With the average game of golf lasting up to four hours, a course in Sheffield has come up with a unique new way for players to enjoy a round in less the half the time.
Speed Golf has been piloted at Beauchief Golf Course, in Sheffield, offering players a quicker version of the game and the chance to work out at the same time.
The aim is to get round 18 holes as quickly as possible without running. Scoring is made up of the number of shots each player takes combined with the time it took them to get round the course.
Beauchief Golf Course is part of the local charity Sheffield City Trust (SCT), which provides facilities for sport and leisure activities for the benefit of Sheffield people.
As a not-for-profit organisation, all revenue generated is reinvested back into programmes and facilities in the city.
SCT tested the UK-first Speed Golf concept with a game for 10 employees and business partners won by SCT’s golf manager Andy Carnall, who completed the three mile, par 67 course in 67 minutes.
Steve Brailey, chief executive of Sheffield City Trust, said: “One of the biggest barriers to playing golf is time. On average, an 18 hole course can take around three and half hours to get round.
“The beauty of speed golf is it can be played before breakfast and you can be at your desk for 9am. There’s the added benefit of it being a complete workout as well as a game of golf.
By fast walking around the course you can burn an average of 1,600 calories so it’s ideal for improving your health and fitness. There’s no need to go the gym after work.”
All players wore MYZONE® Physical Activity Belts which measured the effort, calories and heart rate when the players were tackling the course.
Dave Wright, creator of MYZONE®, participated in the pilot game. He said: “I was hugely impressed by the proactive nature of SCT and its approach to getting more people in Sheffield more active in a fun and entertaining way.
“The participants burnt more than 14,000 calories between them, which is an average of 1,600 each, earning 350 MYZONE® Effort Points each – the equivalent of to two back-to-back spinning classes!
“I don’t think people appreciate the effort required on Sheffield’s hilly golf courses and we were easily able to measure the difference in effort of going up a hill rather than down a hill or carrying a bag rather than driving a buggy. It truly was a great workout!
“The key advantage of this type of measure compared to `steps’ is that, like golf, effort is individually based on maximum heart rate. So, it was like a golf handicap on the fitness of participants.”
Steve added: “We’re always looking for new and innovative ways to engage local people in physical activity and we believe this is a UK-first.
“The feedback we had from the pilot was fantastic and we think Speed Golf could really take off.”
Sheffield City Trust is hoping to launch the new concept in 2015 and will be putting on a number of events in January and February for players to provide feedback on the game.