There’s something very satisfying about hitting a ball into a hole with a golf club. And for those who don’t have access to great golf clubs or even mini golf courses in the neighborhood, and also for those who would like to avoid the formal nature of the sport, there’s always Urban Golf. This slightly altered version of golf can be played, well, absolutely anywhere you please.
Urban golf gets its name from the very urban landscape that it has been adapted for. In other words, it’s simply golf played in a city environment – potholed streets and black asphalt, building sites and car parks, with the city’s everyday life creating obstacles. The excitement of the game comes from the fact that each day poses a new obstacle, a new course, and new challenges. Lampposts serve as trees, buildings as wooded areas and drains, bunkers. Interestingly, the concept of urban golf has been around since 1992, when Torsten Schilling began playing golf in areas surrounding his office in Berlin. Today the sport has evolved into a real movement, with many supporters and members around the world.
The game has undergone a few modifications to suit the street environment. For instance, hitting a ball from the pavement is difficult, so players are allowed to place it on a small mat each time. Of course, holes can’t be dug into the ground, so targets such as bins are used. Hitting the bin is the golf equivalent of having holed it. Water hydrant holes may also come into use in the future. The ball itself is different, since traditional golf balls are too hard and pose a safety risk. Urban golf balls are made of leather and stuffed with goose feathers. The advantage of these balls is that they don’t damage anything they hit and also they sit in the middle of the road, rather than rolling into gutters. Sounds like an awesome way to enjoy a good game of golf without having to look for a golf course or adhere to any rules or dress codes. Urban golf involves no fees or committees, and the only rule it follows is ‘safety first’!