Golf Archery


Just Say Ye Nay!

Golf was banned in England in 1457 by Henry the VII because the pastime was distracting people from practicing their archery. This was pretty serious as archery was literally the mainstay for the defence of the realm. 564 years later golf is more popular than archery (yes we admit it, doesnt mean we like it!) but if you cant beat them, join them.

An only occasionally shot competition because golfers don’t like giving up their fairways and greens to archers but it still exists as a thing. How is this shot? Exactly like a round of golf except where the golfer whacks his little white ball, we shoot an arrow for distance. Where he putts into a little hole, we shoot to hit a target (although in some variants getting within a couple of feet of the flag is sufficient).

In summary its a cross between flight (distance) and clout (drop arrow near to a flag) or target.

The two sports are so similar with regard to performance that it is possible for golfers and archers to compete against each other directly although a lost arrow in the rough/water counts double the usual penalty (and the archer will probably cry). Its also vitally important that you make sure that the fairway is clear of other archers (and I suppose golfers as well although frankly not bovvered!) before you shoot your arrow.

This rather unique shoot can be tried in the UK on the south coast (New Forest Outdoor Centre) and here is a dedicated US site (rules and all) to this fusion of a tediously boring sport and archery … North Fond du Lac Archery Club.

Note: Although possible apocryphal there is a story from the US where a ball thief got the shock of his life when he ran out to steal balls on a fairway. Why? Because making up the foursome and shooting together after the first pair of golfers had played were two archers with their bows! (additional note: there’s two endings to this story we’ve heard – a gruesome version and a SFW version! ;o)