With the world’s best disc golfers participating in the inaugural Disc Golf World Tour (DGWT) event in La Mirada, California, one specific competitor stands on her own. Catrina Allen is the only female competitor at the La Mirada Open. While three women were extended wildcard invitations that would secure them a spot, Allen was the only one to enter the tournament.
Soon after the Disc Golf World Tour was announced, Allen approached Tour Director Jussi Meresmaa about the “One Division. One Champion” banner that the DGWT operates with and the lack of a dedicated women’s division.
“Jussi explained with the goal of the tournament and World Tour is to build the sport, a dedicated women’s division didn’t make sense right now,” Allen said. “We talked back and forth for a while and Jussi was very honest and I decided even with the lack of a women’s only division I would still accept the wildcard that was offered.”
When asked why she ultimately wanted to be a part of the event, Allen stated she’s using this opportunity to encourage women everywhere to play disc golf, “The men in the sport are very encouraging and accepting to the idea. Just because you are a woman that doesn’t mean you can’t throw far, putt well, throw side arms, whatever it is. I often see women feeling discouraged and not showing up to local leagues or tournaments.”
“I said to them on the 18th hole that it was the easiest round I’ve had in a very long time. You could tell we were there just to play the course. It made it really easy to focus only on playing well,” Allen remarked. “They didn’t treat me different because I am a woman, good or bad. They treated me as an equal. That was a round I’ll never forget. It was great.”
As the first Disc Golf World Tour event begins to come to a close, Allen knows she would love to be back in the future, “If time allowed and there weren’t any other conflicting tournaments, I would love to be at more Disc Golf World Tour events. Everything is ran so smoothly and the courses are great. Jussi and his staff do a great job of promoting and covering all the players. I would definitely be back.”