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- Jupiter, Florida, United States
Goal In a Hole
PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL – June 27, 2018 – Imagine playing soccer on a golf course. One may find that idea to be a bit odd since the two sports seem to have nothing in common, until now. Founded in the United States by the American FootGolf League (AFGL) in 2011, FootGolf, which is the fusion of golf and soccer, has become one of the fastest growing sports in the country.
The game is similar to golf, but instead of using gloves and a set of clubs to drive the ball, you use your feet to get the ball to where you want to go on the fairways. Played with a regulation #5 soccer ball at a golf course facility on shortened holes with 21-inch diameter “cups” in place of holes in the ground, players try to kick the soccer ball into the cup in as few shots as possible.
According to the AFGL, the game was first played in Europe around the 1990s, spreading worldwide from South America to Africa to Asia making its way to North America on the first decade of the new millennium. FootGolf is regulated worldwide by the Federation for International FootGolf (FIFG) and the AFGL became an official member of the FIFG and is the exclusive U.S. governing body for the sport as of June 2012.
AFGL President Laura Balestrine affirms there are almost 500 courses and 300 competitive players in the United States who participate in local and national tournaments year round. Some of the major tournaments include the AFGL Tour, U.S. National Championship, and U.S. Open.
“Since we launched the American FootGolf League in 2011, new players are finding their way into golf courses to play the sport of FootGolf. With the third FIFG FootGolf World Cup taking place in Marrakesh in December, competitive players are hoping for a spot on the national team. Every week, the AFGL adds new courses across the U.S. as more cities and golf resorts find that FootGolf is a great way to have an added activity for their residences and guests,” expresses AFGL Founder Roberto Balestrini.
FootGolf can be played as a single, twosome, or foursome. Larger groups can tee off one after another, based off of the tee sheet and course rules.
One of the newest courses in South Florida is located at Walt Disney World Golf. For the very first time, they are offering FootGolf to guests at Disney’s Oak Trail golf course. As traditional golf is played to the blue pin flags on the course, FootGolf players will play to orange flags and the game should take approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes much like that of nine holes of a round of golf, so it is a fun experience for the whole family! To celebrate the coming of the new sport, Disney will be holding the Magical FootGolf Challenge on September 1-3, 2018 at the Walt Disney World Palms Course as part of the AFGL Tour.
For those who are interested in playing the unique sport, you can also find FootGolf courses in South Florida at Sandhill Crane Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens (per request), Mallards Landing Golf Course in Melbourne, Greynolds Golf Course in North Miami Beach, and Killian Greens Golf Club in Miami.