SpeedGolf: A hole in run!

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It's hard enough shooting a round of 82 in under four hours. But speed golfer Steve Jeffs did it in less than 50 minutes at the British Open Speedgolf Championships in August.

There were no buggies or caddies allowed; rather an all-out race on foot to shoot the best score in the quickest time possible.

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The two totals were then combined to form a speedgolf score. It may sound a little ludicrous and exhausting, especially when you don't have time to scoff down a bacon sarnie at the halfway house.

But running a full 18 holes with a golf bag in tow does have its merits. For starters, Jeffs has lost a stone-and-a-half since taking up the sport two years ago and has seen his handicap come down from 10 to eight, here is what he told TG about the phenomenon.

I'm a full-time PE teacher so I wake up at 5:15am three times a week to run and play speedgolf before work. At the weekends, I will play in a competition at my local club or run 18 holes, I've also converted my garage into a gym and practice area.

I've got a hitting net in there and a short-cut carpet to practise my putting. This may sound a bit extreme too, but my dad has also drilled a golf hole in my garage floor.

The best speedgolf round I have ever shot is a 77 at my home club – Padbrook Park – in Cullompton, Devon.

My quickest time is 49 minutes and 52 seconds. I did that at the British Championships last month at Dale Hill, where I finished fourth. Rob Hogan, who is the World and British champion, will run 18 holes in about 36 minutes so I've still got some way to go yet.

I feel like I have found the secret to improving my golf game. When you're running, you don't have time to get distracted or to dwell on a bad shot. It's a lot easier to remain focused, plus you never have to worry about slow play either.

You do feel quite childish playing it. You've only got seven clubs and you have to be quite creative. I think it could really appeal to juniors and completely transform the sport. Kids want to stay active and my wife says I play speedgolf because I'm impatient.

It doesn't matter if you powerwalk, jog, run or even use a buggy. Anyone can play speedgolf, and it fits in perfectly with a busy lifestyle.

If I play 18 holes in under an hour, I feel satisfied that I have got my golf fix and worked on my fitness too. It's just a great way to stay fit and healthy.

Find out more by visiting the British Speedgolf website.