The Fitter Side of Golf

Speedgolf: The new revolution to traditional golf

Author's Own

Jovan Abernathy is an international marathoner and owner of Houston Tourism Gym. To claim your free tour, contact her at info@tourismgymhtx.com. Follow her on Twitter @jovanabernathy. Instagram @TourismGymHtx. Facebook @TourismGymHtx

So remember my first SportsMap article? Where I said that I met a pro golfer when I ran the Honolulu marathon? He was such a cutie. Of course, when I came back to Houston, I had to try my hand at golf. I was always intrigued by the sport. I had to give it a try.

I would go to Memorial Park and go to the range and whack some balls, but I could never get into it. There were three main reasons why.

It took too much time. I once clocked myself. It took 7 hours from start to finish to drive to the course, warmup, do a whole 18 holes, and of course have post food and drinks, and then drive back home.

It cost too much. I did some calculations. After everything, that's the green fees, cart rentals, buying and maintaining clubs, the bag, the balls, the glove, the shoes, stylinsh apparel, and of course lessons, and whatever else. It came out to $15,000 for a year.


David Harding from Oregon taking a swingAuthor's own


And it was kind of, well boring. You had to wait so long to get your turn. That was at least 4 of the 7 hours. I would get so antsy from standing still that long. Instead of relieving stress, it was causing stress. Instead of looking like Tiger Woods, I looked more like Charles Barkey.

At that time, I was running so many races that required a lot of time to train and lots of money. By the way, running allowed me to let my mind go because I was in constant movement. Then, I heard about this new thing (well new to me) called speedgolf. It seemed like the answer to my golf problems. Let me tell you about it.

Speedgolf is the funner, faster, and more fitness oriented format of the traditional game of golf. It was believed to be started in the 1970's in California when Steve Scott ran 18 holes in 29 minutes and 33 seconds holding only a 3-iron and finishing with 99 strokes. Basically, it is golf and running mixed. There's no golf cart. You are jogging to each hole as fast as you can. You carry one club or 4 clubs in a light weight golf bag.

I have to admit that I only have played one game of Speed golf. In that one game , I had more enjoyment that regular golf and it was really exciting. It took less time. I'm not even the fastest runner, but I finished 18 holes in half the time as a regular round of golf . Better than that....I burned 800 calories while I did it. The next day, I ran my regular route and I finished the 3-mile Memorial loop in 26 minutes instead of 29:30:00, so I got over 3 minutes faster.

The thing that really sold me is the imagination that Speedgolf sparks. The picturesque green is really inspiring. I hate getting up early to play, but I love seeing the dew dripping from the moss that is hanging from the trees. You can see the previous runners footprints in the dewy, manicured grass. I imagined myself at MacAllen Scotch Distillery in Ireland. See what I mean.

So, how do you play? So, basically, your score is comprised of your running time added with your number of strokes. So, if you had a count of 80 strokes and a running time of 60:00:00, you would then add them together. The strokes + time = Speedgolf score. So, 80 + 60:00:00 is 140. The lowest score wins. I highly recommend it. Be ready to get up early. Most golf courses want Speedgolfers to go first because they are faster than everybody else.

If you are a golfer looking to jazz it up, try Speedgolf. If you are a runner trying to mix it up, try Speedgolf. If you are looking for a cool sport to get into and you like taking pictures, get into Speedgolf. And if you want to save money, try Speedgolf. See you on the Green at the finish line!

To learn more about Speedgolf, visit SpeedGolfUSA or listen to Scott Dawley, founder of Speedgolf USA, on his podcast Pace of Change which can be downloaded from iTunes.

Discover These Pet-friendly Courses And Tips To Keep The Fun While You And Your Dog Are On The Course

Walk and have a tee time with your dog in these pet-friendly golf courses

Photo by Matthias Zomer from Pexels

There aren't many things in life that beat a cool crisp fall or winter round when the grass is freshly cut and the course is ready to play. The only thing that can make it better is walking or playing a round with your dog beside you. These dog-friendly courses bring the best of golf and the company of your dog to a round on the links.

Belgrade Lakes Golf Course - Belgrade Lakes, ME

Located in the wooded areas of central Maine, this course dog-friendly was born out of necessity for golfers. Many of the rentals don't allow unattended dogs on the property.

Well behaved dogs can even stay off-leash! The only time they will need to stay by the cart is when putting, some dogs have been known to dig. Enjoy the lush wooded areas with a scenic round of golf and a long walk with your dog.

The Goodwood Estate - Chichester, United Kingdom

Part of the allure of The Goodwood Estate is the tradition of dogs on golf courses. Since 1697, dogs have been allowed to walk the course with their owners. The two championships eighteen-hole golf courses provide golfers a unique experience.

An emphasis at the golf club makes sure each dog is comfortable. Many of the holes have water and food bowls tended by the club members. After finishing your round on one of the pristine courses, treat your best friend to the clubs restaurant where you both can enjoy a meal simultaneously.

True Blue Golf Club - Pawleys Island, SC

Only a short distance from Myrtle Beach South Carolina lies the 19th century True Blue Golf Course. Located near the beach in the low country of the southeast, this dog-friendly course welcomes golfers to iconic scenery and a one of a kind clubhouse.

Make sure to book your tee time outside of peak season because this area is packed during summer months and your dog won't be able to join you!

Agate Beach Golf Course - Newport, OR

A nine-hole course located near the beach of Newport Oregon, this course challenges golfers and welcomes dogs. Once you and Fido have finished your round, treat yourselves to Agate Beach Golf Course Cafe where you both can enjoy a meal.

After finishing a round and a good meal, enjoy the natural ocean scenery at the nearby Agate Beach State Recreation Site.

Fun Golf Games for Your Dogs

While on the course your dog will likely want to run and play. Here are a few tips to keep them occupied and happy on the course.

Chip and Treat

This is fun to do with any type of hard treat that won't break on impact. Simply have your dog sit away from your swing and take a high lofted club and hit treats up in the air for them to catch.

Long Ball Chase

Using a racquet or tennis ball, have your dog sit near you and hit the ball with middle to long iron and have them chase it downrange.

These golf courses understand the importance of dogs in the lives of their owners. A round of golf is only more enjoyable when you have your best friend following you by your side. The unconditional affection that comes from a dog will make any tee shot or errant shot more enjoyable. To make sure both of you enjoy the tee time, give your dog a nice meal before you both go to the course and hit the ball. You can also find some dog-friendly patios in Houston that you and your dog might enjoy when you visit the city.

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