We used to play a game called something like Paper Golf. I was a kid then, so that makes it a folk game, at least. It was a great little game – you draw something that looks like a golf hole. You take your pencil and try to get from tee to hole in the fewest number of strokes. If you hit something (a tree, a rock) or go into a sand or water trap, you lose strokes or have to start your next shot from that point. And that’s pretty much it. Except you have to do it with your eyes closed!
It was such a good game that, ever since I first played it, I wondered why someone hadn’t come out with a commercial version, one that takes the game as seriously as it deserves. I am happy to inform you that someone has. And it’s called “Par Out Golf.” And it’s, as I might have imagined, most definitely Major FUN.
Par Out Golf is played on a set of spiral bound, laminated pages. Special “wet-erase” markers are used so the line is easy to draw, won’t smudge, and very easy to erase. The rules are very, very close to the game of golf, complete with sand and water traps, obstacles and slopes. So close is it to “real” golf, you can play each of five classic variations of golf: stroke play, match play, tombstone play, and pro play.
Of the several skills you practice while playing Par Out Golf, a fascinating, and, to any golf player, significant challenge is learning how to visualize your shot. The more observant you are, the more capable you are at remembering the lay of the land, the more effectively you can imagine the exact amount of drive to put on the ball, the better you’ll do. This, of course, is the essence of Par Out Golf. Like “real” golf, Par Out Golf challenges both mind and body. If you want to know more about the physical and cognitive aspects of the game, take a look at the thoughtfully included essay: Par Out Science 101.
If you want, you can practice on the Driving Range (on another page) or use the 19th hole (on yet another page) to design your own. You can add your own obstacles, changing the difficulty of each hole, essentially making the game something you can play for-just-about-ever.
Par Out Golf is recommended for 1 to 4 players (it comes with four different wet-erase markers). If you must try before you buy, you can download the first three holes here.