If you haven’t been to it already, the Throw Pink event in Rock Hill and others like it are the perfect place for women and girls to learn about disc golf. Here’s why:
At the all-female event, which happened for the fifth consecutive year on Saturday, women improve their disc golf skills next to other women and are taught by women, all while supporting women’s health and health initiatives.
Throw Pink is a non-profit with the mission of encouraging women and girls to get out and be more physically active through disc golf while raising awareness and money for women’s health-related charities.
Saturday, dozens of women and girls made their way to the Winthrop Recreation Area in Rock Hill. It was the first year the USDGC partnering event was held on site at Winthrop near the USDGC’s EDGE Village (Educational Disc Golf Experience).
Kelli from Lancaster, S.C., was excited to get throwing instruction from women. She said although her brother gives tips, it’s not as helpful because men throw differently.
(Here Kelli talks about why she enjoyed the Throw Pink event skills clinic).
Putting, Approach, Driving
Things got started when 4-time World Champion Des Reading gave a brief overview of the history of the game and how the discs fly. Groups were then broken up into three skills stations including driving, approach, and putting which Reading led. Reading reviewed proper disc grip, how to use your legs to propel the disc among other tips.
(Here’s Reading giving some beginners the basics of putting)
The event was raising money for both the National Breast Cancer Coalition and other Throw Pink initiatives. Lisa Ann Wheeler, South Carolina representative for the National Breast Cancer Coalition, was excited to be a part of the event and to share about her organization’s program, Deadline 2020. Deadline 2020 is an initiative to find a cure for breast cancer by the year 2020. Wheeler, like many people, is personally affected by the disease. Her mother died from breast cancer.
(Here’s Wheeler talking about Deadline 2020.)
Instruction from Pros
Over at the driving station, pro tour disc golfers Madison Walker, Kona Panis, and amateur standout Hope Brown provided tips maximizing tee shots and long approaches.
“Following through is huge,” Walker said. “If you’re not following through you’re not getting a full flight.”
Along with following through, the women also emphasized practicing to prefect the timing of their throw and to find suitable discs for beginners among other tips and demonstrations. Brown encouraged attendees to start with straight flying 150-160-gram discs.
“You don’t want a max weight disc because it makes you have to throw so much harder,” said Brown.
(Kona Panis demonstrates the standstill drive at the driving skills station).
Charlotte area pro Debbie Scott was nearby teaching the approach shot. She said the approach is important because “After you drive you’ve got to get your disc to the basket.”
She taught attendees about throwing your approaches to the ‘Easy Circle’ so that the putt that comes after is no problem. She said each person’s Easy Circle is a different length from the basket and the more they played the better they’d know what their Easy Circle is.
Hannah Schreiber of Virginia was a quick study when she threw a sidearm approach directly in the target.
“I don’t throw sidearm much. I mostly throw backhand, but that was sweet, super sweet,” said Schreiber.
Putting the skills to action
After the skill session concluded, the event wrapped up with a short round on the beginner friendly course set up by 2018 USDGC Course Designer Andrew Duvall.
Throw Pink Director Sara Nicholson, who coordinates Throw Pink events throughout the year, felt the event was another success. Bringing ladies together for a good cause and a good time, all while learning about disc golf is a win-win, said Nicholson.