November 2019 Lady of the Month: Erikah Weir 

Erika Weir PDGA #68633 is a newly turned professional disc golfer. In July of 2019, Erikah competed and won Amateur Worlds in the Advanced Women division. Erikah lives in Denver, CO and is a member of the Innova Disc Golf Ambassador Team. She joined the PDGA in 2014 and has worked her way up through the amateur rankings. 2020 will be Erikah’s first year competing in the professional division in all events.

When were you introduced to disc golf? Who introduced you to disc golf?

I was an Ultimate Frisbee player for 7 years before finding disc golf. Unfortunately, my body was breaking down after running all of the miles from Ultimate and playing lacrosse in college. But, my good friend Jen Underwood was kind enough to introduce me to disc golf in 2013 as a way to keep throwing and enjoy a beer or two on the course. Soon, it became an addiction for me and Jen has never forgiven herself 🙂

For drives do you primarily throw backhand, forehand or a combination of both?

 

I throw a combination of both. For any tunnels or tight fairways, I generally throw forehand. For power shots that have little danger (OB or bunkers), I generally throw backhand.

What is your philosophy on putting?

My putting has always been a work in progress. Currently, I do my best to get my drives and upshots to land as close to the basket as possible so putting tends to be less stressful. But, for the offseason, I hope to increase my “comfort range” inside the circle. From the few Professional tournaments I have played this year, I think that’s the biggest difference I have seen from moving up from the Amateur ranks. We have a few putting leagues in Colorado that I hope to attend and I will work with Perfect Putt 360 on my own to track my progress.

Photo credit: PDGA Flickr

Do you have any relation to Bob (Weir)?

Depends on which Bob Weir you are referring to 🙂 I have an Uncle Bob Weir but he is not the guitarist from the Grateful Dead.

Do you attend a women’s disc golf league? If so, what is your favorite part about participating in a women’s disc golf league?

In Boulder, we have a weekly women’s tag match run by the fabulous Ali Dorato. She has had great success with getting about 5-10 women each week for a round of 18; during the high season, even more! My favorite part is getting to know the women that keep coming back and watching various parts of their game improve. Whether it’s using a new disc, adding distance to drives or sinking a long putt, the energy is fantastic!

If you could only play disc golf with 3 discs, which 3 discs would you choose?

Driver: older Pro Thunderbird, Mid: Star Aviar X3 (my FAVORITE disc!) and Putter: XT Whale.

You traveled a bit in 2019 for various disc golf events. What state that you traveled to in 2019 did you enjoy the most? Any favorite courses you can’t wait to get back to?

So far, in 2019, we have been to Nevada, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Arizona. I am originally from Pennsylvania, so it was great to get back to my home state and see some East Coast courses. I think that Iron Hill DGC in Delaware was the hardest course I played all year and I would like to get another crack at it in 2020!

Are there any disc golf courses you haven’t played yet that you dream of playing?

Absolutely! The majority of my disc golf career has been based in Colorado so there are MANY courses out there I want to play! Like anyone, Smuggler’s Notch, Maple Hill and Milo McIver are all on my list. I just got to play Fountain Hills in Phoenix, AZ and standing on the first MPO teepad was so much more intimidating that I had expected it to be!

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

I love the Tropical Punch flavor of Body Armor. I drink a TON of it while I am playing!

You are the 2019 Amateur World Champion in the FA1 division, congratulations!

The competition was fierce and talented women disc golfers are a growing force, you are part of that force. Did you have a goal before the competition started? Do you have any advice for women who aspire to be world champion disc golfers on how to achieve their goals?

Thank you so much! Before the competition, my goal was to shoot above my rating and end my Amateur career on the highest note possible. I really wanted to make it to the Final 9 and luckily, I was able to make that happen.

Photo Credit: PDGA Flickr

 

As far as advice: less discs = less risks! Get to know discs that will work well for your game and keep the selection small. Gaining confidence in your bag will equate to confidence on the tee pad and in the putting circle. Hard work really does work! In addition, I encourage women disc golfers to support one another and celebrate the small victories! Operating from a place of abundance instead of scarcity has been a rule of thumb for me in 2019. At Worlds, it was so inspiring to play with very talented women during each round. We were all vying for one coveted title but the camaraderie on our cards was very positive and encouraging! I was blown away by the talent and can’t wait to see where the Women’s game goes from here!

A note from Erikah

Thank you Jenny for this opportunity! I really love Ladies First Disc Golf and love wearing my apparel out on the course. Definitely want to thank my sponsors Innova Champion Discs and Gatekeeper Media! Innova has provided amazing plastic and wonderful support and Gatekeeper produced my “In the Bag” video this summer. I really look forward to continuing our partnerships in the 2020 season! A big thank you to my Mile High Disc Golf family, in Denver and Boulder, for all of their support as well. Wherever I am playing, I can truly feel the Colorado Love. And, last but certainly not least: one final thank you to Michael Oswald-my caddy for DG and life! You are the best!

