The obsessive nature of this game has many people believing that filing for divorce might be an easier option than trying to quit disc golf, but a better option is to help the women in your life enjoy disc golf instead. I can testify that having a partner to travel with (although he does most of the driving), play tournaments with, and share all things disc golf with has both enriched my life and strengthened our relationship. Making disc golf an attractive hobby for you and your spouse/girlfriend/friend/daughter can seem daunting if she hasn’t shown any interest in the sport, but the opportunity is there!
The three goals most of you probably want to accomplish are:
- Simply getting her out to a disc golf course with you
- Helping her come to the conclusion that she “LIKES” disc golf. Maybe not as obsessively as you (I’m talking about your closet full of discs), but at least willing to play on a regular basis.
- Playing tournaments together
At this point, you have thought about getting her started with the game, but you have no idea where to start. I have compiled a list of five tips, from my experiences, for improving your chances of getting her on to the course with you.
Imagine your wife asking you to attend a yoga class with her and she provides you with a pair of her old yoga pants that have been in the back of the closet for months or longer. Now, put that into disc golf prospective. It’s easy to go into your stash and pull out some of your old discs for her to try, but asking her for her opinion on the disc, the color, and the stamp can make a difference on her initial attitude towards disc golf. If she enjoys shopping, let her pick out the disc herself. Owning my own equipment always makes me feel more obligated to use it.
Side note: If she is a true beginner, try to keep her discs in slower speeds like midranges and fairway drivers. Understable midranges will teach better form and technique than high speed drivers that she has to throw on an anhyzer to have fly straight. I recommend the new Dynamic Discs Warrant for a midrange. If she wants a driver, I recommend the Dynamic Discs Breakout. It is a fantastic disc for lower arm speeds/less powerful players and it is made in light weights.
2. Don’t be THAT guy
THAT guy is the one who analyzes every shot she throws and points out why it didn’t go according to plan. She needs encouragement and critique, but she does not need to hear hours of advice from every YouTube video you’ve seen. When you do give her some advice, keep it short! While learning a new skill, it can be difficult to remember to do 50 different things with your body. Give her fragments of the big picture fundamental, let her try to apply that advice, and then reevaluate and add the next piece. If she doesn’t want your help, respect that and let her come to you with questions when she is ready. Sometimes it may be better for you to find an outside party to give her a lesson if she isn’t receptive to your teaching. We all have enough stress in our lives, disc golf shouldn’t add to that!
3. Make it interesting
Playing catch, putting in the backyard, and throwing in a field are all great training exercises, but not always the most exciting for a beginner. Try making a game of your exercises. When I started playing, the group I played with would warm up putting at a practice basket, then play a game of H-O-R-S-E. It made putting practice a lot more fun for me, and if your hopes are that she will want to eventually play tournaments, it starts to build competition into your daily routine! When you are playing a round, set an attainable goal for her, like scoring better on a particular hole than she did last time she played or making it further down the fairway than the day before. If she reaches that goal, offer a prize like ice-cream, who has to do chores, or money (we often play for one dollar or who has to make dinner).
4. Don’t always play for score
You may love keeping up with your score and using it to gauge your skills, but she may be self-conscious about her score and skills. Adding pressure to a situation she isn’t comfortable with yet isn’t conducive to improving her game or to enjoying your time together. Take this time to work on improving your own game, maybe you finally want to learn how to throw a forehand or try out some new plastic, while she is working on her basic fundamentals. I have seen too many women who are just beginning get frustrated about their scores and embarrassed to the point of staying home. When you’re bringing her to the course, leave the scorecard in the car. It’ll make the experience more fun for her, and you’ll enjoy seeing her play the game you love!
5. Get her in contact with other women in the area
Look for a women’s disc golf Facebook page or website and make an effort to meet those who play in your area. Playing with women at a similar skill level can help her confidence, and they will have insight to their experiences with certain discs or courses. It can be difficult to find a group of women who play, in a lot of areas, so you can try double dating with your disc golf friends. A group setting takes the pressure off of her to play well, especially if she is with another beginner, and you still get to play competitively with your friend. Some women don’t want to play with anyone but their guy, so you can explain to her that we all started at that skill level, but then give her time to feel comfortable on the course. Not every woman is driven by the same competitive nature as others, and it may take those non-competitive a little longer to feel the same passion for the sport.
Bonus: Playing in a group with other ladies will build the comfort and comradery that can lead her to feeling comfortable playing minis, tag matches and hopefully tournaments!
Now that you’ve got her playing and enjoying the game, go out and have some fun! Remember, every woman is different and needs different motivation to start a new hobby, you know her best!
PDGA # 43943
I was introduced to the sport in the late 1990’s, and I began my professional disc golf career in 2011. I am currently a proud member of Team Dynamic Discs (2014-2016) and Team Truly Unique (2015-2016). When I’m not on the course, you’ll catch me at school, where I am studying to be a Pharmacist, or at home with my two cats.