Whilst millions of fans watch the pro golfers on the European Tour, there is a more rebellious sport currently taking the world of golf by storm. Urban Golf is a streetwise version of the popular game, believed to have started in the Grassmarket area of Edinburgh, Scotland in 1741.
The urban golfer shares the same passion for the sport as any player traipsing the fairways, but has unlocked its confinement to perfectly manicured courses, bringing the game into a new and yet grittier arena. The greens are now streets, bunkers are potholes and the best fairways can be found in your city’s industrial area. The holes are unconventional too; they can be rubbish bins, billboards, oil barrels, discarded washing machines and so on.
There are many urban golf organisations that have popped up all over the world since the turn of the century. The Shoreditch Golf Club created a par 72 open tournament in London in 2004 and in 2007, World Urban Golf Day was pioneered in Oregon in the USA. There is a national championship in France and associations are springing up everywhere from New Zealand to Russia and Argentina. The renowned Urban Golf Unit (UGU) was founded in the Netherlands in the year 2000 by two friends who loved to play golf but realised they were too free-spirited for the restrictions of the traditional game. Fast forward 16 years and they are hosting the European Urban Golf Championships (EUGC) in June, expecting over 150 players from 15 countries to join them at the NDSM Wharf in Amsterdam.
This radical sport that uses urban environments, such as building sites, rooftops, canals, hotel lobbies, as golf courses has taken up its rightful place in the Dutch capital and fits perfectly amongst the progressive local culture. With its tagline of “Play Anywhere”, it’s no wonder that Amsterdam’s residents have welcomed the UGU with open arms and now urban golf fixtures are popular events on the city’s sporting calendar.
Amsterdam continues to be Europe’s colourful playground where all visitors are guaranteed a good time, golfing aside. From its rich artistic heritage to its thriving nightlife, the city is as culturally vibrant as ever and still continues to look great on a postcard thanks to its intricate trellis of 400-year-old waterways.
So if you fancy watching some eccentric golf amongst this unique setting, taking part yourself or simply want to explore the city, Turkish Airlines can get you to Amsterdam with six flights a week from Istanbul.
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