 

5 Reasons Women with PCOS Should Play Disc Golf

PCOS Awareness

September is Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome Awareness (PCOS) awareness month. According to the PCOS Awareness Association PCOS affects over 10 million women in the world. I am one of the 10 million women affected by PCOS. Disc golf and the symptoms of PCOS became present in my life around the same time. They are both important to me, which is why I think other women with PCOS can benefit from playing disc golf.

What is PCOS?

PCOS is an endocrine disorder that typically causes disturbances in a women’s menstrual cycle. Women with PCOS may go months without having their period. When it finally returns it usually  lasts eight or more weeks. PCOS is different for every woman; some affected may have a regular cycle, but may not ovulate. For couples trying to make a family, the lack of ovulation can make this difficult. Even if ovulation does occur if cycles are not regular conceiving can be difficult.

Weight gain is common in women with PCOS. The old chicken or egg question may arise when dealing with PCOS and weight gain. Did I have PCOS because I gained weight in my 20’s or after having my first baby? Alternatively, did I always have PCOS even at a healthy weight, but now PCOS symptoms are showing more and making weight loss a challenge? Both are common scenarios of women with PCOS experience.

The weight gain that occurs often increases the risk of diabetes in women with PCOS. Insulin resistance is prevalent in women with PCOS and can, therefore, lead to added weight, difficulties losing weight, and diabetes.

Other symptoms that relate to appearances such as increased acne and hirsutism are common in women with PCOS. Hirsutism is when hair appears in places it typically doesn’t on a woman such as the face, stomach, and lower back. The opposite of excess hair growth can also be a problem, which would be losing hair from your head and male pattern baldness.

In addition to physical changes mentioned above, women with PCOS are more prone to depression, anxiety, mood swings, and headaches. Often these invisible symptoms can be even worse than the physical symptoms as they are easy to mask and bottle inside.

All of the factors listed above: inability to get pregnant, weight gain, acne, facial hair, hair loss, and increased headaches can undoubtedly contribute to depression and anxiety. Women with PCOS should not let PCOS and it’s symptoms control or get them down.

If you are feeling down, want to get in better shape, and meet new friends continue reading to see why you should play disc golf.

5 Reasons Women with PCOS Should Play Disc Golf

1.) Get Active Lose Weight

Disc golf is a low impact activity for people of any age. If you haven’t been too participating in any physical activity for a while disc golf is a walk in the park with a purpose. If you enjoy low impact exercise of walking but also like to play games, disc golf is the perfect activity. Disc golf could be the jump start to increased physical activity. Increased physical activity can lead to weight loss which can help control  your PCOS symptoms.

2.) Nature Can Help With Depression

I don’t know about you, but whenever green spaces surround me I feel better. Disc golf is played in public parks and on private properties. Disc golf courses are always in a green space, some wide open and some filled with trees, moss, and ferns. If you are feeling depressed, or anxious getting out in nature often helps to lift your spirits.

3.) Meet Friends

Let’s face it as an adult meeting new friends can be a challenge. Once your are graduate from school, the only people we may interact with are family and co-workers. Depending on where you work, you may not have many co-workers. Or you may prefer to keep your work life separate from your private life. Disc golf women come from all walks of life and are some of the most welcoming people I have ever met. There are women’s disc golf leagues and Facebook groups in nearly every state. Finding a group of ladies to learn disc golf from is an excellent start to your new hobby, and new support system of friends!

4.) Take Your Mind Off PCOS

Picking up a new hobby that you can do alone or with friends is a great way to remind yourself that PCOS does not define who you are. Don’t let your mind spiral into focusing solely on your PCOS symptoms and how they affect your life.

5.) Challenge Yourself

I firmly believe getting out in nature can help with the depression-related symptoms of PCOS. Challenging yourself can also help with this. If you feel like you aren’t “athletic” and are nervous about play disc golf forget that thought. Disc golf is so much more than throwing a disc at a basket. Yes, good form will help, but you can always work to improve your skills and form. When you learn the basics of disc golf, you have challenged yourself to learn something new, and that always feels good. Once you have learned the basics of throwing a disc and start to play more, you will use mental strength to attack the course! Challenging yourself, you against the course and improving is a great way to boost your self-esteem and feel in control.

Take Control of PCOS and Discover a New You

PCOS often can seem like it runs our lives. It is a silent syndrome that many people may not realize you have, which can make it even more challenging. Adding a fun hobby like disc golf to your life can help remind you that PCOS is only one part of who you are and does not define you as a person.

If you are a woman with PCOS and have never played disc golf, please reach out to me. I am happy to provide resources on how to play disc golf, equipment needed, and I can even help you find some new disc golf friends.

