Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Sports

FootGolf kicks off at Largo Golf Club with open house, tournament

RECOMMENDED READING


LARGO

Hit the links but leave the clubs at home. A new hybrid sport called FootGolf is coming to the Largo Golf Club.

"It's like the game of golf, only played with a soccer ball," said Jason Wilson, the golf course's supervisor. "It's pretty exciting. We're the eighth certified FootGolf course in the nation, the second in Florida and first in Tampa Bay."

The game is played using a regulation No. 5 soccer ball on a golf course where 21-inch diameter holes, 14 inches deep, have been carved into the turf. Players tee off and aim for the holes marked with red flags, kicking their way through the 9- or 18-hole course with as few shots as possible. The lowest score wins.

FootGolf kicks off this weekend with two big events.

On Saturday, the golf course hosts its inaugural FootGolf Open House. Beginning at 1 p.m., all are invited to "walk the course and kick the ball around." The event is free and includes music, complimentary food and drinks, and giveaways. Participants are encouraged to bring their soccer ball. Loaners will be available on a limited basis.

Then at 4 p.m., those who have preregistered to play in Sunday's Tampa Bay FootGolf Open, a game sanctioned by the Florida FootGolf Association and the American FootGolf League, can play a practice round.

On Sunday, registration for the open begins at 11:30 a.m. with tee off at 1 p.m. and an awards ceremony at 4 p.m. The tournament is limited to the first 96 FootGolfers and consists of a round of FootGolf along with complimentary lunch, FootGolf hats and prizes. Fees range from $59 for an individual, $105 for a twosome and $199 for a foursome. Go online to footgolf.net to preregister.

Note that soccer cleats will not be allowed on the course — only indoor turf shoes or sneakers. Casual dress is fine for the open house, but proper attire is encouraged for the tournament and includes a collared shirt and shorts (no soccer attire). For a really dapper look, come dressed with a drivers cap and argyle socks — knee-highs, if you please.

FootGolf is a family-friendly game designed to appeal to not only dad, but mom, the kids, and grandma and grandpa, too.

"Anyone that can kick a soccer ball," said Wilson.

• • •

Golf courses have seen declining revenues during the recession but FootGolf, which is sweeping through Europe, South America and has a foothold in California, could be a game changer for Largo and the industry as a whole.

"We're an executive (shorter) golf course that traditionally attracts seniors and beginners," Wilson said. "We want to expand our customer base and draw in people of all ages. As they become familiar with the game and the course, they may try golf, too."

He said the shorter, city-owned course is an ideal length for soccer kicks.

The advantages of FootGolf are many.

The game can be played in a relatively short time — about an hour and 15 minutes for nine holes. No special skills or equipment are needed to play. It's good exercise. You can ride a golf cart around the course, or choose to walk since there are no heavy clubs to carry.

It's cheaper than golf, too.

Rounds for 18 holes are $15 to walk and $20 to ride a golf cart. Juniors, 14 and under, walk for $5; ride for $10 with a paying adult.

• • •

Beginning Oct. 12, regular tee times for FootGolf will be available on weekend afternoons. Plans are for the traditional golfers to play simultaneously with FootGolfers on the course.

It will be interesting to see how cheers and squeals from little kickers are received.

"We're looking forward to that," said Wilson. "We aren't a traditional golf course; we're part of the city of Largo's recreation department. We do have some core golfers that we definitely don't want to interfere with and usually they just play in the mornings.

"We will have to do our part and teach FootGolfers about the etiquette of golf."

Correspondent Terri Bryce Reeves can be reached at [email protected]

     
Comments
Flames ride hot Gaudreau, beat Capitals

Flames ride hot Gaudreau, beat Capitals

WASHINGTON — Johnny Gaudreau would rather talk about anything other than his offensive production. He’s just making it impossible to avoid. Gaudreau had a goal and an assist to extend his career-best point streak to 10 games and lead the Flames to a ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Cavs roll over Pistons, close in on Central lead

Cavs roll over Pistons, close in on Central lead

DETROIT — An emphatic win over a first-place opponent had LeBron James and the Cavaliers talking confidently again. "We haven’t had a win like that in a very long time," James said. "That’s what happens when we don’t let up." James scored 16 of his 1...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Tuesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYBoxingWelterweights: Alexander vs. Castillo7:30 p.m.FS1College basketballMaui Invitational semifinal1:30 p.m.ESPNLegends Classic third-place game3:30 p.m.ESPNUMaui Invitational consolation game4 p.m.ESPN2Legends Classic final6 p.m.ESPN2George Ma...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Florida A&M football coach Alex Wood resigns

TALLAHASSEE — Alex Wood resigned as Florida A&M football coach Monday, two days after the Rattlers completed their season. Athletic director Milton Overton Jr. said offensive line coach Edwin Pata, a former FSU tight end, will serve as interim coach....
Updated: 6 hours ago
Rays agonize over which prospects to protect on 40-man roster

Rays agonize over which prospects to protect on 40-man roster

ST. PETERSBURG — That the Rays went right up to Monday’s 8 p.m. deadline in deciding to add seven players to the 40-man roster, and that a couple they left off seem to be potential Rule 5 draft losses, was apparently a good thing."There’s always some...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Bucs journal: Dirk Koetter says Doug Martin’s not at fault for struggling running game

Bucs journal: Dirk Koetter says Doug Martin’s not at fault for struggling running game

TAMPA — RB Doug Martin had just 38 yards on 19 carries in Sunday’s win against the Dolphins, but coach Dirk Koetter said his team’s struggles running the ball shouldn’t go squarely on his running back."In my opinion, he is not the reason we’re not mo...
Updated: 7 hours ago
HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Nick Ferrini and Kellyn Trowse

HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Nick Ferrini and Kellyn Trowse

HomeTeam Hot Shots Nick Ferrini, MitchellOn Monday, Ferrini embarked on a five-day cruise with 30 family members. "Parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, you name it," he said. Destinations during the trip include Key West, The Bahamas and a...
Updated: 7 hours ago
UF has little to say after meeting with Kelly

UF has little to say after meeting with Kelly

GAINESVILLE — At last, there’s some actual smoke to the Chip Kelly-Florida rumors.The Gators sent a group — including president Kent Fuchs and athletic director Scott Stricklin — to New Hampshire on Sunday to talk with the former Oregon coach about U...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Reeling Broncos fire offensive coordinator

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Broncos fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy on Monday and replaced him with quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave. Klint Kubiak will take over as QBs coach while Musgrave calls plays for the final six weeks of a soured season tha...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Sports in brief

Sports in brief

OBITUARYnovotna, known for endearing embrace, dies at 49PRAGUE — Jana Novotna, a tennis Hall of Famer who sobbed on the shoulder of a member of the British royal family after a heartbreaking loss in a Wimbledon final, died Sunday at the age of 49. Th...
Updated: 7 hours ago