Disc Golf

Disc Golf is a variant of ball golf, but with special frisbees or flying discs. However, instead of hitting a ball off a tee and aiming at getting it down a hole in as few strokes as possible, disc golf involves throwing a disc from the tee and hitting an above-ground target in as few throws as you can. Disc golf courses are considerably shorter than ball golf courses, although a disc golf course will tend to cover much more undulating terrain and make more use of natural obstacles along the fairway.

Disc Golf is a sport based on equality and inclusion. WFDF values all people equally and endeavours to make a significant difference to the way we relate to each other. Issues such as Climate Change and Sustainability, Development and Inclusion are at the heart of all disc sports and an important part of Disc Golf. Though the main focus for many disc golfers is the competitive element of play, WFDF is committed to participation, engagement and the opportunity to sustain a healthy lifestyle far more than focus on elite competitive play. It is about making disc sports accessible to communities world-wide irrespective of gender, ability, social class or any other factor.

The sport is cheap to play and accessible to anyone - even if there isn’t an established course nearby players can make up object courses or use temporary baskets to create holes and courses of their own. The sport can be played by all ages and all abilities and though it is essentially you against the course there are also team events and competitions. All variations of Disc Golf bring the values of Spirit of the Game to the fore. It is self-officiating and marshalled by all who play with a code of conduct that requires the highest standards of honesty and integrity as well as self-reliance and self-regulation of behaviour. Like all disc sports, Disc Golf helps develop personal strengths that enable individuals to be resilient, reliable and resourceful.

A Brief History of Disc Golf
Though there are many claims to the first disc golf course and the game being played, including Persian, Greek and Roman versions, the first organised modern age disc golf sports date back to the 1960’s, and the first course was opened in 1975 in California, USA. Since then the sport has gone from strength to strength, with over 2000 registered courses, and an estimated 500,000 regular players, although there are far more unlisted courses and casual players across the globe. Currently Disc Golf is available to play in all WFDF member nations with official administration in over 45 countries.
There are many books, films and social media postings available for people to explore the depth and range, history and practice of the Disc Golf experience, from elite play to recreational fun. Youtube is a good place to start!

 

Rules
A comprehensive set of rules has been developed over the years by the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) so that there can be a consistency of play at events.

https://www.pdga.com/rules/official-rules-disc-golf

The PDGA is the organisation established for individual players worldwide. It provides the Rules of play, Competition Manuals, Course Directory and individual player Ratings as well as many other facilities. WFDF works closely with PDGA to ensure that its respective members are well served and represented.

 

Equipment
The science behind the sport has evolved considerably since the creation of the first plastic frisbee over 60 years ago. The discs which are being thrown in today are aerodynamically engineered and produced in high-tech plastics to perform consistently and reliably throw after throw. There are many manufacturers of discs to play Disc Golf as well as makers of disc golf targets, all of which are required to be approved for competitive use.

 

About the Discs Used in Disc Golf
Whereas traditional golfers carry a bag full of clubs for hitting the ball with, disc golfers will carry a selection of discs that can be thrown in a variety of ways to achieve the necessary ‘shape’ and distance of shot to avoid obstacles and get close to the target.

Time for some terminology then. The phrases below refer to a right handed backhand throw. For left handed shots, simply reverse the direction:
Understable : tendency to turn to the right
Stable : will hold a straight line
Overstable : these discs will turn to the left

The discs will have different flight characteristics when thrown, some turn right, others turn left, some turn right then left, some even fly straight! All these characteristics are related to the ‘stability’ of the disc, which in turn depends on a wide range of factors : weight, shape, type of plastic, air speed, spin, angle of release. Most discs have product descriptions that tell you the flight characteristics for that disc, so you can choose a disc that suits your style.

 

Technical standards
The following links list approved Disc Golf Discs and Disc Golf Targets:

https://www.pdga.com/technical-standards/equipment-certification/discs 

https://www.pdga.com/technical-standards/equipment-certification/targets

Thanks to the PDGA for linking WFDF to their pages.


Taking Care of yourself and others
Care needs to be taken when playing in public areas. People may not realise what you are doing. Play sensibly and play safe, respect the environment and don’t be surprised if people ask you what you’re up to! If you’ve got a spare disc or two, give them a go!

