It's pretty unique when we get to see world-class athletes in action right in Central New York. And it's even more special when the competition includes local Mohawk Valley stars.

Wes and Lauren Cupp will both be running and gunning for major championships in three big hybrid golf events. The sport is called Speedgolf and it combines features of traditional golf, coupled with the crucial element of time. Players carry between three and six clubs and run from shot to shot; your number of strokes is added to the minutes and seconds it takes to complete 18 holes, and the result is your total score.

The sport's beginnings are traced to 1979, when American Olympic miler Steve Scott covered 18 holes in 29 minutes and 33 seconds and shot a 95, using only a 3-iron, for a total score of 124:33. Top current players don't run quite as fast as Scott, but regularly shoot in the 70s.

Here are the three big events coming to Central New York:

  • The U.S. Speedgolf Championships, Rome Country Club, October 13
  • The Speedgolf World Championships, Turning Stone Resort & Casino, October 15
  • The International Speedgolf Alliance Team World Cup, Turning Stone, October 16

Both Turning Stone tournaments will be held at the resort's Shenendoah course. The top Speedgolfers in the world will be here, and the Cupps will be among them.

Wes Cupp, owner-operator of Rome Country Club, is the second-ranked male Speedgolfer in the world. His wife Lauren, a New Hartford High School grad who's the head golf coach at Hamilton College, is ranked third among the world's elite Speedgolf women. They'll both be competing in all three events.