Celebrating discgolf in New Zealand - the land of the Great Long Drive
This is part of our 2005 Disc Golf Tour story section. Click here to go to the current www.discgolf.co.nz website.

Hi there,

My name is Toby and this is me in a helicopter in Queenstown. That's because I
played Disc Golf in the 2005 Queenstown Classic and won the Junior Under 10
Division. I was stoked - even if I was the only entry, I reckon I played real good.
My Dad is the man they call the Grand Master and he did real good too. And then
there's my Mum - she did real good too. In fact we all did real good and that's
why we all won a trip in a helicopter. I got to talk to Rusty the pilot on the
intercom 'cos the chopper was real noisy. I thought you might like to hear
about the choice time we all had at the Disc Golf, so I asked Dad to write this story
for the cool crew at www.discgolf.co.nz

10 Years of the Queenstown Classic

by Bob Gentil

Check out awesome pics from previous Queenstown tournaments: 2017 New Zealand National Championships | 2016 Tucker Beach | 2016 Wakatipu Summer Disc Golf Tournaments | 2015 Wakatipu Disc Golf Championships | 2014 Tucker Beach Inaugural | 2014 Wakatipu Disc Golf Championships | 2013 Wakatipu Disc Golf Championships | 2012 Helicopter Line Queenstown Classic and Dart River Safaris Paradise Plates | 2011 16th Annual 'Helicopter Line Queenstown Classic' & Dart River Safaris Paradise Plates, 2010 15th Annual 'Helicopter Line Queenstown Classic' & Dart River Safaris Paradise Plates | 2009 14th Annual 'Helicopter Line Queenstown Classic' & Dart River Safaris Paradise Plates | 2005 Queenstown Classic

10 Years of the Queenstown Classic

Friday morning, and Juan Under, the Mangere Bridge Mexican had offered to drop the Auckland Freaky Styley crew to the airport .. What a surprise .. ‘not’ .. to arrive a his place to find him and Debbie Natural also packed and primed for the trip to the ‘Classic’ celebration ..
The Mini bus arrived the gear was loaded and Juan, Deb, Jim, Leigh, Arthur the Dutch international, the GM and Toby climbed aboard.
Checking in at the airport we ran into Waiheke’s Brett Hailstone and family heading south for the Queenstown experience. The flight down was awesome, fine weather made for great views, with our pilot taking a few deviations to give us all a good look at notable points of interest.

The Queenstown weekend started with the usual dinner at the ‘Lone Star’, where you order pork and get served a pig. During dinner a few of the regular faces are seen making the most of the last chance to carbo-load before the trip up to Glenorchy, and ‘Paradise’ the next morning.

The next morning saw us running into even more regular Queenstown golfers, as we picked up our morning coffees and some supplies for the day, at that supurb bakery on Shotover Street.
Wow !! This could be the biggest Paradise event yet.

As we drove that fantastic Glenorchy road along side Lake Wakatipu, all I could hear was the Dutch Tourist in the back seat exclaiming “Woooooh, dis es beeeeeeaaaautiful “
Every now and then we’d stop to stash another bottle of water for the Beast to drink, on his Rotorua Marathon training programme 27k run back into town that evening.
There was also the usual stop at the high vantage point overlooking the lake and mountains for the annual photo of the ‘Freaky Styley’ crew on our way to Paradise.
As we we’re taking our shots the Christchurch crew of Neil Gardner, Sammy Neilson, Dave Sanders and company pulled in with cameras blazing as well.

As we pulled into base camp in the awesome Paradise Valley, once again the beaming face of James Smithells was there to welcome us all to what was shaping up to be a record 20 players at ‘the plate’.
The weather had also come to the party with very little wind, clear skies and southern sunlight predicted for the entire weekend, …….. and it stayed that way!!!!

The morning round of Doubles is always a social event, and a good way for any body who’s never played the course to have a good look at the multitude of places you can loose your discs.
Well done to Simon Feasey and the ‘Mainfreight sponsored’ Chris Kingsnorth who took out the doubles for 2005.

