Women in LOVE with Disc Golf!

Youth and Clinics

KC Divas at Phoenix Family Girls Camp

KC Divas at Phoenix Family Girls Camp

We had a great time this week sharing our love of Disc Golf with the Phoenix Family Girls Camp. It’s always a rewarding experience to introduce disc golf to kids that might not normally be exposed to it and seeing the smiles and fun they are having. We hope that it will become a new outdoor activity to enjoy with their families for years to come.

Thanks to all of our volunteer coaches today, Kathryn Meyer, Anne Quade and Becca Kephart. Ava Meyer and Maddie Quade are not just great helpers but true assets to the team because they are coaches that the other girls can relate to. They each started playing disc golf with their families and that’s our goal and ‘hook’ with these clinics- introducing disc golf as an affordable and easily accessible outdoor activity for the entire family.

 

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Our next outreach clinic for the 2018 season is coming up on June 21st at Camp Win hosted by the Women’s Intersport Network for Kansas City (Win for KC). This will be the KC Divas 4th year at Camp Win! We typically see 300+ girls at Camp Win every year, so if this sounds like something you’d be interested in, we have a couple of volunteer coaching spots still available so get in touch.

Disc Golf Clinic Series for Women

Disc Golf Clinic Series for Women

One of our own KC Disc Golf Divas and professional women’s disc golfer, Kaylee Kincaid will be hosting these one hour clinics geared specifically for women once a month. All skill levels are welcome and the clinics are free. Each month will focus on a specific part of your game.

If you are wanting to start playing more tournaments, this is a great opportunity to get some pro tips and prepare yourself for the 2018 disc golf tournament season. Playing in the KC Diva Spring Feeva? This will help you feel more confident!

Following each clinic, there will be an optional round of disc golf with some friendly competition.

Check our calendar for the next upcoming clinic.

 

Use the comments section below to let Kaylee know what parts of your game you are most interested in improving.

 

KC Disc Golf Development Group

KC Disc Golf Development Group

The Kansas City Disc Golf Development group is a coaching and instruction team formed to bring awareness and education to new players and golfers that may need a few tips.

Some of the ways we do this are through clinics, youth camps, private lessons and other learning opportunities throughout the year. If you are interested in helping or volunteering your time at any of our events, please contact us for more info.

 

Upcoming events:

June 2018
Camp WIN at St Teresa’s Academy – Kansas City, MO
We’ll be introducing disc golf to 300 girls ages 6-12.

About: Camp WIN introduces girls in the community to a variety of sports and fitness activities over four days, as well as WIN for KC’s owned and developed curriculum, LIVE ACTIVE. Through the activities and daily lessons, campers walk away with life skills that can translate both on and off the field. Campers learn about Respect, Goal Setting, Determination, and Leadership as they work through their lessons and push themselves to learn new sports and try new skills.

 

Growing Disc Golf through Youth and Schools

Growing Disc Golf through Youth and Schools

Bring your Kids and Join Us for the 3rd Annual Juniors Championships Saturday October 10th at Foxhill Elementary School

 

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In support of Growing the Sport, why not bring your family out for a fun day of disc golf. This is not just for the competitive golfer. It’s an opportunity for kids to play tournament golf that is geared exclusively for juniors, but any skill level is encouraged to play. It’s one round and the kids are divided into 5 different appropriate age groups. Raffle and other prizes throughout the day, CTP and Ring of Fire. There’s also a BBQ lunch served.

>>Download Flyer and Information<<

A majority of the event proceeds are donated to United Way.  Bill Lentz, the Fox Hill P.E. teacher and tournament co-director’s goal every year is to raise $300 for United Way.  Fox Hill has hosted a Frisbee tournament and disc golf event in KC for numerous years and we hope to continue  growing this event and raising money for United Way. The flyer states that is the 3rd annual KC Juniors Open, but this event started as a frisbee and hula hoop event fundraiser for United Way is one of the longest frisbee events in KC’s rich history going steady for 24 years.

 

A conversation with John Theiss,
one of the organizers of the Juniors Open

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John Theiss: PE teacher for the Blue Springs School District for 13 years and playing disc golf for 14 years

Course designer and member of the Disc Golf Course Designer Group

Designed five 18 hole courses
One 9 hole school course
One 4 hole school course

 

I recently had a conversation with John to get his thoughts and perspective on growing the sport and how he sees the future. He had great advice to share and ideas on promoting disc golf through school programs and more.

