Club to build ‘FootGolf’ course14th August, 2013 by Alistair Dunsmuir
A Surrey golf club has become at least the sixth in the last year to build a ‘FootGolf’ course at its venue in a bid to attract a new type of paying customer.
FootGolf involves players trying to get a football into a super-sized golf hole in the fewest kicks possible.
The sport has grown in popularity since it was launched in the USA last July, and at least six UK golf clubs have now built a course to meet demand.
Courses tend to feature nine or 18 holes and can be several thousand yards long, while individual holes can be as long as 350 yards, although most are less than half that size. The ball used is usually a size five football, with holes between 20 and 21 inches (52 to 53cm) wide.
Addington Court Golf Centre in Surrey is the latest to announce it will build a course at its venue.
“We’ve created a special 2000-yard, 18-hole course, with par threes, fours and even a five which will test even the best FootGolfers,” said Paul Oliver, director of golf at Addington Court.
“The course uses the natural landscape but preserves the great condition of the playing surfaces for our regular golfers.
“It’s for all ages and both sexes. It’s no surprise that a lot of our regular junior golfers have been testing out the new FootGolf course after their regular game of golf – and some could become joint FootGolf and golf professionals!”
FootGolf already has a governing body, the UK FootGolf Association (UKFG), and was brought to the UK by Mike O’Connor, who finished third in its launch event in the USA.
“Even if you can no longer play football, for whatever reason, you can play FootGolf,” he said.
“We’ve had players aged from six years old up to 74 so far this year, and everyone – young or old, male or female – has a fantastic time.
“FootGolf is great exercise but you don’t get tackled or out of breath. Most adults can kick a ball over 50 yards, although downhill and with the wind it can go a lot further, and with FootGolf holes averaging 120 yards or so, the 18-hole scores can match ‘real’ golf quite closely. Scores in the 60s are not uncommon, although most people would be thrilled to break 80.”
Competitors at Addington Court will pay £15 to play a round. Other clubs to build courses include Cromwell Golf Centre in Cambridgeshire, Bridlington Links Golf & Leisure Estate in Yorkshire, South Essex Golf Centre and Monkton Park in Wiltshire.