Connect with us

News

Mikko Rantanen breaks par to win 2018 Speedgolf World Championships (Winning WITB)

Published

on

This year’s Speedgolf World Championships, held on the Shenedoah Course at Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York, wrapped Oct. 16 — and a major record was finally broken.

But before we get to the results, a bit about the sport. Speedgolf, as you may remember (or may never have known), is much like regular golf except you are trying to complete the round as quickly as possible on foot. Your speedgolf score is your golf score plus the time it takes you to finish. For example, if you shoot 80 in 60 minutes, your speedgolf score is 80 + 60 = 140.

There are only a few minor rules differences.

First, you are allowed to leave the flagstick in, which will also actually become an option in regular golf in 2019. Second, in the case of a lost ball, you are allowed to drop in the vicinity of where the ball was lost. This is because it was thought to be too penal in speedgolf to not only lose the stroke from the lost ball but also lose the time running back to where you played your last shot (plus it might be dangerous if there is another player coming up behind you). Third, you can only bring a maximum of seven clubs instead of the usual 14.

Strategies continue to evolve and improve.

Bags, if taken, are usually smaller “Sunday” type bags from a variety of manufacturers but sometimes even homemade. To save time, some players have gotten quite good at 1-handed putting. They hold their bag or clubs in one hand and putt with the other hand.

If you are a fast distance runner like Olympians Bernard Lagat or Nick Willis, running will obviously be your strength and perhaps it’s better to take fewer clubs to take advantage of your speed. In fact, I’ve seen one guy only take a single bladed 6-iron. To hit it farther he puts the ball back in his stance and he delofts the club face more like that of a 3-iron. Around the green, since the sole is thinner, he can open the club face quite a bit, squat down, and pop the ball up almost like a flop shot. To roll his putts, he just catches the ball slightly above the equator using the leading edge and an ascending stroke.

Others like myself aren’t as strong at running but have played golf professionally, so we might take a little more time on our shots, clip our golf bags on a belt hook and putt two-handed, and use six or seven clubs to focus on shooting a good golf score. This year I used a driver (to take advantage of my distance), a 3-wood (to make sure I could reach par 5s in two shots), three of my Sterling Irons® single length irons (the 6-iron, the 9-iron, and the gap wedge), and my putter.

Rain gloves are fairly standard since you get so sweaty and don’t want the clubs slipping out of your hands while swinging. Shoes are often running shoes or lightweight trail running shoes.

Despite what you might think, even with a maximum of seven clubs and playing shots at an elevated heart rate, scoring isn’t all that much different from what you might shoot in regular golf. In fact, some people even play better in part because you don’t start over thinking shots and you play more instinctively in a reactionary manner.

Up to this point at the World Championships, we’ve had five people shoot par 72 in under an hour…myself, Christopher Smith, Scott Dawley, Gretchen Johnson, and Jaime Young.

I knew I was going in to this year’s World Championships out of shape, so I wasn’t expecting much from the running standpoint. However, my golf game was okay and I shot 72 in my practice round, which included a triple bogey. So, going for that golf scoring record was obviously on my mind. Alas, it wasn’t my year…but the record was still meant to be broken this year.

Now, on to the results: With an amazing round of 71 in 55 minutes and 28 seconds, Mikko Rantanen of Finland pulled off speedgolf’s version of Roger Bannister and the four-minute mile by breaking the par mark that many of us had been stuck on for years.

In his bag, Mikko had the following six clubs:

  • Titleist 915 D3 driver – 9.5 degrees
  • Titlest 917 F2 fairway wood – 15 degrees
  • Titleist AP 2 6-iron
  • Titleist 716 CB 9-iron
  • Titleist Vokey 52-degree sand wedge
  • Maxfli Tad Moore putter

He also used a Titleist ProV1x and wore Salomon trail running shoes.

Mikko said he was inspired to break par in speedgolf for the first time by Chris Benians of England, who shot a 69 (-3) in 49 minutes and 16 seconds two days prior at Rome Country Club in Rome, New York, as part of the 2018 US Speedgolf Championships.

Jamie Reid(a) of New Zealand ran the event’s fastest time with a blistering 47 minutes and 29 seconds. We have seen faster times in previous World Championships, however, much like the World Long Drive Championships, the course and conditions of the day come in to play. This year’s Shenedoah Course at Turning Stone Resort & Casino played to around 5.3 miles which included 1.9 miles of some quite long transitions between holes. We also faced lots of rain and a water-logged course. As such, times were a bit slower at this venue than in previous years.

