Have any Xtreme sports been invented in our own sunny San Diego? If not, a friend of mine has a suggestion for Xtreme Golf with 1000-yard holes. What do you think?
-- Phil Mickelson fan in Clairemont
While the elves figure out where you'd find enough land to build an 18,000-yard course, I'll give you the bad news. Way late on this Xtreme Golf thing, Philfan. Sorry. Xtreme Golf, aka Speed Golf, aka cross-country golf, is already a sport, already has several web sites, course records, championships, the whole organized-sports thing. It might even have been televised, though I'm not sure about that. Anyway, runner/miler/duffer Steve Scott invented it in the 70s, when he decided to break the Guinness book's record for the fastest round of golf ever played-- about half an hour, at that point. He hit the links in Anaheim and managed to time out at 29 minutes and change. Other runners/duffers caught the speed golf bug and have been panting and putting ever since.
You wear running shoes, carry four or five basic clubs, arrange to tee off before the first of the ordinary slow golfers arrive (about 5:30a.m.), and everybody pretty much plays at once. Form and fairway niceties don't count.
We contacted Bob Babbitt, "publisher and funky dude," of Competitor Publishing in Solana Beach, who regularly runs the Lomas Santa Fe Executive Course (18 holes in 30 minutes) with like-minded pals. He claims you worry so little about technique, you actually play better golf. "You simply run up and swat the ball," he says. (Polo without the horses?) Skill is irrelevant. "I call it the Dr. Kevorkian Method of Golf: If you're going to be lousy, why suffer? Get it over quick!" Can't argue with that reasoning, but it must be murder on the drink girls. And before you take off the spikes and put on your Adidas, consider that Bob is a member of the Ironman (triathlon) Hall of Fame. Hmmmm�hey, Grandma, fire up that cart!