Archive for the Group Play Category

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.

A Sunday Afternoon Game Before Heading to the Olympics

Posted in Group Play, Halifax, Lesson Learned, Snow Play, Video with tags , , , , , on February 7, 2010 by P

Thank you @bradfraser for the clip.

B.B. – “Yes thank you. I didn’t realize we were being video taped. But this video does make me smile as you hear our shear happiness in the game. BTW the Lesser Golfer teeing off is a founding member Andrew aka @oscarthegroucho aka Anonymous A”

So yesterday we got some pretty big press and as a result there were a lot of funny things going on here in Halifax related to urban golfing. I got stopped on the street as I walked to our meeting place to meet with the Lesser Crew by people who want to be involved.  I consider this to be super dope.  In addition to that the cops that we dealt with today (as per usual) mentioned that they had read the article, that they knew we had cleared it with the police and were happy to deal with us since they knew we had respect for them.  It is working out great.

Perhaps most amusing but exceedingly positive is the Nova Scotia Golf Association‘s (NSGA on Twitter), the governing body of Golf for our province,  Executive Director got a hold of us to “get involved” in Urban Golf.  I am going to meet with him early next month to see how we can work together… I can’t believe how this is all coming together…me and BB have some ideas on how to serve our community.

Just a heads up: if you contacted us via email and are reading this we haven’t had time to answer everyone yet but keep your shirt on we will get back to you.

Well today was another tremendous day on the concrete links of our city.   There was about 8 of us again (not bad considering much of the crew that we lost was hungover from a big night in Halifax and the fact that the Super Bowl, which seems to have taken over people’s minds for some reason, is on tonight) and the weather was mild hovering just under the point of freezing.

I am beginning to realize the serious advantages of daytime play.  It is mostly related to keeping the game going because it doesn’t take fifteen minutes to find your ball using a lighter.   It is also a lot warmer out and you creep a lot fewer people out: you are after all a crew of young people walking around with golf clubs.  Night is probably best when you are combining it with party activities but I think on weekends I am going to play during the day (especially now that the cops are hip to our game and cool with it).

Not all Sigma Chi's are snitches but the one's on South St. in Halifax should ask themselves "What would The Duke do?"

The only wackness we had to deal with were a couple of way-too-cool frat boys who took some time off from homoerotic paddling of each other and macking on underaged girls to phone the cops because I placed my jacket on one of their mom’s car while I took a shot.  I’m talking to you Sigma Chi on South St.

Guess what you Skull and Bones wannabes?

The cops know all about our game and they considered the call a waste of their time.  Way to serve the community good you dinks; grow up: no wonder you have to pay for friends… (Disclaimer:  to be fair, I am not hating on all frats or even all Sigs in that chapter but fuck the turds that are there now who act like idiots… you’re wasting people’s time).  p.s. – Where I come from “snitches and shit talkers need stitches and get walkers”.  Thanks for the friendly police officers who treated us in a respectful and professional manner.

But I digress.

The course we took this game brought us through the university districts of our town (straight across one campus to another campus; there are six in town so there is a lot of potential for us to be playing on campuses).  We had another grassbag gone urban tonight with Brad Fraser joining our ranks (he also provided the qik video above) ; he continually broke our “everybody sucks” rule with his incredible consistency and precision but what can you do?  Let the man play… he also has a photo project: 365 Project where he is taking a photo a day for 365 days in a row.

Warming up at Uncommon Grounds

Hot drinks, warm conversation and good people.

I continue to be impressed with the people I am meeting from playing this little game (which has replaced TV watching,video games and stress for me) our total numbers are in the 40’s(?) and there is at least one crew  I don’t know about on the streets in the deep south end. We have quite a crew of regulars that have been staying steadfast to the sport and newbies out every time so our numbers are swelling here in Halifax.  I am also a big fan of the friendships, comradry and professional collaborations that is growing out of it.  As mentioned we have a lot of people on the street who know what we are up to and are looking to join in, too… I’m hella stoked.

I will be hitnround with a lesser crew in Vancouver during the Olympics.

I am headed off to Vancouver for work and the Olympics and am bringing my clubs so I can hitround with locals crews out there over the course of the next month.  Hoping to do some Olympic venues but with as many snipers and people around I am guessing that it may not go super smooth… I am sure I will be able to golf in Seattle and Victoria though, and I plan to.  BB is going to keep blogging out of Halifax and I will report on this pilgrim’s progress from the Winter Olympics (the truth is I don’t really care much for the Olympics one way or the other but there are 160 free shows, the world is visiting and I am hanging out with some Swedes in partial hopes of meeting more Swedes…we all have our own Olympic dreams.

B.B. – “I feel I must add here that I am not a man who types a lot of words, I may have a lot to say but writing is not my forte. So my posts will be short and sweet, but with more pictures. And if Brad is on the concrete links with us video as well.  Have fun on your travels P. and swing low.”

Much love and Respect: P.

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.

These Moments in Heaven

Posted in City Love, Group Play with tags on January 29, 2010 by P

Just a short post as I have a hella crazy day ahead of me.

