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Neighborhood Golf Tournament
By FatGuyGolf on 11/10/10
We asked for readers to send in blog posts- and FatGuyGolf didn't disappoint. His work has been featured one other time on oob- which you can check out here. You can also check out his personal golf blog FatGuyGolf.net

Fat Guy was recently invited to my buddy's Bob's McMansion for what he called a "neighborhood golf tournament". As he outlined the particulars to me on the phone beforehand, and it almost sounded too fun to be true: Golf holes had been designated throughout the yards and surrounding fields of their upscale neighborhood, fairways and greens mowed into grown-out lawns, each house hosts a tee box/hole, and each house/hole has a designated drink served by the hole host. Not a new idea I'm sure, but this was my first time actually playing in one.

I know exactly what you're thinking right now: broken windows and insurance claims. But here's the key: AlmostGolf soft practice balls by short-game guru Dave Pelz. My buddy's group tested several balls and found the AlmostGolf balls to be the best combo of lightweight softness to avoid house damage and vaguely realistic distance (they fly about 1/3-1/2 the distance of a normal ball- I could hit a 7-iron about 75 yards max if I shut it down and hammered it with a draw- normally my 150 club). They also produce realistic spin, so your normal shot shapes will be there (if slightly exagerated), although the wind does play a little havoc with their light weight in flight.

So don your amateur golf-course-architect-wanna-be hat, hit some experimental shots with the practice balls, and put some thought into a logical routing. Keep every 2nd or 3rd tee box next to hole-host homes for ease of serving drinks, while ensuring some semblance of a hole-to-hole flow. Be sure to keep hole lengths to manageable distances, designate all streets and driveways as water hazards, keep the 'rough' down to a reasonable height to avoid losing too many balls, limit everyone to 3 clubs, post your pins, then paint a 3-foot circle around each pin... inside the circle means you've holed out. Create short par-4's with layups around doglegs (with corners created by landscaping, pools, gardens, swing sets, sheds, or even the corners of houses--these balls won't hurt a fly).

Granted, you'll need a neighborhood with some room. Newer developments tend to work better because they have yet to be overgrown with trees and fencing. My buddy's 5-year-old hillside McMansion 'hood was perfect. These guys took it pretty seriously before tee-off... a full 18 fairways and greens were cut into grown-out lawns by a fleet of neighborhood tractors mowing in formation according to the master routing which they'd first outlined on Google maps then walked out as a committee... they even had scorecards printed up and a big trophy. Dads took their kids out for a fun 18 in the morning before the big boys came out for afternoon tee times. Once the drinks started flowing and golf balls started flying around the neighborhood, the fun prevailed pretty quickly. Afterwards, the house with the coolest man cave hosted the 19th hole and awards ceremony.

Total cost for this deal? Figure about $3 bucks a player for the balls, a few bucks in gas for your tractor, probably $50 at Home Depot to put 18 make-shift golf pins and flags together, $4 for a can of spray paint, and $50 for a decent trophy, plus the cost of whatever beer your crowd can drink and a few hotdogs at the turn. Divide all that over a neighborhood of say, 20 players, and figure you could probably pull it off for around $20 per man, food & booze included. Note that much of that $20/man is first-year up front costs for the trophy and pin set-ups... second year fees should be less than half of that, assuming your champion doesn't smash the trophy in a drunken stupor, and somebody can still find the pins in their shed next year.

This is a riot if you can pull it off, and would easily be worth inviting a few out-of-town buddies for a "golf weekend" if they're within reasonable travel distance."

This was written by FatGuyGolf, a reader/follower/fellow oober and the opinions are 100% his and do not reflect those of oobgolf in anyway. Enjoy! I'm sure he's ready for your feedback.

[ comments ]
homermania says:
Great idea!
Kurt the Knife says:
I spend a few hours a week bouncing these AlmostBalls off the back of my house.
They're pretty cool. I even hit a hybrid into the bathroom window without breaking it.
PurpleZot says:
That sound like great fun! I use those balls constantly working on my short game, usually by putting up a few posts around the yard and aiming my shots at them. Now I just have to find enough neighbors to commit.
KVSmith59 says:
next year post photos!
jev says:
We have something very similar every year, it's great fun! The event has grown to a three-day, sponsored event from which all profits are going to charity.
OffCoursegolfer says:
FAT GUY GOLF...YOU RULE!!! We actually now have a whole network of off-course events around the world. Check it out. www.offcoursegolfnetwork.com Way to go almostgolf. They are the cornerstone of a new sport in our eyes.
rmumph1 says:
I use this around the house for practice. need to get my neighbors involved.
[ post comment ]
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