Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Golf A New Way With New Zealand GolfCross Game

We like to think that the Scots invented golf and the Americans moved it forward by forming the PGA and making it a big money sport. But what about the New Zealanders? What do they have to do with golf?

The land of grazing sheep and beautiful scenery is the site of the newest and perhaps will become the fastest growing golf game on the planet. New Zealand game inventor Burton Silver came up with GolfCross® in 1989. What makes this game interesting to the typical hacker is that the game is played on a regulation course, with all of the clubs in your bag (except the putter).

What makes the game unique is the oval ball. It looks like a football with dimples. Even high-handicappers can shape their shots because based on how the oval ball is positioned on the tee, the golfer can control the direction of the ball and make miracle shots around trees just like Tiger. Even better is that you can throw out you balky putter because when you get to the green, you hit the ball through a goal instead of into a tiny cup.

I like this game. It has so much potential. Think Frisbee Golf with you own clubs on a regulation-sized golf course and you start to get the idea of the game. For those of us that can't play more than once a week and never practice, this game can make us look like we're shooting in the 70s. Because of the patented oval ball, you always hit the ball straight, can generate controlled slices or hooks, and generate backspin or top spin just by how you place the ball on the tee.

On the company website, there are twelve contacts around the world that are a part of the GolfCross network, but GolfCross courses are only available in New Zealand right now. I'm guessing as this becomes more popular, we'll see a lot more courses considering this as an additional way to play the game. Six balls cost USD $44 and come with a free golf tee. That and a GolfCross goal is all you need to play the game. The balls will last a long time too because it is a lot harder to lose them than the traditional oval golf ball.

With such low growth in golf participation and the difficulty of the gof, we need innovators like Burton Silver to find new ways to get players to try out the game.

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