If you're not a LADY, You're a CADDY.
The thought of the 2013 Big Freeze and the winter course at Dretzka park in Milwaukee, WI crossed my mind in October of 2012. I’ll admit a little early to be thinking of a winter tournament, but I knew if we wanted a ladies division the sooner we planned and connected the better. And this year it certainly was for the better, since there ended up being a total of 5 women’s teams (10 ladies playing) with a vast range of skill levels in the middle of the blustery Wisconsin winter, impressive indeed!
When the invite came on Facebook for this event in December, I was certainly excited, and checked out the website to get the details, which stated in order to have a women’s division there needed to be at least 2 teams signed up 2 weeks prior to the event. This did not seem like an overly difficult task considering I had contacted my friend Katie Kaminski from Madison, WI to be my partner, therefore already having 50% of the division accounted for. In order to raise interest in the event it started with one of the local Milwaukee area facebook groups the Brew City Ladies Disc Golf Group there was certainly some chatter amongst us, however for a several weeks there were no other confirmed teams signed up. It was nearing the 2 week before the event deadline, and I know I was getting nervous that we would not have any additional teams and Katie and I would not have any other ladies to compete with. After some more conversation in our group and back and forth messages, we were finally getting somewhere. Just like that, we had 2 more teams confirmed, Becky Olkowski and Casey Rogers decided to join forces as well as Sondra Kirkland and Nikki Wayd, whom often compete against each other and are always neck and neck, which made for a great pairing.
The ladies, certainly cannot take all the credit for rallying 5 teams, as we had some thoughtful and generous men from the area and even surrounding states offer up some cash money for any women’s teams signing up and a CTP prize! Once the first offer of $10 cash for each team was made by Tim Strait of the GLDC, another offer of $10 was made by Tom Gill, who is a super nice guy and wanted to help the ladies out and also won the coveted Thomas Holsten basket in the raffle I say that is good disc karma! Once the ball was rolling, the event coordinators Joe Weinshel and Thomas Holsten offered each lady a special Big Freeze stamped magic putter! Finally, who doesn’t love some CTP action, as Charles Holz offered up some ladies sized tie dyed shirts!
With all the offers on the table it was hard not to be motivated to find more teams, if these men were willing to offer us so much just to play, we definitely needed to continue our work of getting a larger field of women together. Speaking with the always kind and impressive Barrett White a few weeks ago, she had expressed to me that she wanted to play but needed a partner, with these offers on the table, the fact that Barrett is what I call a “winter dretzka addict” and the 2010 Womens Master World Champion I felt it absolutely necessary that she had a partner. So I put my fingers to work and sent some messages and within 20 minutes was able to find her a super fun partner in Lauren Braaksma, these two ladies went on to take the title of Big Freeze Women’s Champs 2013! Finally our last surprise team signed up just that Tuesday of the week of the event which was all spurred by a facebook conversation, a great combination of lady disc golf ambassadors Miss knit knacked, Laurie Kulig and the Dolls founder Mindy Robertson!
The days proceeding the tournament we were all very excited to meet or re-connect with old friends, for some of us this was our first time competing as a doubles team with a female partner. The weather cooperated for us and we all got to enjoy 54 holes of winter disc golf on the snow covered landscape of the infamous winter Dretzka course! Let’s hope next year we can double our numbers, with the possibility of more than one women’s division, if we start working on it early enough and connect we can certainly do it! Just another step in increasing the # of women out on the course, whether it be on that perfect 75 degree sunny day or that snow covered 32 degree day–you’ll see us out there!