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The tee and the target
A disc golf course is typically composed of 9 or 18 holes. On each hole players attempt to reach a target, starting at the tee. Distances vary be- tween 60 and 150 meters. Almost anything can serve as a goal: a tree, a lamppost or a dustbin. In official tournaments disc trapping targets are used. A target is a round metal basket on a pole. Above the basket some loose chains are attached. These stop the disc in its flight and make it fall down into the basket. The target is then reached only when the disc falls into the basket.

 

Out-of-bounds
Every hole has specified boundaries. These are mostly natural and follow the landscape, like a road, a flower-bed or a lake. When your disc lands outside the playing field it is out-of-bounds. Players get a penalty of one throw and can continue at the position where the disc left the playing field. If the disc falls into water, the next throw is taken from the bank at the point where it left the playing field.

 

The Tee
The tee is the throwing area to begin play and is usually an area marked with a throwing line. At the first hole it is decided in which order the players throw by the names on the scorecard. After that the result of the preceding hole de- termines the order: the best score throws first, and so on.

 

The fairway
After the first throw from the tee the player whose disc is the farthest from the target, throws again first. The next throw is played from the position where the previous throw came to rest. Before picking up the disc the player (or caddy!) places a marker-disc (a mini disc of about ten centimetres) in front of the thrown disc. At the next throw the player’s front foot must be on the ground within thirty centimetres behind the marker-disc.

 

A disc which doesn’t land on the ground
Play must continue from the position where the disc lies on the ground. However it can occur that the disc is not on the ground if, for example, it remained in the branches of a tree. In this case, if the disc is less than two meters from the ground, play can continue from the position right below the disc. However when the disc is more than two meters from the ground, there is a penalty of one throw. The players then positions the disc directly below where it came to rest and continues playing according to the out-of-bounds rule (see above).

 

Different discs for different situations
Disc golf players will find themselves in many different situations, each requiring a different approach. In some cases a long distance must be covered, at other times the disc must be thrown with a large curve around a tree. Where a ball golf player can choose from several clubs, a disc golf player may choose from several discs, each with specific flight or "rolling" proper- ties. For each throw players may pick the disc that seems to be appropriate.

 

Of course you can play disc golf with an “ordinary” disc. However you’ll notice that the special disc golf discs are more suitable for this sport. For instance you can easier cover a long distance with a "driver" or putt with a "putter". For approaches from 40-60 meters you can use an "ap- proach disc". Remember that these special disc golf discs are not made for catching. You can injure yourself when you try! So be careful. Also as a player, make sure there is no possibility to injure another person be- fore you throw.
As in the other disc sports, the players themselves are responsible for the course of the game. This sheet provides the most important rules only. This is enough to get started. Of course, when you want to participate in official competitions, it is wise to become familiar with all the rules. Your national as- sociation can provide you with these. Or you can download them from the WFDF website. In addition, the more experienced players at a tournament are often willing to give an explanation when needed.

 

You can contact your national or local association for more information on courses and competitions. Perhaps there is a Disc Golf course in your neighbourhood!

 

When there is no disc golf course available you can set up your own practice course easily. In a public park you’ll find more than enough things which can serve as targets: trees, lampposts, benches, dustbins. If need be you can use one target for a number of holes by setting up a number of tees with a mandatory route for the disc. For instance, the disc must pass a tree to the right-hand side. Start with small distances, where you can throw directly at the target. Later you can expand the distances and add “mandatory” trees or bushes. Eventually you can organise your own local disc golf event.

 

Where Can You Play Disc Golf in the World?
There are 45 countries that currently have established Disc Golf Associations (DGA’s) and a registered membership. They are either members of WFDF or affiliated to the PDGA. There are many other countries with Disc Golf courses who are not as advanced in their organisation but where it is possible to still find a course and play the sport.

If you want to find the established courses, there is a list on the PDGA web site.

https://www.pdga.com/course-directory

Most of these courses will be free to play but some are commercial ventures and may require booking in advance. Get in touch with your national DGA for more detailed information on courses and players as well as learning to how to play the game and maybe even join your local club. By joining clubs and your national association you can support the values of disc sports world-wide and demonstrate your commitment to the values that WFDF hold dear.

