Ann Reese is a female disc golfer who plays frequently at Sedgley Woods disc golfing Course in Fairmount Park. disc golf is played like regular golf but with a disc. Players use a flying disc instead of a golf ball. There are five different types of discs. Each disc is used for certain distances. Ann has been playing for four years and comes to the course every Saturday to play with her boyfriend and friends. ” I have no special form I practice and see what shots works for me at that time,” Ann said. She won her last game where she competed against five other women in her division, at the Hyzers Flipadelphia tournament in Philadelphia.
She tends to encourage more women to come and play the sport of disc golf. The women disc golf games are growing and getting bigger. Professional women disc golfers like Contrina Allen and Paige Pierce are two of the top ranking in the Professional Disk Golf Association for women. These accolades don’t come without setbacks. Ann understands the struggles and obstacles the ladies face when being a female athlete in a male dominated sport. Being a tournament winner herself, she is well aware of the unfairness between the two sexes. “The big difference is pay out. So when you play in the pro level, the men may get around $5,000 and the women may get $1,500 to $2,000. That’s one of the bigger controversies right now,” She said.
Even though there are minor road blocks she remains hopeful and optimistic that more women would come out and play. She loves the experience and how the game of disc golf brings people of different walks of life together. “What I like about disc golf is, that you have homeless people that come out to play and people that work for NASA. Everyone comes to Sedgely Woods and we have a good community here, she said.” Ann loves being in the park just as much as she likes playing disc golf. “Disc golf is actually a great way to get out and get some exercise, be in the environment and be out in nature, she said.”
According to research from West Virginia University, having disc golf courses decreases crime in parks because of more people occupying the parks. Disc golfers are very different than regular golfers in regards to the environment. Disc golfers utilize the land more because they build their courses with in the landscape. Unlike golf where they have wide spaces but don’t take advantage of all the land because they play on a course that is man made.
Disc golfers maintain their own park and create courses themselves. John DiSciascio, a volunteer for the non-profit, Friends of Sedgley Woods Club, works with Fairmount Park Conservancy and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation to helps maintain the park and the environment for the players and the animals that live there. “Disc golf is the opposite of golf. Disc golf is probably the least intrusive use of a park because we love to play in the woods. We walk we don’t use cars, we love trees we plant a lot of trees, trees are our friends, DiSciascio said.”
A lot of people choose this sport because of the scenery and the environment. Most disc golfers are more connected to the environment than those who play golf. “The animals seem to like us for whatever reason, a friend of mines that works at the Academy of Natural Science, he’s a scientist, claims that we have improved the environment for the birds. More birds come out because of what we’re doing, he said.” Friends of Sedgley Woods clean and help the environment all over Fairmount Park. Sedgley Woods started out with 18 holes but now they increased to 27 holes because more and more people are enjoying the relaxation of the outdoors while playing a wonderful sport. According to John DiScascio, Sedgley woods have around 15 acres of land that is being cared for. He plans to get everyone out to play so they can become more aware of our environment and the impact the game of disc golf have on the park. People love playing disc golf and love that it’s in the environment that everyone can take part. Most people tend to like it better because it’s more laid back and not stuffy or snoody as the golf course. If you’re a laid back outdoors type of person, come to Sedgley Woods and enjoy a game or two of disc golf with fun and loving people who love to be in their natural environment.