Radical new golf game hailed as a stunning success

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir June 18, 2015 15:00

A radical new golf game that has been played in an urban part of London has been hailed as a stunning success after it was reported on BBC News in the UK and CNN in the USA.

Cross Golf or Urban Golf is being seen as a way to attract people, especially youngsters from deprived urban areas who would never normally play golf, to take up the game.

It involves using clubs to hit slightly softer balls against targets, such as bicycles and bins, in as few shots as possible.

London hosted two major Cross Golf events – the UK Cross Golf Open and the European Urban Golf Cup (EUGC), at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The site was also the venue for a fun inter-site skills challenge tournament for projects working with community golf, which included people with disabilities.

Woodmansterne Projects - Winners CGMT

Some of the targets were cars, life size and model size, bicycles, the base of a lamp post, drainage gates, a model London bus and a bucket to chip into.

The required ball is the ‘Almost Golf Ball’, which is made of the same substance as synthetic wine corks. It flies 30 percent of a normal golf ball’s distance.

The BBC’s Mike Bushell came down to the Olympic Park and made a film (which can be seen here) about the event, which was later shown on BBC Breakfast. He said: “Cross Golf looks like an accessible version of the game which I see has been spreading golf to new communities across the world. The UK Cross Golf Open is a first and it’s great to see the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park being used for new and innovative sports.”

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One of the youngsters who tried the game said: “I thought it would be boring, but when you get into it, it is great fun.”

Richard Shaw from Community Golf said: “Golf is a very simple game that has been over-complicated with rules and certain stereotypes about the type of person you need to be to play it – this blows that away and makes it accessible to anyone from any background.”

The EUGC stretched across the Olympic Park from the Lee Valley Velodrome in the north to the Olympic Stadium in the south, a square mile of London. Formats from better ball, scramble, greensomes, individual through to skills challenges were all designed to test each player’s and team’s accuracy and creativity. The course had 10 holes plus four bonus holes where it was possible to subtract strokes for hitting a target in one try.

The event was eventually won by France, with the UK coming a close second.

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir June 18, 2015 15:00
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