Two-time World Champion Rob Hogan of Ireland remains the only man to break 40 minutes at the World Championships.

Lauren Cupp of New York won the women’s division with an 86 in 66 minutes and 34 seconds.
Mark Le Compte of New Zealand was the 25-49 age group division with an 84 in 59 minutes and 28 seconds.

Larry Levinson won the 50+ age group with an 81 in 69 minutes and 12 seconds.

The inaugural ISGA World Cup (a team event) was held the day after the World Championships. The Team USA duo of Steve Vancil (who played in the PGA TOUR’s Buick Open) and Eri Crum (who won the 2014 Speedgolf World Championships and was a Stanford University college golf teammate of Tiger Woods) took 1st place and the gold medal.

For full field results and to learn about speedgolf leagues in your area, click here.

 

Photo Credit: Kirstin Bull | Speedgolf USA

Your Reaction?
  • 134
  • LEGIT4
  • WOW13
  • LOL2
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP0
  • OB1
  • SHANK17

Jaacob Bowden is a Professional Golfer, PGA of America Class A Member, Top 100 Most Popular Teacher, Swing Speed Trainer, the original founder of Swing Man Golf, the co-creator of "Sterling Irons" single length irons, and has caddied on the PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS. Formerly an average-length hitting 14-handicap computer engineer, Jaacob quit his job, took his savings and moved from Kansas to California to pursue a golf career at age 27. He has since won the Pinnacle Distance Challenge with a televised 381-yard drive, won multiple qualifiers for the World Long Drive Championships including a 421-yard grid record drive, made cuts in numerous tournaments around the world with rounds in the 60s and 70s, and finished fifth at the Speed Golf World Championships at Bandon Dunes. Jaacob also holds the championship record for golf score with a 72 in 55 minutes and 42 seconds using only 6 clubs. The Swing Man Golf website has more than 8,000 members and focuses primarily on swing speed training. Typically, Jaacob’s website members and amateur and tour player clients will pick up 12-16 mph of driver swing speed in the first 30 days of basic speed training. You can learn more about Jaacob, Swing Man Golf, and Sterling Irons here: Websites – JaacobBowden.com & SwingManGolf.com & SterlingIrons.com; Twitter - @JaacobBowden & @SwingManGolf & @SterlingIrons; Facebook – Facebook.com/JaacobBowdenGolf & Facebook.com/SwingManGolf & <Facebook.com/SterlingIronsGolf; Instagram - Instagram.com/JaacobBowden YouTube – YouTube.com/SwingManGolf – More than 2.8 million video views

11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Vas

    Oct 24, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    Less than zero interest in speed golf personally, but whatever floats your boat. Jaacob – your writing and take on how you improve swing speeds is top notch. Appreciate it!

  2. Mikko

    Oct 24, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    Does he also play for the Colorado Avalanche, or is the name “Mikko Rantanen” like “Mike Smith” over in Finland?

  3. Cons

    Oct 24, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    Gave this a go last night after reading this. 60 minutes and 38 shots to complete 9 with a full bag. Walked fast up until the last 3 holes when I knew I had to pick it up and run to make it under my goal of 1 hour. It diluted the golf a little bit, but from a fitness standpoint it was legit. Way more fun than a treadmill. Also great to get your golf mind in a new arena with the blood pumping and need to think fast. Would love to carry 4-5 clubs in hand with some running shoes next time.

  4. Jani

    Oct 24, 2018 at 8:04 am

    Here’s Mikko in action earlier this year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXxm-DvTf8Q

  5. joe

    Oct 23, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    I think this is cool. Hitting a fairway wood off the deck with elevated heart rate is REAL. A true test.

  6. Jamie

    Oct 23, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    Wonder who would do best on the PGA Tour. Let’s see how good they really are.

  7. HKO

    Oct 23, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    gotta make this regular on all the muni courses over wknd.

  8. allan

    Oct 23, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    Yes… this is the way to play young men’s/women’s golf…. run and hit/putt!!!
    To quicken the pace of play eliminate putting and just measure closest to the hole…. and off you go.

    • allan

      Oct 23, 2018 at 3:31 pm

      During twilight I played solo golf carrying a 7-iron + putter + two pocketfuls of pond balls… or a 6-iron and a SW to hit and putt. I have a great short game now but the driver still eludes me.

    • allan

      Oct 23, 2018 at 3:33 pm

      Play twilight solo golf with 7-iron + putter + a pocketfuls of balls… or a 6-iron and a SW only. I have a great short game now but the driver still eludes me.