Events

Jan 01

WFDF 2021 Continental and Regional Team Disc Golf

January 1, 2021 - December 31, 2021
Aug 17

WFDF 2021 World Team Disc Golf Championships (WTDGC)

August 17, 2022 - August 20, 2022

Recent Documents

News

Committee

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  • +44-780-232-1710
  • charlie.mead@wfdf.sport

Charlie Mead (GBR)

Chair

Bradworthy, Great Britain

Phone: (mob) +44-780-232-1710

Email: charlie.mead@wfdf.sport

Responsibilities: Policy Issues, Parasports

Board member: 1985, 1994-2002, 2016-present

Current term ends: 2020

Charlie Mead has been a player, administrator, and tournament organizer of all disc sports since 1980. He has held World Overall titles, and European and British Titles in Disc Golf in Open, Master, Grand Master and Senior Grand Master Divisions, and he was awarded the Steady Ed Headrick Trophy for representing and developing Disc Golf in 2013. Still active, for 2018 he played for the GB Team for the European Disc Golf Championships in Croatia. He was also a member of the Great Britain National Ultimate Team from 1982-1991 in the Open and Masters’ Divisions. Charlie was the first UK Flying Disc President (1981), first European Flying Disc Federation Pres-ident (1982), first WFDF President (1985- 1989), Chair of the WFDF Ultimate Committee and Board member (1994-2002), and he is currently PDGA and European Dsic Golf Federation Co-ordinator for the British Disc Golf Association (BDGA). Charlie was the Tournament Director for the WFDF Overall Championships in Colchester in 1989; EFDF and European Disc Golf Championships in 1982, 1983, 1985, and 2012, and for numerous PDGA A, B, and C Tour events in GB from 2001-2016. He was the TD for WFDF World Ultimate Championships in 1986, 1994, 1995, and 1999, and Technical TD for WFDF’s events in 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, and 2002. In 2017 he was TD and WFDF Technical Director for the 2nd World Team Disc Golf Champion-ships and WFDF Technical Director for 2019 WTDGC in Estonia. Outside of his disc career, Charlie is currently a Registered consultant psychologist providing lo-calized community-based psychological support to children in care. He received a BA (Hons) from Keele University, and M. Ed degrees in both Child Psychology and Educational Psychology from Birmingham University. Charlie lives with partner Maggi and their sheep, pigs, goats and dogs on their farm in Devon, UK.

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Adriano Medola (BRA)

Brasilia, Brazil

Responsibilities: WFDF Continental Events

Committee member: 2017-present

I am Brazilian and discovered disc golf about 7 years ago in Canada and it became my passion. I am the founder of the Disc Golf Brazil Project and current PDGA Country Coordinator. We are about to install our first Disc Golf Course in Brazil with the help of PDGA Marco Polo Program. I have volunteered in events in Canada and USA and TD and Co-TD PDGA sanctioned Tournaments and Leagues. I was also the first Brazilian to play a Worlds Championships and Captain of the first Brazilian Team Disc Golf at the very first WFDF/PDGA Team World Disc Gold Championships in 2016. My goals are to connect and assist South Americans and Latinos to Disc Golf at all levels, pro-mote events, National Team selection and Sport Development in South-America.

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Bernd Wender (AUT)

Vienna, Austria

Responsibilities: WFDF World Championship Events

Committee member: 2017-present

My name is Bernd Wender, I live and work for an international IT company in Vienna, Austria. My first contact with disc sports dates back to 1985 when I was a student. I joined the Viennese Ultimate team "Scheibenkleister". In the beginning of the Nineties I played the European Ultimate Championships in Colchester. There I bought my first golf disc, a Cobra, from Charlie Mead, just to lose it in the middle of a big tree on the first day. But the disc golf virus has caught me. We played a lot in Vienna and the surroundings and began to travel to disc golf tournaments. Weilheim and Munich were great places to play these times, but there was not so much activity in Austria, so I lost touch. After these years of stagnation the Austrian disc golf scene came back to life again in the beginning of the new Millennium. I rejoined and started to play tournaments on a regular basis. In 2005 I went to the EC in Finland. From that time I played every EC, acting as the captain of team Austria. In 2008, Brian Hoeninger asked me if Austria wants to become a PDGA affiliated country. We agreed, and he asked me to be-come PDGA country coordinator. In this role I was member of the joint PDGA / WFDF committee that was established to plan for the first disc golf team championship. I am also member of the EC advisory committee that reports to the European disc golf asso-ciation. On National level, we founded the Austrian Disc Golf Association in 2010 which is affiliated to the Austrian Frisbee Association (WFDF member). My role in the association's board is International Coordinator. Furthermore, we are a founding member of the European Disc Golf Association. As a player, I am still active on National and International level in the grandmaster division where I could win two Eurotour events, the 2015 Konopiste Open and last year's Strudengau Open. I look forward to my new role in the WFDF disc golf committee where I will work together with Charlie on developing team events on regional, National and International level.

