Thirty international competitors raced against time in the battle for the Speedgolf Championship title on 16 August. The competition, at Dale Hill Golf Club in East Sussex, saw contenders aged between 17 and 57 running their fastest across the field with occasional stops to accurately play their shots.
"The appeal of Speedgolf to me is really the combination of the athletic side of golf and the skill of golf. So combining the two, you get a very dynamic kind of sport that's really exhilarating and just makes you want to get better and better at it," said Australian hopeful Virginia Deigan.
The skill lies in balancing your running pace, whilst managing your ability to quickly and accurately hit the ball to get the lowest score possible. A Speedgolf score combines the total shots taken plus the time to complete the course, for example shooting a round of 90 on a golf course in 59 minutes and 30 seconds would combine to an overall Speedgolf score of 149:30. Competitors start off individually with a six minute intervals between each other.
The winners on Sunday were Rob Hogan and Emma Morgan, receiving the best male and best female Speedgolfer titles respectively. Both winners admitted that the sport was a good source of exercise as it can be physically demanding.
"It's a different kind of workout in terms of how it makes you feel because you are stopping and starting, stopping and starting, so coming up Sixteen, up the hill I felt a lot worse five minutes ago than I do now, so just the ability to recover, will stand you in good stead and for me that's an easy run, you don't have to push yourself, that's the key," Hogan said after competition.
"It's just great, it doesn't take up too much time and I like feeling like I'm fit at the end of it," said Morgan.
Speedgolf has been established for some time in the US but is now finding global popularity with other nations hosting championships and leagues, including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada, Iceland, Sweden and Ireland.