I'm not sure I'd want to play a gorgeous, serene links golf course like Bandon Dunes as fast as humanely possible, but golfers will be doing just that at the Speedgolf World Championships.
The event will be taking place this weekend, Oct. 26-27 on Bandon's Old Macdonald and Bandon Dunes courses. If you're curious what it's like to watch good players sprint 18 holes on foot in under an hour on one of golf's most photogenic stages, You can watch the event at BandonDunesGolf.com from 8-11:30 a.m. PDT.
How does the scoring work?
The format of Speedgolf is simple: Total strokes plus the total minutes and seconds it takes the player to complete his or her round. At last year’s world championship Walker shot 77 in 53:29 in Round 1, and 76 in 56:59 in Round 2 for a two-day total of 263.28.
Speedgolf in some form has been on the fringe of golf culture for awhile now. Will it ever catch on to the point where golf courses set aside tee times for this genre? That's hard to say. From where I sit, here are what appear to be the pros and cons of Speedgolf catching on to the masses:
Pros of Speedgolf
1. For at least a segment of the golfing population, it solves the riddle of the time it takes to play versus our dwindling amount of leisure hours.
2. With events like Ironman, CrossFit and Tough Mudders gaining interest, golf could find a seat (or at least a high chair) at the high octane table.
3. Fewer clubs in the bag and no cart fee probably equals less cost.
4. It could find a good little niche on TV if produced correctly.
5. Less time to think about each shot probably means you'll score better.
Cons of Speedgolf
1. Isn't golf supposed to be relaxing?
2. Isn't golf difficult enough at a lower heart rate?
3. Where would I ever be able to find a golf course that accommodates this?
4. How am I supposed to talk business on the golf course when I'm out of breath?
5. How are foursomes supposed to play holes together without the group getting spaced out or someone getting beaned with an approach shot while another guy putts out?
Give the World Championships a look this weekend and see for yourself if it's something worth lobbying to your local course about or finding a nearby Speedgolf event.