Footgolf

The Ultimate Hybrid Sport

“Footgolf?”

Asked my friend, as I began to discuss the one of the UK’s hottest and fastest emerging sports. “Surely you mean football, or golf?”

This is a typical response, despite the fact that footgolf is a cult sport that continues to emerge into the mainstream. It is essentially a hybrid of football and golf, where players move across a 9 or 18 hole course and have to kick a ball into a strategically placed cup – pretty simple eh!?

The player who completes the course in the fewest shots wins, and the majority of rules tend to correspond with the sport of golf.Matchplay ability is also important, as even players with the most powerful shot are likely to be overcome with good touch and a strategic approach.

Let the Tournaments Begin!

The inaugural nine-hole tournament took place in the Netherlands in 2009 and was organised by Michael Jansen’s marketing team and the Nederlandse FootGolf Bond (NFGBNL). It was this championship that inspired the Belgian and Hungarian federations to make the full-time switch from parks to golf courses, and by 2011 the game had been popularised in the UK, U.S. and even Argentina.

With the sport now a worldwide affair, the Federation for International FootGolf was established in June 2012.

Footgolf World Cup

The first World Cup also took place in June 2012, as eight countries including:Hungary,
Argentina,
Belgium,
Greece, Netherlands,
Italy,
Mexico
United States

gathered at theKisorozi Golf Course in Budapest.

A grand total of eighty players competed in the first round over eighteen holes before a savage cut left just eighteen standing on day two. Once all the balls had been sinking, home favourite Bela Lengyel claimed the inaugural world crown, beating off fierce competition from Peter Nemeth and Csabe Feher.

Where to Play

Now that we’ve filled you in on the awesomeness of footgolf, you’re probably wondering how you might get involved. From the Axe Cliff Coast and Country Club in Devon to the Cowal Golf Club in Dunoon in the North West, there are several locations where aspiring champions and recreational players can gather to perfect their craft.

With prestigious tournaments such as the Winter Series scheduled throughout January, February and March, now is the ideal opportunity to register your interest and compete at a variety of domestic and international levels.

What to Wear

As for the attire, the obligatory flat cap or drivers’ hat and knee-high argyle socks, footgolf has a dress code that would make the typical trend-conscious teenager wince. It is an important part of the games’ fabric as it is tied into its routes and helps to reflect the sports identity. Collared shirts are also a must, as are golf pants and indoor or astroturf shoes.

So why not find a course near you and register, as one of the benefits of new sports is that you have a potential fast-track to becoming a champion (or at least representing your country)!