Dunedin teacher and former New Zealand 1500m champion runner, Richard Olsen was victorious last weekend in the 2016 NZ Speedgolf Open. Olsen came in 3rd in 2015 inaugural event and shot an unfortunate 10 over par 80 in 49 min 49 seconds at this year’s qualifying round. However, after overcoming dehydration and broken gear, Olsen battled back with a crucial birdie on the par-4 16th hole. He ended up at 117.48 (record 117.03) in the final.
Coming in second with a score of 118 was world Speedgolf champ, Rob Hogan of Ireland, who travelled to NZ to compete. Local legend and last year’s open winner, Landyn Edwards came in a close third place hitting an impressive 73 in 51 minutes (124).
Thought to have originated in the 1970’s, Speegolf is a game that combines the precision of traditional golf with the aerobic requirements of long distance running. The golfer is limited to seven clubs, which the player must carry themselves – no carts or caddies are allowed. The score is calculated for a round 18 holes, adding the number of strokes to the number of minutes it took to complete the course. The current world record holder is Christopher Smith, with a score of 109.06 – completed with a score of 65 strokes in 44 minutes and 6 seconds.
Next year looks to be another tough competition and will take place again at the Rotorua Golf Course. Richard Olsen is already setting his sights on the 2017 round, stating an emphasis on fitness will be cornerstone of next year’s training regimen.
Keen to get in on the action? Check out our Speedgolf information here and come by during the specified times… perhaps we’ll see you out here for the 3rd annual event in 2017!