FlingGolf is a sport that combines golf and lacrosse. It’s played on a regular golf course with a FlingStick thrower, a lacrosse stick reimagined to hurl a golf ball farther and with more accuracy. The basic game can be learned in a matter of minutes and yet presents a challenge to those who want to master it. One advantage of FlingGolf over golf is the affordability of the equipment—1 stick compared to 14 clubs, and a Dixon Fire golf ball ($67 each) plays no better than a Callaway Warbird ($24 a dozen).
Alex Van Alen worked in land conservation and outdoor recreation for most of his career. He brought sled dog racing to Massachusetts and developed a popular running, kayaking, horseback riding, and mountain biking event. Alex grew up at a time when kids made their own fun. He and his brothers were very inventive: football on skates, frisbee on dirt bikes and golf with a lacrosse stick. Years later, Alex still remembered how much he loved hurling that golf ball at a target. He developed a new version of a lacrosse stick so that the ball would go farther and he could control the trajectory—like he would need to do on a golf course. He worked on the stick until he got the perfect angle, length, weight and balance and tested it out on golf courses—sometimes with permission. He received very positive responses from golfers and golf course owners and founded New Swarm Sports, LLC, to manufacture and market his patented FlingStick thrower.
John Pruellage is his business partner and president of New Swarm Sports. John held a variety of leadership positions in startups, primarily in the television advertising technology sector. He dabbled in golf for years before giving up on it. FlingGolf re-invigorated his passion for being out on the golf course.
New Swarm FlingStick Throwers
There’s a FlingStick for everyone from first-timer to expert. The stick has a grip, shaft and head same as a golf club. It also has a striker pad on the head to be used for putting and the channel to be used for long distance shots from the tee box and fairway and for touch shots closer to the green.
- The Launch is a no-frills stick with a strong and durable composite fiber shaft. Available in three sizes: short, medium and long.
- The Stinger is a high-performance stick with an ultra-lightweight 100% carbon fiber shaft for extra distance that includes a Putting Slug and the ability to customize the head graphics. Available in three sizes: short, medium and long.
- The Ballistick is for the tall and the strong. The extra-long 100% carbon fiber shaft maximizes distance; the oversize grip provides ultimate control on power shots. This stick also includes a Putting Slug and customizable head graphics. Available in two sizes: XL and XXL.
- The Junior is for flingers nine years of age and younger. The shorter shaft is high-flex and lightweight for slower swings. Also, the grips are smaller to fit youngsters’ hands.
There are many ways to get the ball from tee to hole. You simply need to forget the techniques that golfers use.
- The Overhand: Use your stick like a lacrosse stick, your wrists hinged above your shoulders. Drop the stick down your back. Lean back, take a step forward and aim high and follow through toward the target.
- For maximum distance, starting a few steps back from where the tee or where ball lies and release the ball before reaching that spot.
- For full distance shots, a baseball grip with no interlocking fingers works best.
- The Sidearm: Hold the stick like a baseball bat and get into your batting stance. With the stick channel facing upwards and parallel to the ground, take a step toward 1 o’clock (for righties) or 11 o’clock (for lefties) and swing from low to high, while opening the channel.
- The Flop Shot: With wrists hinged above your shoulders, drop the stick farther down your back than the Overhand. Then pop the ball as high as you can.
- A grip with hands apart provides more control.
- The Bump and Run (aka the Underhand): Stand sideways, take a short backswing, then roll your wrists as you swing toward the hole, stopping your swing to release the ball.
- On the Green: Use the stick as a traditional putter. Separate your hands as positioned on a hockey stick and keep the shaft upright and close to your body so that the head and striker pad are parallel to the ground.
The United States Golf Association Rules take up more than 150 pages, many of them as dense as a legal document. The “Complete Rules of FlingGolf” fit on four pages. They include:
- How to play at the tee, fairway and green.
- Penalties for losing your ball and/or hitting it out of bounds, into a hazard or into a bunker (one stroke for each).
- The Van Alen FlingGolf Scoring System and the Traditional FlingGolf Scoring System.
- Golf course etiquette, which boils down to “play nice” and “be considerate” and carry a green repair tool.
When you buy a FlingStick thrower, New Swarm Sports guarantees you’ll find a course near you where you can play. If you can’t, let them know where you’ve tried. If they cannot get you on one of the courses, return your FlingStick for a full refund. But more and more courses are becoming “FlingGolf ready.”
The “New Swarm” (the players, ambassadors and golf course managers at the forefront of FlingGolf) have played at more than 1000 courses in the US, Canada, and around the world, including such prestigious courses as Pebble Beach, St. Andrews and Pinehurst.
Golf Courses Welcome FlingGolf
- FlingGolf attracts new players to fill empty tee times, i.e., attracts a whole new revenue stream. It also boosts the course’s visibility.
- It makes the golf course experience more approachable and more fun for a younger, diverse audience, for families and for group outings and events.
- New Swarm Sports rents FlingStick throwers for one-time events: $20 per stick and one-way shipping to your location. New Swarm Sports pays for return shipping.
- FlingGolf blends seamlessly with traditional golf. It uses a regular golf ball, similar rules, and everybody can play in the same foursomes. (Think skiers and snowboarders all using the same mountain at the same time.)
- Nothing on the golf course needs to be changed: same holes, same tee times, same everything. Plus, FlingGolfers don’t make divots!