If you are a woman who already plays disc golf and doesn’t have PCOS I thank you for taking the time to read this article. Hopefully, you learned something new, and perhaps you know someone who has PCOS that this article will help!

 

Performance Anxiety in Disc Golf: R-E-L-A-X

Working through performance anxiety. It all started in the 4th grade at the spelling bee. It was round 1, they gave me an easy word I was capable of spelling. The word was “Growl”.

I step up to the microphone to dominate this easy word and move onto the next round.  But I don’t. My nerves and performance anxiety get the best of me. This is what comes out “G, O…” and a loud sigh. I knew as soon as I said the letter “o” that I had messed up. Also, that my spelling bee dreams were over.

What happened? Why did I mess up such as easy word?  I knew I could spell growl. It kept playing over and over in my head as I sat in the audience to watch the remainder of the spelling bee. This moment was the beginning of me acknowledging my performance anxiety. I still struggle with anxiety related to competition as an adult and know many competitors do as well.
howl growl

It seems that for the last year when I compete in disc golf tournaments I am consistently performing under my skill level. I know I still have a lot to learn, as this sport always provides learning opportunities.  Increased practice and playing the courses more before the tournament would help. However, my blunders on the course seem to be very much related to my mental game. It all seems to boil down to performance anxiety.

The thing is I don’t get angry. I try to brush off the bad shots. Take each shot as it is. For some reason my body doesn’t want to relax during a tournament.

I have found when I play in my Thursday night Disc On! Ladies League (DOLLs) that I generally more often than not, play very well. My drives set me up for at least 1-2 birdies per round. It is not uncommon for me to make a couple 30’+ putts. I rarely miss a 10′ or less putt. However, these moves are not the case during a tournament. I find I easily get into a routine of missing many 10′ or less putts during these rounds, to make my 3’s turn to 4’s and my 4′ turn to 5’s. The difference being at DOLLs leagues, there is a lot of giggling. We keep score we aren’t playing to compete against each other–it is more for the social and fun aspects of it. I suppose I am not overthinking these league rounds and performance anxiety does not become a factor.

As I have been noticing my inconsistent tournament performance vs. my casual rounds, I have been trying to pin point how I can translate this better play into tournament performance. In addition to more practice and familiarity with the courses. The main thing I need to do is what Aaron Rodgers, the best quarterback in the NFL said when fans were worried about the Greenbay Packers 2014 season, he had 5 letters “R-E-L-A-X!” The fans relaxed and the team went on to have a 12 and 4 season and win the NFC North division.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-network-gameday/0ap3000000401519/Rodgers-R-E-L-A-X-remix

I know when I make a great putt or throw a good drive my body mainly my upper shoulders and neck are relaxed. I just need to work on relaxing and staying focused. All while not taking the game too seriously and just remember that my body knows what to do.

What do you do to relax on the course? How have you worked through mental struggles that turn into inconsistencies?

August 2019 Ladies of the Month: Melody, Aria and Haley Castruita

Melody, Aria and Haley Castruita are a trio of sisters who disc golf from Spicewood, TX. Their father John Castruita PDGA #42756 has been a PDGA member since 2010 and has made disc golf a family affair!
All three sisters competed in the 2019 PDGA Junior Worlds in Emporia, KS and came away from the event with top finishes in the event.
Melody Castruita #50171 placed 1st in the Junior Girls 18 and under category and has past first place finishes in her local PDGA Women’s Global Event from 2014,2016 & 2018.
Aria Castruita #105126 placed 2nd in the highly competitive Junior Girls 15 and under at the 2019 PDGA Worlds and was also the 1st place winner of her local WGE for the Junior Girls 12 and under division.
The youngest of the siblings Haley Castruita #105127 placed 1st in the Junior Girls 12 and under division at the 2019 Junior World Championships. 2019 is Haley’s first year of competing with which she has earned 6 victories out of 9 events!
These young ladies are the future of the sport and recently all signed sponsorship deals with the Trilogy companies: Dynamic Discs, Latitude 64 & Westside Discs.

Who introduced you to disc golf?

Our dad introduced and taught us disc golf.

How long has each sister been playing?

Melody has been playing for nine years, Aria eight years, and Haley seven years.

What is each of your favorite drivers?

Melody’s favorite driver is the DD Lucid Air Captain. Aria’s is the Lat Ballista Pro. Haley’s is the Westside Stag

Do you play a lot on summer break? Do you play all year?

Yes, we play all year. We are home schooled and for gym, we play 18 holes on our property. The front nine are 20 to 30 ft. shots. The back nine are 75 to 150 ft. shots.

What is your biggest disc golf accomplishment?

