Wilderness Golf

My first introduction to wilderness golf was when my buddy Jono, living in Whistler, BC (shoutout to Jono at Squampton Snowskates) took me into the woods to play Wiffle Golf.  This was a brand new concept and a brand new experience for me and it changed my whole mindset around how golf could be played.  As we played through the woods, I was in awe of what I was seeing.  Scrap turf on an old wood pallet for a tee box, wiffle balls stuffed with plastic bags for golf balls, large rocks to border a roughly 6-8’ diameter “green”, and a Maxwell House coffee tin that made the hole.  A stick jammed into the hole with a little white flag marked your target. 

It changed my life because it was a defining moment in realizing that golf doesn’t have to be expensive or built on a great expanse to be enjoyed.  Here we were playing golf for free in one of the most beautiful “golf course settings” I had ever seen.  Everyone could enjoy the game equally!

Recently I took my friend Dennis down to a creek where I used to play with friends as a kid when I first moved to BC.  I had never thought to play golf in that forested creek when I was young but I thought it might be the perfect setting to try the game I learned about in Whistler with Jono.  Dennis and I jammed a few PVC poles into the ground for targets, a few wiffle and foam golf balls, and we brought along a small portable hitting mat in case we drew a lye that warranted protecting the forest from unnecessary damage.  Game on!


Improved Lie, protected creek. Win-Win!!


Dennis tee’s off from the 1st hole

Creativity was paramount in the woods that day.  Draw, fade, high, low, around, through – you needed to hit every shot imaginable.  Pars were hard to make that day but it was a nice way to spend a couple of hours.


Carry the log!!!

Maybe it’s time to learn from the Frisbee Golfers.  Free is good.  Casual is good.  Putting a course wherever is also good.  The next time you have a friend that says they don’t think they would like golf, or the cost is too prohibitive, swing by a garage sale and buy a 9 iron, grab some whiffle balls and find some trees.  Good times will be had by all!

A little side note: I termed this Blog Wildreness Golf instead of Wiffle Golf for two reasons; One, I found that foam balls were just as fun, if not more, than wiffle balls to play through the woods with, and two, Mike Keiser used the term Wilderness Golf when he used to play through the woods, across from his house, in what would one day become his first major golf course creation, The Dunes Club in New Buffalo, Michigan. Mr. Keiser famously went on to create what is arguable the greatest golf complex in the World, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.

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