Kristin Swirles | Women’s Disc Golf in Edmonton, Alberta

Kristin Swirles is the Tournament Director for the She’s Up First Women’s Disc Golf Tournament happening in Edmonton, Alberta in May. This is herStory of getting involved in the sport of disc golf, how the tournament came to be, and how other women can get involved in the sport of Disc Golf.

Can you tell us about your journey through sports and how you became a professional disc golfer?

I started disc golfing very casually in 2016 after being introduced to the sport by my partner. I played for many years with only three discs and never keeping track of my score. In 2021 I entered the River City Cup tournament in Edmonton and found that I was quite competitive with some of the other women. This sparked my desire to play more and more.  The more tournaments I played the stronger my game became. 

Being a “professional” disc golfer looks like different things for different folks. For me it means that I play competitively in the Female Professional Open Division all across Alberta and BC and hope to play larger tournaments in the United States soon. Of course, there are professionals that make a living from disc golf, but very few of those folks as the sport is still so young.

For those who aren’t familiar with disc golf, can you give a brief rundown of the sport and the opportunities available for women to play at both recreational and elite levels?

Disc Golf is very similar to regular Golf or “Ball Golf”. You throw from a tee pad to a target with discs/frisbees. You count your strokes on each hole. There is a par for each hole and you can birdie or bogey. The sport started long ago in the 1970s and remained very grass roots and “underground” for decades in North America. Covid saw an absolute explosion of disc golf in recreational players as it was a sport you could play alone and outdoors. There are many ways to take in the sport. There is everything from local clubs putting on events to elite players touring on the Disc Golf Pro Tour circuit and everything in between.

As a female getting involved in the sport locally in Edmonton, I would recommend checking out our local club EDGA (Edmonton Disc Golf Association). There is a women’s league that plays Wednesday nights at different courses in the city and the group is very welcoming.

As a female hoping to play more professional events one important factor is to get a PDGA Membership so that you can play in sanctioned events. Once you do, you will receive a rating for each event and an overall player rating. To play elite level events you do need a minimum rating. Play more tournaments, play bigger tournaments and play with players better than you! It’s the best way to grow and to increase your rating as a female golfer.

You’re the tournament director for the She’s Up First Women’s Disc Golf Tournament in Edmonton, AB. Can you tell us more about the tournament?
Women's Disc Golf

She’s Up First is a women’s disc golf tournament in it’s third year in Edmonton. She’s Up First is being hosted by EDGA and is a part of the CWE (Canadian Women’s Event) and Cold Garden Cup in Alberta.  More importantly, I started the tournament as an opportunity for women to try their hand at competitive play in a welcoming and safe environment. It’s the perfect event to LEARN how to play tournament play. It’s a great day to learn the rules of tournament play and disc golf in general. It’s a great event to connect with other women playing the sport. It’s a celebration of all the female golfers in our community. 

It is taking place May 4, 2024 at Hermitage Disc Golf Course in Edmonton. It’s important for me that the event happens early in the season, with the hopes that women who enjoy the experience are encouraged to sign up for more events as the season rolls out and eventually we see an increase in female competitors in disc golf in Alberta!

How can women get involved in the tournament?

Women can register for the event and learn more at the registration page here: https://www.discgolfscene.com/tournaments/Shes_Up_First_2024

Women that have further questions are welcome to reach out to me directly: [email protected]

What advice do you have for other women who want to start playing disc golf?

Just start! It can be a difficult sport at first, and you might feel awkward throwing, but everyone starts somewhere. The community, in Edmonton in particular, is very welcoming so don’t be afraid to ask questions out on the course! Lots of people are happy to talk disc golf!  If you don’t have any discs yet or anyone to try it out with, feel free to reach out to EDGA and come try out women’s league!



NOT YOUR DADDY’S HOCKEY BRAND & probably not your mom’s either