July 19, 2021 7 min read 4 Comments
I discovered FlingGolf in April of 2021 while on our honeymoon at Massanutten Resort in Virginia. They had the FlingSticks for rent and we played twice and enjoyed it. I didn’t know how much I’d enjoy being on a golf course. A few weeks later, my wife surprised me with a FlingStick as a father’s day gift, and now I’m a FlingGolfer. I absolutely love playing, and I’ve even started a YouTube channel dedicated to FlingGolf.
As I’m out at the courses practicing, sometimes people ask me questions about what I’m doing. “Is that a new type of club?”, or “What is that thing?” is what I’ll often hear.
Today in particular, a guy asked what it is, and I explained that you just put the ball in it and throw it like lacrosse. He said “You could hurt someone.” I said “Na, this goes straight in front of you all the time. I’m not good at golf. I shank ‘em all over the place”. He replied, “I bet if you put in as much time with golf as you do with that, you’d get pretty good.” Now, after he said that, there were a lot of things I wanted to say in response, but I didn’t. “Ah, it’s just a preference thing” is what I said. And the conversation was done.
But what a response like his, and other reactions I’ve seen about FlingGolf seem to imply is that FlingGolf is just some inferior form of golf that people who suck at golf choose to play because it’s the easy route. And that’s just not the case. There’s a number of reasons why us FlingGolf Players choose FlingGolf over traditional golf. So I’ll take the opportunity to address some of them here as well as to address some other comments I’ve seen people say about FlingGolf.
Now, as I was hearing him instruct his daughter (who looked to be about 12 to 14 years old) on her form, her mechanics, her stance and follow through as she was practicing chipping from about 10 yards out, I said to myself “That wouldn't’ be fun for me”. See, here’s the thing for me…
Basketball was the first and only sport I ever got really good at. And I taught myself by watching, imitating and doing. I discovered my own shooting form and I’d practice the moves I saw the pros doing. I never needed instruction on exactly how to shoot or dribble, and neither did the other kids I played with. We just kind of picked it up and got better at it the more we played. Now as you advance your game into higher levels, you could definitely get a coach to help you increase your skills like ball handling, shooting off the dribble and working on different shots in different situations. But just to start playing the game and get good enough to play for your high school varsity team and even college, instruction isn’t absolutely necessary.
And that’s pretty much the same way we all picked up FlingGolf. We watched a few videos on how to fling, and that’s it. And for lacrosse players, they already know how to fling because it's pretty much the same motion for certain shots.
And the reason we don’t need instruction just to get the ball in the air consistently is because we don’t need to worry about all the super technical aspects of stance, ball position, backswing, arch, swing path, club face direction, or the multiple other factors that go into club selection, grip or stance like the lie of the ball, if it’s in rough or sand, how much of the ball is above the hitting surface, if it’s sitting on a downslope or upslope, none of that.
I personally don’t care for the super technical aspects that go into hitting a golf ball so that it goes fairly straight. I don’t have the patience for it, it’s too much calculation for me, and at my current age and skill level, the few times I can actually make a good connection with the ball wouldn’t be worth my time. I wouldn’t have much fun. And the amount of time and effort it would take to go from a beginner golfer with a 20 something handicap to an intermediate with a 6-14 handicap, I just don’t have the time or the desire to put in that work. Seriously. I mean, the amount of work I see people putting into golf looks as if everyone wants to go pro or something. But that’s not the case. All that effort, time and money spent on lessons is just to try and get good enough to maybe one day, possibly get to a single digit handicap, or maybe just to impress their golf buddies or be able to keep up with their foursome? I don’t know.
Now don’t get me wrong; I do have a high degree of respect for those who do choose to dedicate themselves to learning and getting better at golf. There’s a certain amount of determination, patience, resilience and loyalty to be said about those who remain avid about the sport for years. But for me, it’s just way too much effort for a hobby or pastime and I just don’t enjoy it all that much for the time and effort it takes to get good.
