Written by Levi Jubelt. Media by Garrett Streeter.[divide]
Have you ever thought to yourself that golf is way too hard? Have you ever wanted to play golf, but couldn’t because it was too dang difficult? I mean come on, who can hit a ball of that size. If you answered yes to either of these questions then you’re in luck because there is a sport that addresses these concerns. Urban Golf is a sport that has gained popularity over the past couple of years among the students here on campus. Alex Staton and Ross Baker recently hosted the 2nd Annual Urban Golf Masters that took place all over campus from April 15 to May 4. All the urban golfers on campus were invited to come out and compete for the chance to win an embroidered jacket and a $25 gift card.
For those who have not had the chance to experience urban golf, it is a sport similar to normal golf with a few specific differences. The first difference is that it is played with a tennis ball instead of a golf ball to make for easier playing. The second difference is that anything can be a hole; hence the urban part. The course is scattered all around campus and the masters’ tournament had nine holes. The holes range from doors to steps to planters and even the school bell. The goal is to hit the tennis ball in the fewest possible shots to each hole. Hitting people or cars adds a shot to your total count. The person with the fewest strokes after nine holes wins. If you want to check out the course and the more specific rules around urban golf you can find them at the 2nd Annual Urban Golf Masters Facebook event page.
Staton and Baker organized the entire tournament this year, after Staton got the idea from watching West Oak play a few games amongst themselves. They came up with the schedule, score cards, and prizes for the tournament. Both Staton and Baker are avid urban golfers who speak highly of the sport. Ross expressed his opinion on the sport, “I absolutely love urban golf, especially in the spring time. After months of cold, dark weather to be able to play a “free” game outdoors with friends is the best! I also love golf but it can be expensive and time consuming at times trying to get the course and paying to play. What better way to mimic the real thing than play here on campus! I believe it is a great sport that everyone can participate in! This spring it has really caught on around campus and I hope it continues this fall!”
Alex also shared his opinion on urban golf, “I love Urban Golf. I also play regular golf and find it to be something I can do to clear my head and hang out with friends. Urban Golf is the same way for me. I’m not sure who created this game or why but it has been picking up speed at Greenville the past few years. As of day 2 of the masters’ tournament, our course on campus saw 86 individual rounds played. That’s a lot of golf! People love it and once you play you’ll find out why.”
Going into the final eight of the tournament it is easy to see that there will be some stiff competition for the masters round. The final eight competitors were Andrew Womack, Cory Godden, Reed Durley, Russell Crothers, Ethan Maurer, Will Plachta, Ben Cunningham, Alex Staton, Jake Schien, Brennan Hurley, and Ryan Fleckenstein. The scores of these eight urban golfers ranged from 24 to 28. With such close scores it is impossible to predict who will win the tournament. Anyone could come out on top.
Urban golf is a sport for the common college kid. It is easy to pick up and play even if you have no golf skills. It takes little to no money to play and with so many people around campus playing, it should be easy to find the equipment. So, if you’re looking to get into urban golf grab yourself a tennis ball and a golf club and head on out because it’s urban golf season!