Congratulations to Austin Ebersole and Britt Morrison of American Classic Golf Club in Midway for becoming the new 2022 World League FlingGolf Champions.
Ebersole, the ACGC course manager and golf professional, won the men’s division. Morrison, who helps run the ACGC and operates Britt Marie Fitness, beat three women for her title. The two won the sport’s first national tournament on Oct. 22 at Heritage Oaks Golf Course in Harrisonburg, Va.
FlingGolf uses a single club for full swings and putting on a regulation golf course. It looks a bit like a miniature lacrosse stick, with a flat side for putting. ESPN televised the ACGC’s own FlingGolf tournament last summer.
Both athletes enjoyed a scoring feature of FlingGolf – the Reggie. When a player throws a stroke on a putting green in regulation, the score for the hole is lowered by one stroke. Otherwise, scoring is the same as regulation golf.
Ebersole hit 13 Reggies over 18 holes in the first round, lowering his score to 59. The resulting six-stroke advantage proved useful for the three-hole final round, when he finished two strokes ahead of the second.
Morrison’s FlingGolf nickname is “Reggie Queen”, which gives an indication of his talent. She credits javelin throwing to her Central Pennsylvania high school track team for helping her develop her FlingGolf skills. “I feel more confident than with regular golf. I like how easy it is,” she said.
Ebersole’s FlingGolf handle is “Showtime”, which makes perfect sense to those who know him, including the Flingers in the weekly games held at the ACGC this summer. Morrison said they usually have over 30 players every Friday afternoon, about half locals and half tourists.
American Classic hosts more than 600 FlingGolf parties each year, according to Morrison. The course keeps 30 clubs in stock for rent at $3 plus green fees. He said players include many converts from mainstream golf.
Ebersole compared regulation golf and FlingGolf to skiing and snowboarding. They both take place in the same environment, using related but different skill sets. Flingers also tend to be more accurate with their shots than regular golfers, which means they can peacefully co-exist and play golf at the same time.
When it comes to technique, the rules allow for a Billy Madison-style stepping and throwing motion, but Ebersole also stressed the need to vomit “up and down.” He said he drew inspiration from his own high school quarterback experience. Cape Town area surfers should also easily grasp the concept.
Ebersole also noted that fling clubs do not produce the high-velocity backspin on the golf ball that comes from the combination of higher head velocities and clubface impacts in regular golf. This means that FlingGolf balls will be much more affected by the wind, either inside or to the sides.
Keep this in mind if you decide to try your luck with this new way of enjoying golf.
Zero Friction – Innovation every year
I love talking to John Iacono at every PGA show I attend. The affable yet intense founder and president of Zero Friction is a born salesman. It is also committed to uploading exciting new products every year.
The PGA Show 2022 was no exception.
Iacono and I first looked at the company’s new Wheel Pro Push Cart Golf Bag ($349.99 SRP). The bag has its own removable 11 inch wheels and an integrated handle that clicks into place. When I suggested that the placement of the wheels adjacent to the sides of the bag made it potentially unstable on inclines, he quickly showed me how the next iteration will have the wheels set into place 1.5 inches further .
While the current styles come in three color combinations, Iacono readily recognized that these bag/cart combos would be perfect for college or high school teams, both for logo options and for halving the needs of storage for travel.
We also discussed the company’s new Turf Tees, which are three inches long and feature a two-prong chisel tip ($12.99 / 30 pack SRP). At the ball end, customers can purchase the normal ZF three-pin socket or a “square” version with air holes under the ball seat.
Iacono said these tees won’t rip grass roots like a regular tee.
He also laughed when I told him that the Turf Tee should also be adopted for use in a club’s food and beverage operations. Each can hold two or three olives as a skewer for a martini or keep a large sandwich together while it’s being served.
I am completely serious about this.
It also seemed like Iacono agreed.
The TheraTec Golf Glove is the latest entry in ZF’s popular glove lines. Iacono said Dr. Conor O’Brien helped the company with these designs.
One version ($21.99 SRP) uses an improved cushion in the palm to help golfers with bone injuries or carpal tunnel syndrome. The other ($24.99 SRP) includes a wrist strap for extra support. Both contain copper-infused Lycra, taking advantage of long-standing and disputed claims that wearing copper has health benefits.
I take sides on this issue only to note that placebo effects are often real.