Beach Golf, literally, is a kind of golf mainly played on the sand, especially along sandy beaches. It was born from a marketing project that aims to eradicate the prejudice that sees golf as an elitist and restricted sport, eliminating those strict rules of traditional golf.
The game is played along a distance of about 2 km on which the players, 2 per team, with as few strokes as possible, have to reach the final hole, hitting a soft polyurethane expanded ball with a classic golf club. The Beach Golf, for its dual nature of sports and marketing tool, is also used to promote tourist destinations and products in general meeting needs and wants of companies, organizations and commercial partner through tailored events.
Beach Golf was born in Italy in 1999 in Pescara, created by a young manager, Mauro De Marco. This idea was a marketing project that aimed to eradicate the traditional image of golf, an elitist sport restricted to few people and subject to strict rules. Its aim is to eradicate the elements of niche and turn them into engaging mass elements. The most suitable locations for this are crowded beaches during the summer turning them into real paths of the game, through beach umbrellas, bathing people, making them the natural obstacles of the game. There are no physical barriers such as fences or others and this allows the audience to interact with the game and thus create a unique playground where viewers are interactive as the participants.
Over the years, Beach Golf has challenged these prejudices showing, on the contrary, that is a young sport, dynamic and accessible, as it affects a myriad of Target, it adapts to any situation and allow equal competition between different sexes. Recognized by CSEN (national educational Sports Centre) and CONI, the BGSA (Beach Sports Golf Association) has started in the course of time a long series of events, which have gained widespread acceptance in public. The events that deserve to be remembered are the Jeckerson Cup 2005, held in the Piazza del Campo, Siena, for a competition between 40 teams from different nations who have competed in the streets in a “We Golf” race (variant of Beachgolf on the street), followed by a crowd of 80000 people. In the following years were conducted tour during the summer on the beaches of the Italian coast, as the Italian championship in 2006 departed from Naples, or the tour of 2010, in collaboration with the University of Urbino, who has seen for 30 consecutive days of events along the coast of the Adriatic Sea. The BGSA has, among other projects proposed, planned a special calendar, in which the protagonists are the Beachgolf Caddy Girls.  For various projects organized over the years, Beachgolf has had a major mass media impact, being discussed on Italian national networks and some of the major radio networks.  Space was also given to Beachgolf in famous Rimini Fairs ,Wellness and Sports Days.
Thanks to Beach Golf, inflexible rules of playing and behavior of traditional golf give way to more fun, easy-going situations while keeping basic principles of golf. The game takes place along a path of 2 km of sandy coastline on the beach, where 40 teams of two players each (a pro and a beginner), challenge each other to arrive at the final hole with the fewest possible strokes. The game-track is not bounded by any type of pre-border and is punctuated by beach umbrellas and bathers that become natural obstacles throughout the competition.
The ball used, because of the crowded place where the event takes place, is made of soft polyurethane foam so it does not cause injury to anyone who is accidentally shot during the game. The route is punctuated throughout its track by music and entertainment that involve, in an original way, the audience that becomes active in the field of play. The range of the golfer beach is bordered by a protection belt of about 5 meters, supported by 3 girls on the way to accompany all the game.
The regulation has been specially created for the Beach Golf Event. These rules have been tailored to contemplate all kinds of situations. The main rule states that people and things constitute natural obstacles on the path.
Each team is composed of two players, a low-handicap player and a high-handicap one. The sum of the two hcp split approximately to the next lower (eg: mean 17.5, the team is hcp 17) and that is the team’s hcp that show how many improvements can benefit the team. The game is played with only one beaten ball each turn. It is admitted that the one it replaces the other, in case you lose stroke and distance. Penalty: loss of stroke and distance. Penalità: perdita di colpo e distanza.
The scorecard is a table which shows the data about the team and the history of the game. It consists of nine items:
- Team:: name with the sponsor’s one;
- I player: name, surname and handicap player's hcp lower;
- II player: name, surname and handicap player's hcp higher;
- Team’s handicap: it is the arithmetic sum of the players’ hcp approximated at the lower unit;
- Score: any hit run scored;
- Drop: any drop scored;
- Penalty: any penalty inflicted is marked;
- Hcp: any improvement of the ball;
- Scorer: include the name of the Caddy Girl who fills out the scorcard during the game.
It is a stroke-game competition held in two rounds. Two types of balls are used: a soft rubber, totally harmless ( 69 mm in diameter ) which is used along the track and a regular one on the green. There is no time limit. So players have the opportunity to stop to have a lunch break, however, teams must respect the assigned starting time.
This goes along the shore of any beach. When the Beach Golf is held in Pescara, we start from Paolucci Square and arrive at Stadium of the Sea, close to Cascella’s Ship. The track has a length of 1600 meters and a width that take the whole beach.
The starting area
The starting area is located where the first ball is hit. The area consists of a synthetic rug 1.50x1.50 m2. The ball is placed on the appropriate tee and both players choose a tee shot, placing the balls in the best possibile way. The honor is given (noblesse oblige) to the lower handicap player. Any missed shot or barely touched balls are considered as a shot along the path. If the ball is dropped from the tee without being touched can be repositioned to make the shot. Each team starts three minutes after the previous one. The delay allowed is ten minutes after the departure of the next team. The laggard team start for last with a penalty of five shots.
The equipment used consist in a classic golf club, expanded foam balls and a protection belt.
Preferably sand or wedge type.
The ball is made of polyurethane foam with a diameter of 7 cm and a weigh of 35g approximately. Its composition makes them harmless, allowing to play anywhere.
The protection belt
This is held by the Caddy Girls and has a very important function which is to guarantee the safety of bathers, the players and anyone who is on the game-track. This is what makes the Beach Golf the only sport in the world where viewers are on the pitch and involved as active part in the game.
Caddy Girls are at the same time game-judges and hostess during the event. Their role is crucial, because they make so that the game takes place in a properly and safely way. The Caddy Girls, in fact, support a protection belt around the area of action thereby allowing the golfer to play in peace among the bathers, beach chairs and umbrellas.