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What is urban golf?
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Photos by Michael Yee-Chong
Golf has gone urban in Europe, Asia and the US
You may have seen pictures of Tiger Woods hitting balls from the top of a skyscraper.

But what about using a street for a fairway?

Here the Sport Academy gives you the lowdown on urban golf.

What is urban golf?

Urban golf is just like golf but in a city environment.

Urban golfers swap the local course for a building site, a car park or even the street.

How is it different to normal golf?

The only rule in urban golf is safety first but the lack of grass means there are some differences.

Photos by Michael Yee-Chong
Players hit the ball from a mat each time

It's pretty hard to hit the ball from the pavement so players are allowed to place their ball on a mat each time to take their shot.

The hole is substituted for a target such as a bin. So if you hit it, you've holed the ball.

There are plans to use water hydrant holes because everyone knows how satisfying it is to hole a putt.

Of course lampposts are trees, buildings are wooded areas and drains are bunkers, but you knew that already!

It sounds dangerous?

With a normal golf ball it would be. But urban golfers use a leather ball stuffed with goose feathers which means nothing gets damaged.

A leather ball can go more than half the distance of a normal ball and they carry when they hit the ground.

It also helps because the ball will sit in the middle of the road rather than running into the gutter.

The best thing is that because the ball is forgiving, there's less chance of hooking or slicing it.

How did it all start?

Photos by Michael Yee-Chong
Urban golf hits London's streets

Crossgolf has been around since 1992. It was the idea of German beginner Torsten Schilling who began practising near to some office blocks.

From there he created Natural Born Golfers who now have players in the United States, Europe and Asia.

In the UK, urban golf teed-off when London-based golfer Jeremy Feakes got sick of snobbery at his local golf course so he decided to take to the streets.

He plays in London on a Sunday morning and he has already organised an urban golf tournament in 2004.

What's the appeal?

Finding an area of London that's quiet on a Sunday morning brings a new meaning to a quiet round of golf.

But the main reason urban golfers across the world are avoiding the course is that they can play wherever and however they like.

There's no fees, dress codes or committees.

The only rule is: Safety first.

:: Radio 1 Urban News

:: Natural Born Golfers
:: Shoreditch Urban Open

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