Golf as a sport has long been accompanied by a certain set of preconceived notions. It’s a pursuit that summons images of cheesy polo sweaters, argyle socks, wealth, and environmentally damaging courses – though, it arguably connects its player more to nature than any other sport. Aiming to usher in some inclusivity, a motley crew of Cape Town creatives, led by photographer Imraan Christian, were followed by High Snobiety and Nike as they turned the city streets into their own personal golf course.
Christian first began making a name for himself as a visual artist during the original iteration of the Fees Must Fall movement in 2015. A nationwide protest campaign calling for socio-economic transformation, Christian’s striking images taken during the protests were brutal, emotive and raw. Now, the young artist has turned his attention to the concept of ‘urban golf’ in order to further his creative connection to his city.
Derived from the original sport, urban golf has since spread relatively quickly around the world. According to Philippe Missemer, founder of online urban golf magazine 19-news.com, it developed in the nineties in Germany – a period in which the concept of land ownership in the city remained fairly loose. For Christian and his crew, the sport represents a unique and inspired way of connecting to their land and heritage.
Shot in and around Cape Town’s central business district, the one and a half-minute film follows the crew of young creative as they enjoy the freedom of movement and expression that the sport allows them. Clad in pieces from Nike’s Golf range, they move through urban landscapes to beautiful natural sites with ease, demonstrating the harmonious relationship their urban golf practice has bred between them and the city.
“At the core, it’s a simple idea,” explains Christian. “It’s returning to our true nature by claiming freedom."
Watch the short film above and check out the accompanying images shot by Christian here.