By Liam Morgan

The first-ever UK Cross Golf Open will take place on the Olympic Park in London in May ©Community GolfThe first annual UK Cross Golf Open will be staged at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London on May 15, Community Golf have announced.

The event, run in partnership with Shoreditch Golf Club and with the support of Mayor of London Boris Johnson, will see Britain's top cross golfers compete for one of 12 places in the UK's European Urban Golf Cup (EUGC) team.

The EUGC in London takes place at the same venue the following day (May 16) and is the biggest tournament of its kind in Europe.

In 2014, the EUGC saw 12 teams battle it out for the title, which was eventually won by hosts Germany in Cologne.

Community golf, who are a not for profit organisation, claim staging this event at the Olympic Park will help prolong the legacy of the Games and they hope it can introduce the sport to a wider community.

Cross golf incorporates traditional elements of the game but it can be played on a variety of surfaces and in different environments, including industrial parks, playgrounds, urban landscapes and even indoors.

Players do not have to adhere to a strict dress code and there are no annual memberships, and it markets itself as a more relaxed form of golf.

The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will play host to the inaugural UK Cross Golf Open in MayThe Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will play host to the inaugural UK Cross Golf Open in May ©Getty Images



Similar formats of cross golf are played all over the world, such as urban and street golf, and the sport is gaining popularity, particularly in Europe, it is claimed.

Specially adapted golf balls are used, and players carry a small mat to protect both their clubs and the playing surface, but other than these minor rule tweaks, the regulations remain the same as normal golf.

The sport of golf received a boost when it was announced in 2009 that it would be added to the Olympic programme for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro for the first time in 112 years, along with rugby sevens.

However, a particular bone of contention in the build-up to the eagerly-anticipated Games is the problems surrounding the golf course, which has been heavily protested against in Brazil due to environmental impacts.

Anyone wishing to enter the UK Cross Golf Open can register using the form found here.

Contact the writer of this story at liam.morgan@insidethegames.biz