The development of women’s disc golf has been a priority for organizers in the Western New York community for a number of years. Finding new and innovative ways to engage local women in competitive disc golf has led to the impressive growth of a series of women-only events including the WNY Women’s Championships, Ladies Disc Swap, and our local rendition of the Women’s Global Event. Top divisions that used to consist of the same three or four women playing on a card each week have become increasingly dynamic and competitive. Beginner and intermediate divisions continue to expand as well, with new women joining every month and climbing the ranks. As fans of the game, we’re here for it!
The recent success has been exciting for everyone involved, but there is certainly still room to grow. This off-season Nichole Tomasello-Keil is looking to do just that with the second year of the WNY Women’s Virtual Putting League sponsored by Spartan Discs. Many local women still feel “uncomfortable or intimidated participating in a co-ed league,” she told me, and providing a virtual safe-space for women to compete amongst themselves and learn from each other can help alleviate some of that concern.
“Anyone can participate,” says Tomasello-Keil. “There are women that enjoy putting with us and coming to our happy hour who do not even play disc golf!” All you need is a phone, some putters and a basket and you can join a network of women practicing throughout the winter season. In fact, you don’t even need the basket! If you would like, you can attend Spartan’s “Putting League Happy Hour,” a social event held each week at Spartan Discs where league members can film each other's putting submission while sharing food and drink! By making an event like this a virtual hybrid, allowing members to participate online or in-person at the shop, this league is perhaps the most accessible event in our area for local women.
If you would like in on the action, the first step is to join the WNY Women’s Virtual Putting League Facebook group. This is a private, ladies only group where you will be posting your putting performance each week. Your entry must be live-streamed in the Facebook group to be accepted - only members of the group will be able to view and comment on your submission. The competition consists of 24 putts each week, with 6 putts from each station marked and measured at 10 feet (1 point), 15 feet (2 points), 20 feet (3 points) and 25 feet (4 points). Before putting, please state your name and show your marked distance to the basket for each station using a tape measure. You must use a PDGA approved basket. After completing your 24 putts, you are allowed 1 bonus putt from any station you feel comfortable. If you make that putt, the points are added to your total, which you will need to post in the comment section of your video.
The league will follow a handicap format, with the first week establishing an average and all subsequent weeks factoring in each player’s handicap score. League weeks begin on Monday and you can submit your round any time between then and the following Sunday (see below for each week’s date ranges). Entry is $8 per week and must be paid before you putt. Payment is accepted virtually via Venmo (@nicoletk) or PayPal Friends and Family (7169847844). $5 from each entry is allocated to payouts, $1 is donated to the WNY Women’s Disc Golf Fund to help run events in 2023 and the remaining $2 is spent on prizes.
Winners for each week will be announced during a live stream on the following Tuesday with cash payouts for each week’s champions and random prize wheel winners. All players who submitted an entry for a given week will have their name on a wheel and multiple prizes from a number of local women-owned businesses and Spartan Discs will be awarded each week valued at $50-$100 a week!
At the completion of the league, virtual award ceremonies will be held to crown the two Queens of Western New York Putting, one scratch and one with handicap! Additionally, Tiffany Ralston will be awarding the top scoring beginner with their first year of PDGA membership! Who will take the throne this year?
Scratch Putting Queen: Kaylee Hanania
Putting Queen: Janet Cranshaw
Beginner: Caitlin Tee
Week 1: November 28 - December 4
Week 2: December 5 - December 11
Week 3: December 12 - December 18
Week 4: December 19 - December 25
Week 5: December 26 -January 1
Week 6: January 2 - January 8
Week 7: January 9 - January 15
Week 8: January 16 - January 22
Week 9: January 23 - January 29
Week 10: January 30 - February 5