Footgolf, the hybrid sport that is transforming golf courses all over the world, blends the fundamentals of soccer with an easygoing activity. The sport is played with a soccer ball, on a golf course and is accessible to everyone. Yes, everyone! If you can kick a soccer ball, then you can play footgolf. As golf courses around the nation have begun to incorporate footgolf onto their courses, they have witnessed an increase in attendance to golf courses, especially amongst the younger generations. Therefore, we ask the question, why is footgolf so accessible and appealing?
Footgolf is appealing to many people because the skills and equipment needed to play is readily accessible to everybody. All you need is a soccer ball, and basic skills (maybe some friends) to play footgolf. Plus, millions of Americans have played at least some kind of basic organized soccer during their youth, and continue to encourage their children to also play the sport. Youth soccer is almost like a right of passage for many children, much like little league baseball. Footgolf is an extension of the skills learned in those AYSO or club soccer seasons, just in a different setting.
So, what are the skills practiced during a round of footgolf? From the perspective of a lifelong player and coach, the skills practiced are accuracy and precision combined with power. A power shot is needed off the tee, much like a shot on goal or clearance from the defensive half. Here is where we use our laces to maximize power and distance. Seemingly, defenders and goalkeepers have some of the most power off the tee. However, in my opinion the second shot is the most crucial one to a successful round. Vision (perception) of the course, passing accuracy and gauging distance from the hole come into play on the second shot. Traditionally, skilled passing midfielders tend to have more success here. They tend to be able to read distance and obstacles better to perform the appropriate technique. Often, the second kick requires an inside-the-foot “bended kick” (like Beckham) around an obstacle (aka trees or water). A good second kick sets you up for the all important putt, and hopefully birdie! Continuing with the in-game analogy, strikers tend to be very good at putting. They are experts at putting the ball where it needs to go! Techniques vary for this kick, but finesse and proper passing technique gets the best results.
As a coach, I teach the techniques to kicking a soccer ball like an expert, but footgolf provides the perfect way to get immediate feedback on how good your technique actually is. I would recommend anyone to go out to play some footgolf!
It’s a great sport for kids to learn techniques, Sunday league veterans to relive their former glory days or have a family outing where everyone can play!
Written by Ian Cook.
Published by Chris Rael.