  9. allan

    Oct 23, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    Yes… this is the way to play young men’s/women’s golf…. run and hit/putt!!!
    Many an evening during twilight golf I played solo golf carrying a 7-iron + putter + two pocketfuls of pond balls… or a 6-iron and a SW to hit and putt. I have a great short game now but the driver still eludes me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

News

Rory McIlroy won’t watch Tiger-Phil match, claims the event has “missed the mark”

Published

on

Last month, Justin Thomas stated that there was zero chance of him watching Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson battle it out in Las Vegas for $9 million. Now, Rory McIlroy is the latest Tour player to say he won’t be tuning in.

McIlroy, while speaking on Tuesday at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, told reporters that Phil Mickelson had even offered to cover the pay-per-view fee for the Irishman when they discussed the match during a FedEx Cup playoff event earlier in the year. But McIlroy made it clear today that he wasn’t in the least bit interested in the event, stating

“Look, if they had a done it 15 years ago, it would have been great. But nowadays, it’s missed the mark a little bit.”

McIlroy’s comments should not be surprising. The 29-year-old is no stranger to speaking his mind, and we can only speculate on what exactly he meant with his statement that the showdown has “missed the mark a little bit.” If McIlroy is suggesting that this event has missed the mark due to the match airing on PPV, then he is likely to find many supporters of the game in agreement with him — the $19.99 price tag for the exhibition has not gone over well. Or, if the fact that neither player is putting up a dime of their own money for the contest is what has failed to pique McIlroy’s interest, then he is again likely to find many who agree with his view.

However, whether the showdown between Woods and Mickelson would have been a greater spectacle fifteen years ago compared to present day is debatable. Woods is currently a prohibitive favorite to win the contest on Thanksgiving Friday with odds of -225. But in 2003, an untouchable Woods against a major-less Mickelson could very well have been a mismatch.

The Match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson takes place on November 23 at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas.

What do you make of Mcilroy’s comments, GolfWRXers?

Your Reaction?
  • 34
  • LEGIT2
  • WOW0
  • LOL1
  • IDHT2
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK9

Continue Reading

News

GolfWRX Morning 9: No European Tour for Rory? | Interesting caddie moves | Save, don’t Pave

Published

on

By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com)

November 13, 2018

Good Tuesday morning, golf fans.
1. McIlroy relinquishing European Tour membership
Not hamstrung by European Ryder Cup qualification requirements in 2019, Rors will be focusing his efforts stateside.
  • AP Report…”McIlroy said on Tuesday at the World Tour Championship he intends to play only two full-field European Tour events in the first half of 2019 because of changes in the tournament schedule.”
  • “The three-time Race to Dubai champion said he’ll be spending most of his time in the U.S. because the Players’ Championship and the U.S. PGA Championship have been brought forward to March and May respectively. That has pushed the European Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship, to September.”
  • “It is the result of the changes,” he said. “I don’t have to commit to anything until May, so I will not have played a European Tour event … I will play the WGCs and majors and events like that, but the true European Tour season does not start until July.
  • “The way the schedule has worked for next year, it is going to be different for a lot of guys. Everything is going to be so condensed between March and August, and that is why I am taking a big offseason to get myself ready … then go at it hard from March all the way through to basically the end of the season.”
2. Lexi, caddie split
She still has about 37 more to go until she catches Lydia Ko, but Lexi Thompson and her looper of two years have parted ways.
  • Digest’s Alex Myers…”While Thompson declined to provide any details, McAlpine confirmed to Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols he would not be on Thompson’s bag for the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples. McAlpine, a former Scottish Amateur champ, began caddying for Thompson in March of 2017 and was by her side when she got hit with a controversial four-shot penalty during the round of the ANA Inspiration.”
3. …also in caddie news…
Lee Westwood, keen to do his own yardages, etc, and unable to argue with the results, is keeping his girlfriend, Helen Storey, on the bag.
  • Golf Channel’s Will Gray…”Westwood, 45, will reportedly keep his girlfriend on the bag moving forward, including this week at the DP World Tour Championship. The decision means an end to Westwood’s 10-year relationship with caddie Billy Foster, as the two last worked together the week prior at the Turkish Airlines Open.”
  • “Lee wanted to work differently to everything we had ever done, which basically meant me just carrying the bag,” Foster said. “Ultimately it was no good for Lee and not fair on me either. So unfortunately the partnership had run its course, and we both knew that. Times change.”
  • “Westwood had his son, Sam, on the bag during a T-5 finish at last month’s Andalucia Valderrama Masters, but Storey appears to be the catalyst for his game. Storey caddied at the Made in Denmark in September when Westwood lost in a playoff, and she guided him Sunday en route to his first European Tour win since 2014.”
4. Good theater!
Martin Kaufmann, in his traditional post-mortem of the golf coverage during the weekend that was, liked what he saw from South Africa, Sunday.
  • “Entering Sunday, there was nothing to suggest that the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player would be one of the most entertaining and emotional final rounds we would see on any tour in 2018. Frankly, I almost didn’t watch. But I’m glad I did.”
  • “Sure, Nedbank is the penultimate tournament in the European Tour’s Rolex Series. Sure, it had a strong field trying to capture the nearly $1.25 million winner’s check. So the tournament is a pretty big deal.”
  • “What was far more compelling, however, was the personal storyline that played out during the final round, with Lee Westwood’s unlikely victory after four winless seasons.
  • “Everyone fancies Westy’s chances,” anchor Dougie Donnelly said before Westwood’s opening tee shot.’
  • “That seemed to be a reach. Westwood had won at Sun City twice, but there was little to suggest that he had a back-nine 31 up his sleeve. But the announcing crew played a hunch, and it paid off.”

