We have recently enjoyed looking at the more off-the-wall end of the golf spectrum and had a wonderful time researching some of the more extreme golf courses and golf holes in the world.
However, I have long lamented that golf really is not the game to play if you want to get fit or… dare I say it … keep fit. Now you may disagree with me on this one, but a less extreme version of ‘keep fit’ I can’t imagine. A gentle loiter around a 9- or 18-hole course admiring the scenery and occasionally batting a ball (I’ll be struck down for that terminology) from one end of a fairway to another is not taxing. To the brain perhaps, but not the body… especially when you bring in the current attachment to golf carts…
A good way to keep fit? Hardly…. and as you will have surmised, golf and I don’t suit. It’s the patience I lack perhaps. Now, give me flat-out downhill skiing, kite surfing, rock climbing….. mmm, now you’re talking, but my better half is a keen golfer and for that reason I persevere…
However, that was before I heard about ‘speed golf’. Ever heard of it? Well. I think these guys have the answer to a great game and a great way to keep fit.
Speed golf was started in California in 1979 and is now played enthusiastically in America, Japan and Europe though I have to admit that I don’t think they’ve heard about it down here in the south of France.
Players run between shots and generally carry as few as one or as many as six clubs. Many players carry only one club and a putter. A player’s score is calculated by adding minutes plus strokes, so a round of 90 completed in 50 minutes and 30 seconds would compute to a score of 140:30. The lowest score in competition is believed to have been shot by professional Christopher Smith at the Chicago Speedgolf Classic on October 16, 2005. Smith shot 65 in just 44:06 for a speed golf score of 109:06.
AssociatedPress shows us how it’s done.
Rules and etiquette are generally the same for speed golf and regular golf, with minor exceptions. Speed golfers are allowed to putt with the flagstick left in the hole, but are expected to rake bunkers, fix ball marks and conform to the dress code.
Interestingly, many speed golfers report that their game has improved since they took up speed golf, typically shooting nearly the same scores despite running and using only a few clubs.
Here’s NIKE, in collaboration with UBIK Media’s take on it (jaesoh)
and this is how the New Zealander’s do it (d1kurt):
The pros of this game: fitness and time saving.
The cons: it’s impossible to play when normal golfers play so this sport is a 6 o’clock in the morning affair or last thing in the evening…
And if you’re thinking of taking this game up you might like to know that there is now a backpack type of golf bag that has been designed for just this type of crazy sport. It is ultra, ultra light and will allow you to carry more than one club with ease – no excuses left I’m afraid, we’ll just have to get out there and try it!