Archive for the City Love Category

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

The Coast, Halifax’s Weekly

Posted in City Love, Halifax with tags on February 11, 2010 by B.B. Roskeworth

Our friends at the Coast couldn’t get enough of our “new” sport for Halifax and interviewed us for a little article. Please click the link here and comment. We would love to to hear what you have to say.

the phot0 taken by  Riley Smith feat. founders Chris, Pelley, BB

An Apology from Sigma Chi, and Pics from Super Bowl Sunday’s Hitround

Posted in City Love, Group Play, Halifax with tags on February 11, 2010 by P

People take time off from the Super Bowl to cheer on the Lesser Golfers

Sometimes it takes the actions of one to give a bad name to many.  It is one the primary motivations for pushing the importance of the first (respect) rule of lesser golf on any new swingers: act with respect and within a paradigm of community mindedness and no one will fuck up urban golf for the rest of us.  One group that has become victim of one of its members (who acting on his own and, as it turns out against the wishes of his crew) phoned the cops on us from the Sigma Chi, Gamma Rho chapter.

As the result of my blog posting entitled: A Sunday Afternoon Game Before Heading to the Olympics in which I took to task because on of the brothers from Sigma Chi had telephoned the cops on us and in juvenile manner and untruthfully accused us of “hitting rocks at cars”.  This was hella whack.  However, I do not feel that this was representative of the entire group.  Especially after I received the following apology from the Chapter’s President (excerpts):

I would first of all like to apologize for the cops being called – I realize they were fine with what you did, but they still shouldn’t have been notified over something like this. It was the actions of one brother who got a little too carried away with the situation, not several or all of us, and I would like to say sorry for it happening. The car the jacket was put on belonged to one of the brothers, not his mom (not sure why that matters anyway), and I think it was fair of him to ask for it to be taken off. If it wasn’t asked politely, again I’d like to apologize, because I didn’t hear this incident and am going off what I have been told.

I would say the way he asked to remove the jacket in the manner it was done would be best described as “pulsatingly dickish” and really was uncalled for.  For this reason I will not remove the or edit the posting at this time; though I will offer the opportunity for Sigm Chi to win the removal of the posting in question.

Paddles

We at Halifax Urban Golf apologizes for saying and recognizes that Sigma Chi does not engage in paddling its brothers.

I did want to explain why some of us didn’t want you guys “teeing up” in front of our house, because it wasn’t because we were bored with “homoerotic paddling” or “macking on underaged girls” – neither of which we do. The concern I had with what happened Sunday was how it might reflect poorly on Sigma Chi if a side-mirror or car window were broken while you were playing directly in front of our house. I haven’t seen Urban Golf before, so I don’t have any clue if you can even hit a tennis ball hard enough off a club to break a window, but I think our concern about that potentially looking bad on us was and is a legitimate one.

I was basing the “paddling” part on heresay, and perhaps I was in the wrong.  Admittedly, the “macking on underaged girls” part was a bit reactionary and I would like to retract that statement and offer a full apology: that statement was baseless and largely uncalled for.

Our group of guys is very involved with the HRM community, and we do a lot of philanthropy work and volunteering with the IWK and Children’s Wish Foundation. We work very hard to establish good relations with our neighbors, and really we were just concerned with how people might assume it was the typical “frat boys” playing golf outside our house.

This is a fact: Sigma Chi and other fraternities in our community have gone a long way in the past decade to clean up their act and be a positive force.  I can’t front on that.  The have raided $10,ooo’s for IWK and other groups within the city and for that reason I accepted the apology and offered one in return for my harsh words.

Again, I’d like to apologize for the way things were handled. I sincerely hope this doesn’t affect the way you guys view fraternities in general (I know you wrote in the blog that it doesn’t, but who knows if that is true for everyone who was in the group), because they do a lot of amazing work in the communities they are in.

Apology accepted; and I do agree you do serve your community.  For this reason, and this reason only, I offer the chance for Sigma Chi to have the blog posting in question removed (and possibly some of this post) by collaborating with the Halifax Urban Golfers to use our game as a fundraiser for urban beautification and some other charity (which will agree to).  You would have to challenge other Frats in the city also to participate.  I consider this gauntlet to be thrown.  What say you friends?

I figured since the Coast will be running our story today I would include a bunch of photos from our Super Bowl Sunday golf game (which included tonnes of game and no Super Bowl) to give people a little flavour of what we do.

@laurenOstveen shows us her first shot at ball design at the Coburg Cafe

Ball design is becoming a larger part of the game and we will probably turn this element of the game into something gives you free strokes or some sort of drinking game.  Some of the designs are good enough that as soon as I figure out a way to photograph round balls I will do a post on it… or not whatever happens does.