Where do you see the future of disc golf heading?

 John: The future of disc golf will grow exponentially once disc golf becomes part of our state PE curriculum.  In my short time playing, I have seen tremendous growth and change in our sport.  There have been changes in how events are run locally, more events are available now than ever, and new courses are popping up everywhere.  All of these changes are great and point to growth, but the real growth occurs once all children have been exposed to the sport.  Disc golf must be a mandated activity for physical educators to teach.  When kids are introduced and instructed in schools, it provides a sense of legitimacy that varies from  parents dragging their kids out and trying to teach them.

You have a real passion for promoting our sport to kids. What lessons have you learned and advice can you give others that might have the same passion?

John: My  passion is all things related to disc golf, but not strictly promoting it to kids. I am very fortunate to have a profession where I am able to impact disc golf, been privileged to design, and able to instruct thousands of students.  With my main professional P.E. goal of promoting lifetime fitness, disc golf is an activity that aligns perfectly.  Youth are an untapped population in the disc world and anyone can make a huge difference in this group, not just P.E. teachers.  YOU can make a difference and one does not need to be a P.E. teacher.  Do not wait for someone else to do make things happen at your local school.

Team sports are fantastic and our country embraces team sports, however, team sports are not for everyone. I witness large percentages of my student population struggle with traditional team sports.  Disc golf  provides opportunities for full inclusion and teaching a disc golf lesson is one that encourages everyone to be active and engaged. All students have a piece of equipment versus waiting around or watching. All physical abilities can participate, those with poor hand eye coordination or foot agility can achieve skill progression and mastery, and my student in a chair is able to throw rollers  as far or even further than his classmates. Disc golf levels the playing field and students can quickly progress, master skills, and interact together in cooperative but competitive environment.

“Some lessons learned along the way, why install permanent baskets at your neighborhood school, purchasing discs and baskets, and the matching baskets program”

We’d love for you to share more about how you went about putting in the school courses. Tell us more about your experiences and how you were able to make this happen.

Having permanent baskets was important for me and I wanted my students to have real baskets to utilize in class and outside of class providing families and students a place to play after school.  Fold up baskets are great for some teachers, but lugging them out and setting them up takes some prep time and over the years they start to show wear and tear.   I was passionate about installing permanent baskets for my school (but the price was a big factor) and luckily one year our PTA donated money for our 4 hole course designed on a perimeter loop of a field.   My passion for school courses did not stop at my school and I continued to push and have since put in numerous baskets at schools using the DB-5 from Lightning Golf Discs.  From my experiences, schools can be easier than parks departments to get courses installed.  I have worked with various park departments and two school districts, but I have found schools are more willing to approve the project and have less bureaucratic measures and red tape slowing you down.  The biggest hurdle with schools is money.  However, you can write grants, ask the PTA to earmark the money for this year or next, sell tee sign sponsorship, do a walk-a-thon or exercise -a-thon to raise funds.    I have written several grants and it can be a very difficult process to find outdoor grants that are not specifically geared towards  S.T.E.M.  (science, technology, math). Do not get discouraged when searching for grants, writing grants, or working with schools to convince them to install a course.  Schools often have some of the best overgrown and neglected spaces between sports fields and buildings that are just waiting for you and your energy to install a course. Once one school installs some baskets, often times the other P.E. teachers in the district will jump on the disc golf band wagon and the domino effect has begun.

If you teach elementary school or want to get a disc golf program started at your child’s school, finding the right discs are also very crucial.   Students need to feel successful and experience skill mastery in order to stay engaged.  I recommend that you call a manufacturer and ask them to mold your discs as light as possible.  If you do not get the answers you want, call around.  Someone will be willing to help you out today since the market has so many new companies.  When working with elementary kids, I use weights starting from 117g to 150g.  Most of my students in grades K-5 stay in the low weights of 117g to 130g until they  are turning them over.  I know that sounds super light, but if you purchase a stable disc, they fly predictable and have great glide. I also look for a plastic that has some flex so they are not as stiff in case they make contact with other students.  I tend to go with an approach and putt disc that has some flex.  Discs that have beveled edges are too dangerous, even mid ranges discs are too firm on the edge and can be pose safety issues with errant throws.  Go with a slower lightweight flexible disc that they can control.

