What on Earth is Wilderness Golf and should you play it?
Golf Culture

What on Earth is Wilderness Golf and should you play it?

It's kind of hard to play golf without a golf course. But a Michigan-based group is trying to offer an alternative way to play the game almost anywhere and in much less time.

The idea is called Wilderness Golf. It's a 9-hole game that pits two people against one another in a competition whose only measure of success is elapsed time. The player that takes the least amount of time to complete the course wins, regardless of how many strokes it takes.

Wilderness Golf is another variety of Speed Golf, with the kicker that Wildnerness Golf can be played, well, in the wilderness. In fact, when Wilderness Xtreme Sports shot the 16-minute video introducing the concept in the summer, Mott Park, a former, now overgrown golf course in Flint, Mich., was used to host the first two-thirds of the match. Difficult holes at Dearborn C.C. were used to film the remaining three holes, referred to by the sport's creators as "Kicker" holes, where the players compete simultaneously with the winner of each hole earning a time bonus against their total course time.

Speed Golf differs from Wilderness Golf in a few ways, namely that strokes actually count toward your score and standard 9- and 18-hole golf courses host the players.

The 2013 Speedgolf World Championship winner, Irishman Rob Hogan, played 36 holes at Bandon Dunes in 156 strokes and 81 total minutes.

About the author

Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]thegolfnewsnet.com

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