Category: Golf

The History of Cross Golf and how to grow it in the US

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Urban golf is a game (or cross golf as it is better known in the USA), comes from the original game of golf, where players or teams hit a ball into a hole or at a specified target using different kinds of clubs.

Urban golf/cross golf is currently becoming popular across the world in many varying formats. No one really knows where or how it came about but is believed to be started in Scotland in 1741 outside The White Hart Inn in the Grassmarket area of Edinburgh by a man named Duncan Thomas.

Some people might call this sport a destructive past time but here at cross golf we just call it a “hole” lot of fun! (Ok…that was bad I know!) There are now many organizations across the world participating in cross golf.

(From Wickipedia) “Shoreditch Golf Club formed the first 18 hole, par 72 open tournament in London in 2004. Since 2004 Le 19ème Trou (The 19th Hole) From France organizes many events and was the first team to organize a national championship (The French City Pro tour). NW Urban Sports out of Portland Oregon helped start World Urban Golf Day in 2007 in association with Urban Golf Australia and urbangolf.org currently in Portland, Oregon, USA. Previously out of Oakland, California, USA the Urban Golf Associations Bi-Annual Charles Bukowski North Beach Invitational in San Francisco predate this by a few years with a smaller format.
Other urban golf associations are springing up from New Zealand to Russia to Argentina, and are listed below. Unlike these organizations, which use public city areas, Cross Golf, a variation on Urban Golf, exists in the form of Natural Born Golfers from Germany and Urban Golf Unit from The Netherlands.”

The real difference between Cross Golf and Urban Golf is that Cross Golf uses unused city areas like building sites, rooftops, canals, hotel lobbies, school campus sites, and industrial areas as courses.

So for us in the great country of the U S of A, we typically play cross golf on grass, anywhere in rural and suburban areas. Where we DON’T play is on golf courses! Cross golf courses are usually built around college campus and playing fields, parks, backyards, hay fields, and campgrounds. In general, any piece of private property can be used as a cross golf game (hopefully the owner is agreeable to the construction of a temporary course but I have to say I have participated in a few rounds where they didn’t know!).

If you live in the U.S. or are planning on taking a visit and want to check out some hot Cross Golf sites your best bet is Cooper’s Lake in Slippery Rock, PA and “The Links” at Thistledown in Campbelltown, PA. These 2 are the main venues for cross golf in the US. Both sites have been hosting competitive tournaments for a few years now as cross golf is gaining popularity in the US. The Links at Thistledown established a summer league just last year. Cooper’s Lake hosts two tournaments every year and they are called “The Cooper’s Lake Open” and “The Cooper’s Lake Championship.” They are considered to be the unofficial major championships of urban golf and cross golf. Mainly because they attract high-profile players, trophies and prize money. The courses are always extremely challenging layouts and they really test your game.

My hope with this website is that we can continue to grow the great sport of cross golf and I think a lot of that is going to be through the internet. Most cross golfers have access to the internet and use it frequently to promote their sport. You’ll find lots of videos on youtube For those who are unsure how to promote their websites or youtube channels I highly recommend hiring a pro to get your started. There are lots of internet geniuses out there. I personally know and use www.derekabello.com