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Bruno Gravato (POR)

Lisbon, Portugal

Responsibilities: Spirit of the Game

Committee member: 2019-present

2010-2017 - Ultimate and beach ultimate player and coach (2015/2016) 2013-present - treasurer and board member for APUDD (Portuguese Flying Disc Association) 2013-present - volunteer/staff at many world and continental ultimate and beach ulti-mate championships (ECBU 2013, WUCC 2014 and 2018, WJUC 2014 and 2018, WCBU 2015 and 2017, WUGC 2016, EBUC 2019, etc) 2014-2017 - TD for all the Portuguese Ultimate and Beach Ultimate National competitions 2015-2018 - member of WFDF's Beach Ultimate Committee 2016-present - Disc Golf regular player 2017-present - PDGA active member 2017-present - chair of APUDD's Disc Golf Committee and TD for all Portuguese DG national competitions 2017 - staff/volunteer at WTDGC 2018 - PDGA certified official 2018 - represented Portugal at EDGC

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Carlos Rio (ESP)

Madrid, Spain

Responsibilities: Athletes Commission

Committee member: 2017-present

Carlos has extensive experience of all Flying Disc Sports and has held World Tiles in many! Originally from Spain he lived in Norway for many years before returning home. He has competed in National, Continental and World Championships for over 30 years and continues to be a major force in Disc Golf wherever he plays. Currently his energies are in developing Disc Golf in Spain after considerable time as an innovator and administrator in Norwegian Flying Disc Sports Sporting achievements: European Champion (Disc Golf): 2014 (MPG Division) National Champion Spain (Disc Golf): 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 World Champion (Discathon): 1987, 1989, 1994 European Champion (Discathon): 1986 and 1987 Norwegian Disc Golf Tour: 13 wins and 65 tour victories Norwegian National Championships titles (Disc Golf): 12 Norwegian National Championships titles (other disciplines) : 62 (9 Ultimate, 4 Guts, 8 Overall, 3 SCF, 1 Distance, 14 Discathon, 8 Freestyle, 11 DDC, 4 Accuray) Experience: 2014 - present President AEDG (Asociación Española de Disc Golf) 2012 - present PDGA Country Coordinator Spain 2010 - 2012 Chairman, Disksport Norge (DSN – Norwegian Disc Sports Association) 2010 - 2012 Project Manager, National Disc Sports Coaching Program (Phase I) Disksport Norge (DSN – Norwegian Disc Sports Association) 2000 – 2003 y 1986 – 1990 Member Executive Board, Norsk Frisbee Forbund (Norwegian Frisbee Association) 1993 Coach, Pancake Frisbee Ltd (Ultimate) 1992 Coach, Stovner Frisbee Klubb (Ultimate) 1990 Coach, Norwegian National Ultimate Team, World Ultimate & Guts Championships, Oslo. 1988 – 1992 Chairman Field Events Committee, World Flying Disc Federation. 1984 – 1990 Ultimate player, club and National Team level

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Craig Sheather (CAN)

