Combat Golf

Alternative Entertainment for Working Connections

The week long Working Connections Faculty Training Institute is held in Springfield, Illinois each year. Combat golf arose in 2003. The original participants planned to go bowling, but opted for mini-golf instead (and we are grateful - combat bowling might be deadly). Through the years a relatively (dis)organized movement was created to bring combat golf to the world.

The real object of the game is to either sink your ball quickly or make sure that your opponents don't. To make things more challenging, the ball farthest from the hole goes first. Plus distracting the person putting is allowed. Imagine trying to sink a putt from 6 feet while someone is squirting water in your face and another is aiming for your hands. **Imagine a cross between croquet and golf (big hint: if you can't make a "hole in one," it is wise to stay well away from the cup).

At different times rules have been developed, changed, rewritten, forgotten and lost. The only rules that remain are:

  1. The rules are subject to change at the discretion of the players.
  2. When in doubt, refer to #1

In 2006, the group found a "lost" practice softball near the course and for some strange reason nicknamed it the "bunny ball." This added an entirely new element to the game where points are assigned by touching the "bunny ball" or striking another player's ball or doing any other number of things (changes from hole to hole). Total points for the hole are: points gained by activity on the course - strokes taken to sink your ball.

We hope you enjoy these pages. Obviously, this is a work in progress (and always will be).

Disclaimer - no pixels were harmed in the creation of these pages.

18th June 2017

Combat Golf 2017

This year, we returned to our roots and had a game of combat golf. We had a great turnout (I  believe this was the most participants ever). Here are a few 360 photos I did with my Ricoh Theta S.

Combat golf at #wcil17. You should have been there. #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Another view of combat golf at #wcil17 #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

We hope you will be able to participate in 2018.

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6th June 2016

Combat Bowling 2016

During the recent Working Connections event, we decided to practice “combat bowling” instead of our traditional “combat golf.” These are some of the videos and images from our evening event. No individuals were harmed (although a number of pixels have been mightily inconvenienced in this process). On a more serious note, we actually witnessed Mel bowl a “perfect game” before we started.

Here are some of the more famous moments. Read the rest of this entry »

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22nd May 2014

Combat Golf 2014

Another successful combat golf outing was held in Springfield, Illinois on May 21, 2014. Although we had a small number of participants/ victims, we had a great time. This year, the competition boiled down to two classes – CMS and User Experience Design, vs. Innovation in the Classroom. The CMS class won decisively with one round on the 7th hold. Both Lawrence and Mark achieved scores of -14 (par 4 hole for a total of 36 under par for that hole). The operative word is “trounced.” Keep in mind that Shelly got a hole in one on that round and had the highest score. Yes, you had to be there to understand the scoring.

Here are a few photos from the event. Please click on the image to see the remainder of the set at Flickr. No casualties this year. Perhaps next…


And, yes, here is the infamous ball of Pooh. We kept it in Scott’s car this year. There was a slight chance of rain and one doesn’t want such an object to get wet.

Infamous ball of Poo(h)

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30th May 2012

Combat Golf 2012

Combat golf has been happening every year at the Working Connections conference for the past decade. This year, we returned to the park where the insanity began.I selected some photos of the event to include. Keep in mind that the first rule of combat golf is that there are no rules and the rules change on each hole. In order to make things a bit more interesting this year, we divided into two teams. The red team and the blue team. Since I was wearing a red shirt, I was captain of the blue team. Since Scott was wearing a blue shirt, obviously he was captain of the red team. Of course, the red team used blue balls and the blue team used red balls. Remember that combat golf is a combination of miniature golf, croquet, bowling, jousting, wrestling, and a few other “sports.” We did not have the “bunny ball” with us this year. So, we substituted a “ball of poo(h).” This was an obstacle not to be hit with a ball. Of course, if you touched the ball of poo(h), you had to excuse yourself to go wash your hands. You will see the ball along with a red obstacle for the red team and a blue obstacle for the blue team. Confused? We certainly were. Absolutely no alcohol was involved during this competition. I am presently reviewing a host of videos also taken during this event and hope to post some of those soon. Click on any of the photos to view the set at Flickr. Hope you enjoy. In case you are wondering what event will happen at Working Connections next year – we have absolutely no idea. It is much better to just improvise on the appointed night.

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9th June 2011

2011 Combat Everything

We had an insane amount of rain the night of combat golf in May, 2011. We elected to go to an indoor amusement park in Springfield. Thanks to the folks at Incredible Pizza Company for tolerating us well into the evening. The park had a “Wacky Wednesday” theme. Little did they know what they had gotten themselves into. Combat golf has been described in detail already (on our main page). What did we do to top this in 2011. Consider miniature bowling with oven mitts, blindfolded air hockey, laser tag with eye patches (no depth perception), a trivia contest (while being pummeled with a battle axe), and indoor go-karts (while wielding a sword). These are just some of the rather odd activities our participants (victims) got themselves into. We had a great time. Hopefully we will have more victims in 2012.

Enjoy the photos. they are part of a set at Flickr. Just click on a thumbnail image below and you will be able to see a larger version at Flickr (and view all as part of a slideshow).

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6th June 2010

Combat bowling awards

Of course, with so much talent, there must be an awards ceremony. Perhaps moe will participate next year after seeing all these wonderful prizes.

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6th June 2010

Synchronized bowling

You may have heard of synchronized swimming. That gave us the idea for synchronized bowling. John and Scott, in this case…

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4th June 2010

John bowling on a pony

as you can see, each person had to perform multiple tasks. In this case, John had to ride a pony and bowl.

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2nd June 2010

Scott bowling over obstacles

Scott also had to bowl over obstacles.

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2nd June 2010

John bowling over obstacles

Another challenge we introduced were traffic cones. n this case, one had to straddle the cones and then bowl.

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