Interview with Patti Kunkle

Patti Kunkle – PDGA #283
1996 Disc Golf Hall of Fame Inductee

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How did you get your start in Disc Golf?

My connection to Frisbee sports started with Tom Monroe. We were friends in college. He came by Atlanta and stopped by to visit me. He started telling me about his involvement in the sport of Frisbee. It sounded like so much fun to be involved with this that I got him to go outside with me and show me how to throw a disc. I learned 3 ways to throw. I ended up moving back to Huntsville so I could train with these people.

A few years later I went to a to a big Wham-O tourney in St. Louis. I wanted to enter as a Master player, being the age finally. When I signed up with that request they told me there was no Women’s Master division, so I told them to get ready because we’re coming. I went ahead and played Masters…I was trying to make a point after all!

…I went to a to a big Wham-O tourney in St. Louis. I wanted to enter as a Master player, being the age finally. When I signed up with that request they told me there was no Women’s Master division, so I told them to get ready because we’re coming.

That is where I met my partner in life John David. After a few years we decided to open a store to sell discs and other flying items. We stayed in business for 20 years. We never made much money but we sure got to spread the love.

Tell us about your major highlights and achievements in Disc Golf.

My honors were so special to me. I was the first woman to get the Bob West Sportsman of the Year Award. I was awarded the Jim Olsen, Sr. Award as Senior Disc Golfer of the Year, named Master Woman Player of the Decade in the 80s, Hall of Fame in 1996, and first woman to win Masters at Worlds.

How would you describe your approach or mentality to the game?

When we had the store I got to teach methods of throwing and playing for 20 years. That was fun. My message I tried to pass on was to not be cranky over your round. What a joy it was to play.

We’d like to thank Patti for sharing her story with us.
Stay tuned next week for another Women’s Hall of Fame spotlight!

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