Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The DD Women's Series - Part 1: How Zoe Andyke Promotes Women's Disc Golf

Take one look at Zoe Andyke and you’d think disc golf was in her blood. She’s earned 27 career wins to date and tours the country spreading her enthusiasm about the sport while performing at an impressive level. When she’s not on the road, she’s working on the non-profit she founded, Universal Play Disc Golf, which teaches school-aged children the essential skills needed to play disc golf.

But even beyond this long list of accomplishments, Andyke is well-known for her efforts in promoting disc golf to women. Let’s take a brief look at how she’s made an impact for women across the country.

In A State Far, Far Away....

A native Oregonian with a passion for physical education, Zoe didn’t necessarily have her sights set on teaching women disc golf across the country when she first started out. Working with teen girls at a boarding school, however, gave her insight into how she could relate the knowledge she has to a group of women:

“It was a treatment based academy, so not only did I have control of their PE curriculum, but I had to fill their weekend and evening time with outdoor activities and education. We completed wilderness survival, built shelters outdoors, and on the side, I was an Oregon disc golfer on the weekends,” said Andyke.

Eventually, she moved to Alaska to pursue other opportunities, but disc golf came with her. Just before leaving in 2011, she taught her first women’s clinic. With 32 ladies in attendance in Anchorage, she told the group that she didn’t know where her teaching was going, but she knew she was on to something good.

Getting Involved Everywhere

When you talk to Zoe about all the places she’s involved in teaching disc golf to women, it can make your head spin. 2013 saw the development of Portland-based club Women of Disc Golf or Die (Women of DGOD), and together with the founders Zoe offered merchandise, training, and offered to be the club pro. During that year she also went on tour and continued to teach. “At each stop, I wanted to teach a clinic during the event and had about a 70% success rate with that. They were donation based and I was always advertising and aiming at women,” Andyke explained.

Continuing her momentum, she partnered with Huk Lab the following year to create Flight School. The idea took off with the intention of hosting women-only disc golf classes, and as Zoe continued to see success the branding also took off with Nate Sexton providing a male-oriented version. From joining clubs across the nation to becoming involved in classes held during well-known tournaments, Zoe is a teaching force to be reckoned with!

She has a huge mission on her mind, explaining: “The 92% men to 8% female PDGA stats seem to stay stagnant, even with women’s tournaments popping up everywhere. When you look at the rate of the men’s growth - we just can’t keep up with that.” Yet with Zoe’s skills and natural talent for teaching, she’s hoping to change that.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our DD Women’s Series where we explore more about how Zoe is impacting the sport of disc golf and encouraging women worldwide.
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