Flick of the Wrist

Hope Brown aims to get more women into disc golf

HOPE BROWN broke into the sport of disc golf when a male friend invited her to play.

“I played softball for nine years, so sports have always been a passion,” she says.

It didn’t take long for her to pick up the fundamentals of the sport, and soon her male counterparts took notice.

Over the years, other male players have noticed Brown’s skilled performance.

“She is one of our top local female professional players and gives lots of men a run for their money,” says Ashley Rogers, a male member of the New Hanover Disc Golf Club.

When she first started playing in 1999, the sport was almost unheard of. Now that the sport has gained more popularity, most people seem to know at least one person who plays, Brown says. She owes word of mouth and people seeing the sport in action to its continued growth. With most courses being at public parks, families watch and often come up to ask Brown questions.

In the match, players follow rules similar to golf, with the hole being a target that most of the time is an elevated basket. Like golf, the goal is to get there in the fewest moves possible, but instead of a golf ball and driver, players toss plastic discs down the fairway.

Some of the local parks with disc golf courses include Castle Hayne Park, Arrowhead Park, and Joe Eakes Park in Kure Beach.

“Since disc golfers are probably the kindest sports players in the world, we love helping people learn,” she says. “Most players will even give you a disc or two to help you get started.”

Brown, who works as office manager for Top Shelf Waste Systems, enjoys meeting new people while out practicing and makes an effort to exchange contact information with interested players.

She has also set up a portable basket for mini contests during local charity events to help raise money and gain interest. Brown has also started women disc golf clinics.

“The biggest reason women are hesitant to play is that they think their lack of skills slow everyone down,” she says.

Brown started a women-only group so new players could feel more comfortable learning the sport together.

“Soon, we will start having womens-only tournaments in the area,” she says.

“Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy beating the boys, but I would love to see more woman entering competitive events,” Brown says.

While she enjoys competing, she also enjoys the positive mental benefits of playing the sport.

“No matter how bad my day was I can go to the course and forget about it for a while,” she says. “Being surrounded by nature and fresh air is one of the best remedies a person can receive.”

The sport is easy to try since it is free to play a casual round.

“All you need are a couple of discs, and you can literally feel your troubles fly away with every throw,” Brown says.

She also says that her disc golf family has been with her through all her ups and downs. “I’ve had the privilege of meeting some great people I’m honored to call my friends,” she says.

For more information, check out the Port City Disc Chicks group on Facebook.

To learn more about the league, email portcitydiscchicks@gmail.com.

 

To view more of photographer Chris Brehmer's work, visit chrisbrehmerphotography.com.

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