“Whing Golf” Championship at Mt. Shasta Golf Course

Dave Sjostedt
Sally Bates putts while Blake Michaelson and Larry Auxter look on. 
Photo by Dave Sjostedt

John Fryer didn’t intend to invent a new game when he saw that golf was faltering as a sport. Participation fell to 24 million in 2017 after peaking at 30 million in 2003. 

Fryer, with his family, developed the Mt. Shasta Resort and its golf course, built on a former air-strip. The family no longer owns the resort, but Fryer maintained his love of the game and wondered what he could do to help golf course owners out of their financial difficulties. 

The former engineer envisioned a game played on a golf course using a “Whinger” to throw the ball rather than a golf club to hit it. He had to design, build, and test numerous models before coming up with the Whinger, a light metal rod with a poly-carbonate cup that holds a golf ball. 

A good Whing can travel 120 to 150 yards. The player can then toss the ball onto the green, usually with an underhand motion, and then putt it in. Scored like golf to par, a game usually consists of nine holes. Young and old can play and it requires only a Whinger, a putter, and a golf ball. 

Fryer has been trying to spread the game, but golf is a tradition-bound sport and many course-owners, even those with money woes, are reluctant to try the game despite the extra folks it would bring to their fairways. 

Still, 12 courses have bought into the game, welcoming Whingers. Most are in the west with five in California, three in Oregon, two in Nevada, and one in Washington, but a course in Pennsylvania has also signed up. 

The Mt. Shasta Resort supports Whinging. If you’re interested, Google “Whing Golf” for their homepage and a video showing how the sport is played. 

Whing golf staged “The First Whing Golf World Championship” as a benefit for the Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum Sunday at the Mt. Shasta golf course. 

Befittingly, the Mt. Shasta Museum team, led by executive director Jean Nels won the women’s competition. Nels was joined by Annie McCrillis, Stacey Smith, Julie Bennett, and Carlita Hallet. 

The winning men’s team included Geoff Harkness, Chris Chase, Kevin Van Laeken, and Robin Winters. 

A team of Mount Shasta High  School soccer players won the under 21 division. Winning Whingers were Will Winters, Brice Harkness, Asher Aguirre, and Emma Carpenter.