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



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

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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 creator of Sterling Irons® single length irons, and has caddied on the PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS. Two of his articles for GolfWRX are the two most viewed of all time. 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 shot 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 helped millions of golfers and focuses primarily on swing speed training. Typically, Jaacob’s amateur golfers and tour players 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 – & &; Twitter - @JaacobBowden & @SwingManGolf & @SterlingIrons; Facebook – & & <; Instagram - YouTube – – Millions of views!!!



  1. AJ2019

    Feb 8, 2019 at 9:27 am

    Mikko Rantanen was a very good College player. He played for Georgia Tech alongside David Duval, Stewart Cink and Carlos Beautell. All American in 1993 and loads of other merits as an amateur. Could sadly not quite follow it up as a pro.

  2. 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!

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

  5. Jani

    Oct 24, 2018 at 8:04 am

    Here’s Mikko in action earlier this year:

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. HKO

    Oct 23, 2018 at 3:48 pm

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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GolfWRX Classifieds (07/29/20): FlightScope Xi Tour, TaylorMade M3 & Sim fairway woods



At GolfWRX, we love golf equipment plain and simple.

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment for the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball, it even allows us to share another thing – the equipment itself.

One of the best ways to enjoy equipment is to experiment and whether you are looking to buy-sell-or trade (as the name suggests) you can find almost anything in the GolfWRX BST Forum. From one-off custom Scotty Cameron Circle T putters, to iron sets, wedges, and barely hit drivers, you can find it all in our constantly updated marketplace.

These are some of the latest cool finds from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

Member Branover 1 – FlightScope Xi Tour 

Inexpensive? NO! But if you are in the market for a launch monitor, the FlightScope Xi Tour is still one of the best values in the market. As the author, I will note that I have a FlightScope XI+ and have really enjoyed using it since acquiring it earlier this year. Considering what you get for the price compared to other units this one is a steal.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Flight Scope Xi Tour

Member Bervin – TaylorMade M3 3HL Fairway

Hey, if the M3 5-wood is still good enough for Tiger, the 3HL probably has a good chance of beating out your current 3/4 fairway metal for a spot in your bag. This club is in great shape and also happens to come at a great price.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: M3 3HL Fairway

Member Timallery – TaylorMade Sim 3-wood

The SIM Ti fairway is one of the longest 3-woods on the market today as tested by the team over at TXG in Toronto: 2020 Fairway wood bracket, and now this is your chance to grab a head and install your shaft of choice to build your own rocket launcher fairway wood.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Sim 3 wood

Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds.

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Tour Photo Galleries

Photos from the 2020 Pinnacle Bank Championship



GolfWRX is live at the Korn Ferry Tour’s Pinnacle Bank Championship from the Club at Indian Creek in Omaha, Nebraska.

We got in-hand looks at a new Srixon driver, additional finishes for Cleveland’s popular new RTX Zipcore wedges, and some prototype Nippon shafts—in addition to an abundance of general equipment shots for your scrolling pleasure.

Special galleries

General galleries

See what GolfWRXers are saying in the forums. 

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Morning 9: Australian Open postponed | Terrible news: Villegas’ daughter dies | New Renee Powell Grant | Chris Como’s living room



