Golf is the most wonderful game to play and watch, and sometimes when I am on the course I can not imagine places I would rather be. I occasionally run round a golf course, and can only recommend that at least once in your life you try to go round a golf course in less than two hours...
I have pondered why I love running round a golf course. I then wondered why a lot of us enjoy nothing more than to tote an entire bag-full of equipment the seven kilometres or so for four hours playing this most dynamic and addictive game. It is only hypothesis, but perhaps wandering around the countryside with a few mates, exploring a little and hit things a lot is what us blokey humans are designed to do best? After all, since Australopithecus descended from the trees that is what we have done for 99% of our existence on the planet, and we haven't evolved into much else for the last 3 million years. So perhaps golf is that return to the natural. I reckon that running incorporates another facet of instinctive human behaviour into the game - the thrill of the chase. Whatever, I do enjoy running, but the rush I get from speed golf is something else entirely! I fear it is an obsessive disorder which I can justify on the health benefits. At the age of 50 I did a 10 k fun run, and realised how I had forgotten how much fun self inflicted torture could be. A couple of days later, at Mid Yorkshire Golf Club in the Mid Afternoon I turned up and the course was quiet and so I thought "why not?" I took my five iron & ran round, and when I came off the eighteenth an hour later I felt like twenty men!! Woah. For over a year now I have been regularly running round, and have formulated a set of guidelines. I wish there was someone else to share my feelings, but anyhoo, here are the first set of Speed Golf rules published for the UK
Game play rules are exactly the same as the rules laid down by the R&A and local administration with the notable exceptions that the flag stick may be left in at all times and a ball resting between the flag and the hole is deemed to be 'in'.
Playing equipment is allowed on the sole proviso that the player starts on the first tee with that equipment, and subsequently carries it to any part of the course where it is used. This includes clubs and balls which might not be allowed under normal circumstances, including adjustable and oversize headed clubs, and non-spin balls. This means that a player may discard equipment at any stage of a round, but is not allowed to use, for example, a discarded broken golf tee found on the course.
In Stroke Play a player shall add their strokes to the minutes taken between before the first ball being struck, to it coming to rest in the eighteenth cup.
A Stableford type system can be played where holes are scored as in a Stableford with an 18 handicap with a target time of one hour. Deducting or adding a point for each whole two minutes above or below the hour respectively. In other words if a player scores a double bogey they get one point, bogey two points, par three points, birdie four points, eagle five points etc. If a player finishes their round in in fifty eight minutes one point is added, fifty six = two points and so on.
is exactly the same as for normal golf apart from a Speed Golf player may continue to play towards another Speed Golf player after shouting "Fore!"
A variation must be allowed into speed golf to allow for unforeseen delays on the course, most notably waiting for players to clear in front. Any player compelled to wait may, upon placing one foot in front of their ball, stop the timer and then wait. When the landing area or delay is clear, play may be restarted and the timer restarted upon assumption of the first stance over the ball.
Two records may be kept for any given course, the first being the Pure Record (without delays) and the second the Delay Record.
A player must play the round itself physically unassisted. No Bag-men, Motor Buggies or other physical assistance to game play may be used, or any object not part of the course to assist in the golf itself may be introduced after the first ball has been struck. A 'Caddy' may be used for advice, replacement of divots, finding balls, raking sand and carrying food and clothes, timing, scoring and all other tasks not connected with actually moving the ball around the course
For public record purposes any credible claim is acceptable. Official records should be verified by a second party. Any record claims found to be false shall nullify all previous claims by those parties making the falsified claims. (i.e. Don't EVER cheat, cos if you get caught everything you ever said is struck off)
Citing the precedent example of a 'Texas Scramble', The R&A have no objection whatsoever to the principle of Speed Golf and competitions, and approve of anything that encourages people to play golf fairly and perhaps improve playing speed!
I have scored 152.58 points (98 strokes in 54m35s) My best time is sub 45 minutes with permitted delays. My record is 46 minutes and 35 seconds without any clock stops.
I have shot 43 points on an 18 handicap Stableford, on the some day in summer 2010 in a time of about 1 hour 15 minutes. This was the card. No Gimmies, just a five iron, taking it easy. Up to August it is my best round of the year, including with a full bag. This is the card
All at Mid Yorkshire (Darrington) c 5877 yards
Players tee-off and play as individuals, setting off at four minute intervals. Any player caught by a following player must cede to the following player. Tee-off times will be seeded to allow fastest players first
Steve Kidd 07462 27 25 52