Playing golf off a golf course is a pretty revolutionary. As a result it can be a bit of a controversial activity because for the last two – three generations, everyone on the planet has been taught, at a very early age, that golf balls will kill you. We’ve also learned that you cannot hit golf balls off the golf course or you are breaking the law. Also, you might find that when ever you raise a golf club around your park, school etc. the authorities come running in fear…because where there are golf clubs…there are dangerous golf balls… or at least there once were golf balls. Now times are changing.

Well, those laws were designed for a ball invented in the 70’s and has not been innovated or made more safe ever since. In fact, the golf ball has not changed since before I or most people reading this blog, were born. Well, the day of the dangerous golf ball are over. And what was once once illegal is now basically legal.


Over the last 6 years of playing every version of street golf, cross golf, urban golf and neighborhood golf I’ve bumped into my fair share of people saying, “oh my god…what are you doing hitting a golf ball around the park?!!!”. And what I’ve learned is that %90 of those people can be converted to urban-crossgolfers with a simple conversation.


Change happens in every business and in every sport. Rollerblades took hockey off the ice rink and into the world we all live in…especially areas where there is no ice. {LA winning the Stanley Cup? How crazy was that?} BMX and Mountain biking expanded cycling from 10 speeds and Skateboarding took surfing from the water and allowed people to ‘surf’ anywhere, even if they were hundreds of miles from water or waves.

THE ALMOSTGOLF BALL is doing the same for golf. The almostGolf ball allows us to leave the 14,000 golf courses and now play and practice in over 500,000 school playing fields, parks and neighborhoods. That is a transformational shift in how the game of golf is taught and played. It’s basically a revolutionary transition for golf.


The catch is that people need to adjust to change and your diplomacy will make all the difference.


First off, here is a list of basic rules pertaining to pedestrians, kids, yards and the world we live in.

  1. Look both ways before you cross the street
  2. Never hit at or near cars…especially if they are moving
  3. Generally, don’t hit out of the street. We usually consider them water hazards that require you to pick up your ball and place it on grass
  4. Don’t go around divoting up the neighborhood. Always astroshag to reduce neighborhood divot damage
  5. Always ask permission to hit through someone’s yard
  6. If you land in a neighbors yard and it’s considered ‘OB’ out of bounds, you can offer the homeowner the shot. Now that’s a creative hazard
  7. Adjust your course play if it means hitting towards kids, cars or pedestrians that happen onto your course


Here are diplomatic tips on how to defuse the misguided fear of an adult, pedestrian or school administrator, then some ways to educate them on how things are changing in golf.

  1. SHOW THEM THE BALL: First show them the ball and tell them it’s not a golf ball. Let them feel it. If you are really diplomatic you can bring a real golf ball and show them.
  2. SHOW THEM YOUR SHAG: Show them your shag, because not divoting up the campus/neighborhood is as important as not killing anyone with a ‘golf ball’.
  3. BE PATIENT AND ENROLLING: Explain to them how this ball changes everything and makes golf safe, easier to play, convenient and finally affordable for a kid like you.
  4. LEAD BY EXAMPLE: Let them hit the ball, if you want. You’ll be surprised at how many cops, park rangers and school administrators will want to try a poke at the almostGolf ball. Then you will be surprised at how many want to hit it again.
  5. EDUCATE THEM ON URBAN GOLF ETIQUETTE: Explain to them that you are hitting away from people and cars etc. Show them that you are out for the park to win and that you’re not into some idea of urbangolf distruction…because that is not what we are about. We are about getting permission to play everyone…and it’s not that hard. You just have to be cool and educate people who simply don’t know that times have changed.
  6. GET A TOURNAMENT THROUGH THE PARK TO HELP OUT: The real kicker is that if they smile, laugh or start telling you how they could use the ball, you can hit them up for putting on a tournament through their park or campus. After all, you never know who is going to say yes to a good idea. Simply put, you never know who is going to be a closet golfer. It’s happened to me a mountain of times.
  7. WORKING WITH YOUR NEIGHBORS: If you are one of the many guys/gals who want to play through your neighborhood and even create a course you can play regularly, I suggest going around to each neighbor with your club, shag, ball and a map of your course. Show them your plan and ask their permission. Tell them you will fix any window that could possibly get broken {Which there won’t be} and even ask them if they’d like to play. You will be shocked by their responses. Of course, if a neighbor says no, design your course around them.

IN CONCLUSION: Changing the golf industry and changing years of off course golf fear around the golf ball is going to take some time. From what I’ve experienced, neighbors will applaud you when you offer up a safe alternative to a golf ball and begin doing what they all wish they could have done when they were kids…play golf around the neighborhood. So if you are one of those rare ‘extreme’ golfers who just want to scare people and do someone illegal…pick sky diving or that new free flying they do in Switzerland. It will be more satisfying than simply going out to offend people. But for the rest of you all out there, go out and have fun, discover new holes and courses around the world you live in and use your neighborhood golf course to meet and get to know your neighbors. It’s all good and it’s all unextreme and that’s the way our sport will grow.

Please give us your mustard below on what you think are a few more rules, tips and tricks about urban crossgolf etiquette.

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  1. Deichheld says:

    Dear Rob,
    great post once again. You’re all so true. We know these conversations by heart and it’s true… almost all skeptical bystanders can be turned into supporters if not even into urban golfers. Even the Hannover Police was pleased by the AlmostGolf ball and let us play in the city centre on a Saturday night. Great event!
    Btw. no further process in our planning yet but I’ll let you know asap ;)

    Cross on,


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