So saying that if I put as much effort into golf as I am into FlingGolf that I’d get pretty good, maybe, maybe not. I’ve heard that you can play golf for 20+ years and still never reach a single digit handicap. I’ve also heard of people getting to single digit handicap within 2 to 5 years by playing golf almost everyday, all day. That’s a lot of golf!
For me, I’ve probably played fling golf about 5 times within the 3 to 4 months since discovering it. I practice a lot, but I’ve only played about 5 rounds. Two of those rounds were only 9 hole rounds and I didn’t even keep score. The 3rd round I couldn't finish because it got dark. The 4th round I did finish at +12 and the 5th round was incomplete because a rain storm started on the 14th hole. But if I count the front 9, I finished at +5. So right now, I don’t even have enough scored rounds played to calculate an accurate handicap, so my best estimation of a handicap would be about a 12. With traditional golf, that handicap would probably be about 20+. And to get it down to a 12 would take quite a bit of time and effort. And I promise you this... playing a round of golf and finishing 20+ over par would be the OPPOSITE of fun for me.
But with FlingGolf, everything is fun. Practice is fun. The driving range is fun because instead of trying to dial in my swing mechanics to have a consistent drive (drives are already fairly consistent because it’s easy to fling a golf ball), I’m playing games with myself on the range and choosing different targets and distances to see if I can hit them. That’s a lot of fun.
And for me, the fun in the game of golf (traditional or fling) is a few things...
Seeing how close to par I can get. It’s the pure challenge to see if I can ‘own’ this course with pars and birdies, or is it going to ‘own’ me. That’s fun.
Seeing the ball fly high and far through the air and right towards the intended target almost every time. That’s fun.
Getting a 10 or 20 yard chip shot inside of 12 inches from the hole or even in the hole. That’s fun.
Beating your personal best and shooting the best round of your life. That’s fun.
Experiencing the beauty of the course and nature all around, the views and the well-manicured grass. That’s fun.
Hanging with friends or other golfers and chatting about various things while playing. That’s fun.
Now for me, whether those things are achieved with a golf club or a fling stick makes no difference to me. The fact still remains that those things are fun. I’d play with either a FlingStick or golf club. But for me, whatever tool is going to allow me to get to the fun stuff easier and quicker is the one I’m going to opt for. And that tool is a FlingStick. It doesn’t make it stupid easy to the point where it’s not fun anymore, it’s still a challenge. But it’s not as frustratingly difficult as traditional golf can be.
This is a game, a fun pastime. It shouldn’t feel like a job or a task.
Is it taking a shortcut to a lower handicap? Depends on how you look at it. It’s a slightly different game. The handicaps in FlingGolf are going to be lower than traditional golfers. Especially just starting out. And who knows, FlingGolf may come up with their own handicap system or simply have different standards as to what a professional level handicap is.
At the end of the day, like I told the guy at the course who asked about the FlingStick, it’s simply a preference. I “prefer” this over traditional golf because it’s more fun for me. Even if I could hit a golf ball really well at a professional level, the amount of focus and calculation required for each shot would likely still suck the fun out of it for me. I’d feel like I’m taking a freakin’ test every time I play. It’s nerve wracking. FlingGolf is just way more relaxed and chill, which fits my personality way more.
It’s not “blasphemy” as I saw someone comment. It’s the same game, just played a slightly different way with a slightly different tool.
Yes, golf is the one that’s major, but there are other alternative versions of just about every sport known to man, and FlingGolf is one of them.
It’s of no surprise and it’s to be expected that new things, ideas or concepts such as FlingGolf are at first met with opposition before they’re accepted. And that’s okay. I never was much of a conformist anyways. I take the path least traveled all the time. That’s just in my nature. So all things considered, FlingGolf is right up my alley.
I’m a FlingGolfer and I’m proud to be one. This game is real, it’s fun, it’s challenging and it’s awesome.Sonny Walton
January 22, 2022 1 min readRead More
November 23, 2021 2 min readRead More