Martin and Chris of Vortica Disc Golf Announce Our Sponsored Players for 2019!
For the fourth year in a row, Vortica is pleased and proud to announce the team for 2019 - our largest ever. It features some new and some familiar faces. We were very happy with our picks for 2018 and we congratulate the 2018 Vortica crew on a job well done! We'll cover their achievements in a future blog post.
It's time to introduce our 2019 roster of existing, and up-and-coming talent.
Paul "The Chainsaw" Child
Born in: Sydney, Australia
Lives in: Hawea Flat, Wanaka
Years with Vortica: My first!
PDGA rating: 942
Highest rated round: 1011
Favourite NZ course: Tucker Beach
Favourite NZ hole and why: Smiley face at paradise. For the views!
Favourite overseas course: Tali, Finland
Go-to driver, midrange and putter: Discmania DDX S-Line, Atomic RPM Tui, Black Zombie Chainsaw
Your secret weapon: The Pig... 16-under, one-disc "killabee" round. Boom!
Favourite disc golf pro: Simon Lizotte. The guy is a really fun player to watch in action and a stand up guy in person. I met him at the Estonia open 2 years ago and he was awesome enough to give me a disc from his own bag and sign it. The man is a legend.
Rounds a week? About 4. Fatherly duties are my top priority.
Other sports or hobbies? Talking about disc golf, watching disc golf, thinking about disc golf... :) I really enjoy most outdoor recreation, though previously mountain biking, snowboarding, and tennis were really my main sports. Playing guitar and writing music is also a passion of mine. The guitar has been known to appear at more than one disc golf tournament late night campfire session.
Favourite food: chocolate.
Favourite musician, band or group: I'll have to answer that in plural... Faith No More, Metallica, Led Zeppelin - even tie for favourite!
How did you get into disc golf and what do you love/hate about it? What I love: aces! What I hate: airball putts! I discovered disc golf in Queenstown back in 2011 when on holiday. Though iI was only in town for 4 days, I played 3 rounds. I couldn't find a local course back at home, so it wasn't until I moved to Queenstown in March 2014 that I got back onto the gardens course and had another go. I very quickly met the local crew and the Queenstown club members and started playing with them. They kindly welcomed me to their club and helped me fine-tune my game. Almost 5 years on, disc golf is now a way of life for me.
Any quirky stuff when you play? I lick my fingers a lot for grip. My fingers are naturally like Teflon.
Which course would you most like to play at? There are so many amazing courses in the world and I know so few of them! But I would love to play the course at Konopiste around the ancient castle. It looks amazing.
Any advice for new players?
1. Always try to play with someone who's better than you.
2. Get involved! Join your local club, play in tournaments!
3. Most importantly: relax and breathe!
Hayley ‘Fantail’ Flintoft
Born in: Murchison
Currently lives in: Wanaka
Years with Vortica: Three
PDGA rating: 909
Highest rated round: 1014
Favourite NZ course: Paradise
Favourite hole on a NZ course and why: Hole 6, Eely Point,
Wanaka, because it’s beautifully framed, sits on a rock and
is begging to be aced!
Favourite overseas course: Pender Island
Go-to driver, midrange and putter: Tao discs Fantail-dyed Tern, RPM Fantail-dyed
Piwakawakawaka, Spike. 🦔
Your secret weapon: My left arm.
Favourite disc golf pro: Kyle Martin!! 😍
Rounds a week? As many as humanly possible!
Other sports or hobbies? Eat, sleep, dream, and play disc golf!! I do also like carving rocks, and carving fresh lines on my snowboard, and playing tunes.
Favourite food: Homegrown anything!!
Favourite musician, band or group: Caylx And Teebee, B-Complex, Dj C-She
How did you get into disc golf? Ben Holbrook and Jess Guy showed me what’s up, Jess gave me my first disc. I love everything, hate nothing!! Disc golf is the full package, its active, free, social, psychologically challenging, environmentally friendly, completely inclusive, anyone can play and we get to adventure in so many beautiful places around the world!!!
Any quirky stuff when you play? I love my whale sac, I’ll be fidgeting with it during most comps. Also love listening to drum and bass during comps, it keeps me calm.
Which course would you most like to play? All of them!
Any advice for new players? Don’t judge your shots, it’s always all about learning so whether it’s good or bad just reflect, adjust and enjoy! Also don’t be shy. It doesn’t matter if it takes you a few shots more than someone one!
Kyle 'Mushroom' Martin
Born in: South Africa
Lives in: Wanaka
Years with Vortica: two
PDGA rating: 940
Highest rated round: 1024
Favourite NZ course: Mclaren Falls, Tauranga
Favourite NZ hole: thats easy, the old iconic
hole 18 in twizel because its a touch anny shot
over a dump truck, mando through the culvert,
Favourite overseas course: Pender Island,
Canada, its not the biggest or best but it is by far the most fun.
