Sand Martins Golf Club, Berkshire, was the perfect backdrop for this year's British Speedgolf Pairs Championships.

The tournament marked the event's return after a hiatus since 2019.

Bathed in warm sunshine, the challenging PAR 70 course presented golfers with 4.6 miles of running distance, delivering a rigorous physical and golfing test for the 14 dynamic pairs vying for victory.

In the thrilling Foursome format, teamwork reigned supreme as each pair navigated the course with a single ball, alternating shots and tees amidst intense communication. Armed with up to seven clubs each, teams set off at five-minute intervals, conquering the course with the goal of achieving the lowest Speedgolf Score—a unique fusion of time and golf strokes.

Di Stewart in all-female pairing

Among the diverse field, the women's pairing of Di Stewart and Emma Johnstone showcased their impressive talents, diving headfirst into their inaugural Speedgolf championship.

With Karen Scott, their running scorer, in tow, their competition experience intensified with every stride. This high-octane championship is anything but a leisurely stroll, especially with the daunting uphill par 5 on the final hole that sapped any remaining energy ahead of their sprint finish.

Di and Emma finished in 63 minutes and 59 seconds, shooting 106, which gave them a Speedgolf Score of 169:59 — especially impressive given the demanding 6,017-yard course from a combination of White and Yellow tees. Both Di and Emma were elated at the finish, buzzing with the sense of accomplishment akin to completing a marathon.

Kathy and Ed: An inspiration

The mixed pair of Kathy Leppard and Ed Hoskins, competing under the team name ‘Hit, Laugh, Repeat!’ epitomised the fun element of this hybrid sport.

Kathy Leppard and Ed Hoskins, team ‘Hit, Laugh, Repeat!’

Speedgolf was a core part of Kathy’s motivation for recovery from a serious blood clot condition that had significantly impacted her life. Just a few years ago, she couldn’t walk, let alone run. This year, she plans to compete in five Speedgolf tournaments across Europe and Japan.

Ed, a golfer of 30 years, was inspired to try Speedgolf when he saw three women playing early one morning in Crowborough. With a busy, demanding job, Ed now plays more Speedgolf than traditional golf, incorporating Speedgolf’s mentality and breathing techniques into his normal rounds.

Inclusivity and camaraderie

From seasoned pros to enthusiastic amateurs, the British Speedgolf Pairs Championship epitomised inclusivity and camaraderie. Notably, the event saw the inspirational presence of amputee Scott Richardson, alongside his golf coach Daf Digby.

Speedgolf momentum is growing globally

Speedgolf is gaining popularity worldwide, with championships in the UK, the US, Australia, New Zealand, and several European countries. Japan will host the World Speedgolf Championships in November, attracting accomplished women golfers such as Emily Mollard, who competes in the French LETAS events.

Record breaking performances

In a display of sheer dominance, PGA Pro golfers Luke Bone and Luke Willett clinched victory with a staggering Speedgolf Score of 123:43. Their blistering pace set an unofficial world record for the fastest 18-hole Speedgolf round in the Foursome format, completing the course in just 37 minutes and 43 seconds.

British Speedgolf Pairs Championships 2024 winners Luke Bone and Luke Willett

Aptly named "Never Settle," their relentless pursuit of excellence propelled them to triumph. Luke Bone is riding high in 2024, witnessing one of his star pupils, amateur Lottie Woad, performing at a world-class level on the women’s stage.

His event team partner Luke Willett is no stranger to success, having set a 9-hole Guinness World Record ahead of the DP World Championships in Dubai last year.

Looking ahead

Anticipation is already mounting for the next UK Speedgolf Championship: The prestigious British Open Speedgolf Championships, returning to Sunningdale Heath near Ascot on 15 September 2024.

If you love golf and running, now is the time to explore a new passion. The next British Speedgolf Women’s champion is just waiting to be discovered, so go for it!

Read more amateur news >