Full piece.

5. Austin Cook reflects
Interesting stuff from the “Tour pro writing with X” byline files. Austin Cook in Golf Digest.
  • “It’s Wednesday before the 2016 Web.com Tour Championship. I’m sharing a house in Jacksonville Beach, Fla., with my wife, Crys, and Zack Sucher and his wife. We’re hanging on the beach in 40-mile-per-hour winds as Hurricane Matthew approaches. I’m 27th in the standings, needing to move into the top 25 to earn my PGA Tour card for 2016-’17. And I had just missed the cut by one shot in the third event of the Web.com Tour Finals. We’re hitting balls on the sand, trying to have fun. Then my caddie calls: “The tournament’s canceled.” My season is suddenly over, my PGA Tour card ripped from me.”
  • “IT TOOK A LOT NOT TO CHUCK THE WEDGE I WAS HOLDING OUT INTO THE OCEAN. Zack and my wife just let me have a moment to myself. We had to evacuate the area, and so we drove from Jacksonville to Birmingham, where we’d stay for a night with the Suchers before driving home to northeast Arkansas. I wouldn’t calm down for a few days, but my wife’s advice sticks in my head: She said, “I know this is heartbreaking right now, but it’s gonna happen for you.” She was right. When you’ve worked hard for a lifetime for a goal, you’ve got to remember the bigger picture.”
6. Saving Canal Shores
A proposed butchery of the historic Illinois golf course is nearing a vote.
  • Golfweek’s Brentley Romine…”The proposal,submitted by Dick Keefe Development Corporation, calls for a road to be built through the 10th hole at Canal Shores Golf Club, located in both Evanston and Wilmette, about a mile from Northwestern University. The road would provide access to four homes set to be built near the course.”
  • “In other words, public land would be used for a private landowner The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, which leases out the Tom Bendelow-designed North Shore layout, will vote on the proposal on Thursday.”
  • “The par-60, 18-hole course was founded in 1919 and has quite the history. Bill Murray and his brothers worked at Canal Shores (formerly known as Peter N. Jans Memorial Golf Course), and longtime PGA Tour golfer Tim Herron made his pro debut there, winning the course’s inaugural mini-tour event in 1994.”
And if you’re inclined, add your voice to the “save, don’t pave” chorus here.
7. A 49-year-old is on to the final stage of Web.com Q-School
Golfweek’s Kevin Casey...”The second stage of Web.com Tour Q-School may be one of golf’s greatest mental challenges….Pass through and you simply get a chance to earn a full Web.com Tour card. Fall short and you might have to look abroad for playing opportunities.”
  • “David Branshaw didn’t seem to have any nerves in this pressure-cooker….”I’m too old to worry about this stuff,” Branshaw said.”
  • “His attitude paid off as Branshaw closed the Brooksville, Fla., second stage site with three consecutive 68s for a 14-under 274 – a total that earned him a tie for 14th and a pass through to the final stage on the number.”
How can you not root for Branshaw?
8. A decision to make?
The Daily Mail’s Derek Lawrenson with some harsh words for the European Tour and players planning to participate in the upcoming DP World Tour Championship in Saudi Arabia.
  • A bit of what he had to say…”But when is a good time to announce that in the midst of the international outrage felt following the premeditated killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul?”
  • ‘We’re monitoring the situation,’ said Pelley last week, as calls for the event to be cancelled have grown. It’s certainly a fraught decision for the Canadian, as the unease felt by many at the staging of high-profile sporting events in the kingdom has increased.
  • “It’s not a vast leap of the imagination to suspect the Saudis are using their oil wealth to lure sport into something of a devil’s pact, to present a more acceptable persona to cover up human rights abuses.”
9. Writeth the Maurice
We’re blessed with a Maurice Allen “My Shot” (with Guy Yocom) today. Just check out how it starts…
  • “I’M THE ROLEX-WEARIN’, DIAMOND-RING WEARIN’, kiss-stealin’, wheelin’-dealin’, limousine-ridin’, jet-flyin’ son of a gun, and I’m havin’ a hard time keepin’ these gators on the ground!” I screamed that at the top of my lungs to a national TV audience when I won the Volvik World Long Drive Championship in September. The line originated with Ric Flair, the pro wrestler who, next to Muhammad Ali, was the greatest self-promoter who ever lived. Long driving is a sport. It’s entertainment. The fans went crazy.”
  • “IN TRUTH, I DON’T WEAR A ROLEX. I have a couple of rings with diamonds in them from my long-drive exploits in Europe, but the stones are tiny. I’ve never flown privately in my life. I don’t ride in limos. Heck, I drive a Nissan pickup truck.”
  • I lead a simple life. I don’t even have cable TV or Internet in my house. I don’t go to parties and have never touched a drop of alcohol in my life. I don’t eat candy. I go to church. I’ve taken Advil, but only after surgery. Athletes and celebrities sometimes are usually wilder than their public persona. I’m just the opposite.
Your Reaction?
  • 4
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK6

