Golfers who have been playing the new on-course game GolfMission have hailed its birdie-boosting effects after seeing their handicaps tumble.
GolfMission is a challenge-based game, played on the course alongside the usual Stableford or stroke-play format. It was originally designed to add spice and entertainment to an annual social tournament, but it soon became clear that the benefits of the game went way beyond playing for a wager.
At the start of the round each player receives a GolfMission card which demands certain tasks be completed on pre-determined holes during the round. Depending on individual handicaps, players need to complete between three and six missions to win.
Phil Andrews, a member at South Herefordshire GC, has been playing GolfMission for three months and has seen his handicap drop from 28 to 19. He said: “The great thing about GolfMission is that it concentrates the mind and identifies the parts of your game which require improvement.
“If you don’t achieve the mission set then it’s easy to pinpoint your weaknesses. Normally you’d probably focus only on the good aspects of your game.
“I’ve used it a lot when playing with my brothers or friends because it’s also an entertaining game as well as being beneficial. And if you’re having a bad round, with GolfMission you can still achieve your given goals. It’s a great product.”
GolfMission has also been acclaimed by other experts in the sport. “I liked the cards from a number of perspectives,” said Kyle Phillpotts Director of training & education, PGA of Great Britain. “Firstly it gave me a number of different goals outside of just my score or how I was doing in the match. It also helped focus my mind more when I came to a hole that was one of my specific goals.
“A third benefit was that even if I was out of the hole or match or competition I still had something to help give pressure. An example was that one task was to have no more than two putts at any par five. I had a disaster on one of them and reached the green in five. Normally the putts would have been meaningless, but my mission still had to be completed and so the three-footer to finish it actually meant something.”
Another amateur golfer who has found success with GolfMission is Ashley Palmer-Watts, the executive chef at the three-Michelin-starred Fat Duck restaurant. Palmer-Watts was one of the first to be introduced to the game because it was devised by a fellow chef, Geoff Chapman, and was demonstrated while the two were enjoying a social round of golf.
He said: “Like most amateur golfers I struggle to take my range game to the course but when I started playing GolfMission I realised it helped to focus my mind. It encourages better course management and helps me get used to playing shots under pressure. Subsequently my game has definitely improved.”
Geoff Chapman said: “It is often said that the simplest ideas are the best and the concept behind GolfMission is quite simple. But it is also said that 90 per cent of golf is played between the ears, yet as amateur golfers we spend thousands of pounds on training gimmicks just to help us try to find an advantage in the other 10 per cent.
“GolfMission is a fraction of the cost of such gizmos and works on the 90 per cent while increasing enjoyment of the game. It couldn’t be simpler. After all, we learn the most when we are having fun and being stretched and challenged.”
GolfMission is available from £9.99 at www.golf-mission.com
NEC Golf Show www.golfshownec.com