Greetings, I just returned from the 2016 championships in Chicago where I placed 19th in the elite/professional field. I shot 90 in 50 minutes the first day and 85 in 50 minutes the second day. This result is on the heels of my 20th in 2015 and 20th in 2014. I was hoping for a higher finish but I did my best. I hit the ball very well and putted very poorly. It’s tough to settle down and hit a good putt while racing full speed around the course! I’ll work hard to improve for 2017.
Here are the results
Here is my viral YouTube sensation: Introduction to Speedgolf
Speedgolf revolutionizes the traditional sport by introducing the element of speed, endurance, quick reaction, and shot creativity into the slowest-paced of all sports. In Speedgolf, your score is comprised of the number of minutes spent on the course plus the number of strokes taken (similar to the winter olympic sport of biathlon – shooting and xc skiing).
- To get a sense of the sport, check out this high speed 4 min video of world record holder Christopher Smith going 4-under in 53 min at Bandon Dunes
- You can read this article from world champion Christopher Smith about how to implement the zen concepts of Speed Golf without having to run breakneck around the course.
History of Speedgolf
My first exposure to Speedgolf was when Olympic middle distance runner and recreational golfer Steve Scott set a Guinness World Record for playing a round of golf in 27 minutes, shooting 103 back in the early 80s. In 1985, my mother bet me $50 that I couldn’t finish 9 holes in under 30 minutes. I finished the nine in 17 minutes and change and was flabbergasted to notice that I played as good or better than normal golf when I was running full speed through the course–in the zone!
Years later, endurance sports publishing guru Bob Babbitt organized a circuit of Southern California tournaments where we raced thru the course, and had caddies in golf carts providing all of our clubs on demand. I placed 8th in the 1996 World Extreme Golf Championships in San Diego, shooting 80 in 40 minutes for a 120. The sport had Red Bull sponsorship and coverage on ESPN as an attempt to become the next cool extreme sport but it kind of fizzled out.
Forwarding to 2012 or so and a group based in Oregon (Speed Golf International) brought the sport back big time! Oh man this was exciting for me because I was just returning to golf in 2013 after a 10-year run dominating youth athletes while coaching them in soccer, basketball and track (then they grew up and I was forced into the stands to cheer). I read about and watched great athletes like Christopher Smith and Rob Hogan, and practiced hard for a full year to join the elite players at the 2014 championships in Bandon Dunes. Speedgolf is a great sport because it doesn’t take much time to play. I visit courses in the final hour before darkness when there are no other players out there, and zip around 9 holes in 30 or 45 minutes, then return home for dinner!