A footwedge might be traditionally frowned upon, but it looks like things are about to change. We take a closer look at the craze hitting golf clubs worldwide.

Footgolf, Swedish Golf Federation, Golf Alternatives

A footwedge might be traditionally frowned upon, but it looks like things are about to change. We take a closer look at the craze hitting golf clubs worldwide.

What is Footgolf?

As the name implies footgolf is a hybrid between football and golf, with the objective being to kick a ball from tee to hole in as few kicks as possible. The game follows many of the common rules of golf, but with a size 5 football and a bigger hole. The game can be played on a traditional golf course, with bunkers, waters and trees still comprising the main hazards. Unfortunately for most of us, accurate putting is still absolutely essential!!

Is it the Answer to Golf's Problems?

Exported from continental Europe where the game emerged just under a decade ago, footgolf is gaining ever-increasing popularity. The recent decision by the Swedish Golf Federation to recognise footgolf as an official sport shows the increased respect being granted to the game, which despite its recent European origins, has already been exported worldwide. There are over 300 courses in America, whilst this month saw Buenos Aires play host to the second edition of the Footgolf World Cup in which the British team reached the semi-finals.

The idea of footballers on the golf course may seem absurd but there are certainly natural synergies between this new trend and regular golf. With very few modifications the game can be played on the existing golf course and be practiced by individuals who have no prior knowledge of the game.
With golf participation continuing to dip amid calls that the sport is too time-consuming, inaccessible and expensive, some claim that footgolf could provide a way to attract new people to golf.

SGF's Deputy General Secretary Bo Bengtsson commented, 

'It creates a new way into the game of golf which can be promoted in new places and to entirely new audiences. In addition, footgolf provides a great opportunity for golf clubs to expand their offer and increase their income.'

This has proven the case in America where struggling golf clubs have introduced the sport in an endeavour to stem the downward trend in golf participation. Closer to home,  the rise of foogolf has been pronounced. In less than three years 160 golf courses have popped up across the UK, with more scheduled for 2016. Prestwich Golf Club in Manchester, which hosted the UK International Footgolf Open in August, has demonstrated the game's potential. The club took more than £30,000 last year after opening their doors to footgolfers.

It is not only the small start up cost and potential revenue that is attracting golf clubs to footgolf. The game also has the ability to get people through golf club doors who may otherwise not be drawn to the golf club enviroment. 

Gareth May, head of UK development at the UK FootGolf Association has said,

'“The type of person that would play footgolf is not your typical golfer, it is a new type of person entering the golf environment for the first time, and realising that golf clubs are an accessible environment without stigma, and that not all clubs have a strict dress code.''

Looking for a quicker, relaxed and less time-consuming form of golf? Footgolf may be just the thing.

Where can you play?

Footgolf courses are springing up across the UK. To find your local course visit www.ukfootgolf.com