Set against the foothills of the stunning Tararua Range and offering an enjoyable golfing amble, the historic Carterton Golf Course in Chester Rd is about to get a shakeup with its Inaugural Speed Golf Open.
This is not the sport that Mark Twain once described as “a good walk spoiled” – this is about playing golf at a cracking pace.
“Speed golf has been around for 10 to 15 years,” local golfer Amy Linton says, “but has become more popular over the past few years as we’ve all become a bit more time pressured. It’s hit the regional, national, and international stages.”
Amy and her brother Robin Smith were brought up in Masterton playing traditional golf, with both going on to represent Wairarapa and Wellington. Today, with young families, time is of the essence, and speed golf has become their thing.
“With a seven-year-old son and a two-year-old daughter, I don’t currently have the time to play a four-hour round of traditional golf,” Amy says, “but I can fit in a round of speed golf in under an hour.”
The aim of speed golf is to get around the course with the fewest shots in the least amount of time, with your score and run time added together to give you an overall result. Elite golfers can get in 18 holes in about 30 minutes and shoot around par [a hard enough feat even when not running].
The tournament is scheduled for Sunday, February 4, starting at 7.30am and finishing at about 1pm. Amy is expecting up to 40 players and a similar number of volunteers and supporters on the day.
“Some fantastic speed golfers have committed to playing and they’ll be attempting speed golf world records on the day.”
Witness history with Men’s World No. 1 Jamie Reid, Men’s World No. 6 Robin Smith, and New Zealand No. 1 female Liz McKinnon. You can set your own record too.
“Playing golf fast gets the endorphins flowing,” says Amy, “so you’re always in a good mood after a game, and you get a full-body workout.”
Anyone can enter, with entry fees set at $40 for 18 holes or $20 for 8 holes.
To be in to win generous prizes, contact Amy Linton on 027 300 0196 or [email protected].
All proceeds from Carterton’s Inaugural Speed Golf Open will go back to the club and its Junior Golf Programme, which enables five- to 13-year-old children to come along to the golf club one evening a week to experience the traditional game of golf and learn some skills.