, 2022-10-24 09:28:02,
We’re hanging out near the open tailgate of a Honda CR-V parked alongside the RenSke disc golf course, the least challenging of the three disc golf courses at Renaissance Park in south Charlotte. Tee time is 6 p.m. on this only slightly oppressive Monday evening in August. But a few have shown up early, including 22-year-old Casey Buttke, who moved to Charlotte from Boston in May, knowing no one.
It can be hard to “find your tribe,” especially if you’re a college senior—Buttke’s majoring in criminal justice and political science at Northeastern University in Boston—working a co-op term 800-plus miles from home. Buttke found hers with little trouble.
“I’m still pretty new to disc golf. I’ve only been playing for less than a year,” she says as she dangles her legs from the back of the car. “The biggest thing for me was recognizing that this is so much more than just a sport. This is a group of people who are really dedicated to growing the sport and helping each other. … It was just astounding to me, the level to which I was welcomed and immediately accepted. These girls have been incredible.”
They belong to the Charlotte Disc Golf Club’s Women’s League, formally the Women’s League by Queens of the City, a 13-year-old group whose members play on Mondays at Renaissance Park during the warm months. You’ve probably seen disc golfers in action (if that’s the right word); they’re the folks in parks who fling what look like Frisbees into steel-chain baskets mounted on poles. The discs aren’t Frisbees—they’re heavier, sturdier, and pricier. But the California man who patented the Frisbee, “Steady Ed” Headrick, later designed the baskets that serve as “holes” in disc golf.
The object of disc golf mimics that of regular golf: Throw your disc into the basket in as few attempts as possible. Women’s League players compete not against each other but against their own handicaps, baselines that allow players of varying skill levels to join the same league. (A beginner, for example, could complete a course in 60 strokes, and a veteran in 48, and they could finish with the same score against their relative handicaps.) You don’t have to be a formal Queens of the City member to take part in Monday night competitions. The club’s website…
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