At one time or another, every golfer has been frustrated by the task of guiding his ball into one of those tiny 4.25-inch holes on the putting green. The new 21-inch holes being installed on SCR’s Summit Golf Course this season sound like they’d be easier to aim for – but there’s a catch. You have to put away your golf clubs and use your feet.
Welcome to FootGolf, a hybrid of golf and soccer that’s been sweeping the world of golf in recent years. The idea of blending golf and soccer has been around for decades, but it wasn’t until the 1980s that Dutch enthusiasts created official rules and courses for the sport. It is now a recognized tournament sport in over 20 countries, and the American FootGolf League recognizes 85 participating U.S. courses in 29 states.
FootGolf is played with a regulation #5 soccer ball, and its basic rules are like those of golf: the first shot at each hole has to be taken from the tee, and players must play past the usual array of bunkers, trees, water hazards and hills. Footgolfers are expected to abide by the rules of the hosting course, including dress code and appropriate shoes. A distinctive uniform is often worn (collared shirt, flat Hogan-style cap, golf pants or shorts, knee-length argyle socks and soccer shoes.)
Adapting an existing golf course for FootGolf isn’t as difficult as it might seem. FootGolf fairways run parallel to existing golf layouts (18 holes of FootGolf can be played in about the same time as nine holes of traditional golf) and the big 21-inch holes are typically placed in the rough or near undesirable hazards like sand traps, so it’s rare for players of the two games to come into contact – or conflict – with each other.
Cost is $10 per person, which includes ball. To make a “tee time,” contact the Summit Pro Shop at 231.533.8621, ext 7300.