Melody’s biggest accomplishment was winning the PDGA 2019 Disc Golf World Championships Junior Girls 18 & Under. Aria’s was winning the Women’s Global Event 2016 & 2018. Haley’s was winning the PDGA 2019 Disc Golf World Championships Junior Girls 12 & Under.

Do you have any role models from the disc golf community?

Yes, Stephanie Vincent has really supported us and the local disc golf community. She always encourages us to do our best and is very positive.

Do you have other hobbies or sports you play outside of disc golf?

We like to play mini disc golf and love to draw. Also, we play guitar and piano and sing. We play Christian songs and perform at retirement and rehabilitation centers.

Is there any sibling rivalry on the course?

We are competitive with each other but we support and encourage each other, too.

Does having your family on the course help to motivate or encourage you in any way?

Of course! Our mom and dad are great caddies and always encourage us. We always enjoy playing a round with them.

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

We all like eating trail mix.

Do you have any advice for young players who are just starting to play disc golf?

The main thing is to have fun and play as much as you can. Start off with a few discs and get familiar with those. The more you play, the better you’ll get. Find others that love to play disc golf and practice with them. If you can, play with disc golfers that are really good and learn from them.

Some Like it Hot…or Not!

Author:

PDGA #21224

 

 

 

Temperatures are starting to heat up here in the Midwest, and I am sure all over the country.  I recently played in the Wisco Disco tournament in Madison, WI where the heat index was in the middle 90’s.  During and after the tournament many of the ladies were asking how to stay cool and hydrated in those conditions. Some ladies were suffering physically from the heat and humidity.  The team at Ladies First Disc Golf thought it would be a great idea to do the research for you! Check out these tips for beating the heat during your rounds so that you can stay safe.

Regulate Your Temperature

The goal for everyone playing in oppressive heat indices is to make sure your body can cool itself. If your body struggles to regulate its temperature, you can start to suffer from heat-related conditions of heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke.  As the turtle in Finding Nemo says, “you’re going to have a bad day!”  Your body cools itself by the evaporation of sweat from your skin, so with humidity less evaporation occurs making it difficult to keep your body temp normal.

Women Carrying Water on a Disc Golf Course

Photo Credit: Lauren E. Lakeberg

A key way to assist your body is by hydrating like mad before, during, and after your rounds.  If you have been to a PDGA Major, you have heard Chuck’s battle cry, “Be a grape, not a raisin”.  Since there are many factors involved with how much to drink, a general rule of thumb is to drink about a half liter of water every hour; up this amount if heat index is really high or you are playing a strenuous course.  You can also gauge how much water you should drink after a round by weighing yourself before and after your round, then replace each pound lost with 20 ounces of water.

Hydration Beyond Water

To sport drink or not to sport drink, that is a tricky question.  There are many articles out there about sport drinks, electrolyte mixes, etc.  I think it comes down to the weather conditions and personal preference.  Water is your top priority, and I suggest trying sports drinks and/or a variety of electrolyte mixes to see if you perform better with certain products.  I have been playing disc golf for over 17 years so I have tried my fair share of products.  I have found sport drinks such as Powerade/Gatorade to be too heavy on my gut and feel like a whale after drinking.

Disc Golf Women

Photo Credit: Lauren E. Lakeberg

I also have developed an allergy to certain fake sugars such as sucralose and stevia, so I cannot tolerate the “no sugar added” mixes/tablets, but I really liked the electrolyte tablets from NUUN as you could just carry them in your bag and add to water as needed.  I gave out tablets to my card mates at the Wisco Disco and they loved them.  Now I use the NUUN Performance Hydration powder.  I can add it to my water bottle as needed, and it gives me the electrolytes I need to re-hydrate. It also has the carbs I need for energy being a masters-age player.

Another tip I found while researching, if you like to be frugal, is to use a small amount of Celtic Sea Salt to add minerals/electrolytes to your water.

Erin Oakley’s tip is to add fruit chunks to water, and then freeze it overnight.  You will have some nutrients in cool water for your afternoon round.  So keep chugging fluids, and try out a few options to see what works best to keep you hydrated and performing well on the course.

Heat Exhaustion Know the Signs

Women playing disc golf

Photo Credit: Lauren E. Lakeberg

I went down with heat exhaustion at the Mid America Open in steaming Columbia, Missouri several years ago.  I had the classic symptoms of dizziness, fatigue, dry mouth, muscle cramps, and nausea.  Luckily one of my card mates knew about cooling the body quickly at pulse points, and got me through the last 2 holes to get to tournament central for shade/water.  Putting cool water, ice packs, or cool rags on pulse points for several minutes cools down the blood so that as it travels along the blood stream it cools the body.  Easily accessible pulse points include the inner wrists, the neck, inner elbows, and the back of the knees.