I would also like to see the Matching Baskets Program thru the Disc Golf Foundation be offered to elementary, middle and high schools.  After building two 18 hole courses at schools that required numerous resources, funding was our major obstacle.  How many colleges or universities are hurting to muster up the funds required to purchase 18 baskets?  Many universities have large activity fees focused towards building massive student rec centers.  For 1/10 of 1 percent of the cost to build a rec center, universities could build a disc golf course.

We need to get more permanent courses in at schools and the cost of 9 or 18 baskets is quite large when considering other costs for installing a course.  I believe that when elementary, middle, or high schools  have the adequate space and interesting terrain and features, they should have an opportunity to be considered for Matching Baskets.  Disc golf grows when more students have a access to it thru the instructional approach of a teacher versus being exposed to the sport on college campuses.

In addition, schools need help from basket manufactures by providing  affordable permanent outdoor baskets. Businesses  must make a profit,  but it would be nice if schools were given  wholesale basket prices that are offered to retailers.  Some retailers may be upset by this notion, but if you have a course nearby, that will drive more business into your store.   I have had two different store retailers (Disc Golf World and Discs Unlimited) sell baskets barely above their cost for my school courses.

Schools should be able to buy baskets at wholesale prices. This enables schools to have extra resources for tee signs, tee pads or for machinery needed to clean and clear land.   So the revenue problem, in my opinion, can be handled two ways to help grow the sport. Matching baskets for all schools that qualify (with appropriate land for 9 or 18 holes) or cheaper basket pricing for schools.

I started my quest for a school course only three years into playing.  Since then I have continued to grow and learn as a player, teacher, and designer.   Folks will ask me questions about their city and the absence of a course.  I ask them, “Why are you not going to your park board and making your wishes known? Why are you not asking questions at your kid’s school and all that great land behind the playground? You can do this! You can make a course happen!   You do not need to be a teacher or designer. There are many folks out there that can help you but you can be the driving force to get the process started.  Go to your local club or  local disc golf store and ask for help. You just have to have the energy, passion, and be ready to get your hands dirty to make it happen.”

Want to help GROW THE SPORT? Do you have any advice or ideas to share? Please leave your comments and feedback below.

 

Disc Golfing with Families at WOW Week

Disc Golfing with Families at WOW Week
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WOW Week – September 2015

We recently had the opportunity to share disc golf with the families participating in WOW school here in Kansas City.

WOW, National Outdoor Recreation and Conservation School is designed to teach participants how to enjoy a wide range of outdoor recreation activities while practicing personal safety and outdoor responsibility. Each WOW course includes an outdoor skill, conservation, safety and ethics component. WOW is a National Outdoor Recreation and Conservation School that introduces families and individuals to a variety of outdoor activities. WOW teaches through hands-on learning experience in an outdoor setting attracting a wide range of ages, interests and abilities making it an affordable family outing with an educational experience.

Kansas City WOW school began on Friday September 18th with a campout at Camp Lake of the Woods in Swope Park. Then on Saturday families participated in several fun outdoor activities including: Archery, Canoeing, Disc Golf, GEOcaching, and tours of the horse stable for the Kansas City Mounted Patrol.

 

CAM00418 CAM00421Our disc golf volunteers included: Dan Cashen, Tim, Dan and Berny O’Boyle, LaRon Harris, Ben and Rhonda Crosby.

We setup a 6 hole course through the beautiful Camp of the Woods area of Swope park. As the groups would come through we would start with a introduction to disc golf and some basic putting and approach tips. From there each volunteer would take a group and play the short 6 hole course, playing best shot as a group. It was a fun and unique experience to share this lifetime sport with the families. Many wanted to know more, where they could play, where to get discs etc. We hope to see them out on the courses!

Introducing Disc Golf to 300+ Girls at Camp WIN

Introducing Disc Golf to 300+ Girls at Camp WIN

The Kansas City Disc Golf Divas and the KC Disc Golf Development Group had the incredible opportunity to participate in Camp WIN this summer. Camp WIN is designed to empower girls in our community by introducing them to over 14 new sports and fitness activities over four days. High school girls serve as team leaders, and instructors come from local universities, colleges, high schools and other area organizations. For more information on WIN for KC and Camp WIN, click here.

