When did you first start playing disc golf? How did you get interested in the sport?
I first played disc golf back in Colorado in the mid-90’s when a friend took several of us out and just let us borrow his discs. I played in Keen sandals with a disc in one hand and a Fat Tire in the other. It was just a fun day out in the sun.
I didn’t get my own disc and start playing regularly until 2000 when the Park & Rec Dept I worked for put in an 11-hole course. I thought since I was a Rec/Wellness Coordinator I should get to know the sport so I could be a resource to the community about the new amenity.
Being a former Jr High/HS athlete, I was instantly addicted to figuring out the technique and the challenge of getting that silly frisbee in the basket. That addiction and love of the sport led to running junior leagues, youth & adult clinics, course work & design, and planning & coordination of the 2009 USWDGC in the Quad Cities. During that time I played competitively and won USWDGC in the Intermediate division and tied for 2nd in Advanced another year, turned pro, loved disc golf, hated disc golf, loved it again, and the best part is I met some amazing women who are now life long friends. I heart disc golf!
If you could only play with 3 discs for the rest of your disc golf career, which 3 would they be?
Jade, Buzz, and Envy. I can shape each of those discs to do what I want, and have a lot of trust in those.
If you could have anyone in the world as your doubles partner, who would you choose?
My first choice would be my Bestie and doubles partner of 18 years, Kathy Betcher (Team Red Hot, Team Hot Stuff forever!).
My 2nd choice would be my “adopted daughter”, Vanessa Van Dyken because she is a badass disc golfer and an amazing human being.
What is the best way to get more women playing disc golf?
Oh my gosh, if I had the perfect answer we would be way more than 8% of the sport. Mind you, 20 years ago we were 7% of the sport. Even though we have a lot more women playing in general, overall we are still just a small part.
I think over the past decade we have really seen an increase in women due to so many women’s leagues, women’s only tournaments, mixed doubles events, and the Women’s Global. In all honesty, I think the 2020’s might need to be the decade of “retainage”. Or what we can do to KEEP all these women discers in the sport. Maybe we need to ask that question now and start moving in that direction. This will be my 20th year in the sport, and there are so many people I know who are not playing anymore. Let’s find out how to keep them.
You have traveled throughout the US to play disc golf. What courses are you most eager to go back and play?
My favorite course to play and return to every other year is the temp course at Purple Park in Superior, Colorado for the Rocky Mountain Women’s Championships. It is a stunning park and the layout is challenging yet enjoyable with birdie opportunities.
What is your best tip for someone playing in their first tournament?
You’re going to be nervous; try to relax, don’t set too many expectations, have fun, and ask a lot of questions. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you have questions on rules/procedures. We were all a newbie at one point, and 99% of players will be kind and helpful.
Do you attend any women-only disc golf events? If so, what are your favorite women’s only events to attend?
I love to play women’s only events! They are like music festival environments, and the course layouts are friendly & fun. My favs are the Wisco Disco in Wisconsin, Diva Spring Feeva in Kansas City, and the Rocky Mtn Women’s Championships in Colorado.
Do you have any dream or destination courses/countries you would like to play disc golf in the future?
I would love to play in Finland, especially The Beast. I am hoping to hit the WGE in Hawaii or the USWDGC in California this year. So one of those will be crossed off the list.
If you could have an official beer of disc golf what would it be?
It would have to be a beer from Bevel Craft Brewing, like Iron Leaf DIPA (thank you Gregg Barsby for sharing) or their First Run IPA.
You have been playing disc golf for 20 years! Your cool, calm and kind demeanor on and off the course makes you a great card mate and competitor. What are your keys to longevity in being active in participating in disc golf? Any tips for people who are looking for lost motivation to continue playing and/or competing?
I believe everyone joins and plays the sport for different reasons. And I can’t tell you how many times I threatened to quit the sport. But here is what I remember: I play because I crave the competitive juices from my youth; I play to be outdoors in nature all day; I play for the social aspect with so many amazing friends; I play because ultimately we are all a part of the heart of disc golf–the LOVE. When you are feeling like you want to quit, you have had enough of the sport, just go back and remember what you love about disc golf.