Go-to driver. mid-raange and putter: Gstar Destroyer for backhand and RPM Kahu for forehand, Buzz Flex backhand and RPM Kea forehand, and RPM Ruru for putting.
Your secret weapon: My putting.
Favourite disc golf pros: My long-haired mate, James Conrad, then Gregg Barsby, and I can't forget my beautiful partner Hayley May Flintoft.
Rounds a week? Probably between 5-8 rounds but that's not including any putting or driving practice.
Other sports or hobbies? I spin a few tunes as well as spinning out custom dye discs, you can check them out on facebook at "the art of discs" and here at Vortica.
Favourite food: Slow cooked pork belly withchilii and egg, mouth-watering amazeballs.
Favourite musician, band or group: Tash Sultana, she is an amazing loop artist and DJ Slynk and DJ Earegular who I took after in my own DJing.
How did you get into disc golf and what do you love/hate about it? A good friend introduced me to disc golf in 2013. My first disc was a TI Nuke which I could not throw 40-metres. My first bad newbie mistake...
To put it simply; it's for all ages, it's environmentally friendly, and it can be casual or competitive. Most of all I love how it really has developed into a mass global family.
Any quirky stuff when you play? I have a habit of spinning discs in my hand all the time...
Which course would you most like to play at? Brewster Ridge
Any advice for new players? Relax - relax - relax, is probably the most important thing to do, remember it is not a power game, but rather its all about your timing. But most of all, don't be shy about your abilities, we all start somewhere. The biggest thing, which is the thing I love most of all about the sport, is it is very welcoming to all new players, so get out there and find players that are better then you because that is the best way to learn and if there is a local club, go hang out and experience the DG family first hand.
Dom 'The Silver Fox' Hayden
Born in: Kent, Uk
Lives in: Wanaka
Years with Vortica: Two
PDGA rating: 937
Highest rated round: 988
Favourite NZ course: Eely Point, Wanaka
Favourite NZ hole: Smiley Face at Paradise. Its downhill
off a wide open tee, so not especially technical but things
can go horribly wrong here!
Favourite overseas course: Quarry Park in the UK.
Go-to driver, mid-range and putter: Ballista, Gator and an
ancient MVP Axis, Macana for straight putts, and a 168-gram
Ruru for anny runs. I also have a Slammer which I love!
Secret weapon: A battered Blizzard Destroyer and
my beaten up Axis.
Favourite disc golf pros: Nate Sexton and Simon Lizotte.
Rounds a week? Probably 10 rounds, plus putting practice and some field work
Other sports or hobbies? I love to eat!
Favourite food: Marmite, the real UK version!
Favourite musician, band or group: Queen
How did you get into disc golf and what do you love/hate about it? I've always loved throwing things at other things. Give me a coconut shy, a handful of skimming stones or a stick to chuck into a conker tree and I'm happy. A couple of Wanaka lads introduced me to disc golf and I was hooked immediately. It's a great way to get exercise without knowing it, great to be outdoors and the people you hang with are awesome.
Any quirky stuff when you play? I always make sure that the teepad is as free from any debris/stones that may interfere with my footing, no matter how small. If iI can see something, it's gone. Lick my index and middle fingers for the perfect measure of grip on the disc.
Which course would you most like to play? Any course I haven't played.
Any advice for new players? Play with better players and ask questions. Throw their discs as a way of developing your bag. Practice putting. It'll take a bunch of shots off your game quickly.
Ed 'The Timid Horse' Waddington
Born in: Masterton!
Lives in: Wanaka
Years with Vortica: One, so far!
PDGA rating: 919
Highest rated round: 970
Favourite NZ course: Te Pae O Te Rangi or Tuckers.
Favourite NZ hole: Long 18 at Te Pae O Te Rangi,
because it asks very serious questions on every single shot.
Favourite overseas course: I've played only one overseas
course, in College Park, Maryland, USA, way back in 1996!
Go-to driver, mid-range and putter: Kahu XG Latte Edition, Grandma's finest china Compass, and a soft but super Sharp Dagger.
Your secret weapon: my 2017 Nationals River. Flippier than an Olympic trampolinist.
Favourite disc golf pro: Probably Nate Sexton because he's always very accurate, calm and his putter flipping is unique.
Rounds a week? Five or so.
Other sports or hobbies? Learning Te Reo, skiing, snowboarding, chess, fishing, spear-fishing, historical stuff
Favourite food: Butterfish
Favourite musician, band or group: J.S. Bach, Philip Glass, Dimmer, Detroit House, Pavlov Stelar, Crass and many many more. Eclectic.