Gravista shows gravitas with his swing on Le Marchent

Newbie Celia bears down unsuspecting tennis ball

BB comes as close to shoveling snow as his chronically apartment living ass has in years

A chronic grass bagger @bradfraser takes time to practice his swing, a hereto unseen element in lesser golf. Pelley in the background contemplates kicking a snowbank to save a stroke.

We wondered the compound political statement of a a car that simultaneously promoted Russian doll ducks and gay rights for cats.

Duffer rule in effect and in application motion

The “Duffer rule” (named after f_cking up something someone is doing and an ex-partner of a Founder) allows golfers to chase down their ball while it is still in motion and hit it again (once) without incurring another stroke.

Brad, being in constant violation of lesser golf's golden rule of "everybody sucks" was a good sport (and unlike the rest of us who move the ball when we think no one is looking) and always played it where it laid.

So all in all it was a great day and none of missed not catching any of the 12 hours of pre-game Super Bowl hype.  The company was good, the competition was non-existent (this is a good thing) and the people were fantastic.  Except for the small incident that we had to deal with it was one of the best Super Bowl Sundays I have had in years.

Respect:P.

365 Project: Hfx Urban Golf is Day 236

Posted in City Love, Group Play, Snow Play with tags , on February 8, 2010 by P

Photo by Brad Fraser as a part of his 365 Project which has a photo for each and every day of the year.

HFx Urban Golf pic makes up Day 236 of Brad Fraser’s photo 365 Project.  This picture was taken as we teed off from the top of Gorsebrook hill.  We normally don’t hit through public parks but there was no one there and the hill was soooo big we couldn’t resist… he describes the pictorial context:

I had a ton of fun whacking tennis balls around the city today with adventurous HFX urban golfers. Check out Halifax’s latest golf crazehere. It was great fun with some really nice people. Looking forward to playing more rounds in the future.

Brad’s Project can be seen at http://bradfraser-kaleidoscope.blogspot.com/

Check it each and everyday.

Respect: P.

Hot off the Press

Posted in City Love, Equipment, Halifax with tags on February 6, 2010 by P

Well we have been getting some local press as many around these parts have seen.  For those who are elsewhere I present to you the article done about urban golfing in the largest regional newspaper The Chronicle-Herald by one of our Founders (as he duly golfed with us for the article) Jason “Scribbles” Teakle:

Urban golf’s a ball

Halifax man finds relaxation with a different kind of winter driving

By JASON TEAKLE Sat. Feb 6 – 4:54 AM

If you’re ready to throw out your old golf clubs, try teeing off in the middle of your street using a tennis ball and a nine-iron that has seen better days.

Jason Pelley, 31, has been hitting the pavement, shooting sparks with every strike of his club, while receiving smiles or looks of shock from people all over Halifax.

His game is called urban golf, and it’s quickly emerging as a new way to use public space for having fun for free in Canadian cities.

“Halifax is such a university city, so people are very tolerant of and used to weird or wild things happening here,” says Pelley. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people riding bicycles naked or people just getting rowdy here.”

Pelley walks through downtown Halifax with an off-white canvas bag full of clubs and tennis balls slung over his shoulder. He takes out an iron, puts down a tennis ball spray-painted neon orange on the asphalt and looks down an alleyway.

This will be the first hole of the day’s concrete course.

He takes a full swing and the tennis ball flies through the air, bounces off a building wall and lands in the middle of the fairway — or road.

There are no sand traps or water hazards. Only moving vehicles, pedestrians and houses.

Pelley says he spoke to Halifax Regional Police about the legality of the game, and their response was positive since there are no laws against golfing in public with tennis balls, only golf balls.

“We’ll use that Dumpster as the hole,” he says, pointing to a green waste bin at the end of the alley behind businesses on Spring Garden Road.

Pelley says the idea for urban golf started when he was in high school while playing a game of road hockey with friends. They went for a walk with their hockey sticks and began shooting a ball down the street, aiming at trees, fire hydrants or road signs.

Last year, over the Christmas season, the urban golfer was staying at his parents’ Dartmouth home with a little time on his hands and dug out an old set of clubs.

“I thought, ‘There’s really no reason why I shouldn’t hit the streets,’ ” says Pelley. “Once you start gunning (a tennis ball) down the street, it really opens up a whole other element of fun.”

He said it took him two weeks to convince a friend to try it.

“Once he came out the first time, he was addicted after that,” Pelley says. “Now there is a group of about 40 of us in the city who are regulars.”

He says that once he started an urban golf blog, his friends in Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto and London, England, started swinging in their city streets.

“I wouldn’t say I invented the game, but I’m one of the first people that really took a liking to it,” Pelley says.

The urban golf enthusiast says there are three main rules to the sport. The first is respect, which he says includes never hitting a ball less than three club lengths away from a vehicle and never harming private property.

