08 / 10 / 23
Published 20  / 02 / 2024

British Bread Golf Open 2023

Football, cricket, tennis, rugby, badminton, squash to mention a few: the UK has pioneered a number of sports over the years. But for us in the 21st century, developments have slowed to a crawl.

It would take a major innovation to galvanise the British sporting world, and it wasn’t until 2012 until sports fans got what they had been crying out for. While the nation rallied around its third Olympics roughly 16 miles away, Kingston upon Thames saw the creation of an entirely new sport. Bread Golf, and a league to go with it: the British Bread Golf Open.

(A big thank you to Robin and the rest of The Community Brain team for organising both this, and a number of other wonderfully silly local events in the name of charity. Kingston would be a far more boring place without you!

The British Bread Golf Open is held annually in Autumn, alongside the River Thames. This water hazard is integral to the competition as unlike traditional golf there is only one hole: a bucket mounted at an angle in a small boat mowed in the centre of the capital's waterway.

Unlike other sporting events in Kingston upon Thames, the town does not shut down to accommodate the breadheads of the BBGO, with tourist paddle steamers and leisure craft alike traversing the watery fairway.  It is customary to stop play and wave at each passerby, as is the case with all events on the Community Brain’s calendar, with high-viz-clad enforcers ensuring a strict adherence to the tradition. There is no quarter spared for those who moor up alongside the hole however, who must risk life and limb for their front-row seats.
Regulation dictates the doughballs are baked until hard before being provided to competitors in sets of three.  There are differing levels of superstition amongst the sport’s ranks, with some going to great lengths to select only the finest carbohydrates for their attempts. Less discerning bread golfers can sometimes inadvertently end up with fragile balls, demanding a chip stroke versus the typical drive to achieve any sort of distance.

While none of the nearly 30 competitors reached the target boat, it is easy to say that this year’s British Bread Golf Open was a runaway success when it came to raising money for Creative Youth, a Kingston-based charity who, in their own words, “enable young people to get involved in innovative, original and ambitious creative projects.” 

Well done to all those who competed at this year’s open, and to Community Brain’s team of volunteers and their endless work towards these local events.

Waving to passing boats is crucial to good sportsmanship.


Email. For work.
Instagram. Visual scrapbook.
Twitter. Journalism.

+44 7449 318617


I am a London-based photojournalist and documentary photographer.

My work deals with themes of privacy and accountability on some days, and just plain interesting stories on others.