Obviously the easy one would be to put a cool towel/rag on your neck. I have had great results with rubbing ice or putting a cold towel on my wrists to cool down as well.  My friend, Nadine, freezes damp towels and then carries them in her cart to use on her neck during rounds.

women disc golfers with umbrella

Photo Credit: Lauren E. Lakeberg

Next, finding shade/cooler spaces on the course as often as possible will help in keeping your body cool.  Veteran Erin Oakley says that “heat stroke is no joke”. Erin suggests using an umbrella if you are on an open course.  We also joke about “shade golf” or “master’s golf”, and finding shade anywhere you can as you move down the fairway.  The temperature swing between being out in the sun and in the shade can be a 5-10 degree difference.  So take advantage of the shade when you can.

Better Safe Than Sorry

Finally, be aware of how you are feeling both mentally and physically, and ask for help if you need.  While caddying during Am Worlds one year, a woman on the card ahead went down. I called the TD to send help, and then when the situation took a turn for the worse I called 911.  Better to be safe than sorry.  (Another pro tip: always have the TD’s phone number with you for emergencies).  Please keep an eye on your fellow card mates as well—we are all family.  Notice if they are struggling and offer suggestions to them.  Many times someone suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke cannot focus or think clearly and they may need some assistance.  If you are really concerned, get them in the shade, try some cooling on pulse points, and call the TD.  The TD may opt to pull them off the course, and possibly call for medic.

Keeping cool and hydrated during the hot summer rounds will not only keep you performing better, but can keep you from some serious heat-related illnesses.  Use these tips, do some research, and ask your fellow disc golfers for suggestions.  Watch for more articles from the Ladies First Disc Golf Team.  Keep sparkling (and hydrated) on the courses!

Credit to the author & photographer:

Tracey “TraLo” Lopez has been discing for over 18 years.  She competes in the FP40 division and is sponsored by Ladies First Disc Golf.  She has run disc golf clinics, youth leagues, women’s leagues; assisted/volunteered with tournaments; written disc golf/wellness articles and has done public speaking engagements. TraLo was a fitness/wellness coordinator for a parks and recreation department for 17 years, moving to public works 4 years ago. She has recently been certified as a Life/Wellness Coach and re-certified as a Personal Trainer, to continue her passion for wellness & mindfulness and bring it to the disc golf community.  Watch for her upcoming Blog: On Center w/ TraLo.
Thank you to Lauren E. Lakeberg for the use of photo’s.
To follow Lauren’s disc golf photo’s:
Facebook The Disc Golf Photographer 
Instagram @thediscgolfphotographer

 

July 2019: Nikki Nash A Chick Chasing Chains

Nikki Nash PDGA#77454  is a professional disc golfer residing in Houston, TX she hosts a women’s disc golf league in Texas: Chick’s Chasing Chains.  Nikki began playing PDGA tournaments in 2015 competing in the amateur divisions. As of 2019 she has made the leap from amateur to professional to challenge herself and learn more from the best in the game. For making the jump from amateur to pro Nikki says “Taking a chance of moving up to FPO this year. It’s been a rough one, riddled with some injury, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’ve met, and played with, so many amazing women. I can’t wait to see who I have the pleasure of meeting next!” Texas is known to have a strong disc golf scene, and the state has been a pioneer for women’s disc golf.  Nikki hosts the Chick’s Chasing Chains women’s disc golf league in Houston, TX Wednesday’s with varying sessions throughout the year. To find more out about Chick’s Chasing Chains, join their group on Facebook.

 

How did you learn about disc golf, and when did you start playing?

I learned about disc golf from a friend in 2015.  I just walked with our group of friends for a while, but eventually picked up a Boss.  Once I finally had a decent throw I was hooked! 

Do you throw forehand or backhand?

Backhand.  I’m trying to force myself to learn forehand and work it into my game this year.  The progress has been…slow. 

 If you could give a new player starting out 1 tip of advice what would it be?

Learn to throw your mids and putters first.  I didn’t learn this and struggle with throwing them off the box.

 

If you could only play with 3 discs for the rest of your life, what 3 discs would they be?

Millennium Sirius Scorpius, Discraft Titanium Buzzz & Gateway Money Wizard

Everything’s big in Texas…so why is disc golf so big in Texas?

We have so much extra land to be used!  That makes it much easier to put in new courses. We’re also very proud and competitive people which helps keep the sport so popular here. 

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

Definitely Karbach Crawford Bock (Go Astros!)

Karbach is a supporter of disc golf and they host an annual doubles tournament in Houston too!  

 Fill in the blank disc golf is ___________.

Life-changing! 

 If you could have anyone in the whole world as a partner for a doubles round of disc golf who would it be?

That’s such a tough question.  I’d have to choose Chef Andrew Zimmern simply because I really enjoy cooking and I would get to meet one of my favorite celebrity chefs. 

