FootGolf Makes its Way to Libertyville

Kyle Laska, News Editor

The newest trend in sports hybrids is coming to Libertyville all the way from Europe: FootGolf.

FootGolf combines the kicking and foot skills of soccer with the accuracy and control of golf. The game is played on regulation golf courses, and it mostly adheres to the standard rules of golf. Each player will have their own soccer ball, and each go one at a time kicking the ball down the course. The players will start in the tee box, and maneuver the course all the way down to the hole. The holes are larger than golf holes in order to accommodate the size of the soccer balls.

The course will be located at Studio 59 Golf between E Golf Rd. and Valley Park Dr. The course has been fixed up to accommodate the sport, including 22.5-inch cups, as opposed to the 4.5-inch cups already in place for golf. The course will be open from Monday to Sunday, although exact hours are unknown at this point. A round of FootGolf will cost $15 for adults, and $8 for youth (17 and under) non-members. This information is according the Illinois FootGolf Association website.

The course will feature all of the traps found on a golf course including trees, water, and sand. Players attempt to have the lowest score by taking the least amount of kicks possible to get it into the hole. The player with the lowest score in the end wins.

FootGolf received much admiration in Europe, growing from Spain and the Netherlands, to places like Belgium and Hungary. First introduced in 2008, FootGolf held its first ever tournament in the Netherlands. Since then, the sport has taken off.

Mike O’Connor, current president of the Federation for International FootGolf and president of UK FootGolf, plays a major role in the worldwide efforts of FootGolf. FIGF is the official league of FootGolf all over the world, while UK FootGolf strictly pertains to the United Kingdom.

“I just knew FootGolf would be a bit of a no-brainer for the amount of golf courses there are, as well as the number of golfers and footballers,” stated O’Connor in an interview with CNN.

The sport, now coming to Libertyville, should help to accommodate younger crowds who enjoy the concept of golf but prefer a faster-paced game. An 18-hole game of FootGolf will last approximately an hour to an hour and a half, according to FIGF studies.

The dress code is pretty simple: Golfers don’t have to come too dressed up but shouldn’t dress poorly. This means as long as they are dressed appropriately and have appropriate athletic shoes, they are good to go. The laid-back dress code is made to mimic the fun, lively game.

Junior Jack Murphy, who works at White Deer Run Golf Club, is an avid golfer. According to him, FootGolf seems a bit strange.

“I get the basic idea that it’s gonna be more fun and a lot more for kids, but it just doesn’t seem like a lot of golf courses are going to want a bunch of kids running around kicking soccer balls all over the place,” Murphy stated.

While it does differ from the traditional slow-paced tempo and the class of golf, FootGolf is still a respectable sport.

“It definitely does sound like a lot of fun. It seems like it’d take a lot of golf skill to be good at it, so I’d give it a shot,” said Murphy.