The golf industry has significantly declined over the past years, with a loss of 22% players or 6.8 million fewer golfers, in 2018 compared to 2003.
Many have attributed this decline in golf players to the playing expense, course difficulty, and the game’s incompatibility with modern lifestyles.
In hopes of bringing in new players and reviving interest in the sport, many golf courses have started offering FootGolf. Embracing this new activity has helped struggling golf courses boost revenue and bring in new customers.
As more people learn about and try FootGolf, this trend will likely continue to grow.
What is Football Golf?
Claiming to be one of the fastest-growing sports in the world, FootGolf combines soccer and golf played on a golf course.
The sport has opened new doors to a demographic that may not have considered playing golf. It offers a diverse and inclusive opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to play together.
According to the American FootGolf League (AFGL), 450 courses in 49 states now offer FootGolf. This demand has even created a professional FootGolf circuit with tournaments that span the globe. The World Championship is held annually, with the 2023 FIFG FootGolf World Cup event in Orlando.
How Does Footgolf Work?
Playing FootGolf involves using your feet to kick a soccer ball into an oversized cup on a golf course. The game is similar to golf, intending to complete the course with the fewest number of kicks.
How Do You Play Football Golf?
There are 18 holes on a FootGolf course, each with a designated par. Like in golf, players try to complete the course using the fewest number of kicks. The game can be played with individuals or teams.
Players tee off from a designated area using a soccer ball. Once all players in a group have kicked off, the player whose ball is farthest from the hole is up first. Play then proceeds as normal, taking turns kicking the ball until it’s in the cup.
If the ball goes out of bounds, there is a one-kick penalty and the player must kick the ball from where it went out of bounds. If the ball lands in a water hazard, the player can choose to either take a one-kick penalty or place the ball within two club lengths of where it last crossed the hazard and take a one-kick penalty.
Once all players in a group have completed the hole, they move on to the next tee box and repeat the process. The game is complete once all players have finished the final hole. The player with the lowest score is declared the winner.
How Long Does It Take To Play FootGolf?
A typical game of FootGolf takes about half the time as a game of golf. That’s an estimated two to two and a half hours compared to four to five hours for golf.
Although, this timeframe might change depending on the number of players and how serious they are taking the game.
What Equipment Do You Need for Footgolf?
When playing footgolf, there’s no need to ask, “What size golf clubs do I need?”
Your feet will serve as your clubs. All you need is a pair of healthy legs, a soccer ball, and comfortable shoes to play with.
Most golf courses that offer FootGolf will have soccer balls available for rent or purchase. These are official size 5 soccer balls. It’s an adult-sized ball with a 68cm to 70cm circumference, depending on how hard the ball is blown up.
What Do You Wear for Footgolf?
Players must abide by a dress code when playing in an official tournament. The American FootGolf League has specific guidelines that include:
- Headwear, preferably a ball cap or hogan hat
- Shirt with a collar
- Golf shorts (no denim)
- Golf shoes or turf shoes (no soccer cleats)
- Socks that cover the ankle, preferably Argyle socks
On the other hand, social FootGolf games are typically more relaxed, so players can wear whatever they want as long as it’s comfortable. You might consider wearing shorts, a tee shirt, sneakers, or turf shoes. However, players should still follow the dress code of the FootGolf course facility.
Is Footgolf Hard?
FootGolf is a game of accuracy and precision. Like golf, it takes practice to master the sport. But the good thing is that you don’t have to spend countless times trying to know how to keep your left foot planted in a golf swing. All you need is some legwork, and you’re good to go.
Athletes need training to improve their footwork and control over the ball. The average person can expect to need a few games before they feel comfortable with the scoring system and their kicking abilities.
There are also different levels of difficulty when playing FootGolf. That said, anyone can play and enjoy FootGolf. The game is well-designed for people of all ages and abilities to play together.
Amateurs might want to start with a more leisurely course until they get the hang of it. From there, they can move on to a more challenging course with longer holes.
It’s a fun way to encourage your kids to stay active or a way for you to enjoy some physical activity with your friends. It’s low-impact, so it’s easy on the joints, and you don’t have to run long distances.
How Long Has Footgolf Been Around?
Although the game is only gaining global popularity in recent years, FootGolf has been around for some time. The game originated in Europe in 2008, where it was initially a post-training game for professional soccer players. It gradually gained popularity and spread to other countries.
The first 9-hole FootGolf tournament officially took place in the Netherlands in 2009. In 2011, it was introduced to North America. From there, the game has continued to grow in popularity.
FootGolf is a relatively new sport, but it has been a phenomenal game worldwide. It is a unique mix of soccer and golf, and people of all ages and abilities can enjoy it.
What makes Footgolf so amazing is that it’s a low-impact sport and doesn’t require a lot of running or athleticism. All you need is a pair of comfortable shoes and a soccer ball, and you’re good to go.
Whether looking for a fun way to stay active with your kids or a leisurely game to enjoy with your friends, FootGolf is the perfect sport for you.