Canada

Responsibilities: Continental Disc Golf Development

Committee member: 2020-present

Current term ends: 2022

30 years of progressive operational leadership with the YMCA of Greater Vancouver. 14 years of strategic leadership experience with executive roles in the organization. Demonstrated success in achieving high operational performance. Proven ability to iden-tifying strategic growth opportunities and achieve outcomes. Employment YMCA of Greater Vancouver 1990 – 2020 Chief Operating Officer 2019 -2020 Operational leadership of all YMCA programs and services and development of emerg-ing YMCA programs. Annual revenues of $56M, over 3400 employees and volunteers, over 135 service points. Oversee the continued extension of YMCA program reach throughout the service area. Chief Strategy Officer 2018 - 2019 Responsible for the development and implementation of emerging YMCA programs and services including 4 new YMCA membership branches serving 50,000 people, 1500 new child care spaces, provincial expansion of chronic disease and mental health interven-tions, and identifying new strategic partnership opportunities. Staff support to the Gov-ernance and Strategy Committee and leadership to the development of the 2018 – 2023 integrated strategic plan. Chief Operating Officer and Vice President 2013 – 2017 Operational leadership of all YMCA programs and services. Annual revenues of more then $45M, over 3000 employees and volunteers, and over 120 service points. Vice President - Community Operations 2011 - 2013 Operational leadership of various YMCA operations including Child Care, Employment and Training, Settlement, Camps, and Community Health. Vice President – Community Engagement 2010 - 2011 Partnership development with Municipalities, Health Authorities, and Provincial Minis-tries. Provide oversight to the launch of the Robert Lee YMCA. Research and program innovations. Vice President – Vancouver Coastal Region 2006 - 2009 Operational leadership of three divisions. Langara Family YMCA, Downtown YMCA, and YMCA Camps. Program design and operational lead for the Robert Lee YMCA. General Manager - YMCA Camps and South Slope Family YMCA 2003 – 2006 General Manager – YMCA Camps – 2000 – 2003 Manager –YMCA Camps - 1995 – 1999 Program Director – YMCA Camp Deka and North Shore YMCA 1990 – 1994 Education Bachelor of Arts- Leisure Studies, 1989. Mt Gravatt CAE, Brisbane Australia. Major in Community Arts and Outdoor Recreation. Other Highlights and Achievements Professional leadership: YMCA Canada Global Initiatives Strategic Advisory Committee – 2011 to 2017 YMCA Canada Health Fitness and Aquatics Advisory Committee – 2011 – 2014 and 2018 to present British Columbia’s Provincial Physical Activity Leadership Committee – 2014 - 2016 YMCA Presidents Award for Leadership - 2007 Disc Golf Leadership: BC Disc Sports, (Provincial Sports organization) - President; 2018 – 2020, 2012 - 2015 and 2018 – 2019, and disc golf committee member 2003 – 2006 and 2009 - 2012 Canadian Disc Golf Association, Board member - 2018 – 2020, Governance committee member, 2019 – 2020. Tournament Director – British Columbia Provincial Championships – 2003, 2004, 2019, Canadian Nationals (Disc Golf) – Vancouver, 2015, WFDF Team Disc Golf World Cham-pionships – Tournament Committee – Vancouver, 2016, Assistant Tournament Director Canadian Nationals (Disc Golf) - Prince Edward Island, 2020. WFDF Team Disc Golf World Championships, Captain - Team Canada. England-2017, Estonia- 2019, and Croatia- 2021.

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Leonard Muise (USA)

Hayward, USA

Responsibilities: Sustainability and Equality

Committee member: 2017-present

I’m honoured and excited to be part of the WFDF Disc Golf Committee. I've been involved in disc golf since starting a Frisbee club at my community college in 1982, which prompted a road trip to the Huntington Beach course. Since then, I've been intensely dedicated to one or two roles at a time: competitor, tournament director, event producer, or course design-er -- save a long middle period where I only played occasional casual rounds. My resume includes: • Competitor: 8 PDGA MPO titles (1985-1990); 38th place PDGA Worlds MPO (1990) ; 2nd place WFDF Open (1991). • TD / Event Producer: 1988 WFDF Overall; 1991-1993 NorCal Disc Golf Series; 2016 St. Jude Disc Golf Charity Invitational; many demonstrations and clinics. • Course Designer / Co-Designer: ~20 temporary layouts (1985-2017); 7 permanent courses installed (2007-2016); 5 permanent courses under development (2017). Field Events/Other: US Open Accuracy title •1986); US Open Discathon title (1987-1990); top 10 US Open Overall (3-4 times 1984-1990); California State DDC title (1991); 24-Hour Pair Record (1986, 1988). • Organizations: PDGA Member #3974, PDGA Certified Official, Disc Golf Designers Group, founder and/or member of many local disc golf clubs. Presently, I'm fascinated by the arc of the sport's development. I’m wondering how WFDF might have long-term impact in these areas -- in order of my current interest: • Course design quality, safety, and standards • Cultural and economic evolution of free disc golf vs commercial disc golf • Golf disc technical standards • Equality and diversity • Successful international (nation-vs-nation) competitions • Developing technical bids -- did I hear someone say “Olympics"?! • Target technical standards I live in Hayward, California with my wonderful and generous wife and 9-year-old daughter, who support/tolerate my disc sports passion. Professionally, I'm a technical project manager for inter-net and software companies.

