New Sport of Urban Golf Gains Fans Around the World

Friday October 23rd, 2015
Golfers at the 2015 European Urban Golf Cup.
© 2015 Viktoriya Pintyak for Gems NFX

For urban golfers, there are no limits to what a golf course can be, whether it’s a city sidewalk, a playground, or a roof.

Now played around the world, urban golf differs from the typical country club version of the sport in its no-boundaries style of play and its frequent use of tennis or foam balls instead of golf balls (given the unpredictable nature of the “course,” a softer projectile is a good idea). “Cups” on an urban golf course are as varied as the hazards: they can be storm drains, lamp-posts, and buckets. It’s sort of like Parkour for golfers.

This month, Australia celebrates urban golfing across the country with several events that involve everything from strapping beer goggles on before a shot to using a roof as an obstacle to be cleared. In the spring of 2016, the European Urban Golf Cup returns, this time in Amsterdam, for its fourth iteration. Australian urban golfers will participate as special guests, according to Golf Australia. France’s team walked away with the top prize at the 2015 edition, which was held in London and featured freebie t-shirts reading, “Golf Save The Queen.”

Fans of the sport love its free-spirited, laid-back, and often irreverent attitude, a feeling that Urban Golf Australia trumpets in its manifesto: “Golf without the rules, green fees, or dress codes…We have taken golf back from the high flying executives and investment bankers. We’ve taken it back from your grandfather…The Urban Golf course is limited only by your imagination.”

Even if you missed World Urban Golf Day on Monday, you can still start training for the new sport’s biggest event yet. A World Urban Golf Cup is being planned for 2018.

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