Cranbrook women disc golfers had a fantastic summer, with two athletes placing first in the Women’s Global Event (WGE) tournament, and the Kootenay Crush tournament hosting players from Canada and the U.S.
Kristy Shields of the Cranbrook women’s disc golf club says that August was an “amazing month” for women in disc golf in Cranbrook.
The WGE tournament saw over 3000 females playing, world-wide, on their local courses.
“[Locals] Lynette Eliason and Morgan Reedyk placed first in FA70 and FJ12 respectively. We had lots of fun field games, such as closest to the pin, long putt and even furthest from the pin to keep it light,” said Shields. “Despite the players in this tournament not being too concerned about their score, it was really awesome how close it was in each division.”
The Kootenay Crush tournament took place at the tougher Cranbrook courses, Wycliffe and College of the Rockies, with players from Montana, Alberta and the B.C. Interior competing.
“Having Parked Pro from Invermere on board has been incredible,” Shields said. “We wouldn’t be where we are, without his support, year after year.”
She adds that the crush tournament was originally inspired by Carrie Neal’s A-tier Women’s event that was planned in Kamloops before the pandemic hit.
“Carrie and I are now working together with Parked Pro to try and keep the crush going in different cities. There are many ladies here, who are really active in their communities - like Brenda Page in Calgary - that seem keen to take it on, so that is really exciting,” said Shields. “It might be a couple of years before the crush comes back to Cranbrook, but this is a good thing. And when it does come back, it will be bigger and better than ever.”
Shields said that the crush is a big event that is special to all players. She noted that there are so many people working behind the scenes to make sure the event runs smoothly. She thanked the sponsors, her team and all of the dedicated volunteers.
“To the spotters who spent the whole weekend in the heat making sure the ladies didn’t have to search for discs in the woods, those caddying for the ladies and to those just cheering everyone on - we all felt the love,” Shields said. “To see so many of my mentors in disc golf, who do so much in their communities, come from afar to support our event and make genuine connections with our Cranbrook community of disc golfers, both players and volunteers, was so fulfilling. I feel so lucky to be a part of this community. I truly believe when you begin disc golf, you become a part of the disc golf family. You will be looked after wherever you go, worldwide.”
The two tournaments weren’t the only events for disc golfers this year. Shields explained that the league had events on and off the course all summer including ladies doubles Friday nights, a players party and long drive and putting games.
“In the long drive competition after the round on Sunday (Aug. 28), ‘big arm’ Jessy Prado-Smith from MT threw 450 feet off the top of the hill on Hole 16,” Shields said. “The cheers from the crowd were amazing! Every player has their strengths, but her powerful shots were just incredible and inspiring to watch.”
Anyone interested in getting involved is encouraged to reach out to the league, as Shields says the ladies league is growing. Whether you have never played before or you’re an experienced disc golfer, there’s room.
“We have a team of driven women who were keen to start it up, and now we regularly get around 10-12 ladies and it’s growing by the week,” Shields said. “We have people attending that have have never played before.”
The ladies meet every Thursday at 6p.m. at Idlewild Park in Cranbrook. Many players continue to play even once the snow flies, with some tying ribbons to their discs so they are easier to locate in the snow, says Shields.
“Play as many holes with us as you like, you definitely do not need to be good. Most ladies aren’t even keeping score,” Shields said. “It’s just about getting out for a wander in the fresh air, throwing some frisbees and having a laugh. These ladies are truly amazing and will make you feel at ease within minutes.”