Andrew Zimmern is a member of the Innova Celebrity team. Photo courtesy Innova Disc Golf

 What is your favorite thing about disc golf?

My favorite thing about disc golf has got to be the connections and friendships I’ve made (and will make).  It forced me to step outside of my comfort zone and meet people that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I’ve made what I think will be some lifelong friendships and valuable connections. 

 

You host a women’s league in Houston, TX called Chicks Chasing Chains, that is very well attended! What do you think are the most important factors that contribute to your league’s success? 

I’ve thought about this before and three very important factors have helped immensely. 

1 – The lovely ladies that play in the league.  They are all so friendly, welcoming, and outgoing.  When you meet them you want to return and get to know each of them better.

2 – Our format.  We keep our league low cost and only take your top 3 scores out of 6 weeks.  Your entry fee is already taken care of on the first week and it’s easier to return to cancel out any bad rounds. 

3 – The Houston Disc Golf Scene.  Every single club in the Houston area is very open to and supportive of women’s disc golf.  My closet is overflowing with disc and CTP donations for the ladies all the time!

 

 

June Lady of the Month: Podcaster Extraordinaire Becca Kephart

Becca Kephart PDGA member #94101 is an amateur disc golfer residing in Kansas City. Originally from Colorado this disc golf lady loves following the stats and cheering for the women of disc golf! In 2018 Becca started the Ladies of the Chains Disc Golf podcast. The first disc golf podcast that focuses on All Things Women’s Disc Golf. Continue reading for 10 questions with this most excellent musician, disc golfer and podcaster extraordinaire

When and where did you first start playing disc golf?

I very first started playing disc golf in 2004 when I was newly married and had just moved to Fort Collins, Colorado. It’s funny because I don’t even remember what or who first introduced me to the sport.  The Edora course was only about a half mile from our apartment and I wanted to play all the time even though I was terrible and had no idea what I was doing. We moved farther from the course in 2006, and I only played very rarely until my dad came to visit me in Kansas City in 2016. We had a day with no plans and I had driven by Rosedale a bunch of times and thought it would be fun to give disc golf another try. I still had my few discs (they were super moldy and needed to be bleach washed) but once we had played a few holes I was hooked again and sad I’d ever stopped playing. When we got back from the course I did a Facebook search and found the Kansas City Disc Golf Divas. The rest is history.

Do you prefer technical wooded courses or long open courses?

I love courses that have a mixture of both. I don’t throw super far, so long courses are not my favorite. But I like courses that mix in holes that I might have a chance to score on with more difficult holes. Recreation Park in Raymore, MO is one of my favorite courses because it gives me a chance to throw a bunch of different shots, but at distances I can handle.

If you could have anyone in the world be your doubles partner who would you choose?

This is such a tough question!!! If I had to pick one, I’ll go with Elaine King. She’s so good and knows the game so well. She also throws the same plastic as I do, so I feel like I’d be able to pick up some extra tips.

Best Tip for someone playing in their first disc golf tournament?

Everyone is nervous and awkward! I remember at my first tournament thinking I was the only one who felt uncomfortable and a little lonely. But the co-TD Rhonda Crosby had sent out a wonderful email the night before saying that everyone would be nervous and that we were about to make a bunch of friends. She couldn’t have been more right. Some of the women I met that day are great disc golf friends now. I found the most wonderful friends and community, it just took a minute. And you’ll probably score way worse than you expect, but that’s ok.

What are your 3 favorite courses in the Kansas City area?

  1. Rosedale (Kansas City, KS)- it’s my home course and where I found disc golf again.
  2. Bad Rock Creek (Liberty, MO) -I just started playing this course recently, but it’s got a ton of variety. 
  3. Recreation Park (Raymore, MO)- The design of this course makes me feel like what I think the pros feel like when they walk up to a hole. If I throw the shot right, I have a chance to make the green on most holes. But they’re not all “easy” shots.

Rosedale Down Under Photo Courtesy: Dg Course Review

If you could travel to anywhere in the whole world to play disc golf where would you go?

Finland! I’m trying to convince my husband that’s a good destination for our 20 year anniversary. Maybe we can bounce around Europe a bit and I can play in the Tyyni.

Would you rather play in rain & warm temps or wind and high temps over 90 degrees?

Despite all the rain I’ve had to play in so far this year, I will always say rain! I learned last year that playing in heat and sun wears me out so much faster. For that reason I’m not playing any 2 round in one day events in June and July to hopefully give myself the best chance to play well.

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

Recently I’ve discovered my best after round drink is tomato juice. Weird right? But the combo of salt, potassium, and vitamin C is a great recovery drink.

Do you attend any leagues? If so want to give a shout out to them?

