Explaining FootGolf and what it may mean for golf

FootGolf
FootGolf
FootGolf is a relatively new, unconventional and fun way to grow golf.
By T.J. Auclair, Senior Interactive Producer
PGA.com
Connect with T.J.

Series: Golf Buzz

Just last week in a segment on Golf Channel's Morning Drive, PGA of America President Ted Bishop announced the formation of a PGA Task Force to grow the game through non-traditional means.

One of those means, Bishop explained, was through a new phenomenon known as "FootGolf."

So what exactly is FootGolf? It's two sports in one -- soccer and golf.

We paid a visit to the official website of the American FootGolf League to learn more.

Here's a video of what FootGolf is:

This is how the American FootGolf League describes FootGolf:

FootGolf is a combination of the popular sports of soccer and golf. The game is played with a regulation No. 5 soccer ball at a golf course facility on shortened holes with 21-inch diameter cups. The rules largely correspond to the rules of golf. FootGolf as a game is played throughout the world in many different forms, but as a sport, it is regulated by the Federation for International FootGolf (FIFG). The American FootGolf League (AFGL) is the exclusive member of the FIFG and governing body for the sport of FootGolf in the United States. The AFGL is organizing tournaments throughout the country working with golf courses to bring FootGolf to their clubs as another avenue for revenue and to develop the game further.

And that's why Bishop and the PGA's Task Force feel FootGolf could be a great new avenue to help grow the game.

"This is something I had heard about at the PGA Show through our player development committee," Bishop said on Morning Drive. "I'll tell you what -- I'm doing FootGolf at The Legends and we're going to premiere it on May 3. The interest that I'm already getting from the soccer community on the sport is unbelievable... I think the thing that excites me, is that you've got the chance here to bring people in who are soccer-crazy and to give them the opportunity to go to the golf course, experience some things at the course and I think it would be ludicrous to think there won't be a percentage of those people that might say, 'Hey, you know what? I think I'd like to try and play golf.'"

There are 10 basic rules to FootGolf:

1. Wear golf apparel all the time.

2. Your ball must be easy to identify.

3. Review the scorecard and wait for your turn. Make sure your kick will not interfere with other players.

4. The ball must be played in a single movement. Your foot should be set separate from the ball, clearly behind, before the kick.

5. Wait to play until the ball has completely come to rest. (It is not legal to stop the ball from rolling with the wind).

6. Kick off your ball from a position up to two meters behind the round markers (tee markers).
- The order is established based on the score of the previous hole. The player with the best score will be the first to kick off on the next hole followed by the second, etc.

7. Play the ball from where it lies: It's not allowed to move the ball or remove jammed objects.
- Exception: You may mark the spot and lift the ball when it may obstruct the other players kick or ball in any way.

8. The player farthest from the hole is the first to kick the ball.

9. If the ball lands in a water hazard, retrieve or replace it within two steps from the closest land point from where the ball entered the water, receiving one penalty point, or you can place the ball at the position of the previous kick and receive one penalty point.

10. Only on the greens may the balls be picked up to be cleaned or replaced.
- Regardless of the distance from the hole, the hole must be completed. "Giving" to the opponent is not allowed.

You can click here to find a list of courses participating in FootGolf.

It's a great, unconventional way to help grow the game. And, arguably the best part for course operators interested in offering FootGolf, but aren't sure where or how to start -- The American FootGolf League does not charge courses for advice on set up and execution.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.
 

T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.