, 2023-03-14 23:14:00,
About 240 players, some from overseas, will compete in this weekend’s North Island Disc Golf championships in Taupō.
Taupō is turning into a hotspot for disc golf and this week will host the North Island championships, bringing about 240 players to the district to show off their skills.
The sport was gaining popularity as a low-barrier alternative to golf, Taupō Disc Golf Club president Ken Harris said. They’d had help from a Taupō District Council community grant and the town was a popular destination for players.
From Thursday, the 2023 Taupo-nui-a-Tia Disc Golf Classic/New Zealand Disc Golf North Island Championships will be held at Spa Park, and on courses set up at the Taupō Golf Club.
Some of the country’s top players will be at the competition, which will run until Sunday afternoon.
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He encouraged locals to catch some of the action – entry for spectators is free.
“The tournament is a crucial moment for us,” Harris said.
“We’ll see somewhere around 230 to 240 players – it’s one of the largest in the country.
“With some updates to the course, and after Cyclone Gabrielle, we’ve had a huge job of getting it all ready.
“All of our members represent us well, even if they don’t compete, just because of how much work they’ve put in.”
Harris said the Taupō Disc Golf Club had about 70 members, was growing steadily, and all a person needed to take part were walking shoes, a few inexpensive discs, and transport to the public course at Spa Park.
He said the club was now working with young people in Taupō teaching them the skills and techniques to help them play the game and a community grant had helped take the sport to schools and community groups, with the backing of the Lake Taupō District Sports Advisory Council.
“In two weeks, we got into almost every school in Taupō – that was about 880 kids between years 5 and 8 having a go,” Harris said.
“We’ve now got nine portable baskets across two successful rounds of funding, so we can set up a nine-hole course anywhere.
“Schools don’t have that barrier…
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