When Katri Koponen and Niina Saarinen joined forces in August 2021 to create a new type of disc golf competition for women, they had no idea what was yet come. The idea was simple: to create an event that was fun and easy to approach so that more women could find the courage to attend disc golf competitions.
In the beginning, they didn’t expect much.
“I only started to play disc golf in 2020. No one knew me and I had never attended a women’s competition, let alone arranged one. Luckily, Niina had been assistant TD before, so we weren’t both as clueless. Against all odds, the competition got full in a week after the registration started. We were stunned”, Koponen describes.
The first PowerPutt Ladies Open was held on 25 September 2021 in Karkkila disc golf course in Finland. A hundred women and girls attended the competition, making it the largest women’s competition in Europe.
This year, Koponen and the organizing team have set the bar even higher: their goal is to hold the largest women’s competition in the world. Currently, there are 347 players registered for the 2022 United States Women’s Disc Golf Championships. It is a tough goal to hit but the team doesn’t seem too concerned: “If we can make it interesting enough and make sure enough players hear from it, I believe anything is possible” says Koponen.
They got off to a great start. The registration opened on 29 April, and after one hour and 5 minutes, they already had beaten their old record. Now, there are almost 180 players registered to the competition on Metrix.
Koponen is hungry for more: “There is still time before the competition. We have plans to spread the word and are happy to do this together with our main sponsor Discmania. It has been great to witness their passion for growing the sport and supporting female disc golf.”
As in 2021, the event is free of charge, requires no license and focuses on creating a warm atmosphere where players get to enjoy the disc golf community.
“The day is full of side competitions, disc golf stores and music to keep the participants busy while not on the course themselves. We will also have throwing clinics, which worked really well last year”, Koponen explains.
PowerPutt Ladies Open 2022 will be held at Heinola DiscGolfParkWorld on Saturday 24 September. One of the layouts, Kippasuo Pro, was recently selected the fifth most popular course in the world, according to UDisc. The tournament director is Miikka Saturi and assistant TDs Susanna Virtanen and Riku Tähtinen.
The competition site on Disc Golf Metrix promotes that the competition has divisions “for everyone from first time competitors to professionals and junior girls to above 60-year-olds”. Master divisions were an addition to this year’s competition.
“Another big change from last year is that we added English as the second language in all marketing and event related materials. If we truly want to grow the sport and get more women involved, we need to be inclusive and welcome everyone to share our message: women belong in competitive disc golf as much as men do.
Further information and photographs from the 2021 event:
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