I experienced urban golf in downtown Saint-Brieuc [vidéo] Saint-Brieuc



My eyes move back and forth from the ball to the seat under which it must pass. My hand clings to the club. As I make some movements in the void, my followers keep an eye on the surroundings, making sure no one passes by. The path is clear. I raise the racket slowly, and lower it, making it rise quickly. The head scrapes the bitumen and hits the ball… which will hit a miserable stride a few meters away.

“Don’t worry, that’s normal. You just didn’t raise the ball enough,” explains Eric Nguyen Khac, captain of French Street Golf, world champion in 2018. He’s in Saint-Brieuc to finish the permanent urban golf course. His friend François Renard is planning a stay in the city center of Briuchen. Incidentally, private teachers are playing.

Having street golf world champion Eric Nguyen Khak as a private tutor is a guarantee of rapid improvement. (Telegram / Julian Mola)

Easy first shot

For me, this is the first. With a golf club. And of course playing golf downtown. For my first shot, along the Champs shopping center with a view to the entrance to the car park located a few dozen meters away, I am overwhelmed with anxiety. But while François was watching, Eric reassured me. “The first hole of the course is designed for beginners. Anyone can participate.” I listen to his advice on my situation, don’t worry about hearing the club dump the ground – “We take the old on purpose” – and watch the ball fly at full speed. A second blow later and I quietly descended the stairs. I take pleasure in actually imagining myself as a genius golfer!

You are making much faster progress than golf

Quickly hooked!

But a few holes made by François Renard and Nicolas Nguyen Khac will allow me to quickly return to Earth. Like the one on the Place de la Madeleine and its famous seat under which the ball will never pass. Or the one in the Parc des Promenades for which I will need roughly ten shots before – finally – reaching the tree that symbolizes the pit.

François Renard leads the urban golf project in downtown Saint-Brieuc.  The course, which has not yet been completed, should have ten holes, plus an additional one.
François Renard leads the urban golf project in downtown Saint-Brieuc. The course, which has not yet been completed, should have ten holes, plus an additional one. (Telegram / Julian Mola)

Despite everything, the course remains diverse enough for everyone to find something for themselves, from beginners to world champions. And while I’m dueling, crying, or screaming for joy, Eric tries to get rewards. Like when he tries to hit the top of a cone with the ball in the square of François Mitterrand.

However, no matter the level, I don’t need three holes before I get addicted. Because urban golf is quirky, easy to reach, and feels good very quickly. “We’re making progress much faster than golf,” my teacher assures.

Playing golf in an urban environment means taking another look at the environment around us.
Saint-Brieuc offers different shooting possibilities, such as the Place de la Madeleine, where the goal is to pass the ball under the yellow bench. (Telegram / Julian Mola)

Another look at the city

Above all, the atmosphere is much lighter than I can imagine on the green grass. Of course, seriousness is required during filming. In turn, we check that no bystanders get into the field of fire even if the balls we hit were made on purpose so as not to cause damage. But, throughout the match, roommates are essential.

Playing urban golf is also a way to rediscover your city.  Like this Gouédic alley that I must have passed hundreds of times without ever seeing it.
Playing urban golf is also a way to rediscover your city. Like this Gouédic alley that I must have passed hundreds of times without ever seeing it. (Telegram / Julian Mola)

This mini golf game also prompts me to understand my environment differently. As I passed through the holes, I discovered this anchor drawn on a door or even this little alley on Rue du Guedic that I had passed a thousand times. Two hours after my first shots, I was occupied. As for those who want to get started, the permanent urban golf course in Saint-Brieuc should go into operation in the fall.

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