Volume 1, No 1. May 2009 Northwest Deaf Gals Disc Golf... Nordland, Washington
Northwest Deaf Gals Disc Golf... (Or if you prefer -- Ladies)
[Guys -- if you get this email, please pass it on to your female half! No! I mean your girlfriends/wives/partners - not you!]
I have been asked to get in touch with you regarding disc golfing here in the Northwest. Some of you have seen us out playing or you've played with us. Washington Deaf Disc Golf Association and Oregon Deaf Disc Golf Association are both trying to encourage more women to join in. I would like to invite you to join us.
For a few hours today I had been trying to think how I can get women to join in the game of disc golf. The first thing for me to just say that it is fun. I don't want to lie to you, but I want to be honest about it. It is tough to get people to come play something that they are not familiar with. For me, finding the right sport was hard enough, but since I've found disc golf - I really won't go any where else because it is the sport that I love and I want to pass it on to you as well.
First of all, disc golf is NOT a man's sport! It is a sport that is enjoyed by everyone regardless of their gender, age, fitness ability, and skill level. One of the things that I find most enjoyable about seeing other people playing disc golf is the children playing! But one of the other things that makes me proud of disc golf, is how the ladies play. There is so much involved in it that it doesn't require that much in a sense.
First of all, what do you really need? What can you expect from it? And finally, why should you join in? To answer the first question, you need yourself, as a player, and a few items of your tools: discs. We usually recommend three discs, a driver, a mid-range and a putter, to start with in a lightweight class such as 150 grams (also known as 150 Class). Yes, there are many different makers of discs (with links on the bottom of the newsletter), but you don't necessary need to run out and buy some to get started. You can borrow some friends' discs along with a bag to carry those discs. I've seen people just carrying one, two, or even three discs with them while they were playing. It is not necessary to carry nine to twenty disc at any given time. Also, not to forget, you will need some decent shoes to wear while out playing such as tennis shoes, hiking boots, or sneakers. Yes, sometimes we need to go up or down certain hills or valleys. Our terrain can change while we play disc golf, but that is one of the things you can expect from playing disc golf.
Disc golf can be played just about almost anywhere. It is often most seen in parks that have courses set up. Yes, it is an outdoor sport and a lot of people will also say that it is an "all-season" sport. There are individuals who will go out and play regardless what the weather is in the middle of winter or summer. Most importantly about disc golf is the fitness and mental challenge that you will be giving yourself. It does involve walking, carrying a bag with your disc in them, throwing the discs from a tee to the basket (almost just as in a game of golf), retrieving your disc wherever they are, and feeling a sense of achievement when you complete the game. It incorporates other activities such as walking, hiking, sight seeing, cardiovascular exercise, and renewal of senses.
The awareness that you can be active and feel confident in yourself is part of the challenge. The fitness challenge is making that first step forward until the last step off the course. The mental challenge is figuring out how to get from point A to point B in the least amount of throws, but it doesn't matter how good or how bad you are at the sport. Just being there and playing the sport will give you a rush, I know, I get it all the time when I play disc golf. There is no expectations involved when you get started in disc golf or when you play with people. You're only challenging yourself as a player which makes disc golf a sport that doesn't have to be in huge groups. You can go out and play by yourself, with some friends, a small group, a huge group (broken into several small groups), or to a tournament. There is a sense of feeling part of the group when you socialize with each other also makes this a sport of interaction, teasing, humor, fostering self confidence, and feeling positive about yourself.
Ladies - don't let it stop you when someone else is better than you. That is not how this sport works. The goal is to continuously improve yourself as a player and to do better each time. Yes, we have bad days too! We play with just about anyone who will play with us. Our husbands, partners, boyfriends, our children, and even our friends can be wonderful players. We can go out and play with whom we wish to play with. It can mean spending quality time with whom we chose to play with. As I had said before, it is not all necessary fun and I won't lie to you, it is possible to feel pressure to do better from players whom you play with. It is possible that you might be frustrated about how you play, but it is the continuous change that we do as players, we can improve ourselves. That's why disc golf is such an addiction for me and I would invite you to join me in the excitement that I feel when I play disc golf.
I am including information about our local upcoming tournaments if you are interested in attending as a player or as a fan, a few links to disc golfing, and some photo attachments of deaf women disc golfers of the Northwest. Some of the upcoming tournaments for the month of May and June are: May 28th-31st at Hornings' Hideout in North Plains Oregon (host: ODDGA) & June 6th-7th at White River in Auburn, Washington (host: WDDGA). Often time, some of us will attend a PDGA tournament to obtain experiences while other times we're there to watch the players so we can learn from them. There will be a national deaf disc golf championship in Springfield, Illinois which is host by the DDGA , Deaf Disc Golf Association, which I will cover in our second email letter which will go out at some time between the two tournaments in May/June.
Some of the links that I have found to be useful in learning, understanding, and discovering about disc golf (both nationally, worldwide, and locally here in the Northwest) are: Deaf Disc Golf Association Forum (http://www.ddga.org/forum); Disc Golf Course Review (http://www.dgcoursereview.com); Northwest Disc Golf News (http://www.nwdiscgolfnews.com/) (which has a wonderful local forum, course descriptions, news, and much more); discgolfersR.us (http://discgolfer.ning.com); Disc Golf Scene (http://www.discgolfscene.com/), Disc Golf Review (http://www.discgolfreview.com/index.html) (there some very good articles on this website about how to play disc golf); and there is so much more to find out there. If you wish to go to those website, please copy and paste into your browsers.
The different makers of discs; Innova , Discraft , DGA , Gateway , Quest AT , Latitude 64 , Lightning , Millennium, InStep, Discwing, Destiny, Daredevil, Ching, BlackJax, Aerobie, HukLab, and 1080. There is so much to share regarding these discs which I will have to cover in a different email letter, but my suggestion is that you try the ones that you like and feel comfortable with. Some are most expensive than others but there are some that can be found as a used disc.
The photos I've attached on the email were of four of us; Tracey, Kelli, Nika, and myself. One of the photos shows how the gals are carrying their discs which you'll see Kelli is using a small bag, Nika and Tracey are using their bigger bags with shoulder straps. I had also included photos of "Nika", Tracey; Kelli; and myself. You can also find more photos of the local deaf disc golf players on my photo gallery (http://picasaweb.google.com/home?tab=mq) .
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask some of us who already play disc golf. We'll be happy to explain, share, show, and so much more about disc golfing with you.
Keep on trying and continue to learn!