Local golfer places third in US Open Speedgolf Championships

Shane Lakins placed third in the US Open Speedgolf Championships. Submitted photo.

A local golfer and retired Queen’s University Cross Country/Distance Track coach, Shane Lakins, placed third in the 8th US Open Speedgolf Championships in Rome, NY, last weekend.

Speedgolf, much like it sounds, combines golf with speed — players record both their strokes and the minutes it takes to play the course, and the lowest combined score wins. An 18 hole round of speedgolf can be played in just 45 to 90 minutes.

Lakins competed in the senior category (ages 50 to 59) on two different courses, playing 18 holes each day, and taking home a bronze medal in his very first competition. According to a media release, Lakins shot 90 in blistering heat on Saturday in 66:05 and followed it up with a 93 on Sunday in 63:10, all while using only four clubs.

Lakins is well-versed in both running and golf. He coached the Gaels XC and Distance Track team for 16 years and worked with the Canadian National Team for 10 years. After retiring from coaching, he returned to golf and became a PGA Teaching Professional six years ago.

This year, Lakins decided to combine his two passions more seriously, according to the release. Starting the year with just a 5-iron and a wedge, he gradually added a hybrid and putter, preparing for the US Open.

“Given it was my first official competition my goal was to go and compete, have fun, and learn more about what others are doing to perform better. I’m so new to the sport, being able to chat with the best in the world and see how they do it really helps me as I try to figure out what works for me,” Lakins expressed.

Reflecting on his bronze medal win, Lakins shared, “I had to follow my own advice I give golfers to take it one shot at a time and stay focused on the process and things you can control. Finishing third was something that just happens when the times and the scores are added up, but yeah for sure I was trying to get on the podium.”

According to the release, the 56-year-old coach and rookie speedgolfer recently launched Per4mance Institute, a multidisciplinary company that specializes in personal performance across various fields, including sports, business, and teams. As for future speedgolf competitions, Lakins plans to use the international nature of the events as motivation to stay in shape and compete at other events around the world.

He also hopes to build a local speedgolf community, saying with a laugh, “misery likes company!”

Learn more about Speedgolf USA here.

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