I have a job where I work in the afternoons and evenings, so I actually don’t get to make a lot of leagues. My schedule recently changed and I will have Fridays off, so I’m looking forward to checking out some of the Friday leagues! But shout out to the Kansas City Disc Golf Divas league, they are the absolute bestest.

You host and produce the Ladies of the Chains Podcast. We were excited when we discovered your podcast! Do you have a favorite guest or episode? How can people support your podcast?

I am so thankful for the content we’ve been able to put out! I’m truly indebted to my co-hosts and all the guests we’ve had. Without them, the podcast wouldn’t exist. And selfishly it’s made me a better golfer! I can’t pick a favorite episode, but I can say a number of episodes have surprised me with how good they turned out. I never know what a guest will have to say, but it’s always so interesting and I’m again so grateful for the people that have taken the time to speak with me. To support the podcast visit ladiesofthechains.com and click on the support button to be linked to our Patreon. There’s also a link where you can purchase a t-shirt, hat, or mini.

We have to give a huge thank you to Becca for asking Ladies First Disc Golf owner Jenny San Filippo to be a guest on the Ladies of The Chains Podcast! We recently did an episode and covered Fears of Disc Golf, you can listen by clicking here https://www.ladiesofthechains.com/fears-on-the-coursethe-state-of-fpo 

 

Would you like to be featured as the Lady of the Month?

When we started our Lady of the Month articles our intentions were to interview women and girls from all aspects of the disc golf community. We have been able to interview world champion disc golfers, tournament & league directors,  business owners, amateur champions and media personalities!

Lately we have been inconsistent in posting our Lady of the Month articles. We hope you can help us change that! If you would like to be featured as a Lady of the Month fill out this form with some information about yourself.

March 2019 Lady of the Month: The Disc Princess Jessica Weese

You have been playing since you were a young lady, at what age did you first start playing disc golf?

I started playing disc golf at the age of 6. Maybe even before then… my mom played a lot when I was younger.

Your power and distance with forehand drives is one of the best in the FPO division. For a player wanting to increase their distance and power on a forehand drive, what is the best advice you can give them to help with this?

I try focusing on planting my left foot at the same time I throw the disc, also when you let go, the angle of your wrist means the world.

Which disc golf event do you look forward to playing every year?

Every year I look forward to the World Championships!  I have won big events before, but the only one everyone will never forget is the World Championships.

Over the last 5 years what is the most exciting thing you experienced on the disc golf course?

Winning 1st Place at the Beaver State Fling in 2015, Utah Open, and the Ledgestone Open. I just cant wait to take a world title!

Photo Credit: Lauren Lakeberg

Do you attend any women only tournaments throughout the year? If so, what are your favorite women’s only tournaments or leagues to attend?

Yes I try to attend the USWDGC every year.

I used to play the Daisy Chains Event in Santa Cruz, CA. That was one of the most amazing women’s tournaments, unfortunately my schedule has put a stop to that tournament for me.

Poppy Series is an all ladies series of tournaments in California I try to attend the ones that I can.

I have played at Ladies of the Lake in Ohio.  And I am sure I am missing some….

As a member of the Innova Star team if Innova said “Jessica, you can only play with 3 discs for the rest of your disc golf career” what 3 discs would you choose? Only 3?

I guess I’d have to say- Glo champion Leopard3 168g, Star Vulcan 169g, and Star Destroyer 168g

We have seen the beautiful necklaces you make, how did you get into making jewelry?

I have always loved beads, my grandma is a rock-hound.  Every year the gem and mineral show came to town, I always spent hours at the bead table helping set up and take down. The lady working the booth always gave me beads as a thank you for helping.

Every time I get new beads it inspires me to break out my bead collection and get working!

~Thank you Anette for being my bead inspiration. ~

After just running your first disc golf tournament with the help of Garrett Gurthie and your mom Sheri, what was the biggest takeaway as first time tournament director?

You must have a crew of people to help you. All helpers must know their job and how to do it, there is no time to answer everyone’s questions.

How can people support you so you can stay on the road and tour?

Follow me on my athlete page Facebook Jessica Weese or Instagram @Discprincess

I post jewelry for sale, I also post my custom stamped discs for sale.

 

~ Stay Tuned

As a female player who started playing a young age, what is advice do you have for young lady or teenage disc golfers in terms of sticking with it, and making it a lifelong activity?

Well, being a young girl I wanted to do my own thing. My mom would go play disc golf while I was in school.

When I got out of school I would walk to the park and meet my mom. I would put my backpack away and grab my skateboard. I was  sponsored for skateboarding way before I was any good at disc golf. At the age of 11, I beat my mom for the first time in a tournament round. This was my all time favorite memory as a kid. I told everyone at the tournament! She hated that, but little did she know that was my motivation for my future of Disc Golf.

Don’t ever pressure the kids into playing, make it fun, that is my all time advice!

