It’s a rarely spoken truth, but it has to be said: golfing isn’t welcome on the streets of downtown Portland.

It’s also true that the random plot of grass in front of Rosie’s would be an ideal spot to tee off for a long drive down Fore Street.

But golfers are forced to bag their clubs in town and stifle that penchant for the swing. Golf bags are not welcome companions for dinner, and short No. 2 pencils cannot be bartered for drinks. And let’s face it, dance floors just weren’t made for cleated shoes.

Swinging men and women know, no one’s going to salute your form if you start swinging a club on the deck of Brian Boru or bank a ball off the Time & Temperature Building.

Those clubs would come in handy, however, during the overnight at the Cumberland County Jail after you shattered a few car windows (not that the jailers would let you hang onto those implements of destruction).

So golfers try to bury their club love for a few hours and deny the call of “fore!” along the Old Port streets. Inevitably, though, they’re spotted wielding a soup spoon like it’s a nine iron or practicing their short game with a bread stick and a plate of peas.

But golf can find a happy place in Portland. With a few tweaks — like trading clubs for pints and golf balls for chicken wings — a unique brand of golf is teeing off in town this weekend.

The second annual Pub Golf event, organized by the good folks at PortSports Social Club, blends hole-to-hole triumphs of the traditional game with the in-town-appropriate art of beer drinking.

“It’s a spectacle,” said Morgan Surkin, co-founder of PortSports Social Club along with her husband, Dave. “There’s this huge group being rowdy and having a blast.”

Surkin says events like this help get the word out about PortSports.

“People think we only do sports leagues,” she said. “But we’re a social club.”

PortSports offers year-round events, including charity-based sports leagues for kickball, bowling and Wiffle ball. They also host benefits and social gatherings as well as skiing, camping and other trips.

It only makes sense that they’d blend downtown sociability with team jerseys and score cards.

Pub Golf consists of nine holes (also known as “bars” to non-golfers) that the entire group hits en masse.

Attendees gather at 4 p.m. at Rivalries in Portland to nab their official Pub Golf shirts, complete with a “course” schedule on the back.

The shirts gain pub golfers access to pint specials at all nine bars, and food specials at two.

There will also be T-shirt and gift certificate giveaways, and a contest for best golf attire. So pull on the argyle socks.

There won’t be any golf carts shuttling folks along the sidewalks of downtown, so pub golfers will hoof it from Rivalries to Brian Boru, then Margaritas, Binga’s Stadium, Fore Play, Amigos, Pat’s Pizza, $3 Dewey’s and finally to Gritty’s.

Drinking isn’t required, but for those who do choose to imbibe, the drink specials will keep it budget-friendly, with all the drinks under $3.

Late registrants might miss out on the bright tees, but a colored wrist band will still win wearers the same specials.

It’s a win-win for golfers who are tired of being shunned from the city (and who regularly misinterpret “dance club” as a 5-wood that likes to slow-dance to ’80s ballads).

Staff Writer Shannon Bryan can be contacted at 791-6333 or at:

[email protected]


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