Pictures of overweight golfers, lumbering in and out of golf carts, do little to convince non-golfers that the game/sport has a viable fitness component. Try telling that to Lauren Cupp, and she’ll assure you that golf can be quite the fitness proposition. An accomplished traditional golfer, Cupp has ventured into SpeedGolf, the hybrid of running and golf that has a cult following across the globe. Fresh off her 2018 world championship in the golf biathlon, we slowed Cupp down enough to fetch a few answers to our usual spate of questions. Have a read and consider training in the off-season, to get your speedgolf form up to snuff.
- Tell us about yourself, where your are from, and how you got interested and involved in golf?
I grew up in New Hartford and attended Hamilton College. My parents both play the game and introduced me to it at a young age. In college I ran track and field, played volleyball and started what is now the women’s golf team at Hamilton College.
- How are you involved in golf today?
I am the Men’s and Women’s Golf Coach at Hamilton College. My husband and I also own a golf course, Rome Country Club. I enjoy playing both “slow golf” and speedgolf at the local, state and national level.
- You have a wonderful track record of winning club and regional events. What is your secret to handling the demands of down-the-stretch in a championship?
Thank you! Speedgolf and experience have taught me that over-thinking isn’t necessarily to your advantage. I just try to take it one shot at a time.
- What equipment are you gaming these days, and why did you decide on it?
I’ve got the Titliest AP2s and Driver and Callaway fairway woods. I’ve switched to a regular graphite shaft (I must be getting old!) which has helped me hit my irons farther. In my Speedgolf bag I generally carry a driver, 6 iron, 9 iron, wedge and putter.
- Switching gears to speed golf: had you played it before the world championship came to Verona this year?
Yes, we’ve been involved in the Speedgolf community for several years now, playing in three World Championships. I won the US Championships last year in Houston. I have also played in the Speedgolf Opens in New Zealand, Washington State and Virginia.
- What type of preparation did you undergo, to prepare yourself for the event?
Play golf, run and play speedgolf!
- Was there a moment during the competition where you hit the wall, either physically or mentally? Talk about it. If not, what got you to the finish line?
I played well for the first eleven holes and then made a big number on a par 3. In Speedgolf, everything happens quickly so it’s easy to throw away several shortgame shots in row. I’ll continue to work on relaxing my mind on the short game piece.
- Do you anticipate competing in future speedgolf competitions? If so, how will you prepare differently?
Absolutely! I’d love to play more 18 hole Speedgolf rounds to prepare. It certainly is a learned skill to be able to perform when your heart is beating out of your chest.
- What question haven’t we asked, that you would love people to know the answer to? Ask it and answer it, please.
A few things speedgolf has taught me that I have applied to my regular golf game:
It’s not always advantageous to overthink.
Long preshot routines are not necessary.
There are many different types of shots that you can hit with the same clubs.
You don’t always have to hit the “perfect shot.” There is something to be said about keeping the ball in play and hitting fairways and