1. Australian Open postponed
Disappointing, but ultimately not surprising stuff. With COVID-19 trending upwards in Australia since the beginning of the month and the impossibility, essentially, of international players arriving for the tournament by air, Oz Open postponement was inevitable.
  • AFP report…”This year’s Australian Open Golf Championship was postponed Tuesday because of the coronavirus pandemic but officials said they were hoping to restage the event early in 2021.”
  • “Melbourne’s Kingston Heath Golf Club had been due to host the 105th edition of the historic championship, the world’s fifth oldest professional golf tournament, in November.”
  • “But with the country battling a surge in COVID-19 cases and the game’s stars facing major tournaments moved to later in 2020, Golf Australia operations manager Simon Brookhouse said they would instead look at a “January to March 2021 window”.”
  • “Coupled with COVID-19 travel restrictions and quarantine measures, that means it would be almost impossible to assemble a world-class field in Melbourne.”
2. Awful news: Villegas’ daughter, 22-months-old, dies
Condolences, to Villegas and family, first and foremost. What can you say about such wretchedness-the death of a child whose short life was permeated by pain and suffering? Words fail.
  • The news, via an AP report…“Camilo Villegas’ daughter, Mia, has died at just 22 months old after cancerous tumors were found in her brain and spine.”
  • “Four-time PGA Tour winner Villegas revealed last month that he and his wife, Maria, took their daughter to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami for scans in March as they suspected she was not well.
  • “Mia underwent surgery after the tumors were found, and the Villegas family was informed more treatment would be required due to persisting issues.”
3. Renee Powell Grant
Golf Channel’s Randall Mell…“The LPGA today announced the first recipients of the newly established Renee Powell Grant, which is designed to assist LPGA*USGA Girls Golf sites in creating partnerships and outreach opportunities with youth organizations serving Black girls.”
  • “Powell followed Althea Gibson as the second Black player to compete in the LPGA. Powell is currently the head professional at Clearview Golf Club in East Canton, Ohio, the course her father built with a “Golf for Everyone” vision.”
  • “I think this grant program might help to bring young girls, African American girls and other minorities into the game of golf and to show them that there are people who played before them and that it’s a great sport,” Powell said. “We need to really do a little more to change the culture of what golf is all about, in particular growing our Girls Golf programs and being very inclusive.”
  • “Initial grants totaling $25,000 will be awarded to five LPGA*USGA Girls Golf programs in Ohio, Powell’s home state and the site of the LPGA restart amid the coronavirus pandemic, with this week’s Drive On Championship to be followed by next week’s Marathon Classic in the Toledo area.”
4. Homa isn’t leaving Twitter after all
Golf Digest’s Ryan Herrington: “Max Homa Twitter fans, you have reason to rejoice: Your man’s Twitter sabbatical is over. On Monday afternoon, the 29-year-old let his voice be heard once again on the social-media platform.”
  • Homa tweeted…”Had a nice little detox from Twitter. Felt kinda like a juice cleanse but with fewer bowel movements. Still some, no doubt, but fewer. Anyways, it’s good to be back. Hating hours are closed indefinitely, myself included. This is gunna be a positive place in this pit of despair”
5. Blunt assessment from Pete Cowen
Derek Lawrenson for the Daily Mail…“You can always rely on Brooks Koepka’s short-game coach Pete Cowen for a straight-shooting verdict.”
  • “Asked about the struggling American’s prospects of successfully defending the season’s first major in San Francisco next week, or his WGC title defence starting in Memphis on Thursday, the blunt Yorkshireman replied: ‘If I was a racehorse trainer, I’d say he had absolutely no chance!'”
  • “After he had stopped laughing, Cowen added, in a more serious vein: ‘We all know Brooks is the man for raising his game at the big events – and this is going to be his biggest test yet, because he knows he’s not swinging the club well and he’s not happy with his game. But we all know golf, so let’s see if we can help put him back together again.”
6. More of the dumbest things in golf
Good work by E. Michael Johnson at Golf Digest to round these up…
  • “Having to play a ball from a divot in the fairway…You’ve ripped the tee shot down the middle and your playing companions admire it with comments along the lines of, “That’s only good if you like perfect!” Except it’s not. Some dumbass before you took a divot the size of Montana and failed to replace it or fill it in with divot mix, leaving you muttering WTF and cursing your bad luck. The USGA has done a solid job in trying to make the rules fairer and easier to understand but failing to include a divot as “ground under repair” is a failing in need of fixing. Like yesterday.”
  • “14-way dividers in golf bags…I know I’ll get roasted for this one and I simply don’t care. As I said once before, bag companies tout these abominations of humanity by stating how much wear and tear they’ll save your clubs. We’re sorry, but we don’t need to coddle implements that we strike into the ground and into a hard ball at close to 100 miles per hour with regularity. Plus, how can you slam your club back into your bag after a poor shot when you have to have pinpoint accuracy to do so. Give me an old-fashioned five-way divider any day.”
  • “Cozying up to the beverage cart girl…Yes, you’re absolutely right. That lovely 20-something young lady is absolutely in love with your 40-, 50-, 60-something pot-bellied self. Yeesh. It is perfectly fine to be polite and engage in conversation, but stop the overt flirting tactics and realize that $10 tip you dropped in order to impress her is as useful as setting money on fire. Stop being creepy, order a drink, chat for a moment and drop her a couple of bucks for the effort. Proper, as the Brits might say.”
7. Chris Como’s living room
Excellent stuff from Sean Martin at writing about a place central to Bryson DeChambeau’s transformation during the pandemic: his instructor’s living room…
  • A morsel from a great piece well worth reading in full…”This wasn’t a decision about acoustics or interior design. Como, one of the game’s most innovative instructors, wanted to build something unprecedented. He created a unique space that’s served as a catalyst for the transformation that has captivated the golf world.”
  • “While sales of at-home training aids skyrocketed during the pandemic, Como took it to another level. He loaded his new home in the Dallas area with thousands of dollars’ worth of gadgets that would make any golf academy green with envy. There’s also a squat rack, free weights, a basketball net and hockey goal in the living room.”
  • “It’s like a golf bachelor pad,” said University of Texas junior Pierceson Coody, the world’s 16th-ranked amateur and a longtime student of Como’s.
  • “It’s not all for fun and games, though. The room has an austere aesthetic, with bare, brown walls and windows covered in protective foam. That’s because Como’s Living Room Lab, as it’s been termed, is the site of serious study. It’s golf’s version of DriveLine, the high-tech baseball training facility that started in a Seattle warehouse and has transformed the game at the highest level.”


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