It might seem to be an apparent truth, however probably the most discernible strategy to develop something is to get those that have by no means tried it…to attempt it. For rising Disc Golf, what higher strategy to get folks to attempt the game is there than internet hosting a match designed for many who both haven’t performed, or have by no means performed in a match earlier than? For the third straight yr, Tony Shirley, and his spouse Cherry, put collectively ‘The Darlings of Disc Golf’ match. Held at Veteran’s Park in Arlington, TX this match began a couple of years in the past with 35 or so gamers, and has since doubled in members with a complete of 73 filling the course on October 16, 2016. Relating to rising the game, what does this explicit match have that’s distinctive to serving to out that aim? Effectively, for starters, all 73 of the members are ladies.
This occasion was, partially, impressed by Tony’s expertise as a truck driver, and his inquiries to feminine disc golfers throughout his time on the highway. “The primary cause that ladies don’t wish to play in tournaments, that I’ve heard, is that they don’t wish to pay more money as a result of they aren’t members of the PDGA”. For Tony, this was merely not acceptable. Along with his travels he sees as many, if no more, ladies taking part in casually at native programs, or with boyfriends/husbands. This led to an concept of a non-sanctioned, all-women’s occasion that will give gamers bang for his or her buck. Beginning within the spring, for the final 3 years, Tony and Cherry spend numerous hours buying spectacular participant packs, gap sponsors, discs with the signatures of among the high professionals for raffle tickets, t-shirts, and so on., so the occasion is one thing that every one the ladies who take part will keep in mind.
The rundown: all tallied there have been 73 gamers this yr with open paying $30, different divisions $20. There have been 71 caddies who paid $20 to caddy a participant, get a t-shirt, and go on any ideas/tips/information to these newbies they could caddy. 37 gap sponsors had been discovered ($50/ea.), 6 sales space sponsors ($50/ea.), 80 raffle sponsors together with the donated signed discs (65 whole discs). The overall revenue from the raffle course of and donations totalled $1,900, and was added to the payout purse. The Shirley’s make sure that each dime gathered for the occasion goes to the payout, after bills. This non-sanctioned occasion had a complete financial payout of $5,341. Why host a non-profit match? For Tony it’s merely not about cash:
“I began the occasion 3 years in the past as a ‘springboard to the PDGA’ for ladies gamers. Our participant packs are round 2-3X the entry price, in order that the charges are price it. The paying caddies stroll alongside the women and go on something they will to the newbies, and novice gamers. A number of playing cards in our occasion had gamers who by no means performed in a match earlier than. My aim was to get these ladies who solely play casually with their important others to expertise the fun of competitors with out busting their wallets, and hopefully to get them to catch the disc golf ‘fever’. This yr we had an age vary from 7 years to 63 years younger. Having some skilled ladies gamers like Stephanie Vincent, Kristina Gold, Lisa Fajkus, Maria Oliva, and Liz Lopez there to assist out is a HUGE benefit. It helps us solidify that general aim to have such proficient ladies volunteer their time for our occasion”.
A number of the gamers had been even already registered for a sanctioned occasion by the following weekend, together with the 63 yr outdated. The Develop Disc Golf initiative is one thing of a mission right here at Dynamic Discs. It makes all of it the higher that our personal staff members like Tony Shirley, his spouse Cherry, and all those that helped out or donated for the occasion go above and past for the ladies of the game.
All pictures courtesy of David Teague. Pictured under are Tony Shirley, his spouse Cherry, and their granddaughter Alaina.