“Pick up your FlingStick, hit the course, and you’re good to go.”
With the seasons of golf resort trips and summer links only a few months away, the thought of manicured greens and arcing fairways may come first to the minds of many would-be vacationers. For non-golfers in tow, however, their first few games’ learning curve and initial investment might be enough to keep them from ever setting foot on the fairway or settling back as the rest of the group hits the course for a fun day out.
“The sport’s biggest draw has to be the ease with which new players can get started,” said FlingGolf creator and New Swarm CEO Alex Van Alen when asked about the sport’s main appeal. “Where you may need upwards of fourteen or more clubs to get in a good golf game, one FlingStick can do you well – especially if you’re looking to bring non-golfers out for a casual afternoon.”
While the sport departs from some of the technical aspects of golf – namely in the idea of throwing or flinging the ball instead of hitting it, Van Alen says the basics are still there – from driving to short game elements such as bump and runs and putting – all in what amounts to a single golf club.
“FlingGolf players use a single FlingStick to hurl a golf ball over 200 yards and shape every shot from tee to hole,’ he said of the FlingStick’s versatility and straightforward playstyle. “It’s like having all 14 clubs built into one stick.
Based on a game he played with his brothers growing up – a compelling mix of lacrosse and traditional golf mechanics – the resulting sport is one that players of all ages can handle within a few minutes but still find challenging enough to return to again and again.
“I wanted to come up with something that falls into the easy-to-pick-up-and-play but hard-to-master category.”
Over time, Van Alen developed his custom FlingStick, capable of driving up to two hundred yards, which was featured on an episode of the ABC show Shark Tank and serves as his company’s flagship product.
“I grew up loving both sports and wanted to see another way to get out on the green,” Van Alen said; “I love being outdoors playing or being challenged athletically in some new and exciting way, and FlingGolf developed from that passion.”
Van Alen says things are also heating up for the sport professionally: “We’ve been seeing a big uptick in pro-level players recently,” he said, also remarking on the widespread expansion of local leagues and playgroups since the sport’s emergence. With World League FlingGolf having just entered its third year, players are upping their skills, meaning more stops on the tour with more significant payouts.
“ESPN has just picked up on the third year of tour coverage,” Van Alen said, “and that’s been very exciting!”
“People are calling us the pickleball of golf as we grow on courses and in resorts across the country,” he said, “and the game is very family-friendly.” As the sport arose from Van Alen’s love of golf, lacrosse, and various outdoor athletic activities, the ability for Fling players and golfers to be together on the same field is precisely what he had in mind when developing the sport. “FlingGolf is another way to play together, from professional players to non-pros and families just looking to have a good time.”
“All you need is your FlingStick, a box of balls, and a free afternoon.”