Golf, But Not As We Know It!

On a trip to New Zealand I noticed with amusement that a few towns advertise cliff top driving ranges as tourist attractions. That is driving ranges where you hit the ball out to sea. At some of them there is a floating target and cash prizes. At others you just do it for fun.

But hey, in some towns in New Zealand there really isn’t that much to do. So you take your thrills where you can, right?

Well, it seems the Kiwi fascination with mucking about with golf does not end with encouraging you to drive into the ocean (which, come to think of it, must throw up some pollution problems). Because now GolfCross is here in Britain – and it really is mind bending.

GolfCross is golf crossed with rugby. The Kiwi’s are so attached to their national game that even a game of golf seemed too long to go without a fix of the oval ball. So now you can play golf with an oval ball.

I’ll admit that the first time I saw a rugby ball shaped golf ball I thought it was just a joke (I bought two so at least I found the joke funny) but in actual fact it is the required equipment for a real sport.

According to the website of the sport in the UK, GolfCross is:

“golf in everything but shape. It’s played over a course just like golf, using the same clubs and the same basic rules, only two things are different; the shape of the ball and the shape of the target. Like rugby, GolfCross is an aerial game with a target that’s raised above the turf. Golf’s round hole, set in the ground to receive the rolling ball, is replaced by a new shape, a rectangular goal suspended in mid-air to trap the flying ball.”

So essentially with your usual golf clubs you hit a rugby shaped ball into rugby posts that have a net in the back of them. The concept seems mind blowing to me – but there’s more:

“the ball is virtually impossible to slice or hook, players will have the advantage of hitting cleaner, straighter shots at a far higher percentage than trying to hit a round ball off the ground.”

Not only does this game toy with your basic concepts of shape but it also promises to make you a better player. With some success according to European Tour Pro, Greg Turner:

“GolfCross is the same game but with a less physical element and a much greater thinking element than golf itself. It employs most of the same skills, it just tweaks more than anything the degree of each of those skills. I can’t see why anybody who played golf at all, who could hit a ball at all, wouldn’t come out here and have a lot of fun.”

So there you have it. A new game for the new millennium and, with courses sprouting up across the UK, there is very little reason why you can’t give it a go. I plan to try it out on a course attached to a proper golf course. It’s there, I think, that GolfCross will find its niche: as a happy diversion between the stresses of the eighteenth hole and the excesses of the nineteenth!

3 Responses to “Golf, But Not As We Know It!”

  1. Trevor says:

    You know the Kiwis are mad about rugby, so while you’re there, why not try a game of Golfcross – golf with a rugby shaped ball – see

  2. Chris says:

    There is a floating flag and hole on a lake in Taupo ( North island– New Zealand ) cash prize for the hole in one. Now my game is so good , confidence is high, I fancy my chances this summer! Cheers…..

  3. Ted Exley says:

    Hi Andy

    I have been to New Zealand on several occasions and I have played ordinary golf on several ordinary golf courses. I have not seen any of these unusual types of golf, yet, but I am going again in early 2008 so I will keep a keen eye out .

    The only thing that stands out in my mind about NZ golf is the number of young Chinese, Japanese and Korean players practising away. No sign of the indigenous maori at all. So Michael Campbell does not appear to be inspiring the locals ! The current height of popularity is to be the owner of a big, fast car and to impress all the girls by the noise it makes both from the engine and the radio !!

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