Athlete from Co Wicklow has achieved astounding success, winning the Irish and British Speedgolf Championships in seven days.
ob Hogan, 36, lives in Co Tipperary with his wife and their five children. When he’s not playing golf, Mr. Hogan works as a coach at Dundrum House Golf Club in Tipperary.
He grew up playing the sport in Kilkole with his father and said he “absolutely loved the game” from a young age. He said last week’s victories were a personal achievement.
“It was fantastic. I organized the Irish Championship, so I only thought about my tour for about 90 seconds before I went into the match. Maybe it was to my advantage because otherwise I would have been under tremendous pressure.”
“It was all a blur, I played really well that day and it was great. To be fair, we are all involved in something new and it is very exciting. It is just so much fun with your speedgolf buddies.”
Mr. Hogan has enjoyed a reasonable degree of underage success as well, showering the likes with the likes of Rory McIlroy and Seamus Power on the Irish Boys squad.
His interest in speedgolf grew with the growth of the sport and over the past ten years Mr. Hogan has devoted himself to it.
“I was going to do charity fairs in Ireland in 2008-2009,” he said.
“Then in 2012 the Speedgolf championship scene in the States took off a bit. I had some prize money and I was able to move on to my first competition in Oregon in 2012 and I had quite a few rides over the years. It’s been so much fun, I’ve I made a lot of friends there. I feel really lucky to be there.”
Speedgolf is exactly what it sounds like, and in Mr. Hogan’s most recent tournament, he played 18 holes in under 40 minutes and won both shots with multiple shots.
He said, “You have to run fast but you also have to play golf well. To be honest with you, it’s a very intense sport.”
“Last week has been a fairly intense week for competition as I’ve had four championship rounds. The Irish Open on Monday and Tuesday and then the British Championship on Saturday and Sunday. My times for the four days were 39 minutes 38 minutes 35 minutes 34 minutes.
“Trying not to get injured is a big deal. There’s a golf saying ‘Beware the injured golfer,’ as if they have some kind of psychological advantage, but I’m not sure that applies to Speedgolf.”
Speedgolf tournaments are played over two days and contestants use only a few clubs they have to carry with them as they run from hole to hole.
Some golfers use a lightweight bag, but Mr. Hogan and his father created their own “Hogan holster” which attaches to his left leg.
“The main difference is the tactics used,” he said.
“Some players will carry a bag of five or six clubs, and some players will carry the clubs loose. This year I am using the holster my father made which means you never have to leave your clubs.
“So I play with three clubs, one in my hand at all times and the other two in the clipboard that we made. We call it Hogan’s clipboard. It sparked a lot of interest, especially because my times were really fast, and I’m working with a guy in Chicago to 3D print some of these images.” “.
Tomorrow Mr Hogan will travel to Paris for the French Open, followed by the US Championships in October and the World Championships in Florida in November.
“Then I might fall asleep for two months,” he added.