For the 12 tour players in the field of 20, the first singles round at Paradise was where the weekend started, with everyone keen to head to the gardens the next day with a slight advantage. As the sun headed towards the horizon [yes it was getting late] the cards came in, and American Ken Jarvis, back in Queenstown for a second year but not competing on the tour, had a one shot lead over Simon Feasey with the ‘GM’ just another shot back [yes .. the GM just one shot short of the ‘Big Arm Western Springs Kid’.] and Chris Kingsnorth a further shot behind.
It was tight!

We dropped John ‘the beast’ Helmink off 27k’s out from Queenstown on our way back into town, and he arrived as the first steaks we’re coming off the BBQ on the deck out side the apartment we had rented over looking the town and lake. It was great to catch up with a few of the locals and visitors over a run & coke or two that evening.
Sunday morning .. The day of the ‘ 10th Annual Helicopter Line Queenstown Classic’.
The Auckland crew arrive in the Gardens just in time to help with the erection of the tent and to get registrations underway .. it’s only 10 and the sun is beaming down on us, and hardly a cloud in the sky.


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Is that someone putting from the water? Why, it's Brett potting a birdie!

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De Dutchie Arthur admires the snowcapped peaks before thinking about his drive...

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A disc-eye'e view of one of the taped tree target.

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Who told Chris he could play from the roof?!

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Cute golfer Deb drives alongside the great sign at the Gardens...

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"Don't brand the kid!" - Toby 'foots' it with the big boys with the Hacky Sack...

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The man himself, James 'The Jag' Smithalls and friends enjoy the surreal setting at Paradise...

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Dum-de-doo...as we wait again for Sam to throw the damn disc!!!

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The lads check things out from within a Paradise shed...

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A grin from ear to ear - 2005 Under 10 Champion Toby Gentil with Womens Champ Mum.

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High fliers - Simon, Ken and Toby enjoying their Helicopter Line prize...

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A ture champion of New Zealand disc golf - James Smithalls. Thanks for a great weekend James!

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Mathematician John 'The Beast' Helmink tries to find an extra bogie on Jim's scorecard.

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Global mates - Arthur and Bob at Paradise...

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"10-4 big buddy!" Toby in charge on the chopper...

There’s no place like Queenstown on a sunny day.
James welcomes the players, thanks the sponsors and the Eliott / Menzies family for once again doing the sponsor rounds very successfully again this year .. Hear Hear !!
As a player regularly at the Classic it’s not the prizes I’m there for, but it’s always impressive to see how much Queenstown gets behind our sport.
Not to say the Helicopter Line flights we’ve stayed an extra day for over the last couple of years haven’t been a high point.
Round 1 .. and my playing partner Chris Kingsnorth aces the first hole .. shit ! I better get my game together, this man’s serious. I know he’s in a hurry, having booked a 4:30 flight back to Auckland, but that’s ridicules !!

The cards come in just as the 12 feet of ‘Subway Sandwich’ arrives .. Nice timing !!

Shock !! Horror !! is that a 55 they’re writing on the leader board beside the name .. Simon Feasey?
Seems the GM’s 46 isn’t as bad as first thought .. Surly he’s not got delusions of another 50 tour points.

Round 2 .. Bob, Chris, Ken and local Drew North took the best of the morning scores to hole Number 1, for the start of the all important second round in the Gardens, and of course the third round for the tour players.
With the GM struggling with a triple bogy on the hole 5 right of the Ponderosa Pine mando .. Chris the ‘Browns Bay Back Yard Putter’ must have been fancying his chances. That 4 stroke buffer had just been cut to 1.

As the lead foursome wandered off green 18 and did the arithmetic on the card, Ken had thrown a Queenstown Gardens blinder, just like last year it had taken him the morning to warm up, 42 for his closing round, not bad for a guy who only throws once a year.
I suspect the GM and Chris we’re quietly pleased he wasn’t a current member and the 50 points we’re still alive …….. now the nervous wait for Simon to come in.

The air conditioning specialist taken 10 strokes off his morning round, enough to take out the Shotover Jet Boat ride for the biggest improvement between rounds, but not enough to change the standings on the leader board.

But wait …. This can’t be right !! Surly .. not another 50 tour points for the GM.

With Sheree taking out the Woman’s and Toby the Under 10’s [Although he’s the first to remind me as I’m telling him how proud I am of him, “But Dad .. I was the ONLY under 10!” ] The following days Helicopter Line flight was once again brimming with Gentils.

Can’t wait till next year.

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