McIlroy Versus Rooney. It's On.
Get the best email in soccer.
Imagine Tiger Woods squaring off with Ronaldo. Watching Messi go head to head with Mickelson. Pitting the skills of Mcllroy against the moves of Rooney. We mean on the golf course, not the soccer field. That’s what the game of FootGolf is all about. No joke. It’s an inventive fusion that combines golf and soccer into a single sport. Sounds crazy but it’s true. And while you might find it hard to believe, this hybrid game – deemed an “official sport” in the Netherlands in 2009 – is catching on as fast as a New York cronut.
The way it works is simple. Instead of kicking a small dimpled ball around an 18-hole course, you kick a soccer ball down the fairway aiming for a cup. Yes, an extra large cup, big enough to accommodate a soccer ball. You score the game just like regular golf, with each shot counting as a stroke and the lowest number of shots being the ultimate goal (pun intended). It’s a great opportunity to let your country club style athleticism shine without having to choose between all those woods, irons, wedges and putters. Now you just need to figure out if you’re kicking with your right or left foot.
Want to see FootGolfing in action? Check out this video of a new course that just opened in Texas.
How popular is this relatively unknown sport? Way more popular than you can imagine. FootGolf already held the first ever World Cup competition in Hungary in 2012, in which eight countries including the U.S., Mexico, Argentina and Italy took part. Ever since, the sport has drawn lots of attention and grown like gangbusters around the world and in the North America.
According to the American FootGolf League founder Roberto Balestrini, “the first official U.S. tournament that happened in Northern California had only 144 players” and then took off fast with, as he puts it, “more than 3,000 playing in the next three months.” Balestrini is not overstating the draw of the game. With over 60 official courses in the U.S. expected to be open by the end of 2014, and tournaments scheduled in San Antonio, Washington D.C. and New Jersey, it appears this sport is here to stay.
But don’t stash away your pleated pants and golf shirts so fast. FootGolf still follows the same dress code as traditional golf. Except now, you’ll be hearing “nice kick” from your foursome buddies instead of “nice swing.” And we’re guessing you’ll have to book kick time instead of tee time—not sure about that.
Bottom line, it’s a crazy sport meets sport world we live in and everyone wants to be part of the action. So don’t be surprised if you’re 27th on the waiting list for the hot new FootGolf club everyone wants to be part of. It’s only a matter of time.