From tournament director Doug Bjerkaas email 3-18-14
In December 2010, Ray Woodruff and I approached the Mile High Disc Golf Club (MHDGC) Board with a request of support for a women’s only disc golf tournament. The Board said “yes” and Ray and I were off and running. Our first event at the Mansion course proved that a women’s only event in Colorado was viable and in fact could help promote women’s disc golf in our region. Since the June 2011 event, the number of women competing in MHDGC events has increased dramatically. The RMWDGC, along with other initiatives designed to promote women’s disc golf, have had a very positive impact on our sport. The event has grown over three short years to being one of the largest, highest paying events for women nationwide.
Ray and I will not ever settle for an RMWDGC that is not up to snuff with the tradition that has been set. With this being said, Ray and I have to make a difficult decision. We are cancelling the 2014 event and plan to run the event going forward every other year, to ensure that the event maintains its high standards. We are looking forward to holding the 4th RMWDGC in 2015. This decision is two-fold. First, there are significant factors that are hindering our ability to run the event in 2014. Second, as the event grows, a two-year lead time on planning and preparation will better serve future events.
Some of the factors that have led to this decision include:
The future of the CHU course
The future of the disc golf course at Colorado Heights University (CHU) has come under question. When the course was installed in 2011, the students and residents on campus (including the schools that rent space on the campus) totaled less than half of the students and residents on campus today. This increased use of the campus has led to more and more conflicts between disc golf and the other important activities taking place. As the number of disc golfers playing the course has grown, so has the number of poor choices made by disc golfers playing the course. This also fuels the discussion regarding the future of the course.
I spent the better part of the last three years serving as the Chief Operating Officer of CHU. In my role as the campus leader I was able to oversee the disc golf course and handle issues as they came up. In December 2013, I resigned my full-time position at CHU when offered a new position at a local education technology company. While I am still connected to CHU in a limited capacity – including oversight of the disc golf course, I have not been able to focus on the disc golf course like I should. I need to focus on the course and do everything in my power to ensure that the course stays in the ground so it can be enjoyed by the many annual pass holders who support it. This will take time and energy; time and energy that has in the past gone towards running the RMWDGC.
As the busy PDGA schedule has come together it has turned out that some of our sponsors who have been with the event since 2011 are unable to maintain the presence they have had in year’s past. This sponsor and vendor presence is a big reason the event has been so successful. Having two years between events will allow more lead time in raising support and improving our scheduling strategy; both of which are critical in running a tournament like the RMWDGC.
Bi-Annual Women’s Global Event
The incredibly successful Women’s Global Event (WGE) is a bi-annual event. The mission of this event is closely aligned with the mission of the RMWDGC. Having the RMWDGC on an alternate year schedule with the local WGE will allow each event to hold more of the local spotlight.
This decision has not been an easy one for Ray and me. We hope that you will understand our decision and look forward to the 2015 RMWDGC!
Note: sign up now for the Women’s Global Event – Melon Madness held at Widefield on May 10, 2014. (http://www.pdga.com/tour/event/17170