Can Golf Be . . . FUN?

Can Golf Be . . . FUN?

“Golf is a good walk spoiled.” — Mark Twain

Five hours hitting a hard little ball around a field with sticks, knocking it into a hole in the ground, eighteen times. Are we having fun yet?

But what’s this? Guys and gals in shorts and T-shirts running around a golf course with a half-dozen clubs? 18 holes in 45 minutes? The Wall Street Journal‘s John Paul Newport took a bit longer to play a round of “Speed Golf,” but still found it “downright thrilling.” Is that like, you know, F-U-N?

The final score in Speed Golf is the total number of strokes plus the total number of minutes needed to play 18 holes. Christopher Smith, the champ of Speed Golf (also called “Speedgolf,” and “Hit-and-Run Golf” ) compares it to the Biathlon, the Winter Olympics sport based on the tactics of the army of Finland, which combines cross-country skiing and rifle marksmanship. Sprint to the tee; drive; run after the ball like a demented puppy; hit the ball closer to the pin; pull your putter, trot over, try to stop panting as you c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y tap that ball . . . aw, rats. Hey, no time for that! Putt! Run! Drive! Run! Get the picture? No? Watch this:


Newport confirms Smith’s claim that Speed Golf can improve a duffer’s game, since it forces players to stop thinking about golf and trust the body’s wisdom. It will get rid of that 19th hole beer belly, too.

The only problem is said to be finding a deserted golf course to Speed Golf on. We suggest this simple solution: The faster the player, the earlier the tee time.

More information at and

Image by Mike Licht after C. Coles Phillips (1880-1927). Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit 

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