When the thinking of the basic necessities to play golf, 9 or 18 holes to play, stroke count, and the need of clubs, balls, and a hole to hit them toward all come to mind.

But there are new ways to play golf that don’t require a perfect swing or bag of clubs, but more of an open mind and a hankering for fun.

The first and most popular form of alternative golf is known as disk golf. It has the same rules and concept as normal golf, but instead of clubs and balls you play with disks. A disk could be considered what most of us consider a Frisbee, but in disk golf each disk has a different purpose. Similar to golf in which certain clubs are designed for particular shots, specific disks cater to specific types of shots: a driver, a putter, a mid-range, and a stability disk.

You might be wondering how a Frisbee fits into a golf hole, but that’s the main difference. There is a special disk golf net that is posted into the ground that serves as the hole. This allows you to set up anywhere that you have enough space to play.

With organizations such as the Professional Disk Golf Association and the Disk Golf Association, this game isn’t just a phony version of swinging the sticks, but an established sport around the world. In the North Florida area alone, disk golf is blowing up and there are countless organizations to join and places to play in the 904.

The second alternative golf game is foot golf, which  is a mix between soccer and golf. Again the rules are pretty much the same as regular golf, but instead of hitting a golf ball you kick a soccer balls into the holes. Obviously a soccer ball can’t fit into a normal golf hole, but on certain golf courses around the world courses have been adapted to accommodate foot golf.

According to the American Foot Golf Association, there are 60 accredited foot golf courses across the United States, including Blue Cypress Golf Club right here in Jacksonville. Foot golf is an interesting and creative new way to play golf. It caters to fans of both golf and soccer, and with THE PLAYERS coming up and the recent establishment of the Jacksonville Armada of the NASL, foot golf might be the next big thing in Jacksonville.

The third type of alternative golf  is bar golf. Have you ever been on a bar crawl? If so, bar golf is a version of a bar crawl, but with golf rules.

Each bar is assigned a series of acts you can choose to perform. When at each bar there a number of “scores” that you can choose from, that equal a certain shot count. For example, you walk into a bar and that has been established as a par-3 for that particular bar crawl. You then have to choose which task you are going to tackle and each task represents your shot count.

Drinking a water or non-alcoholic beverage is a bogey, drinking a beer might be par, a more overzealous drink like a mixed drink would be birdie, and the bar special or shot would be eagle. Each hole is recorded by which task you perform and the time limit is usually a half-hour to an hour per bar.

By the time you make it to the last hole or bar, the person with the lowest score,  wins. It’s a fun way to play golf while enjoying a cocktail or two or 10 with friends.

Now that you have some new ways to hit the holes, get after it and have fun.