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April 2017
Fitness and sport
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Street Golf, also known as Urban Golf, was invented in Hamburg, Germany, thanks to an idea from Nikola Krasermann and Torsten Schiing, who founded the Natural Born golfers group in 1992 which unites golf golf lovers from clubs or exclusive circles who prefer to play the sport more freely without any constraints or any rules to respect, not even clothing guidelines.
The place where street golf is practised is quite different from a golfing green; it includes parks, streets, roofs, car parks and even barges that run along canals (in Ummannaq in Greenland they even play on ice!). Tournaments and shows in particular take place in big arenas, such as old factories and some port areas.
This is a much less snobby and much more underground type of golf and it involves a larger number of people from a wider range of background and they all play by the motto ‘We’ll keep your world’ which means that golf, which was only open to club members for centuries, has arrived in cities and has won over the public. The expression ‘Not for ordinary players’, another street golf motto, means that players do not necessarily have to be well-off financially; they can be anyone.

A street golf competition starts with the usual teeing off from a portion of synthetic grass and ends with a putt on another piece of synthetic grass which as a hole on one end. When players register, they get split into teams and score cards are given to the teams, which are then given back to the organisers at the end of the match to calculate who won and to check all balls and clubs have been returned.

The games in a street golf tournament are the classic games: Stroke Play; Match Play, Four Ball; Greensome or Louisiana.

Not many clubs are required to play street golf (the best ones are the 7 irons, picks, sand or putting clubs) and no particular clothing is required. The original ball is replaced by a softer ball however, which is usually spongy on the inside and covered in holey rubber on the outside so it is lighter and cannot cause any serious damage to people or things, and it is easy to hit with the golf club. The hole, The hole, which usually goes into the ground and is encircled by the aforementioned green carpet used when the players are ready to putt the ball into the hole, is adapted according to the place where street golf is being played, for example:
• the synthetic grass carpet can have a hole with little tabs on it (for bumpy surfaces);
• the synthetic grass carpet can go up at the end so there is an actual hole that the ball can fall into (for smooth surfaces);
• the metal Street Golf™ hole can be used, which is suitable for all types of games and environments, even beaches.

Following are some of the important rules and behaviour protocols for street golf which were created to give players as much freedom as possible:
• All players must respect the people and areas in the place where the game is being carried out. If something is damaged and/or broken, the player must take responsibility.
• Players can use any equipment and can ask to borrow equipment from other players. The balls must be made from rubber and be the same size as normal golf balls. Players can wear whatever clothes they are comfortable in.
• The aim of the game is to hit the ball into the hole in as few shots as possible.
• Some of the game formulas include: Metal, which is played with clubs and without the use of synthetic grass carpets or anything else that could improve the impact with the ball or make it softer. All hits counts until the ball is hit into the targets or holes, which are designated by the organiser; Tablesoft, in which players can lift the ball wherever it is, expect for in water obstacles, and place it on the synthetic grass carpet which is provided by the game organisers. This makes contact with the ground softer. Furthermore, after the 10th hit (or another amount decided by the organiser) at the hole, the ball is picked up and an X is marked on the score card.
• Lost balls: if a player loses a ball, he/she has 5 minutes to find it. If it is not found, 3 extra hits are marked down for the player.


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