We had 2 sessions on July 2nd. 9:45 – 11:45 for ages 9-12 and 12:45 – 2:45 for ages 6-8 with approximately 120 girls in each session!  The girls had so much fun, all smiles and positive attitudes- and so did we!!

 

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Our volunteer staff included Rhonda and Ben Crosby, LaRon Harris, Jaimee Crosby, Elisabeth Borg-Bowman, Ruthann Lammers and Cathi Stark.

 

Here are some of the thoughts and feedback shared from this amazing experience:

“After an entire day of showing young ladies what disc golf is about I can say I am feeling inspired. Inspired to find joy in little moments, inspired to reach out even further and share my love for disc golf with more people. Watching the girls today made me rethink how I react to disappointment on the course. We told them all to have confidence and not to get discouraged. Even when they missed their putt (some badly), I saw smiles and a little more determination on their faces for the next throw. The best part was seeing them make a putt and hearing their disc hit the chains. You could see that sparkle in some of those eyes…that sparkle that came into many of our eyes the first time we hit chains. The sparkle that makes you want to play more and more. Being able to pass some of my knowledge and passion for something to people other than my own children was a great experience for me. If just one girl asks her mom or dad to take her disc golfing because of something we did today; I consider that a huge victory towards growing our sport.”   – Ruthann Lammers

 

 “I got a kick out of the chorus of ooohs and aaaahs when LaRon threw a driver diagonally across the field; “Daaaaaaaang!” and “Holy Moley!!!!”  But I realized how important it was for us to be there when a little girl asked meekly “Can girls play disc golf too?”  To be honest, it broke my heart a little. But yowza, those girls were there to play!! I had them finish out every putt, instead of walking back to the line after they missed, and they RAN to the disc when they realized they still had a chance to throw it in, no matter how many tries it took – ching!!!!
The images that stuck with me, and made my day: A little girl hitting her “action” stance every time she stepped up to putt, and if she missed, going back to putt from her previous lie because a drop-in putt was “too easy!”  A girl throwing forehands every time, with a sly smile on her face because she was doing something different from all the others and she LIKED it. A little girl holding a beautiful disc, enthralled by the feel of the plastic, wanting one of her very own – I know that feeling! The girl with a wild gleam in her eye wanting to putt from the far cone on her second time through: “Do I *have* to putt from the close one?”  At the end of every session, there were several girls who didn’t want to stop yet. I wanted to take them all with me to Rosedale so we could all keep playing! I sincerely hope we’ll see them at another clinic, and then playing in the Junior Girls division of a tournament.” – Elisabeth Borg-Bowman

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We ended each group with a big ring of fire

And here’s a little fun Kansas City Disc Golf History of Growing the Sport

 

In 2007, Duane ‘CD’ Steiner participated in Camp WIN providing disc golf instruction to the girls.

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Then again in 2008 along with volunteers Steve Glover, John Theiss and Kevin Hart.

 

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Disc Golf Clinic for Operation Breakthrough

Disc Golf Clinic for Operation Breakthrough

Operation Breakthrough is a 501 c 3 nonprofit organization that provides early child care and education as well as social services to families in Kansas City. It is the largest single-site early education child care and social services facility in the state of Missouri serving over 400 children daily from the urban core.

 The mission of Operation Breakthrough is to help children who are living in poverty develop to their fullest potential by providing them a safe, loving and educational environment.

Operation Breakthrough also strives to support and empower the children’s families through advocacy, referral services and emergency aid.

This summer they included opportunities for their summer school kids to learn a variety sports. This is a fantastic opportunity to give kids the chance to learn a sport or activity they may otherwise not be able to get involved with.

On June 15, 2015 the Kansas City Disc Golf Development Group were excited to introduce disc golf to 48 3rd through 5th graders in the Operation Breakthrough program. Most of them for the first time.

We setup 3 portable baskets as stations, split up the kids in groups and taught them the basics of holding and gripping the disc, putting and approach shots. We ended the clinic with a ring of fire that was a big hit with the kids.

Those in attendance: LaRon Harris, Rhonda Crosby, Ben Crosby and Hal Kurz. The Kansas City Ultimate team also provided a clinic for the kids the same day.

We want to thank Operation Breakthrough for having us out for a fantastic day and to allow us to share our sport with the kids. We hope to do this again next summer.

 

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