One of my bizarrest trips ever into town centred around the game of street golf. Although I nearly daylogged it, and nearly nodeshell-rescued extreme golf, it is here, at last. Descriptions of both the game and the players we met. Both a little bit odd.
As we passed the cathedral on our way into town, Claude and I saw a rather oddly dressed man. It is not a required dress code. But it is quite eyecatching. He was, in fact, dressed thus:
- Shoes: blue suede, one without laces.
- Socks: odd, of course. One tartan, one diamond-patterned.
- Shorts: green, quite possibly corduroy.
- Shirt: yellow, knitted, long sleeved.
- Waistcoat: brown.
- Scarf: grey tartan.
- Hat: black felt.
Upon his back was a harlequin-pattern rucksack, of what appeared to be silk, and in his hands was an upside down walking stick. It was not until he took a swing with it that we realised what this man was doing. And his companion, rather more sensibly, though no less interestingly dressed, in a dress of ever-so-slightly moth-eaten purple and green silk and boots best described as 'Nanny Ogg' boots, watched.
We, being daring, and having little of a pressing nature to do that afternoon, went over, and, having made greetings in a rather customary manner, joined in.
The Rules of Street Golf
Well, actually, they're the same as the rules of golf, but with some additions:
- Anything that happens to affect your ball is just down to luck and must be accepted. So, if it gets flattened by a lorry (as happened to Claude), tough. If it is kicked forward by a passing yob, lucky you.
- The ball can be played whilst still moving, but: (A) it counts as two strokes to do so, and (B) only in really mitigating circumstances.
- If you can at all avoid it, don't go damaging property. Strokes will be docked, and repairs charged if you do (but only if you are caught).
- If you can draw a crowd, you can actually use them: arrange them in a semi-circle around the pin, and bounce it off them to great effect.
You can play the ball with any part of the stick, and you don't have to take a proper swing: you can play a hockey shot if you really want to. Likewise, if you want to cradle the ball in the hook of the stick and flick it upwards to volley on, you can.
The tee is whereever you want it to be. The best holes are medium-length narrow streets with a few parked cars (sorry, bunkers) along the sides, but with relatively little traffic passing along it. The pin can, likewise, be whatever you want, but make it a reasonable size target. We used a big red letterbox.