Archive for the A Round the World Category

The Sexiest Game in Brazil…

Posted in A Round the World with tags on September 18, 2010 by P

…is beach volleyball.  Seriously. If you’ve been there you know the guys look like well toned bronze statues and the women are divine mix of honey and hot sauce.

But they DO play urban golf there.

WEST COAST GOLF is the organization based out of Brazil, I am not sure why they call themselves West Coast as the only coast that Brazil does not have is a WEST COAST.  Anyway, I am not gonna front.

They definitely have the gamed a tonne more formalized than us with signage, flags, and t-shirts.  They also use an array of clubs and those specialty urban golf balls that I think take away from the impromptu nature of the Lesser Golf strain that we play in Halifax.

What I really enjoyed, in addition to lots of videos was their top ten reasons that they played. Which I have translated terribly from Portugeuse and are not too different than the reasons we go out:

01. Freedom

Sports usual have limits in term of their playing fields. The only limits to urban golf is the players’ themselves.

You chose your course.  Explore your city!

02. Improvisation

Because the urban golf is improvised there are new challenges to any round.  The challenges persist: the wind, the slope, the sidewalk, the lay of the holes. Players needs to know to play and try to overcome the obstacles of the terrain.

03. Cityscapes

Parks, fields, lawns, sidewalks, asphalt, slopes, mouths-of-wolf, buildings, houses. These are the aspects that make up the urban environment of any city. Respect, learn and use them all.  Explore your city.  Learning about your city is perhaps the best part of urban golf!

04. Unlimited number of players

The game can be practiced individually, in pairs, trios, in groups of up to 10 people, in groups of up to 50 people in groups over 50 people. Whatever. Actually, it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that you play!

05. Absence of age restrictions

There are no age restrictions and people of any age can play.  The only rule is that the games run smoothly.

06. Looking for lost balls

Well,  we anticipated that this would be the part which nobody likes.  It’s very fun while you’re striking the balls but looking for them can be fun too!  They tend to bounce to strange places, often places you would not normally notice…

07. Soundtrack

Do not forget to bring music with you when you play.  With the aid of any mp3 player, we make our own soundtracks to play Urban Golf.  It makes us more hungry to play.

08. Making friends

Seek to play with many different people. Try and meet new players.This is the spirit of the sport is to make friends and have fun playing together.

09. Physical exercise

You walk a lot in the course of a game.  It is fun because you are with friends but prepare yourself!

10. The improbability of hitting a hole in one.

But it is nice to dream.

More than anything I notice the common threads in urban golf the world over: the commitment to a positive experience, enjoying your city and exploring her, and making friends.

I hope to be hitting the links in Brazil in the not too distant future, I got a lot of friends there and what is not to love?

Here are a few videos from the WEST COAST site including coverage they got from MTV.  I hope you enjoy them!

Check out the lay of their city, the art and the architectural concepts expressed in the buildings.  Amazing.

This video apparently tells you a little about the game.

This site is super polished as far as they go.  I really enjoyed struggling through the History and Culture section of the blog.  Give it a try!

:p

We missed you! (Surprising since some of us are pretty good shots…)

Posted in A Round the World, City Love, Halifax on September 17, 2010 by P

Shit was getting too intense.  So I took off.

But I took my clubs: To the Olympics, NYC, Burlington, Montreal, Toronto, Boston … and so forth.  The biggest cities, small towns, country roads and even an entire abandoned neighbourhood that like anything it died in the shade (in this case of an underpass) and like many types of communities in the name of progress…

But I kept golfing with many of the OG’s and Founders of the Halifax Urban Golf (technically called “Lesser Golf” but it’s alright do what you want: we ain’t got no beef).

Since the last post on February 12th I have probably played 75 rounds in 10 cities in North America (lots of other people have been rocking it here in Hali), got a lot of love, a shit load of lovin’ and met a tonne of people from every walk of life.  So after about 60K km of travel, about 150 different golfing friends and tonnes of trouble from clubbing it is time to get the balls rolling again.

From here on in I will be getting the blog back on the go with lots of updates talk about how the game has evolved (or was it intelligently designed?)…

It’s good to see you back.  Let’s get swinging

:p

European Vacation: Lessons Learned in London

Posted in A Round the World, City Love, Lesson Learned with tags on February 5, 2010 by P

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!

London Urban Golf: “Halifax Style” Reaches the Other Side of the Pond

Posted in A Round the World, City Love, Equipment, Firsts, Halifax with tags , on February 3, 2010 by P

Fodder fires away on the banks of the Thames.

With Special Contributor – Katie “Fodder” Fotheringham

As mentioned there has been considerable interest in our game not only here in Halifax but from a lot of places around the country, and yes, around the globe.

I don’t know why this has come all of a sudden as the idea of urban golf is not new; though our adaption to make it less harmful to the community and the infused principles do make it some what novel.  Why the uptake?  Maybe the underlying philosophy that has developed has hit a chord with people.  I have a lot of travel coming up so I have been telling people to get their cities ready to golf and it has worked out for sure.  GO! is gonna help me with some analytic code for the site to find out where (exactly) all the hits are coming from. Perhaps that will give some insight.

