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SPEEDGOLF – It’s About Time

SPEEDGOLF in Houston // Photo: Michael Piotrowski

SPEEDGOLF in Houston // Photo: Michael Piotrowski

SPEEDGOLF – It’s About Time

The old way of thinking of golf looks a little something like this: a relaxed sport where golfers were anything but in a hurry. But golf today is changing, thanks in part to all of life’s other demands that don’t allow for as much time on the course as we’d all like.

Perhaps a marketing tactic, perhaps something to make golf more athletic or perhaps a way to keep the game alive, Speedgolf (sometimes known as Alternative Golf) was born. According to Golf Magazine, “You hit. You run. You hit again. Your score: the sum of your strokes and minutes played.”

Speedgolf (one word) is a FUN, FAST and FITNESSpromoting alternative to the traditional game.

“Every golfer has probably played Speedgolf at one point or another; it’s not as foreign as people think. If you’ve ever teed off first thing in the morning with no one to slow you down, and discovered you naturally play much faster than the normal 4.5 hour round, you’ve played Speedgolf. If you’ve ever found yourself racing against the sun late in the evening, grabbing a quick 9 before darkness falls…you’ve played Speedgolf,” SCOTT DAWLEY, owner of Speedgolf Texas, says. Competitors generally carry 5–6 clubs in a small bag (no carts allowed), wear athletic golf attire, put on their running shoes and are ready to go. As a result of this modern-day time deficit we all experience, people have never been more open to trying new and relevant methods of staying active and building community on the go. Examples beyond Speedgolf include Crossfit, Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, Warrior Dash and Ironman.

Dawley started Speedgolf Texas in 2013 to help spread awareness of and participation in the sport. The business originally started in Houston, but within a few months spread to Austin and San Antonio. The sport isn’t as new as you think, but certainly growing in popularity. According to Dawley, “It solves the three main issues golf is facing in the 21st century: It takes too long, costs too much and is not enjoyable (mostly because of the first two).”

How is Speedgolf scored?
Strokes and minutes are added together to create a Speedgolf score (SGS). For example: score 80 strokes + time 60 minutes = 140 Speedgolf score.

What are the benefits of Speedgolf?
It’s played in a fraction of the time, at a fraction of the cost of a typical round of golf. Playing Speedgolf enhances mental, physical and creative capabilities on the golf course, while promoting more enjoyment. Speedgolf also helps golfers get out of their heads – a huge obstacle many avid golfers face. When you’re in a rush, you set up your shot and simply shoot.

Where to play Speedgolf in Houston?
All players must first attend an “Intro to Speedgolf” session (visit SpeedgolfTexas.com and click “Get Started”). Speedgolf is offered at Cypresswood Golf Club and Blackhorse Golf Club (cost is $15 for 9 holes any weekday morning before the first tee time).

This article originally ran in the print (March 2016) version of LOCAL Houston Magazine. Be sure to pick up a free copy of the Sports Issue (March 2016) of LOCAL Houston Magazine, which you can find all over Houston hotspots, or click here to read the online version of this piece.