It’s important to note that the strength of the almostGOLF ball is not distance like traditional golf balls, but accuracy, shot creativity, guts and most importantly, the ability to create a neighborhood course anywhere, anytime. All you need is a shag, (to reduce neighborhood divot damage) a ball and a club. As a result, you can create courses that transcend traditional course design to fit any environment you want. If you have any design tips you’d like to add, feel free to contact us.
1. RULE #1: The number one rule of an almostGOLF course design is that there are no rules! This is a brand new sport. You can make your course any way you want. You can design the course for any level from duffers, kids to gun slingers…or all three. What ever makes you and your players happy. Course creativity is critical to blowing your players away and having a complete blast.
2. LOCATIONS: You can play through schoolyards, around stadiums/sports facilities, parks, corporate parks or neighborhoods as well as redesigning your local par 3 golf course.
3. PERMISSION: You will be surprised how easy it can be to get permission for an almostGOLF tournament. Usually, you just need to ask. It’s important to show them the ball and an almostShag, because officials need to know that the ball is safe and you will not divot up the neighborhood. Then explain that this is no more dangerous than Frisbee golf or softball.
4. CLUBS: almostGOLF tournaments are usually one or two club tournaments. That means a 9 iron or two clubs under a 7 iron. (Wedge and 7 iron) This keeps the distances down and the courses tight and spectator friendly. Of course the beauty of creating your own course or competition is that you can choose any club or assortment of clubs to fit the environment you are playing through.
5. COURSE DISTANCES: General distances for par 3-4 and 5 holes go along the same distances as a 7 iron, (about 50-70 yards/45-65 meters) Note that par 4-5s do not have to be about distance. Your tee shot can be hitting to a tight fairway were you need to set yourself up for a hard dog leg left over trees, water or buildings to a tight green. As a result it may only be a wedge into the green, but still a very formidable shot. Remember, this ball is about accuracy and sticking the green, not necessarily distance.
6. HOLES: We follow our Frisbee Golf fore-fathers; we hit to sign posts, water fountains, mail boxes, jungle gyms etc.
Also note that this ball checks up on asphalt so you can make basketball courts your greens on one hole and a water hazard to hit over on another hole. (Leave a selection of putters at the court so people don’t have to carry around a putter) Create holes where you need to learn the slope and stimp of the asphalt. This is especially important when playing ‘parking garage pool.
On football fields you can have the track as a water hazard on one hole and the fairway on another.
7. GREENS: Most almostGOLF tournaments are very similar to Frisbee Golf. We don’t use a whole lot of greens. But if you want to get fancy, you can always roll out some synthetic greens or carpeting if you have connections. The most common almostGOLF green design is to create a five foot circle around the hole and a 20-25ft circle delineating the green. The basic rule is that when you land in the 5ft circle, you just add one stroke. But if you land in the hole from outside the circle, you get a bonus stroke.
8. TEE BOXES: You can create different tee locations for different skill levels. Good players don’t just get put further back. Instead, you can make the hot shots take three steps to the right or left so they have to hit from a semi blocked position, down slope or rough. As a result, they will have to hit a cut or fade to get it onto the green or fairway.
Remember, because this ball is neighborhood friendly, you can tee off from any location: Courtyards, balconies, out of jungle gym sand traps, on top of parking garages.
COURSE DESIGN TIPS: Welcome to a new art form
DESIGN TIPS #1: Since the AG ball is lighter than a traditional golf ball, it is influenced by the wind more. (But less than you would think) This is to your advantage. This is what makes this sport great! Design your course to take advantage of the prevailing wind patterns. Create tail wind holes as well as holes that work the side winds for dogleg holes from left to right. With a dogleg left, you want to have the wind coming from your right so that players can effectively use the wind to turn the corner and take full advantage of the course.
D - TIP #2: Design your start and finish to end at the same place.
D - TIP #3: Design your finishing holes for optimal scoring so that players who are behind have a chance to close the gap fast.
D – TIP#4: Since the ball is safe, you can actually create ‘stadium course’ designs that are actually spectator friendly. By designing holes that revolve around a central courtyard or area, you can have a BBQ with music etc. going on as the central hub, so that the non-golfers, parents, friends can hang out, watch and still be a part of the action. This makes on campus events that much more exciting.
D – TIP #5: The finale of and almostGOLF tournament is key to creating a memorable experience. We have found that just finishing up a round and putting up everyone’s scores is anticlimactic. And since we have a spectator friendly model, we came up with a five hole shootout between the top ten players. You pick the best five holes that are within visual shot of the ‘clubhouse’ and crowd/fans, then have the top 10 players shoot it out with the lowest scoring two-some rolling in last. Of course your final hole has to come straight to your fans. This makes for great spectator involvement.
D – TIPS#6: Remember that you can create tournaments with any format you want. This can mean straight up player to player, to best ball, to team competitions. What ever makes your players and spectators happy.