Pasture Golf

Maureen Stone and Jim Stone

Maureen and Jim, 1943

I can’t remember the exact year that I started golfing. I’d guess I may have been about 12 or 14 years old.

Somehow, my brother Jim and I got our hands on a 3-iron, a putter — and some golf balls.  And we had what we thought would be a great place to play. When you’re on a farm, you can’t play in the fields. So off we went, to set up a course of our own. In the pasture.

Our 2-Hole Course

Just west of the barn we had some pastureland where we imagined a couple of holes for ourselves. The first hole was about 30 yards wide and 200 yards long. We had one hole going west and another hole coming back east and that swath of pasture was our course.

We’d make a hole and then stick a tree branch down it so we could see where we needed to be playing to. Between games, those branches didn’t stay put very long, though, and that’s because of our biggest challenge of our course: the cattle.

The cattle would come see those branches and, out of curiosity, always come to take a look, inevitably knocking them down.

Not only that but they would trample on the branch, once it would be on the ground, destroying any semblance of what had been the hole!

And if the cattle weren’t our biggest culprits, then the gophers were, who thought our holes were a perfect place for them to dig down deeper to make a new home.

Pasture golf wasn’t everything we imagined it would be, and for Jim and me, it only lasted one summer. But I really liked swinging that club.

pasture golf

Photo from Pasture Golf website

When Jim and I set up those two holes in the pasture, it would have been somewhere around 1950. Today, Pasture Golf is a real alternative to golf and a you can find a listing of golf courses that are made on the pastures – or land very similar, and quite affordable. These courses are a not-so-distant cousin to Scottish links courses. I was surprised with the number of courses that are designated “Pasture Golf” courses, and include some Canadian courses too.

Pasture Golf! Little did I know that Jim and I were on to something, all those years ago — if we could have only put up with the cattle, and the gophers…




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