Carlos Stremi, director and founder of Illinois FootGolf Association, invited me and three friends to a FootGolf tournament at Bonnie Dundee Golf Course in Carpentersville, Illinois.
While I was clearly outshined by my three NCAA soccer-playing counterparts, I was thrilled just to be outside on a sunny day and kicking around a size-5 soccer ball with a cold drink in my hand.
The players on the hole behind my group were men who knew exactly what they were doing—I was impressed to say the least. On the other hand, one of the players on the hole ahead of us was a 4-year-old. Yes, a 4-year-old child, who you could hear squealing with sheer bliss whenever he kicked the ball into the hole. I literally saw both ends of the FootGolf-skill spectrum to my left and to my right, perfectly illustrating that this sport is fun for all.
For an exclusive look at my personal first-time FootGolf experience, watch this video I made (with iPhone 4 quality).
Mediocre cinematography aside, if my story isn’t enough to convince you to give FootGolf a try then consider this:
- The first 18-Hole FootGolf Tournament took place in the Midwest (Wisconsin) on July 22, 2012. Now, just a few years later, there are more than 180 golf courses in 36 states
- There are approximately 30 countries playing FootGolf at different levels and with different rules
- FootGolf hopes to become an Olympic sport within the next few decades
After the tournament, I got to talking with some of the other players at the clubhouse bar.
Tyler Mahaffey, who has a soccer background but had never set foot on a golf course prior to FootGolf, said, “The concept is so simple; you don’t have to pick which clubs to use like you would in golf.”
Tyler’s friend, Zach Wilkening, added, “It’s a great way to get out and have fun on a nice day. You can make it competitive, but it doesn’t have to be.”
Across the bar, Brendan Neff explained how he started playing FootGolf through Kick It Social, the “first recreational soccer organization created by players for players” and a division of Kick It Right. Brendan said, “I brought some of my teammates, my old coach, my brother and his girlfriend to play—so I had a pretty wide range of skill levels in my group. It was still really fun.”
So, FootGolf is not only fun for all ages and skill levels, but is also arguably the fastest-growing sport in the nation. Jump on the bandwagon now so you can reminisce later and say, “I played that game when…” Proudly boasting “The Best Game Ever Invented,” FootGolf is definitely a sport I will continue to play, and you should, too!