The sport of disc golf has been on an upward trajectory of popularity in the territory over the past several years. On May 8 at Solstice DiscGolfPark a new tournament was held to bring more people into the sport.
This tournament was the first of its kind. The event was organized by Christine Spencer and was the territory’s “First Ever Women’s Disc Golf Event”.
Spencer said this event was a big deal as only seven per cent of the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) players are female.
It was a PDGA event that inspired Spencer to organize a women-only tournament.
“The Professional Disc Golf Association has a global women’s event this weekend and so I thought because they are having this event we should have something unofficial,” said Spencer. “So some of us just started with a game and somehow within two weeks we ended up with a tournament.”
Spencer said she is new to the sport herself but has “already learned a lot” and it was that reason she felt compelled to start the tournament.
“I just am really passionate about it and I love sharing things I’m passionate about with other people,” said Spencer.
The Whitehorse Disc Golf Association holds regular league nights and tournaments all with women’s divisions. Spencer said she hoped this tournament would help women gain the confidence to go out and play in those events.
“It can be kind of intimidating because some of the guys, they can throw pretty good, and I just thought it would be a good way for women to learn from women and try it out,” said Spencer.
“The Whitehorse Disc Golf Association has a league and has regular league events, it is pretty fun and everyone is welcoming and I think this is a good way to get women to go out to more of those events.”
Spencer said she was thankful for the female board members of the Whitehorse Disc Golf Association who helped her plan the tournament.
“I couldn’t do it without them,” said Spencer.
When Spencer put out the call to prospective players she said she received good reception to the idea.
“Surprisingly I had huge interest in the event but because of the rain we’ve already had some people dropping out,” said Spencer. “So it won’t be quite as many but I’m expecting about 10-15.”
Her estimate was slightly off. The rainy Saturday weather did not deter many and a group of over 20 women took to the 18-hole course.
To help the new players along, groups travelled with an experienced disc golfer to help give them any tips along the way.
With the first event a success, Spencer said the next step will go from making it a one-time inaugural event to an annual one.
“That’s the hope and maybe next year when we can actually organize it in advance and have a more organized tournament,” said Spencer.
“Especially for the more advanced players so they can have some competition while making room for the new players to learn as well.”
The Whitehorse Disc Golf Association will be holding their season-opening Tag Tourney on May 15 also at Solstice and maybe some of the women who came out to the women’s tournament will be inspired to join.
“It (the women’s event) is a good way to get more women involved and continue to grow the sport in the Yukon,” said Spencer.
Contact John Tonin at firstname.lastname@example.org