Queenstown bar owner’s Christmas spirit

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A Queenstown publican has embraced the Christmas spirit by coughing up thousands to help a sports club replace stolen equipment.

Pub on Wharf owner Chris Buckley (right) is putting up $2100 to replace three stolen frisbee golf baskets recently put in by Queenstown Disc Golf Club at a new Tucker Beach course, near Frankton.

Mountain Scene reported two weeks ago that police were investigating the theft.

“It’s a great Christmas present,” Disc Golf Club committee member Chris Dickson says.

“It’s incredible Chris would reach out and help us – we’re over the moon.”

The club was gutted when three of six steel baskets were wrenched from bases last month, Dickson says.

Pub on Wharf’s Buckley says: “I read it in Scene and thought that’s a bit rough for a non-profit organisation when they’re getting people out for free just to use them.

“It’s unlikely they’re going to be able to pay for that very quickly so I thought we could just help them out and get them going again.”

Buckley says frisbee golf players frequently come to his Steamer Wharf pub after playing the club’s Gardens course, and many of his staff also play.

Dickson: “It’s awesome that a business owner would think of his staff, I guess, and how the community benefits from the town’s largest, cheapest leisure sport.”

Dickson says Buckley’s gesture has inspired the club to dig in and work even harder: “We’d love to hear from anybody else that wants to contribute, on any level.”

The club is fundraising with a hole-in-one event on Sunday to buy two more baskets, at $700 each.

Ideally it will have a full 18 by the time the new course hosts a national pro tour event next July.

Dickson says the club’s developing Tucker Beach to relieve pressure on its Queenstown Gardens course.

“Queenstown is widely recognised throughout the NZ disc golf community as the mecca – no other course sees the traffic the Gardens generate, thus the need for another.” 

Dickson says the club’s also changing the Gardens course to make it safer for the general public. 

The hole-in-one event by Queenstown Bay beach runs 11am till 4pm on Sunday. Entry is $2 a throw or $5 for three. Winners get a free chopper ride with The Helicopter Line.