Golf players of New Zealand are just getting spoiled silly
lately. A new challenging course in Rotorua
for the NZ Disc Golf
Nationals in February. Then the spectacular
beauty Queenstown's ‘Dart
River Safaris Paradise Plate’ tournament
in March. At it just kept coming with April's fun in the
sun at Taumarunui for The Hill tournament.
The Lost Tribe of Taumarunui
had thought she might be a wet one with misty rain falling
in the days leading up to the event, but it couldn't have
been better. Cloudless skies greeted the contestants on
the Saturday and the only wind was from Quan's behind.
a few of the country's top players absent, one could see
the fire in the eyes of a few wanna-be's that thought
this could be their tournie to take. Chris 'The
King' Kingsnorth has jumped a few rungs lately
with some consistent rounds, eliminating those 2-3 shot
tragedies that used to hurt his game a few years ago.
The Scarb was back as a dad, having missed
the Nationals due to poor timing on the breeding front.
And then there were rank outsiders who still looked like
they were focused on the ultimate goal: Dylan
'The Villain' Cooper from Wellington, the Greek
Mexican Juan Unda (who even brought his
coach/nutritionist Marty Pants along)
and most of the local boys who fancied themselves should
the leaders falter.
the first disc was even tossed, the fine conditions had
people talking of someone cracking the 50 mark for a new
course record. Eyes turned to local favourite Blair
Joines for this feat and sure enough, by the
afternoon it was so. In fact the record was now a superb
6 under 48 as he completed the day with a total of 99.
Great views, great weather, great putt!
Quan's game continues to
mature rapidly. Here we capture his confidence
as his disc hits the chains dead on in a
great 30 footer birdie. Click on the image
for a zoom in.
In Blair's wake after the first day were those who were
expected to feature - the top group for Sunday morning
was to be Blair, Chris, Pete 'Tribal Leader' Boyle
and a well deserved jump into the TG by Dylan the Villain
with a faultless ace that afternoon. The Scarb had dropped
to the second group due to a few unlucky bogies and even
a double bogie or two - his aggressive putting wasn't
even to blame, just the roll of the green (and the disc!)
the back of the field (and still playing as the sun set!)
were the Wellingtonian diehards Aaron
and Julian, who were having their own
battle - both on the scorecard and also, by the looks
of it, to see who could drink the most!
before the last two rounds were to be played, there was
Saturday night to get through. The Taumarunui crew are
renowned for their fine hospitality and they didn't disappoint.
After a massive feed for lunch, visitors were treated
to more divine eating in the evening. Those who enjoyed
a feed at Pete's also got to continue the competitiveness
with a unique game of 'Bush Croquet' in the yard under
The Direct Route-ly
Real men wear stubbies and gumboots to disc golf.
And there's none so real as Daring Dave Routley.
Warming up with a deep throaty 5 minute cough, this
slippery sidearmer threw some very strong forehand
shots. Here on the 18th, Dave threatens the target.
hangovers or not, everyone made it for the Sunday morning
roster. A light mist hung over the area, but all was still
calm and the sun was due to burn it off soon enough.
elected to follow the second group for the morning (it had
nothing to do with the fact Dave was there, honest) as we
had our eye on the humble Mexican Juan Unda.
He had come back from a 3 over 57 Saturday morning to record
a 3 under 51 that afternoon. We felt that if he would continue
that dream form, he could find himself in the TG for the
first time. And of course The Scarb was
going to make a fiery comeback.
were right on both counts - starting the round on hole 10,
Unda amazed the gallery with 3 straight birdies,
including a fine 40 foot bomb putt on the 11th. Steve was
a bit slower off the mark, but was soon into birdie mode.
With no real record behind him, Juan was feeling the pressure
of a good round in the making, but managed to stay calm
- some say due to a little early morning chat with tournie
leader Blair, who's always happy to share some pointers.
To Hill Champion Blair Joines,
The Hill course seemed like child's play. Showing
that extraordinary balance of power and accuracy,
he fires an Ol' Faithful down to the 18th target
positioned just left of the building.
So it was some tired feet that returned to base for yet
another great Volcanic Plateau spread for
lunch. The burgers, salad, soup and desert were a godsend
for the tired, beaten bodies that were to fight it out for
the last round.
a quick DGSGM (Disc Golf Supplementary
General Meeting) where everyone wondered when Feasey was
going to make some baskets, it was a reshaped few groups
that went to the tees for round 4. Juan had held it together
to fire a career best 49 and Steve had pushed himself back
into the TG. With Blair holding a massive 9 shot lead, it
was going to be a fight for 2nd unless someone could shine
from the word go. The Scarb had the first chance with a
nice drive on the 1st, but his putt was disappointingly
low. And in fact it was the leader who fired yet another
salvo, with Blair potting another birdie on the 3rd.
couldn't find a birdie to save himself, but at least was
keeping the bogies at bay. He eventually started to secure
a few 2's in the back 9 and finished in outright 2nd with
a total of 208. Juan Unda surprised everyone
with his 3rd birdie on 18 to pip The Scarb by one shot for
3rd place with a 209.
way out front with a dazzling 199 was local disc golfer
extraodinaire Blair Joines. Well done Blair
- great consistent golf.
done Blair - and well done to all involved, the Lost Tribesmen
sure looked after us.
Over half the hole of The Hill featured sub 80m shots
across a gully. Therefore everyone was thinking 'Ace!'
at least a few times. Here Marty comes agonisingly
Everyone wanted one, but it took a slightly drunk Wellingtonian.
Dylan celebrates an Ace on the 72m 6th.
'Vector Charlie Roger!'
If you timed your drive to the plane taking off, you got a hell
When the first 'car tyre' chain basket was made, Quan was just
knee high to a grasshopper.
Sharing a beer and a few lies.
Another accurate mid-range drive by Dylan.
Across the valley, so many targets looked so inviting to the ace
- here Des has a dig.
The original Taumarunui chain basket proved tough, even for Silver
medallist Chris Kingsnorth.
'Get on down there!' Champion Blair chucks another
uncannily accurate drive on the tough 6th.
I See Red
The infamous Basket d'Rouge that still appears on the circuit.
Marty at the tee.
The Scarb is all concentration despite a plane landing right next
to the fairway...
Despite 3 slow rounds with the Southern Drunkards, Gene maintained
that dedicated focus.
Chris lets one rip. And then he throws a disc. All part of the
Top Group psychology.