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"mega" + "golf"
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I haven't been on the HB as much as of the past few months, mostly because I've been spending a lot of time planning a scientific study involving Hydra (tiny, long-lived freshwater cnidarians). Anyway, I recently read a paper from the mid-90s in which a researcher grafted several Hydra head-to-foot in a line, creating one long, interconnected animal with five bodies but only one head and one foot at either end. This somewhat disturbing experiment gave me an idea for a new kind of golf.

A round of Megolf lasts just as long as a round of normal golf, in which the participants play through 18 holes. However, instead of having 18 seperate holes, each with its own tee and green, a Megolf course has only one tee. After teeing off, players hit their golf balls through 18 successive, connected fairways. Each fairway is linked directly to the one after it, except for the 18th fairway, which ends with a putting green. Thus, it is as if there is simply one, gigantic, fairway, complete with many bunkers, water hazards,and the like.

Not being a golfer myself, I've no idea if this would even be remotely entertaining. But one thing's for sure: it would definitely be different.

DrWorm, May 11 2011


       Could be tricky in some courses where the course arrangement isn't necessarily consecutively orderly, or where some holes are on the other side of the road, etc.
RayfordSteele, May 11 2011

       I think this may be more popular with beginner golfists, as the precision of putting is the tricky bit. I think most see the fairway as basically 'give it a good whack and make sure you don't screw up in a bunker or something'.   

       Maybe have 18 holes, but have the angle you putt the ball into deciding which drain pipe the ball re-emerges onto for the next fairway?
Skrewloose, May 11 2011

       //mostly because I've been spending a lot of itme planning a scientific study involving Hydra//   

       DrW - you work on Hydra?
MaxwellBuchanan, May 11 2011

       Well, sort of. I must confess—I am a student. Currently, I'm enrolled in a research course that involves devising my own study and, hopefully, conducting it and submitting it for publication sometime during the next 1-2 years.   

       Research has indicated that Hydra polyps may be immortal (e.g. immune to senescence) and even if they are not, they have an unprecedented lifespan for creatures of their nature. A lab in California was able to keep a set of Hydra polyps alive for four years without any signs of aging, before the polyps were killed.   

       Hydra are also notable in that many of their cells are constantly undergoing mitosis. However, despite this, cancer has never been observed in hydra—and cancer is a major component of the aging process that hydra may be immune to. Hydra possess a genetic homologue of our p53 tumor suppressor gene. I intend to conduct a study assessing the function of this gene in the context of Hydra polyps' possible immortality.   

       At this point I've done a vast amount of reading on the subject, and I've corresponded with a Hydra researcher at the University of California, Irvine; I plan to volunteer at his lab over the summer. I haven't done any physical work on Hydra yet, however.
DrWorm, May 11 2011

       //a researcher grafted ... gave me an idea for a new kind of golf.// That delirious transition's well worth a [+] The golf idea itself is a bit of an anticlimax. As for the Hydra idea: let us know how it goes. But I wouldn't like it if Hydra turned out to hold the secret of immortality: they're icky.
mouseposture, May 12 2011

       I can't believe someone made a hydra centipede years before the human version movie came out.   

       Such a mind...
Custardguts, May 12 2011

       There's a perpetual motion machine in here somewhere.
daseva, May 12 2011

       An interesting aspect of Megolf would be the ability to take shortcuts, jumping from fairway to fairway, in locations where the fairways are folded back on each other. But, you'd have to hit the ball over trees and streams to do this and it would be risky. You can choose this approach or the safe "follow-the-path" approach.
phundug, May 12 2011

       Senescence eh? ... hmmmm   

       This place seems to have devolved into a chat room, where the chat - (which is recorded forever for posterity) - is more important than the original idea.   

       Major-long holes on golf courses - (par 6,7+) - are well known, and complete bears to play as most golfers' short-game (chipping/putting) are the easiest to master for most people.   

       [phundug]'s idea of multiple paths to the green is great, and hasn't been tried as much as I'd like so far. The problem is that (so far) it's been very difficult for architects to design courses with equitable paths: most golfers just use one path.   

       At the risk of adding to the 'chat', [DrWorm], I wish you luck in your research/thesis [+++], but I don't yet see a novel idea here which crosses the œbaked line. Sadly [-]
Wily Peyote, May 14 2011

       //recorded forever for posterity//   

       Nonsense, it erodes slowly over time as various users delete their accounts and re-register.
mitxela, May 14 2011

       Eons ago, I actually played Speed-Golf for free a few times on a 9-Hole Par-3 at Dusk, after flags were removed and staff called it a day. Bigger trick was for us to beat the sprinklers while maintaining speed & efficiency on adjacent dry fairways, so for that layout, we rearranged the 123456789 order to 156783429.
thumbwax, May 15 2011

       //most golfers' short-game (chipping/putting) are the easiest to master for most people.//   

       Ahem! That's possibly the biggest misconception about golf. 60% of shots are within 50 metres of the flag and are mostly botched.
infidel, May 15 2011

       Around here they always called megolf 'pocket pool.'
RayfordSteele, May 15 2011


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