SpeedGolf World Championship Returns To The Glen Club

speedgolf-glenclubBoomerangs come back to their throwers; carrier pigeons come back to their home coops; and the world’s fastest golfers will come back to The Glen Club for the 2016 Speedgolf World Championship. This year’s Speedgolf World Championship will be the 5th edition of this tournament, and it will be a return engagement to The Glen Club as its host site.

KemperSports is the premier sponsor of Speedgolf International, and KemperSports has hosted all four previous Speedgolf World Championships — the first 3 years at its Bandon Dunes Golf Resort and the 2015 event at The Glen Club. The dates for the 2016 championship are Monday and Tuesday, October 17 & 18.

“Hit, run, repeat” is both the motto and the strategy of Speedgolf. The score for Speedgolf contestants is the number of strokes taken over the 18 holes of play added to the time in minutes to complete the round. The USGA Rules of golf apply to Speedgolf but with two exceptions: a) speedgolfers are allowed to putt with the flagstick left in the hole, and b) in the case of a lost ball or one that is hit out of bounds, players are permitted to play it like a lateral hazard because it was thought to be too severe of a penalty to have to incur the additional time to run back to where the original shot was played.

Unless otherwise rescinded by the tournament rules committee, speedgolfers are expected to rake bunkers and fix ball marks. Aside from the traditional 14-club maximum, there is no rule regarding the number of clubs a player is allowed to bring. As can be well imaged, to lighten their load, speedgolfers typically carry only 4–7 clubs; to increase speed, speedgolfers wear running shoes in place of golf shoes.

The Speedgolf World Championship is truly an international event. The 2015 championship in Glenview, IL, featured golfers from Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, and Sweden. Rob Hogan, of Ireland, was crowned the 2015 two-day elite world champion and collected the first place prize money.

Rob Hogan

Rob Hogan

Hogan was one of nine speedgolfers to shoot a golf score in the 70’s; and was also one of five speedgolfers to complete an 18-hole round in a time of 45 minutes or less. Hogan played his Monday opening round in 42 minutes and scored 83, then completely blistered the course on Tuesday in 39 minutes and scored 79! His total Speedgolf score of 125 plus 118 gave him a six point victory over second place Scott Dawley of Texas.

Elite American speedgolfers come from a variety of states, but Oregon and California produce the most. Last year Illinois resident, Harley Tom, finished in the top-25 of the elite division. Wisconsin placed two entrants in the 2015 elite top-25 — Jamie Young and Dan McGinn. The 2016 elite/professional total prize purse is $40,000 with $10,000 awarded to first place.

Amateur speedgolfers will compete on Monday, October 17 in four separate 18-hole non-elite divisions: Men (Age 39 & under); men (age 40-49); men (age 50+); and, Women. Oregon and California dominate the amateur speedgolf divisions, but Illinois residents, Mike McHale (3rd place-Men 39 & Under) and Ed Madden (2nd place-Men 40-49) proudly finished the 2015 competition with strong scores.

October temperatures are well suited for the rigors of two days of competitive speedgolf. Hurry over to The Glen Club to watch a world championship event; there is no admission charge for spectators to attend and parking is free.

2016 Speedgolf World Championship

October 17, 18
The Glen Club
2901 West Lake Avenue
Glenview IL 60026


Greg Miles

Greg Miles has been a writer following golf in Chicago since 1990. For the past 30 years he has been a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and currently is classified as a GWAA "Life Member". He played his first round of golf on his 11th birthday, and since then has played more than 7,300 rounds of golf in his lifetime at 517 different courses. He has interviewed more than 280 golfers across all the professional tours along with famous celebrity golfers. Additionally, he is a member of several other competitive and honorary golf associations, as well as the Golf Nut Society.

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