Sunday, June 22, 2014

Observations of FootGolf

Watching some FootGolf at Stockwood Park Golf Centre in Luton.

FootGolf course at Stockwood Park in Luton
Players await their turn on the FootGolf course at Stockwood Park in Luton. Note the practice putting green in the foreground

During my semi-annual game of Pitch & Putt Mini Golf against my golfing nemesis Oxana Nikandrova at Stockwood Park Golf Centre in Luton I got to see the centre's new FootGolf set-up in action.

FootGolf at Stockwood Park in Luton
Hole 1 at Stockwood Park. The red flag is on the 'normal' green and is the target for Golfers/Pitch & Putters. The white flag to the right of the green is the FootGolf target. Some of the FootGolf holes were to the side of the Golf greens, and some were set behind the green itself

We'd gone to Stockwood Park to use the driving range and have a round on the Mini Golf and we noticed that the new FootGolf offering at the centre was being very well used. In fact, while we were there only three or so other groups played actual Golf on the Golf course, with at least 15 groups - ranging from pairs to groups of three, four and five players - playing the new sport on the combined 9-hole Mini Golf/FootGolf course.

FootGolf at Stockwood Park in Luton
The BIG FootGolf cup

I'm quite intrigued by Footgolf and I look forward to giving it a play on Luton's two courses (the first to open was at Tea Green Golf). Perhaps a mini 'friendly' tourney will take place with my Pitch & Putt rivals 'Rowdy' Russell Fenner and Simon 'Practice' Hall. I first heard about FootGolf in September 2013 while playing Minigolf at the 9-hole Crazy Golf course at Stonham Barns in Suffolk.

As the name suggests FootGolf is a mix of Football and Golf, with the game played on a Golf course, and players aiming to get the football into the hole in as few shots as possible. No special equipment is needed, well, other than a 'size 5' football.

FootGolf at Stockwood Park in Luton
A regular Golf ball next to a FootGolf cup

While at Stockwood Park we noticed a steady stream of players heading onto the Academy Golf course (aka the 9-hole Mini Golf / Pitch & Putt) to play FootGolf and there was a real mix of people having a round. By the look of it the quality of play was also as mixed as the players having a go! With some shooting very close to the specific FootGolf hole with their 'tee' shot, while other people were hoofing it up the fairway and some players - mostly(!) youngsters - dribbling the ball to the hole!

Having a read of the FootGolf rules on the scorecard I noticed that the maximum score on a FootGolf hole is 8, only one ball is allowed to be in motion at any one time, and that if a ball comes to rest on a green then the ball is to be moved to the nearest point off of the green, but no closer to the hole, as a free drop.

FootGolf at Stockwood Park in Luton
The 'tee' shot of one of the players in the group of four footgolfers behind us got their ball (a size 5 football) onto the 'actual' green, rather than near to the FootGolf hole, which is dug in beside the greens on the Golf course

It was interesting to see both Golf and FootGolf being played on the course at the same time. It seemed to work quite well, with no more bottlenecks than I've experienced on the Academy course before.

A 9-hole round of FootGolf at Stockwood Park Golf Centre costs £5.50 for adults, £5 for seniors, £4 for juniors (children under-16) and £14 for a family ticket (two adults & two children under-16).

At Tea Green Golf the cost for a weekday 9-hole round is £6, or £8.50 for 18-holes. A family midweek deal is £15.00 and juniors (under-16s) can play for £4.50. At weekends a round costs £8.50 for 9-holes and £11.00 for 18. Juniors can play for £5.50 and the family deal is £20. Details of the prices and booking info can be found on the Tea Green Golf website.

Check out the UK FootGolf Association website for more details about the sport, courses, competitions and other countries that play the game.

Both Stockwood Park Golf Centre and Tea Green Golf are hosting regular UK FootGolf Association tournaments. Get in touch with the respective courses for entry details.

The game of FootGolf seems to be growing rapidly and another Golf Centre we recently visited (to play a new Adventure Golf course) - Golf Kingdom in Romford - is building a new FootGolf course, due to open in July 2014.

In the round of Pitch & Putt against Oxana I scored 30(+3) with Oxana finishing on 50(+23). It was a good fun round, in lovely weather.

- Stockwood Park Golf Centre
- Tea Green Golf
- UK Footgolf Association

Related blog posts:
- FootGolf
- Stockwood Park-related Blog Posts
- Tea Green-related Blog Posts
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour - Course Played #30 Luton (Stockwood Park) - Mini Golf/Pitch & Putt
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour

1 comment:

Richard Gottfried said...

On Monday 7th July 2014 I headed to Stockwood Park Golf Centre in Luton for my first round of FootGolf. Check out the blog post for photos and results here.