dubrioullet-Cooper, for starting me on this crazy adventure in disc golf; Nancy and Mike Glass for their constant support and encouragement, as well as all of my teammates on the many teams I played on; Elliot Fu and Jordan Halpern for always being willing to throw with me;

barrett5

Lisa Warner for befriending me when I was a new golfer; Des Reading, Juliana Korver, and Elaine King for being so amazing / inspirational / encouraging when I first started, and for blazing the trail for all of us following in their footsteps; Erin Oakley, Val Jenkins, and Jenny San Filippo, and so many other women who are constantly bringing more women into the game and doing all they can to encourage the growth of the women’s game; and finally, all the women with whom it has been my privilege to throw plastic.

barrett7

Also, Discraft has been an amazing sponsor for me since 2003 – their plastic has been so consistent for me that it has allowed me to constantly improve my game. Pandamonium has been keeping me looking sharp since 2014.

barrett4