You may already be aware of a golfing subculture that is currently growing around the world known as Urban Golf. Urban Golfers have rejected the strict rules and dress codes that on course golf offers and prefer to play everywhere. The only equipment required to play Urban Golf is a single club and a pocketful of safe off course approved balls. Nowhere is considered out of bounds for your average Urban Golfer as they play their skill based-freestyle version of the game.
As golfing outside of traditional venues continues to grow across the planet, Urban Golf Australia is proud to announce the Newcastle Urban Golf League. The first of its kind in Australia the Urban Golf League will be a series of events that will decide the countries first Australian champions in both team and individual categories.
Urban Golf Australia have partnered in the events with the Newcastle City Council to convert disused land and building sites into a series of six hole playable urban courses. This is a common method of finding off-courses which has been used by Urban Golfers as far back as 2003 at the first known Urban Golfing event held in Shoreditch London. The Newcastle competitions are a part of local council’s urban renewal strategy and will also feature pop up golf holes located around the city for anyone to enjoy. Courses will test player’s ability against all manner of hazards that you would never see on a course. Cars, stray dogs and construction signs will all offer an experience far removed from the golf you know. Also unlike its on course equivalent these competitions will be geared towards players attaining a high score as opposed to making par. Instead of a hole competitors will be hitting towards garbage bins and drains with points awarded for great and imaginative shots. Over competitiveness is actively frowned upon in Urban Golfing competitions in place of a focus on having a great time and pulling off some spectacular shots.
Anyone can get involved in this year’s events simply by heading over to www.australianurbangolf.com or the event page atwww.facebook.com/australianurbangolf
Teams will be accepted from anywhere in Australia to compete in the league just as long as you can make it to most events. Currently teams from as far south as Sydney and from as far north as Coffs Harbour have registered to be a part of the events all vying to be the first Australian champions of Urban Golf.
The final event of the Newcastle Urban Golf League coincides with what will be the 8th World Urban Golf Day (WUGD). This event held annually features a series of Urban Golfing competitions held internationally in the same week to celebrate and spread the word about Urban Golfing. WUGD is currently held in over 60 cities in 15 countries with the number growing every year.
This forms part of an exciting year for Urban Golf Australia as it continues to work alongside the National and State golfing bodies to hold more events and involve more diverse people in the game of golf. If you want to learn more about how you can get involved in Australian Urban Golfing as a player, partner or supporter head over to the Urban Golf Australia website and drop them a line. One thing is for sure, you will be hearing a lot more about this quirky sport as it continues to grow in leaps and bounds.
We caught up with one of Australia’s leading Urban Golfers Robert Pavement-Tee to find out how he got started in the sport.
Hi Rob. So you’re an Urban Golfer, how did you get into the sport?
I hadn’t played a lot of golf before getting into urban golfing, mainly due to the cost. As a student the idea of paying upwards of $30 just to get on the course was not possible for me so when I heard about urban golfing I just had to have a go.
Great. And what attracted you to the sport initially?
I just loved the no rules, no boundaries ethic of the whole thing. You get out there and you whack a ball at something. It’s great because there’s no one telling you what to do or where to go.
Have you ever run into any problems from the public?
Luckily we have safe balls these days so it’s pretty easy to calm someone down who misunderstands what you are doing. Before those balls came about though it did get pretty dicey, haha.
Oh wow so you started out playing with real balls?
In the beginning we played with whatever we could get our hands on. Squash and tennis balls, hackey sacks. Every practice ball you can imagine. We just got out there and hit with whatever we could.
Will you be competing this year in the Urban Golf League?
For sure! It’s really exciting to see the growth of urban golfing in this country. A competition like this is just what we need to be recognised by the greater golfing community and I look forward to seeing it grow in the years to come.
Alright thanks for talking to us Rob and good luck in your quest to become Australian champion.