In July, HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” did a piece on the dropping popularity of golf in America. Not just people watching (or not watching, thanks, Tiger) golf, but the number of people playing the sport. Golf courses cost a ton of money to maintain and there are tons of them closing down across the country. One of the innovative ways someone came up with to help rescue golf courses is to turn them into “FootGolf” courses at different times.
What is FootGolf?
While it sounds like how you used to get out of the deep rough, it’s actually a game of golf, played on a golf course – with a soccer ball and your foot. No clubs. Basically, you’re counting how many kicks it takes to get the soccer ball into the oversized hole (21-inches wide).
The 2014 MLS All-Star weekend also had four MLS players give FootGolf a shot during their week of All-Star festivities.
Someone with brains realized that the popularity of soccer is growing in America, as is the Latin American population, and golf courses are hemorrhaging money. By opening up the courses to people of all ages for some FootGolf, they earn some revenue from mostly a different market than they’ve tapped before, and
This thing became an official sport in the U.S. in 2011!?! Where was I?
Looking for some FootGolf courses near you? Here’s a map of a great number of FootGolf courses in the United States.
Interestingly, here’s a video of some fellas in the American FootGolf League playing FootGolf at a Las Vegas golf course.
Apparently, the etiquette remains that you should still dress like a golfer (minus the golf spikes) and you get to wear golf shorts! Here’s a link to some of the basic rules.
Anyone that has experienced double-digit strokes on one hole will probably welcome a game that makes you remember kickball in grade school (or just out of college?).
Some great side-bets and random rules you could do for some FootGolf rounds:
1. Farthest from the pin on a Par 3 hole has to play the next hole with their opposite foot.
2. You have to kick from the sandtraps in bare feet.
3. You get to tee off by punting the ball, rather than like a kickoff.
I’m game for some FootGolf — as long as they don’t start adding goalkeepers to each hole!