Continue Reading

News

Lexi Thompson splits with caddie ahead of LPGA Tour season finale

Published

on

Lexi Thompson has parted ways with Scottish caddie, Kevin McAlpine, prior to the LPGA Tour’s season finale CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Florida.

McAlpine, who had been working with Thompson since March 2017, confirmed the split to Golfweek.com, after what has been a turbulent season for the 23-year old. Thompson, however, declined to provide any comment on the decision through her agent, Bobby Kreusler.

Thompson is in the midst of a winless drought on the LPGA Tour, dating back to September 2017, and has dropped four places to eighth in the Rolex Rankings since the beginning of the year.

The nine-time winner on the LPGA Tour has had publicized personal struggles to endure over the past 18 months, which include the passing of her grandmother and her mother’s cancer diagnosis within a short period. These issues caused Thompson to take a break from the game back in July, stating at the time “the events of the past year and a half have taken a tremendous toll on me both mentally and emotionally.”

Most recently, Thompson took to social media, to open up about her “self-image/body confidence,” which has garnered a very positive reaction from her followers. Thompson wrote that despite it maybe sounding “crazy” to some; she has been battling with the issue for years.

View this post on Instagram

So this is a pretty personal post and some people might think it’s stupid or that I’m crazy but I’m going to share it anyway…. one of the biggest issues I’ve gone through is my self image/ body confidence. When I was really young, I just ate what I wanted to, didn’t care about fitness at all or what I weighed. Then as I slowly got into fitness seeing the results, I started getting crazy about it, seeing the attention I was getting, doing certain photo shoots I never thought I would. I was putting my body through brutal workouts twice a day not really eating because I thought that’s the way I would lose weight and weighing myself constantly. I would compare my self to these stick thin or fitness models on Instagram, tearing myself down because I didn’t have the toned stomach or the big butt. As a girl I know body confidence is a huge part of life and what we all go through. You think you’ll be happy once you get this certain body? But will you really be? Maybe more confident and by doing it the right way is how u need to go about it. The only way you’ll ever be truly happy though is if you love yourself first. But what I want to share is that your not alone in any of your struggles. And what I’ve learned is that I’m not going to deprive myself in the one life I get to live, I’m going to enjoy life and my food . You should never compare your body to others it’s a never ending battle of being miserable trust me. Your body is your body, it is beautiful so embrace it ??

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

The American has won a title on the LPGA Tour every year dating back to 2013; however, this week’s event in Florida represents her final chance to extend that impressive streak. If she is to claim victory in Florida this week, Thompson will do it without McAlpine on the bag, who helped her to two wins in 2017.

The LPGA Tour finale of the 2018 season, the CME Group Tour Championship, begins this Thursday.

Your Reaction?
  • 11
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW2
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB1
  • SHANK6

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending