Extreme golf: can it lure young people to the green?
Zip lines, motorized longboards part of tournament planned by Vancouver entrepreneurs
Two Vancouver entrepreneurs are planning a golf tournament involving zip lines, long boards and loud music, in a bid to lure young people to the sport.
"We want to disruptively innovate the game," says Colin Weston, the co-creator of Ripped Links.
"We want to appeal to the 18 to 36 demographic because right now they don't see golf as a viable option."
The move comes as profits are shrinking at Vancouver's municipal golf courses, despite schemes like serving beer on the green, and participation in the sport as a whole has grown stagnant across the country.
Golf without the rules and etiquette
Weston and his collaborator Philip Davis want to see long, expensive rounds of quietly-played golf replaced with loud music, short holes and huge crowds of revellers.
They're planning an inaugural Ripped Links tournament in September, which would be more X-Games than Augusta.
It would feature a round of three par threes at about 110 yards in length played in an urban setting.
After teeing off, players either zip line or ride a motorized longboard to the green where they have just 45 seconds to sink the ball.
Women and men would compete head-to-head in the same division.
"We're taking a game that is quiet, slow and conservative and making it fast, loud and edgy," says Weston.
Whether Ripped Links will actually bring new golfers to the game remains to be seen, but Weston hopes the excitement of the event will create participation at the grassroots level.
The first ever Ripped Links tournament is planned for the beginning of September at the Redwoods Golf Course in Langley.