Introducing GolfCross

Ball comparison

What is GolfCross?

Golfcross is golf in everything but shape. It’s played over a course just like golf, using the same clubs and the same rules. Only two things are different — the shape of the ball and the shape of the target.

Hold the golfcross ball in your hand and you’re unmistakably holding a golf ball. It has the same smooth white dimpled exterior you know so well and it’s about the same size and weight. What makes it so intriguing is that it’s oval instead of round.

For more than 500 years golf balls have been as perfectly spherical as we can make them. So why, you may ask, would anybody want to mess with something that has such a proven record? Have we somehow had it wrong for five centuries? Not at all. The round ball is exactly right for golf which, like soccer, requires that it be played along the ground as well as in the air. Nothing but a perfectly round ball can be accurately putted across the smooth surface of a green and into a hole. But if a game has no need for the ball to roll towards a target, then the oval shape, which is easier to control and capable of more flight path variations, becomes an interesting alternative.

Like rugby or American football, golfcross is an aerial game with a target that’s raised above the turf. Golf’s round hole, set in the ground to receive the rolling ball, is replaced by a new shape — the rectangular goal suspended in mid-air to trap the flying ball. With no putting, the game is not confined to using a round ball. It allows us to play golf with an oval ball and, for the first time, enjoy its advanced performance capabilities.

Positioning the golfcross ball

Because it’s aerodynamically more stable than a golf ball there are things you can do with a golfcross ball that can make a game of golf a whole lot more interesting. For example, being able to hit the ball straight every time means being able to confidently play a driver from the fairway and decide whether you want your ball to stop or run on simply by setting it upright or leaning it back. Controlled slices and hooks are easily achieved — as are various degrees of fade and draw — by angling the ball to the side.

This means that golfers can now spend time planning their attack, knowing that they’re in control with a ball that will behave the way they want it to, rather than the way it wants to.

However, what the golfcross ball gives with one hand, its course design takes away with the other. The ball may be smart, but the game demands that players think smart too. The fact that even high handicappers are now able to shape shots allows courses to be set up to expect those shots, rather than having to make allowances for the poorer player.

Golfcross goals are laid out to exploit the oval ball’s predictable flight properties. Narrow fairways, tight dog-legs, and difficult goal approaches are the norm and demand an advanced level of strategic play.

Additionally, the course designer is assisted by being able to alter the shape of the yard and the facing position of the goal. These two variables alone provide a rich array of strategic options with which to challenge the player. Better still, because the goals are readily shifted and the yards quickly reshaped, designers are able to take risks and experiment with unconventional layouts, knowing that they can be easily changed if they’re not working.

It’s this flexibility that makes a golfcross course so simple and cheap to establish. There are no expensive greens to construct and maintain. Fairways are narrow and only need to be mown low enough to ensure that the ball can be seen. This means a golfcross course can be sited almost anywhere — even temporarily — with minimal effect on the environment.

Golfcross ball and goal

But what about its effect on a golfer’s game? With such a controllable ball, do players run the risk of becoming lazy? Evidently not. Most report that all the various lofted shots that Cross requires helps improve their short game, and not having to worry about slicing or hooking can have the effect of freeing up their swing.

Golfcross is certainly not remote control hitting. You still need a swing and all the other playing skills. There’s also plenty of room for flair, experimentation and outright talent, just like in regular golf. In fact, far from being a threat to your golf game, golfcross has the potential to complement it.