How did you get into disc golf and what do you love/hate about it? I've always played catch compulsively and disc golf is an applied version. Love the camaraderie, finding and designing courses and imagining how the shot will go. Hate how the shot doesn't always match the intention!
Any quirky stuff when you play? I try to tell the disc which way to go in the air.
Which course would you most like to play? Um, the list is too long ...
Any advice for new players? Throw the disc flat.
Anthony 'Raptor' Rodgers
Born in: USA
Lives in: Titirangi, NZ
Years with Vortica: First year!
PDGA rating: 921
Highest rated round: 1018
Favourite NZ course: Tauranga / Bethells equal
Favourite NZ hole: Hole 9 over the orchard end of the
fruit loop at Bella Rakha.
Favourite overseas course: Bear Mountain In Bailey Colorado.
Go-to driver, mid-range, and putter: FAF RPM Kahu XG 171 &
PMcB Destroyer, E'mac Truth 180, Classic Blend Judge 175.
Your secret weapon: Westside Tournament Harp 175
Favourite disc golf pro: Paul McBeth - ice water in his veins.
Rounds a week? Seven or so.
Other sports or hobbies? Rugby, travel, sailing, fishing.
Favourite food: Italian
Favourite musician, band or group: Mos Def / Talib Kwali / Blackstar
How did you get into disc golf and what do you love/hate about it?
Played my first round in Queenstown once upon a time. Got bitten by the bug and never looked back. Love the excuse to be in nature every day. Hate that there are not enough courses out there.
Any quirky stuff when you play? I like to shake hands or high five all players on the tee of the first and last hole of every round.
Which course would you most like to play? The first course I get to design.
Any advice for new players? Fieldwork will grow your muscle memory better then a random round will. Grow both a backhand and a forehand...you're going to eventually need them both. Remain humble whilst always trying to improve. Have fun!
Mario 'Ruru' Cerniar
Born in: Zurich, Switzerland
Lives in: Auckland and Zurich
Years with Vortica: One
PDGA rating: 964
Highest rated round: 1011
Favourite NZ course: McLaren Falls, Tauranga
Favourite NZ hole: too many to choose from.
Favourite overseas course: Rudans Frisbeesport
Center, Haninge, Stockholm, Sweden
Go-to driver, mid-range and putter: Star Teebird,
KC Pro Roc, RPM Ruru.
Your secret weapon: Approach shots, not that secret.
Favourite disc golf pro: Simon Feasey
Rounds a week? 1
Other sports or hobbies? Cycling, running, paddling (waka ama, surf ski), photography
Favourite food: Panang Curry
Favourite musician, band or group: too many to list
How did you get into disc golf and what do you love/hate about it? Needed a change after playing ultimate frisbee for 16 years. I just love to throw frisbees.
Any quirky stuff when you play? None.
Any advice for new players? Also throw non-golf discs, Ultrastar or the Te Moko. Throw at the beach or in the park with a friend. Play for 15 minutes and you'll have thrown about 100 shots.
Jimmy Tu’itufu (AKA: McBeast,
Born In: Nuku’alofa Tonga
Currently Lives In: Christchurch
PDGA Rating: Watch this space!
Highest PDGA Round: Watch this space!
Favourite NZ Course: McLaren Falls Park,
Favourite NZ Hole: Hole 17 at Jellie Park,
because its Ace Town baby!!!
Favourite Overseas Course: DeLaveaga.
Go-To Driver, midrange and putter: 4x Paul McBeth Champion Thunderbird, Champion Mako3 & R-Pro Pig (Peppa Pig)
Your Secret Weapon: Perseverance
Favourite Disc Golf Pro: Anthony Barela, #44382 (Paul McBeth’s son)
How Many Rounds Do You Usually Play In A Week? Between 3 & 10
Other Sports Or Hobbies? Tennis, drinking whiskey, taking long romantic walks along the beach and spending time with family and friends
Favourite Food: Spicy chicken wings
Favourite Musician, Band Or Group: The Something Quartet & Alizaran Lizard
How Did You Get Into Disc Golf? My bothers Tim and Rob introduced me to disc golf in 2017 in Queenstown as it was the only free activity we could do.
What do you like/ hate most about disc golf? Meeting new people and making great friends. Competing and smashing my two older brothers. Being a part of the Vortica disc golf family and growing the sport alongside some amazing people. I absolutely hate stinky wet socks after a round at the Tucker Beach course, and occasionally losing to my older brothers Rob & Nisse.
Any quirky stuff when you play? Before every round, I always make sure to activate McBeast mode.
Which Course Would You Most Like To Play? DeLaveaga
Any Advice For New Players? “Just Play, Have Fun, Enjoy The Game” – Michael Jordan