, 2023-05-11 18:24:57,
At a time when a round of golf can set you back close to $100 and a good club set can set you back far more than $1,000, the noble sport is increasingly one that you have to be somewhat well-heeled to afford.
A growing number of women in Niagara are embracing a new twist on the game by ditching the clubs and balls and switching to discs as fans of the surging sport of disc golf.
Pam Fowler, tournament chair of the first-ever tournament being organized by the Greater Niagara Women’s Disc Golf Association (GNWDGA) at Firemen’s Park in Niagara Falls on May 13, said she’s seeing rapid growth in the number of women cluing into the benefits of disc golf.
“It’s a hugely growing sport,” she said. “Last year, our club started the women’s division with 14 members and now we’re up to 54.”
Fowler, of St. Catharines, said that has a lot to do with the camaraderie that comes with disc golf.
“I can post on our Facebook group that I’m coming to play at noon, and people will just show up and play with you,” she said. “Our women’s disc golf is very community-based: we’re all about support and no one is alone in this adventure.”
Fowler’s association has a ladies’ league that plays weekly on Tuesdays, and it’s not uncommon for newcomers to show up and be lent beginners discs to try their hand at the sport that mimics golf with terms such as birdies, eagles and bogeys. “Almost anybody will pull out of their bag and say, ‘here, try it,’” she said.
The sport also has specialized discs similar to golf drivers, irons and putters. Distance discs have a shaper edge while other discs are better at curving around trees. Then there are discs with very rounded edges to toss into the metal baskets that replace cups in regular golf.
Unlike regular golf, it’s not expensive: in addition to the course at the lower Firemen’s Park, there are also free disc golf courses in St. Catharines and Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Fowler said you can get a good starter kit with all the discs you need to play for as little as $35.
The sport is also playable year round. “I’m here all winter,” said Fowler, demonstrating her disc tossing skills at Firemen’s Park.
Like regular golf, disc golf offers physical benefits such as upper and lower body…
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