I like playing ready-golf. In other words, when you’re playing a round of golf, whoever is ready to hit, takes their respective shot when ready. Along that note, I try and avoid golfing on weekends because of the excruciatingly painful time it takes to play a round of golf, oftentimes upwards of five hours.
One of the goals I have for next year is to try out the sport of Speedgolf. As a runner, and golfer, I’m sure to find this an enjoyable outing. In researching the sport of Speedgolf, here are a few things I discovered.
Speedgolf is pretty much just what it sounds like; golf played at a very fast pace. Competitors play 9 or 18 holes and run between shots. Scores are calculated by adding the time taken to complete the round and the total strokes taken. For instance, if a competitor shoots a golf score of 80 and it takes 60 minutes to complete their round, their Speedgolf score (SGS) would be 140 (80 + 60).
Competitors generally carry 5-6 clubs in a small bag, wear athletic golf attire, put on their running shoes and they are ready to go.
The only real differences from traditional golf are the flagstick is left in when putting and lost balls are dropped anywhere on the line of flight of the previous shot with a one-shot penalty.
The sport is believed to have begun in the 1970s when a handful of golfers began setting and chasing the world record. Speedgolf gained some notoriety in 1979 when former American record holder in the mile Steve Scott sped to an 18-hole time of 29 minutes 30 seconds and shot 95.
In the 1990s, an organization called the International Speedgolf Association put on several tournaments in which players had caddies in carts that carried the players’ clubs, called out yardages, and did course maintenance for the player. In 2000, Speedgolf International was formed and has put on numerous tournaments since. In tournaments sanctioned by Speedgolf International, players carry their own clubs, usually 5 or 6, in a bag specifically designed for Speedgolf. Caddies are not allowed.
The current Speedgolf world record was established in October 2005 when Christopher Smith shot a five under par 65 in 44:06 for a Speedgolf score of 109:06 at a tournament in the Chicago Speedgolf Classic at Jackson Park Golf Course.
United States Golf Association Executive Director Mike Davis recently summarized the status of golf when he shared the following: “One of the USGA’s top priorities right now is to help golfers understand that pace of play directly affects their overall enjoyment of the game. To that end, we think that alternative games like Speedgolf can be a lot of fun and also a way for golfers to realize that you may actually play better if you play faster.”
For more information about the growing sport of Speedgolf, visit https://speedgolfinternational.com.
Rick Stedman is an avid golfer, RVer, and writer who lives in Olympia, Washington. Rick writes a golf column, “The RV Golfer,” which is published every month in rvlife.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.