For something to be successful, it often takes small steps.
This past weekend, the women of disc golf didn’t appear to want to make a small statement. Instead, as a collective unit, more than 600 women made note that they were there to play the game.
Several months ago, when I first heard about the Women’s Global Event, the gears in my brain started to turn. How could we as a disc golf blog help to not only promote this wonderful event, but also work to help get women’s voices out there?
A women’s week came to mind.
I have to be honest, too. I never even connected it with Mother’s Day. In fact, it was Val Jenkins who noted that to me in an e-mail. Though she promised she wouldn’t tell “mom” about my gaffe of not realizing that WGE and Mother’s Day were the same weekend, I’m coming clean.
That just made this week at Rattling Chains more special.
As this idea grew, I spoke with the person who created our logo — Ben Coury — and asked him about switching some colors. He did it quickly. I looked at our blog theme and realized I could change the color to match.
Women’s Week at Rattling Chains was born.
The idea was simple — take the full week and write about nothing but women’s disc golf. We were lucky enough to land someone like Jenny Cook, who readily agreed to write a story. We got some great contacts for other stories. Our writing staff worked on some excellent content.
I thought it was a success. I hope our readers did, too.
Though I kept the process of what we were doing quite close to the chest, a lot of what we were doing paralleled the WGE. As a blog, we’re new on the block. We’re trying to establish ourselves as a disc golf blog that is different than others out there. We like to think our content is top notch and that we bring our readers as much as we can in an entertaining and, sometimes, educational way.
Women’s disc golf is battling, too. The professional ranks have many women who don’t tour. The pay days aren’t as good as they are for men and, often, the Open division features the same few players. Sometimes, it’s not even worth the top pros time and money to travel to a tournament because of the lack of players.
So, we have to help as much as we can as a disc golf community.
Women’s Week will be a yearly feature on this blog. We will change up during the Women’s Global Event week to focus fully on women’s disc golf. That includes the logo and site color changes that you saw this year and some other things we’ll hopefully cook up for next year.
Also, we hope we won’t be the only ones.
The reality is, this week led into a monumental time for women’s disc golf, and it should be celebrated by other disc golf sites, most notably the PDGA. I’d love to see the organization follow in our steps and color coordinate a little with the WGE. Heck, I’d love for Rattling Chains to do something in conjunction with the PDGA to celebrate this as women’s week in disc golf.
After all, the women have earned it.
One thing I realized this week is that women are as passionate as men about this sport. They, arguably, might have more fun. They take things a little differently.
And I like that, especially for a sport like disc golf.
This sport is an incredibly fun sport. Whether a tournament or casual round, it’s one that families and individuals — male or female and any race — can play. It’s affordable and a way to get out and be active.
The women are showing that — at all levels.
With more than 600 players competing in the WGE this past Saturday, a giant step forward was taken. We send out major kudos to Val Jenkins and the Women’s Committee and all the hard work done by Sara Nicholson and the PDGA. And, of course, to all the tireless tournament directors and the more than 600 players!
We, as a sport, can’t go backward. We need to keep pushing forward. Do your best to get others — women and men — involved. Bring the kids. Reach out to retired people. Show the world how great of a sport we play.
But definitely keep pushing forward to get women involved. Let’s make a goal of getting at least 1,000 women playing the WGE next year. That would show the event can continue to grow and succeed.
We plan on doing the best we can to do that as well at Rattling Chains. We won’t wait until next year for more women’s stories. We are already working on more and are talking to a few ladies who seemed interested in doing a little blogging for us. So we’ll keep moving in the right direction.
Do your part, too. Encourage the ladies to keep playing. Bring your wife/girlfriend/daughter and friends. Support local women. Help organize women’s leagues and maybe a tournament.
If we all do our part, we can continue to grow this sport to higher levels, which in the end is a good thing for everyone.
P.J. Harmer is the lead blogger for Rattling Chains. E-mail him at: pj [at] rattlingchains.com.