A record full field of 72 players is expected at this weekend’s two-day Queens-town Classic Disc Golf Tournament, reflecting the growth of the sport in New Zealand.
The 24th annual Classic – the longest-running fixed-location tournament in NZ – again comprises four 18-hole rounds over Saturday and Sunday on the Queenstown Gardens course.
It concludes with a six-hole shootout among the four top players.
Tournament director Paul Child introduced this when he came onboard for the 2017 Classic – “this is a chance for spectators and all the other players to gather round and follow the best players”.
“There are some real tense moments when things can change.”
There are seven major divisions and a recreational division, and the event’s also the fifth leg of this year’s NZ Disc Golf Tour.
Child says it’s regarded as the NZ tournament with the biggest prize bounty, headed by chopper trips donated by long-time naming sponsor, The Helicopter Line.
The tournament used to be split between the Gardens and a course at Paradise, near Glenorchy, but the Paradise Plates is now a standalone event – this year it’s three weeks later.
Child says the best thing about disc golfer is that, outside tournaments, it’s free to play, virtually everywhere, “and you can take it as seriously or casually as you want”.
“It doesn’t take half your day and half of your week’s pay cheque to play it.”