It takes WOMEN to grow women’s disc golf

Welcome to the new home of KC Disc Golf Divas – off the course.

Kansas City is known as one of the mecca’s for disc golf and our community and local club, Kansas City Flying Disc Club, have a long and rich history. Now the KC women golfers are making some history of our own.

In the spring of 2011, I started Girls Night Out at Rosedale Disc golf course. This was really a ‘re-boot’ of the original Girls Night Out I was involved in back in 2001.

I recently ran across an old article about women’s disc golf from the Summer 2003 Issue of Disc Golf World News magazine. I thought I’d share so I copied below the part that Kristie Svejda wrote about our women’s group 11 years ago:

Women’s League here in Kansas City began three years ago. I had been on a short disc golf tour in 1999 and had heard about women who started a women’s league in their hometowns. This sounded like a great idea at the time, so I placed it in the back of my mind and forgot about it until the next season. In 2000, I was playing a lot of disc golf, usually with men, and I started figuring out the details for a women’s league. I made a few signs, put them up at our parks, and on that first night, I showed up along with a couple of other women. That year ended much like it began, with little success in the number of women players, but I was beginning to see how successful such a league could be if it caught on.

In 2001, I was a little discouraged about running a women’s league. I had dropped the $2.00 entry fee, and the signs in ’01 read: “Ladies League” instead of “Women’s League.” The biggest difference was that Ladies League now had a regular player. Tiffany would come to play every Thursday night, and since we were usually the only two girls, we came up with ideas on how to get more women to come out to play. Looking back on it, we must have looked crazy telling the women we would see playing with another group, “Come play with us on girls night.” They would ask us about the details, and we would say something like. “You’re looking at it. This is it.” Thus, Ladies League began, and before long, we consistently had a full card.

By the end of 2001, we had conned a few women into coming out almost every week, and word was starting to get around. Almost every week, I would go to our regularly scheduled league nights and announce, “Tell your girlfriends or wives to come out to Rosedale on Thursday nights to play women’s league with us.” Our league was starting to bloom, and we were having a blast watching it grow.

During 2002, the name “Ladies League” was dropped and replaced with “Girls’ Night Out,” and the league was running itself. Our turnout doubled to about eight, and by the end of the season, we had 15 women showing up to play on Thursday nights. The hardest part about watching the growth of our league was that we couldn’t all play on the same card anymore. We started splitting up in to two groups and eventually three.

So far, 2003 has been great. Everyone has filled a position of sorts in running Girls’ Night Out. In addition to running the league this year, Annie has made scorecards for us and is always there with extra discs to loan or sell. Tiffany, our mother hen, watches over all the girls and was key in making the league successful. Rhonda, our marketing guru, not only made business cards for us to pass out to other women, but she is also working on a Girls’ Night Out website. We even started a funny tradition of bringing snacks for after the round. Looking back to 2000, I would have never dreamed Girls’ Night Out would be such a success in just three years.

My advice, if you want to start a Girls’ Night Out in your hometown, is to make sure everyone is having a good time. Cut out all of the competition crap, and just take it easy for a night. Ask your friends and their friends to come out and play. If they don’t want to play all of the holes or quit during the round, that’s cool, because you’re not trying to find the next champion, you’re just hoping to be able to play disc golf with some cool chicks. Eventually, if your league works out like Kansas City’s has, more and more girls will start playing at the local events. Some will join the club; and sooner or later, they may join the PDGA; and voila, you have 15 new friends, and a women’s division at the next tournament.

We’ve come along way since then and we’re getting more and more new women playing with us regularly. We became the Kansas City Disc Golf Divas in 2012 and have a really amazing group of women- of all skill levels. We have fun together on and off the course.

What’s our secret sauce? Consistency. Week after week- even in the winter, weather permitting, we’re out there making our presence known on the course and encouraging other women to join in on the fun.

So what’s next for the KC Disc Golf Divas? We’re keeping the fun, relaxed environment we’ve always had for our leagues but we’re adding some focus on the competitive side for those women that have an interest in taking their game to the next level. This fall we started our first bag tag challenge for the women that have that competitive side. It’s gone over better than I could have imagined with 20 divas tags out in circulation. I’ll be ordering more to keep up with the demand.

We’re also hosting the very first women’s only disc golf tournament here in Kansas City, May 9 2015. Learn more about the KC Diva Spring Feeva here.

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