In recent years, golf alternatives like FootGolf and FlingGolf have popped up in the United States as ways of giving people a taste of golf without the commitment of buying a set of clubs or spending up to six hours playing a full 18 holes. These games, along with Frisbee Golf (or what Seinfeld's George Costanza prefers to call "Frolf") won't ever replace golf, but if they provide entertainment to those who play and possibly an entryway into the game we love, great.
And now another game based on golf (and croquet) is sweeping through Taiwan. Introducing Woodball:
Woodball is played using wooden mallets instead of clubs, and players try to hit a ball through narrow gates. According to Focus Taiwan, the game was invented in 1990 by Weng Ming-hui, who was trying to create an alternative to golf in his backyard to avoid expensive green fees. We feel you, Weng.
Last month, Taiwan's Foreign Ministry of Affairs held the Diplomatic Woodball Friendship Tournament in Taipei. "We've invited foreign diplomats based in Taiwan, members of international chambers of commerce, local politicians and woodball players," said Shen Wen-chiang, who is president of the International Woodball Federation. Sounds legit. Look, this guy is even wearing a Titleist hat!
And here's a video showing a woman playing Woodball. Just be aware, she has a longer pre-shot routine than Jim Furyk:
So far, the sport has been introduced in 44 countries, but it hasn't reached the U.S. Yet. Watch out, FootGolf. . .