The second is everybody sucks, meaning it’s not about taking the game seriously or being competitive. The third is don’t be a control freak, meaning it’s difficult to hit a tennis ball straight every time, so nobody is allowed to get irritated if not playing well.

Pelley says the sport is about building community, meeting new people, having fun and enjoying the city in a different way, and the group is always looking for new people to come out and try the sport.

“The nature of cities has to change in terms of the way people interpret them as places you just work in or drive through,” he says.

Pelley’s blog can be found at hfxurbangolf.wordpress.com.

Thank you to Jason “Scribbles” for both the story and for hitnround with us the other day.

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!

Police Love, Reporter Converts and the Value of Urban Play

Posted in City Love, Firsts, Group Play, Halifax, Video with tags , , , , , on February 4, 2010 by P
Scribbles

Chronicle-Herald reporter Jason "Scribbles" Teakle tees off between the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History and the urban equestrian club.

First things first: an update.  Last night’s dinner celebration was Vietnamese and the company was Polish and lovely.  The conversation was light and meandering.  The food was actually too light so I grabbed a sandwich and a coffee with Magic after as he worked on a movie script with GO!.  Magic made an adjustment change that I will talk about in a future blog.

Back on point: Later in the eve last night a product designer named Josh, the founder of an international non-profit called Say Condom (which promotes condom use) and a few of the Founders hitround in hella cold conditions which made me think that perhaps of acknowledging that when the ambient air temperature is below -20°C there should be closer consideration to whether or not we should be playing outside in groups bigger than four (four is a threshold that tends to slow down the movement of the group).  BB punked out at the cold whether.  I couldn’t believe it. 😉

It was a short one but Josh and Jay will be out again in full force this weekend.  Pics later.

I also recieved word from Cuts that his friends had started a crew in Saskatoon.  This would be no less than our 7th crew that has started in about 6 weeks since we started the blog.  Kudos to the Saskatooners; and thank you to Cuts.  who is making me more positive towards emos.  Before this all I wanted in my life emo was my lawn so it would cut itself.

Saskatoon: according to their tourism site: "good times are guaranteed." I could not find anything about refunds.

Today (Wednesday) was a busy one.  I spent the morning writing a discussion paper to help in the founding of a new civic think tank that addresses some of the challenges Halifax is facing in governance and civic engagement (this think tank is as yet unnamed) so I can be ready to meet with business commission leaders and experts tomorrow morning.  That was followed by compiling a database on Middle East clean tech with transfer potential.

Then my day got interesting.

I was contacted by Brian Palamatere (sp?) who is the Halifax Community Relations and Information Officer; who I had contacted yesterday to let him in on the game (as a gesture of professional courtesy).  He had admitted that he had taken the time to read our Blog and he felt that our approach “showed a lot of respect” and that he could see no reason, legal or other to stop us from playing.  He also said that because we were not using golf balls that there were no laws by which to stop us from playing golf in public places.  As long as they did not receive complaints that there was no reason we could not play our game in the streets or in public places… Victory!

In fact he shared with me that the reason he knew about the post golf ball laws was because in the past he had been asked to leave a park by the police when he tried to practice.  I am glad to see there is no favoritism.  I invited him out to join our crew and thanked him for his time.

Let it be known: Respect begets respect.  I was well contented by this.

Tuesday, I had been contacted by Jason Teakle, a reporter from The Chronicle-Herald, the largest regional daily newspaper who wanted to do an interview about lesser golf.  I returned his call and he simply said “I have a proposal for you: you should take me urban golfing this afternoon…” In poor fashion I agreed to go without letting him finish.  So my afternoon today consisted of a 45 minute interview on the street and two hours of hitnround and talking about urban golf.  He admitted that he didn’t want to write the article without having played.  He also let me in that Editor and the staff thought it was “super cool” and many of them planned wanted to try.  Wicked.

The interview, unlike some of the others I have done, focused more on the community building and philosophical undertones of the golden rules.  Much of our conversation talked about the necessity of urban play as a mechanism for adjusting attitudes of how we saw the city.  He was a good guy who will be headed to Toronto and will be hitnround with the crews out there.

The main revelation that I got from this (and I am pretty easy going with reporters) is the need for a greater focus on urban play: on fun ways of using your city, your space and your time.  You live in a concrete jungle…start swinging from the branches…

So from here on in I will be focusing on urban play in general.  Please contact us if you have an interesting style or tail of urban play, want to organize something or have pics to post.  Please feel to contact us via twitter (@hfxurbangolf); email <swinginghalifax@gmail.com> or by posting to this blog <hfxurbangolf.wordpress.com>.

Here is a fine example of urban play from France; a bit over the top but undeniably fun.

Time to finish up that discussion paper.

Respect: P.