We kick off our blog for 2018 with one of the most common questions we get asked about Speedgolf :– Do you have to RUN? The simple answer is NO!
Whilst those at the athletic end of the sport grab the news headlines with sub 60 minute 18 hole golf rounds, this by no means defines Speedgolf, which at its heart is inclusive, fun and is about ‘picking up the pace’, however modest one may start. Speedgolf is a more fitness orientated format, so players should always aim to increase their pace over time as their fitness and capability increases.
Speedgolfers who play competitively, do jog between shots but even those at the very top of the sport rarely sprint; Speedgolfers should think about Pace rather than Speed – finding an optimum pace for their fitness and endurance. A Speedgolf Score is a combination of Golf Strokes plus the Time to complete the round. Whether taking a brisk walk, power walk or progressing to a jog, some or all of the time, Speedgolfers should also aim to save time by eliminating practice swings and other time consuming rituals that lead many to over think their game. In doing so, contrary to what one might expect, many Speedgolfers actually find that their golf improves. There has been no empirical research to explain this, but many believe this is because Speedgolfers find a rhythm in their play, which allows them to reproduce the mind memory shots learnt during lessons and practicing countless shots on the golf range that refine their strokes.
Speedgolf is essentially a summer sport here in the UK, as the summer months provide firmer and drier ground for players who prefer to run. Those who do want to play at a running speed need a clear course, so typically play 1st tee and the summer months with longer daylight enable them to get out for this early start, or at twilight when regular golfers retire to the 19th hole with no time for a regular golf round. The Winter months provide the perfect opportunity to simply pick up the pace ‘power walking’ your round, elevating your heart rate but also learning to compose yourself, lowering your heart rate to play your golf shots and to try to eliminate some of your shot preparation routines to help you find that rhythm! This really is the skill of Speedgolf; being able to combine your elevated pace whilst maintaining golf accuracy.
The more people I speak to about Speedgolf, the more I find those who have already played Speedgolf in some form. So ditch the golf buggy, use up to just 7 clubs in a lightweight Sunday bag or carrier (to reduce weight) and don’t forget you can putt with the flagstick in. So why not ‘pick up the pace’ and enjoy Golf Re-Imagined by building Speedgolf into your health and fitness regime. You don’t need a golf handicap to play Speedgolf, but you do need to be golf course competent.
Here are a few ways to get started and explore how you could join the many who absolutely love this faster golf format:
- Simply pick up your pace! Play solo or find some friends who want to elevate their fitness playing the game they love by ‘power walking’ between strokes. Challenge yourself to complete a single hole, 3 holes, 6, 9 or 18 in a 3rd faster time than your normal round – you could be amazed at what you can achieve.
- Try a Hole in Run! Solo – time a single hole and add time to golf strokes. Pairs or small group – play a hole, one ball alternate shot (if running all players should run in tandem always behind the ball). This is a fun challenge and gives you a feel for what the best in the sport are doing over 18 holes!
- Want to take it to the next level?
- How about starting a Speedgolf Happy Hour at your golf club where everyone plays 3, 6, 9 or 18 holes at a faster pace. For a competitive challenge either compare Speedgolf Scores (round time plus shots) or set a time limit for each player, pair or group with the lowest shots of the round winning. Be creative and Have Fun.
- Start a Speedgolf Fitness group. Meet early morning for 1st tee play – go solo or in pairs, with fastest out first for 9 or even 18 holes. Early morning on the golf course can be the best part of the day and a great way to invigorate yourself, energising you for the day ahead.
- Throw down the gauntlet for others at your club by recording and setting a ‘Speedgolf Record’ for a round at your club, for others to challenge.
- Compete in a Speedgolf challenge or championship in the UK or in one of the increasing number of global Speedgolf championships. The Speedgolf community is friendly and welcoming so don’t be shy.
Remember, Speedgolfers set the highest standards of course maintenance so don’t forget to repair pitch marks and divets and don’t put your clubs or bag down on the greens. For more information on the few rule changes for Speedgolf, tips and what to take and wear take a look at our FAQ