Leaders in golf are constantly talking about growing the game, which is, to say, that all they really do is talk. They’re making noise rather than making change. No one is thinking outside the box; they’re just trying to “grow” the game within their parameters. Much like a plant, however, when it is contained for too long and the roots have nowhere to go, growth ceases. And, if not repotted in a larger space, it will eventually die.
At Euforeia we are sick of waiting for the powers to be to actually come up with a solution to achieve the growth that is so necessary for the game we all love to survive, so we will.
Street Golf is the equivalent of street skating which rejuvenated skateboarding in the late 80s and early 90s. Before street, skateboarding mainly happened in skateparks. Then, the street movement happened, and one thing was mega-clear: Skateboarding would never be the same. Gone were the days when corporations influenced the skate movement through teams and competition and in came a new spirit of creativity, enthusiasm, and rebellion that still has rippling effects in the skate world now. An ollie a day keeps corpo away.
Street skating opened endless possibilities for creativity and progression. It also eliminated many of the barriers to entry such as needing to live in an area near a skate park. Back in the early days, that meant mainly living in Southern California. Instead, city streets became the park and a whole new world opened up to many who were previously unable to experience the culture of skateboarding. Imagine being a kid in the city full of wonder and curiosity. You are walking down the street with your mom and see someone kickflip a staircase for the first time. A world of possibilities floods your mind that you never knew existed before.
Now, take that scenario and apply it to golf. Many kids in urban environments have never been exposed to the game of golf. I mean how would they? Urban real estate is a hot commodity and the few city courses that exist are normally reserved for the rich and powerful.
Golf has the same possibilities that skateboarding had, but with the potential to become even bigger. By making golf accessible and affordable in urban environments, we can grow the game by exposing youth to it in a way that is more familiar and inviting than a traditional course setting (which is often overwhelming). Doing so will also lead to a much needed increase in diversity while inspiring future generations to take up the game.
So, what is street golf?
Street golf is playing golf, practically anywhere. Streets, alley ways, underpasses, parks, baseball diamonds, rail yards, beaches, anywhere! To us, it’s an open definition. It can be as simple as hitting a shot over a sign or fence with some buddies or a more organized affair such as pasting targets around structures and making a course out of your surroundings. Depending on the environment, you can play with golf balls or tennis balls. The latter is great if you’re around cars, or buildings with a lot of windows, after all this is golf and shit can go sideways and you might just start spraying it all over the block. Anyway you slice it though, street golf is a game for all, one that invokes a certain sense of joy, freedom, and creativity that often isn’t seen in golf. It’s inviting, accessible, and most importantly affordable, while still encompassing the same skills that you use on the course.
This is how you grow the game.
Stay tuned for future articles as we delve into how to golf in the streets, create a Street Golf Course, and organize a street golf league in your city. If you play or organize some street golf and want to share your experience, hit us up at email@example.com. Who knows, we might just feature you in our next segment…