The latest report, and one I am super stoked about, is from Katie “Fodder” Fotheringham in London, England.  Katie and I go way back to me serving drinks to her when I used to bartend in this burgh.  We now both work in the sustainability field and I will be seeing her in about a month which is going to be a hella good time.

She is really stoked about urban golf which we have begun to refer to as the “Halifax style” which, in turn, excites me because except for donairs there is very little of anything that has a “style” in Halifax that is unique to it.  This is not a slag.  It is the truth.  But it is a good thing since like Minnesota:

…[Halifax] is dope
If only simply for not what we have but what we don’t
It’s all fair, it ain’t out there, it’s in there
It’s in the mirror, behind the breast, under the hair
Follow the dream doesn’t mean leave the love
Roam if you must, but come home when you’ve seen enough.

There are endless ways to give the love: from puppy to Grace; from Rumi to St. Theresa of Avila.  But there is something special and inexplicable about the love these people show this town.  Though lately living in this city has felt like watching a lover dying just before her prime.  I am going to tip my hand a bit.  There has been considerable talk amongst our crew about ways of using our game to help bring back the city.  We will think on it.  But I digress.

Anyway, Katie is showing the Halifax style a whole lot of love by bringing it to an international city so I will let her speak about it in her own words:

On Saturday, my brother Peter and i started by picking up a little 3 iron from one of the charity shops in Pimlico, rummaged up a few tennis balls and headed off to Tower Bridge to hit our first little round! Now, let me say first off that this is a particularly great way to see the sights of an unknown city without feeling like a complete ‘wanker’ of a tourist. But naturally, this being a city with LOADS of people, the key rule of “Respect” is an absolute must to obey. As a result, many of the ‘holes’ we have been shooting have been more in the medium-range mini-putt family, but ridiculously fun nonetheless (a few notable exceptions being Hyde Park, the greens of Tower of London and a few little spots in Pete’s local hood)
We’ve encountered a bit of resistance from the authorities here and there, each one emphasizing the obvious fact that we are ‘on camera’ everywhere we go, and somehow, i don’t think the road hockey excuse would have done us much good- but it never mattered anyway, there are always greener links to move on to!

Anyhoo, just wanted to shoot you this quick note to let you know that we are having an absolute blast, have recruited quite a few people, and that this unassuming, easygoing and highly adaptable game has provided endless hours of amusement- and the trip is only half over!

Rad. I have a lot to say about her message but I am going to let it ride for a while.

Much love Katie.

Respect: P.

1000 Hits in the Last Week

Posted in A Round the World, City Love on February 2, 2010 by P

The fact that this sneaker pimp has 1000 pairs of Air Force 1's really cheapens our accomplishment and I shouldn't draw attention to it...

Some how after only a few weeks on the go, poor writing, inconsistent posting in a small market we got over 1000 hits to our urban golf sites (GHLG and HFX Urban Golf) in the last week.  Quite silly really.  We obviously have a lot of people who love cities which is good because Halifax is for lovers.

This also tells me that a bunch of people we don’t know and who not play urban golf should be hitting us up to play (i.e. get off your ass and contact us).

I want to send big ups to our sister crews in Halifax (I’ve been told that there was a crew hitnround last night that I had no knowledge of… word our baby is walking), Dartmouth, Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto and London, UK.

I am off to talk to the cops about our little game and give them the heads up… I will drop a line later on how that went.

In celebration of our accomplishment I am going to go treat myself and the prettiest girl I can find, who I have never met (As the reporter Coast reporter said “Halifax is a horrible place to break up but a great place to be single”…), and then go golfing with the Lesser Golfers.

Keep the hits coming.

Much love and Respect: P.

News from Away – Toronto and UK

Posted in A Round the World, Firsts on January 27, 2010 by P

Katie F. rocks

I just got word that my friend Katie F. has started her own swing crew in Toronto and they have hitround a couple of times and it is catching on there.  She also is committed to bring the game to her friends in London when she heads to the UK in a week or two.

I am thinking that we should begin calling our version of urban golf the “Halifax style”.

Look forward to see how they play when I get to TO in a month and a bit.  Great work Katie… please send photos!

Urban Golf from the GodFathers of the Past-Time

Posted in A Round the World, Video on January 20, 2010 by P

I think this movie from urbangolf.org really captures the urban golf past-time: super chilled out, lots of different places you probably wouldn’t normally be finding yourself (hitting balls of rooftops; finding dumpsters full of uncooked dough, fitting a Dumpster and a rat for possession of your ball, the fear of finding a dead cat), and tonnes of people shooting the shit and having fun.

They are keeping score (as seen when they are talking about how many points for a lost ball) which is something that BB and I have done once and probably will again as it adds a bit of nice tension to the game like betting quarters in poker with your friends.

Anyway, no preaching this week.  But please enjoy the video as these guys are the ones we have basically shaped Lesser Golf’s rules around.

Respect: P

Follow the link:

http://www.urbangolf.org/movies/ugmovie1.html