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Sara Nicholson (USA)

Rick Hill, USA

Responsibilities: Women in Sport and Equality

Committee member: 2018-present

I am an experienced promoter with a demonstrated history working in community outreach, re-cruitment, and event planning. I have 20 years working in program development and implementa-tion through Americorps, Parks and Recreation, and disc golf companies, clubs, and organizations. I received a BA in Psychology from the University of South Carolina in 1999 and worked as a rec-reational counselor for children in youth homes and shelters following graduation. I started running disc golf charity events and women and youth clinics in 2010. In 2013, I combined my two passions (supporting women’s health charities and encouraging more women and girls to play disc golf) and founded Throw Pink. Throw Pink has raised over $50,000 through community outreach, merchandise sales, and events spanning two countries and 15 states. Since our first Throw Pink event in April of 2014, we have made connections for disc golf promotion and sup-port with 21 non-profits centered around women’s health initiatives. I’ve been running women’s competitive disc golf events since 2011. During my tenor with the PDGA, I assisted with 20 events annually including two world championship events. I worked for the Professional Disc Golf Association as Memberships Manager from 2011-2015, then as a program consultant from 2015-2017. During my time with the PDGA, I helped revamp the women’s committee, start the Women’s Global Event, the largest PDGA event for a single demographic in history, and increase female participation in organized disc golf events. In 2016, I assisted in landing disc golf on the National Day Calendar. There is now an official National Disc Golf Day every year. Along with continuing the development of the Throw Pink program, I currently work for Innova Disc Golf in the Sales and Customer service department helping to grow the game through course development and promoter growth and outreach. I started playing disc golf competitively in 2008. I have 38 career wins including an Amateur United States Women's Championship title in 2012. I reside in Rock Hill, SC and have two cats appropriately named Parker and Birdie (Park the disc to get your birdie).

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  • Perth

Sue Summers (AUS)

Perth, Australia

Responsibilities: Women in Sport and Inclusion

Committee member: 2019-present

Disc Golf Experience August 2019-September 2019 FPO division player • Australian Disc Golf team • World Team Disc Golf Championships 2019 2017 - 2019 Winner • Advanced Women division • Perth Open 2018 & 2019, Rocky Rumble 2019, Rob Han-cock Memorial 2018 Winner • Intermediate Women division • Dude Pro 2018, Icebreaker 2017 & 2018; Rob Hancock Memorial 2017, Okthrowberfest 2017, Australian Disc Golf Championships 2017 2015 Started playing disc golf • Began competing that year, at Rob Hancock Memorial in Perth, Austral-ia, and Return of the Rubber Biscuit, Dunbar, Scotland Other disc-related achievements Represented Australia with Women’s Masters division team Primal at the World Ultimate Club Championships (WUCC) in Lecco, Italy in 2014; began playing Ultimate in 2011 and played tour-naments in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Member of FEAR Ultimate club. Clubs Member, Perth Australia Perth Disc Golf Club Mundaring Disc Golf Club 78s Disc Golf Cartel Communication 2019 Social Media campaign manager • Australian Disc Golf team • World Team Disc Golf Champion-ships 2017 Assistant photographer • Ultiworld • Aussie Championships Personal/career Wife to husband Ken Summers and stepmother to teenagers: a boy and girl Current career: Professional live musician Student Ambassador at Murdoch University, Perth, Australia Editor and proofreader Music producer Previous career: Sales lead and business development manager, broadcast TV and radio advertising post-production, Dubsat (Adstream) Production, training and supervisor, closed-captioning for broadcast television and film, Australian Caption Centre Production and sales/delivery, media monitoring, Monitoring Perth Media Currently studying a Bachelor of Creative Media (Sound) at Murdoch Enjoys travel, photography and (limited) gardening.