2015 was a turning point for urban golf in Hungary. At the start of the year we had about 15 players, but as I write this article we are 60 members strong. In January we had only one official team and by the close of the year we had a grand total of 7 teams and the game was being played in cities all across Hungary, not just in Budapest. You can check out a comparative infographic illustrating the growth that took place last year.
After some bouts with Hungarian bureaucracy, our community decided to leave the state out of our affairs and found an organization without official papers. It is because of this state-less condition that we decided against attaching the words ‘foundation’ or ‘association’ to our name and instead opted for ‘lodge’. On November 12th, 2015 we founded the Hungarian Urban Golf Lodge to represent our community. The Lodge is a nonprofit organization with the goal of providing recommendations about all urban golf related issues and anyone who plays urban golf can be a member. The Lodge holds meetings in which each attending member has one vote with no one person serving as a representative of a group – direct democracy. The Lodge’s basic principles are outlined as follows:
- Golf is for everyone! Anyone can play golf regardless of gender, age or golf experience.
- Safety first! Watch out for other players who may be aiming for a target nearby and therefore sharing your space.
- Respect for all! Respect fellow players, shared spaces, and others standing by.
The Lodge grants full autonomy for its clubs. It provides recommendations and not absolute rules that must be followed. The Lodge has officially stated that it will organize a championship in 2016 that will be open to everyone. We are currently working on a logo for The Lodge and we’ve asked our members to contribute design ideas. We are in the middle of the voting process and will soon have a brand new logo for the organization.
The Hungarian Urban Golf Community has decided to organize a championship that will be made up of multiple tournaments and events to be held throughout 2016. All championships will be open to everyone and in accordance with our principles, there will be no separate men’s and women’s prizes. The events that will take place on March 15th, March 26th, April 16th, and April 24th will be organized by 4 teams and will compose a tournament. They will serve as qualifiers for the EUGC in Amsterdam. Several teams will collaborate to organize the tournaments to be held in the fall.
The Beton Green Cup
Besides the championships, there will be an individual, match-rules cup series organized by the Drunken Golf Club. The cup will be like a tennis or judo tournament, but it will be made up of various events throughout the year. It will be a double-elimination tournament, which means that a particular player who lost a match could still win overall.
One month ago [December 2015], Siegfried from Black Hole UGC, Samuel from Drunken Golf Club, and Balazs from Heavy Balls UGC launched a website on which they intend to share all news, information, and events about the Hungarian urban golf scene. The page will serve as an information hub for the championships and cup and will also be where players can register to participate. In addition to reporting actual news and serving as a data portal, new players will be able to access information and find contact details for teams that they may want to join.
The Hungarian Traveling Team
In addition to the official national team that usually participates in the EUGC, The Lodge will support any Hungarian golfer who would like to represent their country abroad as part of a traveling team. The idea behind this offer is to promote unity within the sport, facilitate travel for Hungarian players who’d like to go abroad, and increase contact with the larger urban golf family. We don’t have a name or a logo for our traveling team yet, but the Lodge members have been asked to come up with ideas. We will have made some decisions within the next two weeks.