-Jessica Weese The Disc Princess <3

January 2019 Lady of the Month: Katie Holbrook

Katie Holbrook PDGA #62587 is a lady disc golfer originally from Columbus, OH now living in Nashville, TN. Katie has tremendous power with her drives and smooth form. Katie placed 1st in 2015 at the Amateur Championships at Bowling Green in the Recreational Women’s Division. You can find Katie crushing her Innova discs in the Advanced and Pro Women’s divisions. She is a member of the Innova Ambassador Team, Team Whale Sacs, Flyin Colors Disc Golf, Black Monocle Discs. Katie has been on our team of Sparkle Sisters since the very beginning of our team in 2016, as of January 2019 she is our team hype lady and Sparkle Captain!

January 2019 Lady of the Month: Katie Holbrook

How did you learn about disc golf? When did you start playing?

 Some friends who played casually. My brother Nate bought me my first DX Leopard.

What is your favorite course in Ohio?

The Twilight Zone. (A privately owned discgolf course by Chuck Custer and Maureen Miller)

What is your favorite course in Tennessee? 

Harmon Hills in Fall Branch, TN

Hole 1 Harmon Hills
Photo Courtesy: DG Course Review

Best advice for female player who wants to increase their distance on their drives?

To throw slightly lighter, less stable discs

What is your favorite disc golf event or experience?

That’s hard…Probably playing The Nantucket Open last year or working the USDGC

What are your 3 favorite discs from Innova?

Teebird, Leopard, and a Valkyrie

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

Coffee. Iced latte preferably. I love espresso.

In the day hours you are a magician with hair styling. What is your favorite part of being a hairstylist?

Making people feel better about themselves leaving than when they came in

If you could have a tee off song for 2019, what song would it be?

Run the World (Girls) by Beyoncé

You are a member of a few disc golf teams (Innova, Whale Sacs, Black Monocle Discs and Flyin Colors) including our team of Sparkle Sisters. As of 2019 you are the official team captain, also known as Sparkle Captain! Why is growing women’s disc golf important  to you?

It is important to grow women’s disc golf me, because the more women that play and compete, the more likely other women will join. It’s so motivating and comforting all at the same time.  Ladies leagues, clinics, and women only tournaments are fantastic ways to get ladies involved.


November 2018 Lady of the Month: Debbie Scott

Debbie Scott is a professional disc golfer who lives in Charlotte, NC. Debbie is on the Innova Disc Golf Ambassador team since 2013, a member of the Throw Pink Team, sponsored by Paragon Disc Golf, United Chains Disc Golf team member, sponsored by the Rock at Stonewall  and a Ladies First Disc Golf Sparkle Sister. In her hometown of Charlotte, NC Debbie hosts the Charlotte Disc Golf Ladies League. Not only does Debbie play disc golf with the ladies in her area, she also teaches disc golf to children at the Carolina Bible camp, and is a lifeguard at the Charlotte YMCA! Always doing good things for others, Ladies First Disc Golf wanted to recognize Debbie by asking her to be the 2018 November Lady of the Month, read more here:

When and where did you first play disc golf?

I first learned how to play disc golf at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the fall of 1995.

 

What are your top 3 courses to play in North Carolina?

Glenburnie Park in New Bern, NC

Glenburnie Park Photo Courtesy DG Course Review

Castle Hayne near Wilmington

Castle Hayne photo courtesy: Disc Golf Course Review

NC & Ashe County Park in West Jefferson, NC

Ashe County Park photo courtesy: Disc Golf Course Review

What is your ideal breakfast the morning of a disc golf tournament?

Protein shake with banana & peanut butter

What event do you look forward to most each year?

Magnolia Open (all Women’s event at the IDGC complex)

Your career has many accolades including some notable moments as an amateur player. During your first year of competing in 2010 you were crowned the  Intermediate Women’s Champion at the USWDGC. Also in 2012 you placed 2nd in Advanced Women in the PDGA Amateur World Championships. Being a pro player since 2013 what advice would you give to an amatuer female player who is looking to eventually compete in the professional division?

Move up when you’re ready. Everyone’s tipping point is different. Don’t be pressured to move too soon.

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

Body Armor

What do you putt with?

DX Colt

Throw Pink DX Colt

Best tip for playing in warm and humid conditions?

Stay in the shade as much as possible, drink plenty of water, slow down

What disc would you most recommend for a new player?

Innova Shark

Your whole family plays disc golf, what a great family activity! How do you keep kids interested in disc golf as they are growing up?

They had to be with us, but I never pushed it on them. Sometimes Christian just played with the rocks and sticks, and that was perfectly fine. They eventually wanted to do what we were doing. Christian was literally side-arming from the jogger stroller before he could walk! Now at 12, he out drives me!!