The Concrete Links: Urban Golf
Written by Jesse Spraggon & Media by Morgan Johnson.
Have you ever been walking around campus and had a tennis ball go whizzing past your head? Chances are when you looked where it came from, there were a few guys standing with golf clubs who would yell at you to not touch the ball. This is a common occurrence anywhere that urban golf is played, such as Greenville College.
Urban golf is just like its ever-popular root sport, only with a few twists thrown in. For one, there’s no need for a specific golf-only venue. Urban golf can be played anywhere and anyone can play it. Players simply need a golf club and a tennis ball, and then choose a tee zone and a “hole” to shoot at. The first hole on a course, designed by Peter Owens and a few of his associates at Greenville College, starts in the grass to the left of the main West Oak doors, and ends when you hit the door to the black room.
The sport has recently grown tremendously at Greenville College, and pretty much anyone you talk to on campus will at least know that people play it. Just recently, the first annual West Oak Adam Chismar Memorial Invitational was held, hosted by Peter Owens. There was a large turnout for the event, and it seems that urban golf is growing even more popular by the day. Peter Owens explained the sport, and why it is becoming so popular. “Urban golf is the culmination of two ideas. One of them is that the game of golf is interesting and fun. The best part of it is before you actually play, and you’re excited to play golf. In real golf, you go out onto the course, five hours [pass by], you’re miserable, you lose half your balls, throw your club, and hate that you have to wear special clothes and act a specific way. In urban golf, we remove all of that, and it is simply about the experience of striking the ball, and being able to find it.
Then realizing that if everything goes really badly, you’re not out anything. You haven’t spent a dime, you haven’t lost a sleeve of forty dollar golf balls, you don’t have to dress a special way, and you don’t have to pay green fees. You’re just out in nature, experiencing it, and beginning to love the game…you just step up to the ball and then just swinging with reckless abandon because it doesn’t matter where the ball goes. You’re just taking the anticipation of enjoyment and extending it through the whole process. It makes it more fun than an actual round of golf. It’s an experience that has no potential for disappointment.” Owens hit it right into the black room door!
Clubs and balls can be found in West Oak‘s first floor lounge for use, and the course ends right back at West Oak so you can drop them off without going out of your way. Since there’s no chance you can be disappointed by this sport according to Peter, get out there and play!
The following video is not completely in line with the Greenville College Lifestyle Statement.