Well, last night was another great night for us.  We hitround in a group of about 9 or 10 which included a photographer and a fly interviewer from The Coast, Halifax’s top twitterer (@laurenoostveen), a couple of really well dressed cats (Andrew and Chris), a few designer types (@gravista among them), Dan “The Risk” Mattison, Seb “Magic” Harder and the core cabal of BB and me.  It was the largest single group we have had out and it worked out well.  People caught on pretty quickly to the play, the 3 rules and the rest.

I got to see a diversity of strategies and lots of new friends.

The Coast article should be out on Thursday.  We have decided that the people who have golfed with us before the Coast article will get a “founders” designation to duly reflect their early adapter status.  BB and me are staying straight OG.

In terms of last nights game play: we lost no balls, the streets were wide, well-lit and car free… it was super sweet.  We had one run in with a irate neighbour who looked out his window and thought we were with a party of yelpy first year girls who were in fact just cheering us on.  His taunt of : “It’s really nice of you guys to break stuff” made us openly laugh.  We pointed out that we were playing with tennis balls.  He countered that we were being noisy we pointed out that a) it wasn’t us (the aforementioned adoring squawk boxes and b) it was about 9 pm and well within noise law limits.  He was not happy but did yeild to the facts.  Thanks neighbour (honestly).

At the end of it all I am pretty sure that we have a tonne of new converts.  I wish I could convey to people just how amazingly fun this game is.

I had been in a bit of a funk when I first took up this game but people have been saying to me on the street that I am visibly happier and my productivity has gone way, way up.  I think that kicking around outside for 3 hours a day of fresh air and laughing non-stop will do that.  In fact, RR (who is in fact BBR’s girlfriend) said to BB that “Pelley seems really happy”.  BB simply replied: “Of course, he’s golfing.”

It has been said that the time spent doing what you love is not subtracted from your life on earth because during those few hours and days you are already in heaven.  While I wouldn’t say this is heaven exactly it is sure is a hell of a lot of fun and I do enjoy it with unbound enthusiasm.

Today I have an interview CKDU (we have been pitched to CBC) about this little game of ours.  We are finishing up with the Coast tomorrow.  It’s Friday: no golf because of a tonne of snow and a tonne of parties.  Word.

I will post pics of last nights game as some point this weekend.  I got to go live life for another day.

Much love to friends new and old.

Peace: P

Friday Night Swingers…

Posted in City Love, Group Play, Halifax, Lesson Learned, Snow Play, The Hard Way on January 17, 2010 by P

So R. came back with some shots of our night on the course the other evening that are pretty fun.   We golfed for about 4 hours so there was probably a tonne of shots; here are a good selection of them.

Peace:P

BB's second approach shot on the first fairway.

As you can see from this shot that in these conditions it is best to keep your eye on the ball and mark it right after you hit it.  You can lose your ball in dips in the snow pretty easy.  Also, it is best to be mindful of dogs on the course they tend to want to pick up your ball and run with it.

This is after the second hole by the nursing home for nuns by Quinpool. The girl standing on one leg was Chantelle, she was walking by and ended up golfing with us for quite a while.

Key to the proper playing of the game is chilling.  Many people asked us the following questions 1) what the hell are you doing? Obviously we are golfing.  2) What are you shooting at? Usually we figure it out on the way.  Mostly we hit in a direction that looks fun and towards landmarks first then pear it down as we go (e.g. Let’s hit south–>let’s hit towards the hospital –>let’s hit towards the hospital sign for the hole).  3) Whose winning? Since we haven’t really been keeping score we always say that we are all tied at 2 under par.

Long story short this game has almost nothing to do with the actual competition as much as it has to do with hanging out and as a great alternative to whatever else you normally do on a Friday night.

RR and C.Candy chill out on Vernon St probably discussing the verbal abuse we just recieved from a drunk driver who was REALLY into the idea of us golfing down the street in front of his car.

We ended up meeting a lot of people over the course of the night from the polite and smiley art school dreadlocks in the park, to professionals who stopped to chat and take some swing.  Lots of people watching for a few hits, house parties and people shouting out windows at us… it was a super unusual night but one that really make me feel connected to my community in a quirky sort of way.

We are headed down the 4th hole towards the hospital on Cherry.

Taking some time off at the 5th tee which was the top level of a parking garage.  The 5th hole is the “mini-golf” level as it is just a shot all around the top of parking garage.  We got some beef when we were hittinround down through the parking garage to the tune of 6 (abusive but not very rational or prepared) Commissionaries and a bunch of cop cars.  They started out by admitting they never saw us hit a ball and that it wasn’t a crime to have golf clubs or tennis balls.  It cut into their ability to reason with us and instead went to chest thumping and flexing.  We of course followed our own rules, showed respect and left, but not without joking with them at their expense.

Chilling 5 floors up looking over the city.

The 5th hole is as good as it gets. We could overlook much of the city; scan the skyline and stop and talk and hit around without any worries. We suggest (now) against golfing down through the parking garage: It makes you a major heat score.

Ms. C.B. joined us at random on the course. She was converted and will be swinging with us in the near future...

RR driving hard on the 1st Hole in the Commons

R hits with a club that appears to be made of rubber or something. He was a very consistent swinger, by the 4th hole we was goinaff.

As you can see we have to regulate our pace to accommodate pedestrians like the girls on the bike behind BB. I believe they complimented him on his clubs. Girl pushing bike: please come play sometime.

Well we have a few more pics but these captured a small slice of the night’s happenings.  More next time we golf.

Peace:P