Tournament directors, Celeste Scandiffio and Cindy McMahan, run this event for Women Disc Golfers of all experience levels; from those who have never played to the most experienced. They have seen large turnouts every year and their group picture each year makes women around the envious of their turnouts. So, how do they do it?
After the whirlwind of the 2012 Chick Flick, Celeste took some time to answer a few questions I had about growing the number of women disc golfers and how they continue to build on their successful event year after year.
What is the best thing about running a Women’s Only event?
“One of my favorite things about running an even that is just for women is going to the course in the weeks after and hearing the buzz about the event. I have had a lot of female and male players approach me at the course to tell me about a women’s event that just happened last weekend and say I should check out the group on Facebook so I can go the next year. It’s great to know that people leave our event spreading the word about women’s events.”
What do you think has lead to your successful tournament/huge numbers?
“One thing we do differently from many events, both coed and women’s, is that we keep our focus on introducing disc golf to our local community and education rather than strictly having large payouts. Yes, large payouts are great and attractive to many players. They can also get the big name pros to the event which is awesome. However, we feel that is a niche being filled by multiple tournaments in our area. We hope The Chick Flick is a starting point that gives women the confidence to attend those events in turn making the women’s payout even larger. Since our first year, this has shown to be true.
I think our large numbers come from not only returning players but from our consistent visibility to new players throughout the entire year. We ran fundraisers all winter by cooking hot lunches for players during events. We had our event banner and flyers out at these events to promote the tournament months ahead of time. This not only kept our event visible but also helped us raise money to put on a great event while still keeping the entry fee low.”
What can other tournaments do to help grow their women’s field?
“Something I see that has increased participation numbers is players rallying their friends, coworkers, and family to come try out disc golf. At this year’s Chick Flick I personally had my stepmom playing for the second time in the senior grand masters division, my brother’s girlfriend playing her first round ever in rec, and my boss playing for the second year, also in the rec division.
Spread the word in your own local circle instead of just throwing something on the internet questioning why no women are signed up. If you are able to, sponsor a friend who otherwise wouldn’t be able to play. Post that you have $5-10 towards a female entry fee on your local discussion board or club page you might be surprised at how many people will match your donation.”
What makes the Chick Flick a great starting point for Women Disc Golfers?
“Some women are scared to just jump into a tournament with having never played before even if it is an all women’s tournament. Try to include some instruction time before the event, like a free clinic the weekend or Friday before the event. The Chick Flick offers a different feel than most tournaments. We have on-site camping, provided lunches, and instructional clinics which gives people time to meet other players and feel comfortable with the tournament part of the event on Sunday.”
Celeste also praises that, “We have an extremely supportive disc golf community in the Northwest. Women, and a great group of female volunteers, organize the Chick Flick but the men in our community have jumped at any opportunity to help out when and where we have needed it.”
If you are interested in running a women’s disc golf tournament, or a women’s league take a couple of Celeste’s ideas to heart. These women in Oregon have set the bar for women’s only tournaments around the world, so we all need to look at their success and apply it in our local areas. They have obviously seen huge success and their numbers continue to prove their philosphy works!
Thank you to Celeste and Cindy for your hard work and dedication to Women’s Disc Golf!
Watch the Youtube video on the 2012 Chick Flick here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FbzGqvwtBo&feature=player_embedded