“Historically male dominated sport”; London, Ontario. hosts its first disc golf event for women only
LONDON, ONT. – It was an event by women for women.
As part of the Global Women’s Event, 47 female disc golfers played two rounds on the River’s Edge Disc Golf Course on Sunday.
“In the past it was a male dominated sport,” says Jen Brown, co-organizer and player.
London’s Jen Brown tees off the 9th hole of Rivers Edge Golf Course during the 4X4W event (Brent Lale / CTV News)
“I remember being the only woman in tournaments 10 years ago. It’s great to see so many women here, this is our first women-only tournament in London.”
Players from all over Canada were in the field.
“The disc golf community is one of the best communities ever,” says Briana Ainsley, who travels from BC as she plays tournaments across the country on her way to London, Ontario.
“I’ve always felt kind of displaced and now everywhere I go I’ve played in nine countries and everywhere I go you just feel so welcome.”
After playing around the world, she has witnessed the growth of the sport firsthand. Ainsley believes it won’t be long before disc golf is an Olympic sport.
“It’s so fun to watch,” says Ainsley. “Even people who don’t play are really fun to watch.”
Chantel Budzinsky came from Windsor to compete. She is known on Youtube as “Miss Frisbee” for her video blogs documenting her travels at disc golf.
Windsor’s Chantel Budzindky tees off on the 9th hole at 4X4W in London, Ontario. (Brent Lale / CTV News)
She agrees that the sport should get more attention and possibly be part of the Olympics.
“The sport is growing as fast as if you looked at last year’s Pro Tour that it would be really cool if it were an Olympic event,” says Budzinsky.
The pandemic has helped bring more people to the sport. The PDGA says 40% of disc golfers say they started within the last year.
“It’s almost too busy,” said Brown, laughing.
“London needs a few more classes. When you come here, even during the day, like having to wait at the tees on a weekday, so it’s amazing to see so many people. When I’ve seen a woman on the square two years ago “I knew who she was. There are women on almost every map these days and I don’t know who they are and I introduce myself and try to get them into our Monday Ladies League.”
Popularity is also forcing communities to decide how best to determine what type of golf courses to add and keep.
“The courses came into play faster than the ball golf courses because they were being torn down and the disc golf courses were taking their place,” said Bob Harris, a World Disc Golf Hall of Fame from St. Thomas, Ontario. who started playing in 1979.
“Most places are free to play (some places have entry fees) and right now you want to be here while the pandemic is out.”
Harris sees big TV deals in the US and pro Paul McBeth, who is signing a $ 10 million deal, is making the sport go in the right direction with full-time pros.
“They just go around and play,” says Harris. “Today we have a women’s championship here where only women play. It’s unbelievable and we have to go there.”