American Ace Lagat Dishes On ‘SpeedGolf’

Bernard Lagat has a good chance at winning the World "Speedgolf" Championships. Photo:

He’s never had formal golf lessons, but he’s surely fast.

When track and field fans imagine American-record holder Bernard Lagat, they most likely picture him barreling down a rubberized oval at breakneck speeds.

But what most people don’t realize about the Kenyan-born American citizen is that he’s a pretty good golfer. recently interviewed Lagat about the concept of “Speedgolf,” a game that entails playing a round of 9 or 18 holes as fast as possible. The person who has the lowest score with the fastest time wins.

Lagat, who has clocked multiple sub-13:00 5Ks in his career, will be competing in the inaugural Speedgolf World Championships from Oct. 26-27 at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon.

He says he’s been playing the gold for nearly five years. “I have had no formal lessons and I started playing with friends — dads from the same school as my children,” Lagat says. “I only really play golf at the end of the athletics season, September through to April.”

“I’m just going to go there and enjoy it,” Lagat says of the forthcoming event. “If I get a round of 90 and I run 40 mins I think I’ll be very competitive.”

Former American middle-distance standout Steve Scott is regarded as the founder of speedgolf, playing his first round in 1979. On Dec. 2, 1982, Scott set a record for the fastest round of golf played on a regulation course, completing 18 holes in 29 minutes, 33.05 seconds at Miller Golf Course in Anaheim, Calif. Using only two clubs and running from hole to hole, he posted a respectable score of 95.

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