Traditional golf is a game that is loved by many but played by only about eight percent of the U.S. population. There are several reasons why the number of core American golfers (those playing eight rounds or more per year) has fallen between three and 4.5 percent every year since 2006. Mastering the skills required and equipment costs are two of them.
Enter Fling Golf! The concept is simple. You play on any golf course, but instead of hitting a golf ball with a club, you use a single fling stick thrower to hurl the ball to position each shot from tee to hole. You can play in the same foursome as traditional golfers.
Fling Golf has a couple of attractive features that make it easier to get involved.
For starters, only one club is required. Because there is only one club, weighing less than a pound, there is no real need for a golf bag.
The fling stick resembles a golf club, but it has a pocket to hold a regular size golf ball. To begin simply take a few steps back from the tee and fling the ball out of its pocket making sure the launch is at the tee box. The New Swarm Fling Golf web site offers instructions on what to do while on the fairway and when putting on the green.
A beginner fling stick costs about $32 on Amazon. Higher priced sticks are available as proficiency increases. Rentals are less expensive than a regular set of clubs. The American Classis Golf Course (ACGC), a public course in Rehoboth, rents a fling stick for $3 and the greens fee to play nine holes of Fling Golf is $12. That’s $15 total. The cost is $12 for those who have their own stick.
Austin Ebersole is the golf operations manager for ACGC. This nine-hole gem of a course is perfect for Fling Golf beginners. They started offering the sport in 2019. The New Swarm Fling Golf web site includes a user-friendly digital map that shows the status of local courses in Delaware, and other states.
American Classic sponsors Fling Golf events, too. Fling Golf Fridays is offered each week at 6 pm. “Attendance averages anywhere from 10-30 players depending on the weather and weekend.”, according to Ebersole. “Of those players, nearly 40-50% are seniors.” Typically, the rest are their kids and grandchildren. Ebersole maintains that Fling Golf is an easy sport to learn and typically only takes players 3-5 holes or 15-minutes’ worth of throwing to pick it up. “Both traditional golfers and those who don’t play golf seem to love this hybrid sport,” he says.
Ebersole is a Fling Golf enthusiast and has been playing for 4 years. He currently is the 4th ranked Fling Golfer in the world. He teachers both Fling Golf and regular golf at ACGC.
“It is just like golf in the sense that you play the same tees and pars but know that you only need one single stick to play. It’s a great way to get exercise, a fun way to play golf, and super easy to learn as it is extremely adaptive for all types of players”.
Fling Golf is not hard to learn but a lesson or two will help beginners master the sport more quickly.
Massachusetts inventor Alex Van dreamed up Fling Golf. His dream come alive after an appearance on Shark Tank.
Ebersole is available for personal lessons at $20 for a half hour. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call 302-703-6662 for lessons or to book a tee time.
By Mary Jo Tarallo, Guest Journalist
Mary Jo Tarallo spent much of her career in public relations with various non-profits and spent 40 years involved with the ski industry as a journalist, public relations director for a national trade association and as executive director of the Learn to Ski and Snowboard initiative. Prior to her ski industry involvement she worked for the Maryland International Center in Baltimore and United Way of Central Maryland. She won a Gold Award for TV programming for a United Way simulcast that starred Oprah Winfrey. She has been cited for her work by numerous organizations. Mary Jo grew up in Baltimore, attended the University of Maryland and Towson University, lived in Washington, DC for 21 years and has been a full time resident of Rehoboth Beach and Milton since May 2019.