Variations on the Game of Golf – FootGolf

FootGolf

FootGolf is starting to catch on at golf course across the country

It’s been a while since we’ve added to this series of posts (see related posts at bottom), but finding an interesting take on the game of golf isn’t something you happen across every day. FootGolf, however, is a worthy golf variation to write about.

“…Combining the distinction, elegance and precision of golf with the passion, energy and fun of soccer in a marvelous sport full of life…” is how the American FootGolf League (AFGL) website (footgolf.net) describes this twist on two world-renownoud sports.

Founded in 2011, the AFGL is associated with the larger Federation for International FootGolf (FIFG). The AFGL represented the U.S. in FIFG’s first FootGolf World Cup in Budapest last summer (there were 12 countries represented in total). So as you can see, the folks who play FootGolf take it very seriously (and it seems to be growing in interest). But what really is this game about that boasts “our balls are bigger” as their slogan? Well, according to footgolf.net:

“FootGolf is a combination of the popular sports of soccer and golf. The game is played with a regulation #5 soccer ball at a golf course facility on shortened holes with 21 inch diameter cups.  The rules largely correspond to the rules of golf.  FootGolf as a game is played throughout the world in many different forms, but as a sport it is regulated by the Federation for International FootGolf (FIFG).  The American FootGolf League (AFGL) is the exclusive member of the FIFG and governing body for the sport of FootGolf in the United States.  The AFGL is organizing tournaments throughout the U.S. We are working with golf courses to bring FootGolf to their clubs as another avenue for revenue and to develop the game further.”

footgolf

As much as the image above might seem photoshopped, it’s not. Make no mistake – the powers that be in FootGolf are specifically targeting regular golf courses in this tough economy. A quote on the site makes the comparison to skiing – when the sport was struggling and snowboarding came along. Ski resorts carved-out a section of the slopes for snowboarders and subsequently added another revenue stream.

It’s in this vein advocates for FootGolf want to see normal golf courses accommodate their hybrid sport. And it’s hard to argue with their logic – everyone in the golf industry is aware of the current economic environment – anything that could help would be beneficial.

I have to admit – while I’m not a big fan of soccer, there’s something about FootGolf that entices me. I’ve never played, but I wouldn’t mind giving a shot. If you watch the video below, you’ll see that there’s no extended running involved – it really is in the style of traditional golf, but instead of using clubs you use your foot (it gives a whole new meaning to the toe iron)!

But can it help the traditional golf economy? That depends on how quickly it can grow – but if the snowboarding analogy holds true, this may not be the last time you hear about FootGolf.

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Comments

  1. Very nice!

    Greg,

    I play both Golf and Soccer but I am also, a FootGolf enthusiast. I was present at the kick-off event in Wisconsin Dells, also in Las Vegas FootGolf Open 2012, Puerto Rico Open 2013 and at the Heineken FootGolf Open in the West Coast. This is different. FootGolf do not compete with golf in any way. It is played with a soccer ball and the holes are 30-40 yards away from the green. The players dress like classic golfers with indoor/turf soccer shoes (no cleats). Fast game (2.5 Hrs for 18-Hole round). Golf courses may very well rent a few “tee times” at the end of the day using the same landscape and with no extra maintenance. Please be my guest and come to play with us in Sacramento at Haggin Oaks Golf Complex on July 14th or in Las Vegas in October 27th at Siena Golf Club. Thanks for taking the time to write about the sport I love.

    Robert

    • Robert – FootGolf has definitely caught my interest! And if it can help golf courses add some extra revenue, I’m all for it. Looking forward to seeing FootGolf grow exponentially over the next few years!

  2. Club selection looks easy.

    Are the footgolfers really willing to pay green fees to play or will this end up sharing space on disc golf courses?

  3. As someone who has been an earlier pioneer in the development of another hybrid of soccer, beach soccer, which has grown exponentionally both in the US and internationally, I am thrilled by FootGolfs potential to reach even larger heights way faster! Any kid who had ever gone to soccer camp has played it And dreamed of it. But now dreams are a reality! So excited to see this grow!

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