The 2004 New Zealand Disc Golf Championships, Rotorua.
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Easy for Feasey - A Test for the Rest
Pictures below 

Several times NZ Champ Simon Feasey put his hand up to be Tournament Director for the 2004 New Zealand Disc Golf Nationals, taking a bit of pressure off the Grand Master Bob Gentil who had run countless National tournies and was in danger of 'burn-out'.
It soon became clear that 'Big Arm' Feasey had quite a plan when rumours started to develop about a brand newcourse in the thermal capital of New Zealand, Rotorua.
Once it was official, Simon was quick to acknowledge the positive attitude of the Rotorua City Council towards the idea of this little-known sport developing itself in their town - very different to many centres that a lot of us golfers reside!
And so it was into the hard yakka - many months of work from Simon and friends - the Lost Tribe from over yonder on the Central Plateau and the freaks from Freaky Styley ripped into some ground work to create a playable and challenging course for the 2004 Nationals.
Being wedges between the Rotorua Airport and Lake Rotorua, beautiful Hannah Park had had quite a bit of recent work to it by the council - the creation of some nice walkways through wet lands, picnic areas and parking attracted such events as the big off-shore powers boats late in 2003. But it was February 2004 that was to be the pinacle of sport at Hannah as the best and the rest of New Zealand's Disc Golfers descended on RotoVegas fror three days of fun and drama.

Arthur makes a long putt on the par 3 second. The Flatlander chose to approach this hole from 'da Left Hand Side' making for a safe par.

Dave R watches as Victor bombs in a save for the par on Hole 2. Victor saved his best for the last round with a 2 over 58.

The entire course is dead flat - nice for our dutch visitor Arthur Bosschaart, but very different from most of New Zealand's undulating courses. Simon however managed to maintain the challenge by utilising the fauna of Hannah Park with some very testing hole that required just the right element of left-to-right type drives to get close to the greens. And then there was the 13th over-the-lake hole. An appropriate number for what was the nemesis for many, this hole brought much wailing from lefties especially and quite a few players chose to drive from the drop zone without even trying the drive (save those discs was the policy). Mind you, it was the nationals - designed to test the best. The 13th certainly proved the toughest hole with zero birdies in singles play and just one birdie in doubles thanks to a wicked drive and putt from Quan of the Quan/Deano team. Quan has developed considerably over the last few years - watch your back Feasey!
So all in all a great course and awesome to see the sport grow in the Land of the Great Long Drive. Well done Simon, I say!
New Zealand suffered some of the most freaky weather ever leading up to February and Rotorua did not escape it. As the first round of Doubles began on the Saturday, the water table was above ground level in many areas, resulting in guarenteed wet feet for all but the smart Lost Tribe from Taumarunui (and Jim) who played in gumboots! Only in Aotearoa, eh...
Doubles always gives the players a chance to learn the course, its dangers and opportunities and so come Sunday everyone tentatively approached their first hole for the first of four rounds.
With the absence of
Steve Scarborough due to pregnacy (congrats by the way), many in the know thought the tournament was a given for Feasey - after all, he designed the course for his big arm! A few punters, including The Scarb, hung their hopes in Chris 'Truckie' Kingsnorth who had been showing some form, winning the Extreme Golf at Tauranga in 2003.
But alas, it went the way of the favourite Simon Feasey. Well done to him, but where's the competition? I'll put a fiver on Quan for the 2008 Champs in Tokoroa(?)

And how did the Freaky Styley crew go? Who cares!

Below are images from the 2004 Nationals. Click on the image to see it all in GabbaVision in a new window.

No, Aaron isn't driving into Josh's head - just a bit of trick photography. See Josh's disc screaming for a birdie on Hole 17 whilst another group completes Hole 2 in the background.
Dave R was pleased to walk up to this tree on Hole 2 and see his disc on the ground. Having avoided the penalty stroke, Dave then forearmed right next to the basket for a nice par.
Hannah Park was alive with activity - being next to Rotoura Airport meant players like John 'The Beast' Helmink had to block out the noise of turbo props and focus on making the turbo drive here on the 7th. See the disc just leaving his hand.

Forehand legend Victor makes an aggressive approach on the 12th. Thinking of nothing but the chains, he was desperately unlucky to see his disc be spat out.
It was a true test of control, power, wind and luck on the course's toughest hole - the 13th. The only par 3 to average over 4 shots, the birdie eluded all players bar the doubles team of Dean M and big arm Quan.

Who's that hiding in the trees? Why it's Auckland based Taumarunuian Gene leaning out from the blackberry to make it onto the green for a well earned par on the course toughest hole, the 13th.
One of the quiet achievers, relative new-comer to the sport Tim clocked in plenty of good par shots and didn't shy away from the birdie attempts as per this threatener on Hole 8. Two rounds of 63 were a fine achievement - look out for Tim to cause trouble at this year's tour.

Hannah Park replicated in many ways Arthur's home land of The Netherlands. Therefore, he was at home with the flat course and seldom did we see those chizeled tatooed legs wandering around in the rough. Here he makes a tough putt to save par on the difficult and often windy 15th.

A fitting shot, John 'The Beast' Helmink has made over 1500 parachute jumps himself, but a fellow jumper could not falter The Beast's focus on the chains on Hole 6.

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