European Vacation: Lessons Learned in London

Fodder drives the towards the Gherkin on St. Mary's Axis in London's financial district

By Special Contributor Katie “Fodder” Fotheringham from London, England

As our regulars to the blog know that our friends have started crews in no less than 6 Canadian Cities (Vancouver, Saskatoon, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax and Dartmouth) and even more impressively in London, England.  Katie who carried the “Halifax style” to England writes back with lessons learned in one of the world’s greatest cities.

So, little update; the course has continued to include many more holes, and while our cheap little 3 iron looks like it’s been to hell and back (and I will admit, my ‘golfing’ arm is a little tender) as this week (and this trip) draws to a close I have noted the following observations about urban golf:

1. Slow is Beautiful.

As someone with excessive amounts of energy, slowing down is not usually my forte. But here’s the thing with golfing in urban centres: you need to wait and make sure you’re not taking a shot into massive crowds of people, but you are also constantly looking out for those prime putting grounds-those streets closed to traffic on Sundays, or a side road you would probably never wander down. And therein lies one of Urban Golf’s greatest gifts- it cultivates a more patient pace of life and allows one to discover new corners and small details typically unnoticed by busy passer-bys

2. Everything is a hole.

This almost a corollary to the first observation, cause when slowed down, you begin to see holes and ridiculous mini putt courses come out of the street like magic eyes. And courses can also be fashioned with a little imagination. At the end of one of the London golf days, we went back to a mate’s place where he had a lovely little (more tiny) backyard filled with pebbles. Since we were on a roll, we continued the game there only to find that we could build little hills, position flower pots and other objects to create a dynamic all encompassing course-this is the hole-istic concept in action (wa wa waaaa)

3. Control is futile.

SO futile! At the very beginning, you almost feel compelled to put some boundaries/limitations/rules etc. to dictate the lay of each course, but since each and every hole has its own unique sets of challenges/constraints/opportunities, you need to make up the rules as you go-the best way being through consensus and discussion. It wasn’t hard for me to give up control, and since it is impossible to keep score (who would want to anyway!) we just adhered to your key rules (more guidelines really) of Respect. Everybody sucks. and… Don’t be a control freak! Check!


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