Robert Hogan – Need for speed!

Robert Hogan – Need for speed!


Robert Hogan has taken another giant step in promoting Speedgolf by publishing his own book which he hopes will take the game to the next level in the golfing sphere.

Someone who won’t get penalised for slow play, Robert Hogan is used to doing things quickly but with his book, SpeedGolf; A Brief History of Time + Score, this is a project that has been three years in the making and he is over the moon to have it finally published and available for purchase.

“It’s something I've been wanting to do since forever,” says the two-time Speedgolf World Champion. “I did some interviews for it as far back as 2020 with some of the old guys in the sport and I got some unbelievable inspiration over the last few months and stayed up all night for two months straight.”

This book traces the history of Speedgolf, from 1931 right up until that 2012 tipping point and then Hogan’s decade long journey in the sport.

Uniquely placed to document and present a picture of this burgeoning sport, Hogan delivers with a never seen before collected history dating back to 1931. After 2012 the book tells the story of Speedgolf through the lens of Hogan's journey. The last part of the book is a detailed explanation of many of his innovations and thoughts.

“Speedgolf has been really gaining traction since 2012 and the amount of media coverage worldwide I really felt it was time for someone to document and collect all the history of it. I was uniquely placed having built up relationships with all the people who have grown the game since the late 80s and mid 90s.

“I felt I was best placed to write the book and my hope is that it can inspire speed golfers and then golfers and runners to start playing Speedgolf at their club and start entering Speedgolf competitions.

“Even when I had the idea to write the book, to imagine I would get it finish it is just a dream. I’m just thankful for everyone involved in Speedgolf and my family and all who helped me with all the late nights.”

The current Irish Open Speedgolf champion hopes the concept of Speedgolf will grow among his fellow PGA Professionals and will result in morning slots on club timesheets being allocated for the sport.

“Speedgolf is something extra. It takes far less time. Golf pros and club managers can work Speedgolf into the weekly timesheet. Mike Keiser has been a big sponsor of Speedgolf and he kindly agreed to pen the last paragraph of the book and he strongly agrees timesheets should have time in the morning for speed golfers.”

The 37-year-old has always dreamed of a career in golf and turned professional aged 19 after a healthy junior career that included securing a place on the Leinster Boys panel. It was in Bray Golf Club where he first experienced Speedgolf in 2008.

Having become a full-time speed golfer, Hogan is currently ranked 11th in the Power Rankings and is the game’s only multiple world champion.

“I was an idiot playing on his own in Ireland back as far as 2008,” he jokes. “I first did it as a fundraiser for a charity project and the first time I did it was at Bray Golf Club.

“I was assistant to Ciaran Carroll and he supported me to do the event so I did it as a charity event and it was great fun. That’s always been my dream to be a tournament player which is a lofty dream but Speedgolf has given me the opportunity to compete all over the world which has been fantastic.”

Now another dream has come true for the Galway-based professional who has seen years of tireless research come to fruition.

“I spent a lot of time talking to people who were involved in Speedgolf before me. I tirelessly researched the sport. The composition of the book is my researched history of Speedgolf from 1931 to 2012.

“A very important moment in Speedgolf is when PGA Professional John Bell devised the format time + score in the 1980s which made it a golf centric format. In 2012 after conversations with some PGA Professionals in the States Mike Keiser sponsored the Speedgolf World Championships for five years for $2.5 million and paid for it to be on CBS Sports. Then it started to make it around the world.

“It documents everything through my gaze from 2012 and takes a slightly different approach. It’s my story so I try to relay events with as little bias as possible. The book concludes with some musings, techniques and thoughts on Speedgolf. There’s a chapter on how Speedgolf is taking hold with the golfing bodies around the world.”

On matters on the golf course, Hogan feels the pace of play has enabled him to make substantial improvements to his game.

“Before I started Speedgolf my driving was very erratic,” he explains. “When I started, I was able to find a better rhythm and began hitting fairway after fairway and low and behold, when I went back to playing regular golf, I was a much straighter hitter.

“You get into a good state of mind in Speedgolf, you don’t beat yourself up when you have a bad hole and a lot of the time you aren’t aware of your score because you have a scorekeeper there at all times and you are able to get into a better mindset in general.”

To put Hogan’s achievements into context, he once scorched around Druids Heath in Co. Wicklow in a mere 38 minutes while shooting a 79 gross. Having picked up a club aged 12, dreams of world record rounds were far from his mind but in California he broke that duck while he also has a personal best of 106.

“My personal best was in New Zealand which was 106 so 73+33,” says Hogan. “I have the record for the fastest round of golf ever on a course over 6000 yards in Speedgolf which was 35 minutes and 46 seconds in California.”

Hogan moved to Galway after turning professional where he joined the Athletics Club in Craughwell. Now Speedgolf combines both of his passions, golf and long distance running with the added bonus of getting to do both for a living all over the world.

“I always fancied that I could run a bit,” he adds. “When I started Speedgolf, that’s when I really got into distance running. I joined the Craughwell Athletics Club and now I am a member of the Dundrum Athletics Club in Tipperary.

“I’d love to keep travelling and competing at Speedgolf. I have a ball doing it and I see a lot of the world.”

CLICK HERE to buy a copy of Hogan’s new book


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