Who plays Urban Golf and where? Urban Golf Part 3

In the first two articles of the series – Urban Golf Part 1, Urban Golf Part 2 – we have looked at what urban golf is, how it has developed over time, the rules and the equipment you need in order to play the game.
Having analysed this information in detail, let us now examine exactly who plays urban golf and some of the major urban golf tournaments that are held around the world.


Urban golf course


1. Who is likely to play urban golf?

The truth is that almost anybody could play urban golf, but at the moment the sport seems to be very much populated by those of a student age (18 to 24-years-old). The reason for this is two-fold, firstly these people who are often in some form of tertiary education are unlikely to have the financial means to spend a great deal of money on golf and so they find that urban golf affords them a far cheaper and easily accessible way to play the game.

The other reason that the sport is popular amongst this age-range in particular is that a lot of the organisations and competitions that are set up, are done so by university bodies that promote the sport to students. In America in particular, the sport is predominantly a ‘college sport’ with many of the top universities in the U.S. having their own urban golf society and in some cases, as in the University of Southern California, having their own urban golf tournament.


Having said that the sport is mainly played by those of college age, that is by no means an exclusive situation. The whole point of urban golf, indeed the very reason it was set up, was to ensure that golf was an inclusive sport and other events across the world are happy to accept entry from  golfers of any age, sex or race. A fact that cannot be said for some of the world’s most renowned golf clubs.


The truth of the matter, anyone can play urban golf almost anywhere and that is part of its intrinsic appeal.

One famous player of the game is young PGA Tour professional Rickie Fowler. The graduate from Oklahoma State University may be best known for his Rookie of the Year win in 2010 and for wearing orange during his final round in honour of his alma-mater, but Fowler is also a keen exponent of urban golf. In the following video, in which he plays with fellow PGA professional and former roommate at the University of Oklahoma, Cameron Tringale, Fowler shows how players can devise their own course based on the environment around them.



2. Where are the top urban golf tournaments played each year?

1. The almostGOLF College Tour

As the name suggests, this is a tour of several American colleges and includes events such as the aforementioned USC Open and the LMU open. The tour visits several college campuses during the year and includes a driving range and skills challenge to attract new students to playing the game.

2. Shoreditch Golf Club, London

Shoreditch Golf Club opened the very first 18 hole, par 72 open urban golf tournament in 2004 and the event continues to be played each year.

In addition to each of these ‘major’ tournaments, there are open events held in many of the cities and states listed in article two, including events such as the Auckland Open, World Urban Golf Day and the Bi-Annual Charles Bukowski North Beach Invitational in San Francisco.

3. And rumour has it that a certain big hairy primate is planting the seeds of an urban golf event in Switzerland very soon…keep posted.


3. In conclusion

Although the game of urban golf may seem like a radical departure from the traditional game, it can be argued that perhaps it is the version of the game most loyal to its roots. Golf, after all, was seldom played on sweetly manicured courses in its infancy, but instead took the lie of the land as it was.

In addition to sharing a surprisingly common heritage, there are other marked similarities between the games in addition to the vast differences. In each game, player courtesy and common sense is integral to playing and respect for other players and other people is also a common factor. While urban golf may have more flexible rules, the notion that golf should be a polite game, is still very much to the fore. Respect for people, by not playing in residential areas or damaging the local environment are key tenets to the game.

In a way, urban golf may be a game that allows those who would normally not be able to access the game, a chance to do so and if the game of golf is to continue growing into the future, that cannot be a bad thing. Urban Golf is also a tongue-in-cheek, rapper-generation answer to the overdressed, over-ruled, compulsive-obsessive golf practiced at many golf courses. Beer is still a staple, however…

So what are you waiting for? Get yourself a piece of Astroturf, find a suitable ball, take out that pitching wedge and head out into the world.

There’s a million-and-one courses waiting for you, right on your doorstep, completely free of charge.

Images by Gorilla Golf Blog©

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Richie January 31, 2016

I wish huge success of all the tournament and the steps to promote Urban golf! Not only the passion but Urban golf carries the respect to the people and their property. Go Urban golf ! Go!


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