It's Sunday afternoon at Pinecrest Golf Course in Alexandria, and players
have abandoned the usual golf tee time for what some might consider
kickoff time in the newest sport sweeping the nation – footgolf – a
combination of soccer and golf. "It's really fun," said
13-year old Andre Lamarque in a game with his friends Sebastian Boos
and Harrison DiPetto. "We really like soccer and golf, and this
is a new sport for us."
is especially popular with soccer enthusiasts like Steven Novotny and
Jeff Homens, who grew up playing club soccer together near Baltimore.
Now 26 and employed in the D.C. area, the childhood friends are
excited about the prospect of playing footgolf at Pinecrest, the only
footgolf course in Fairfax County. "It's inside the beltway,
which is nice, and the game is super fun," Novotny said. Homens
agreed. "It's an excellent way to work on your [soccer] skills in
a relaxed manner," he said. "I played [footgolf] once in
Milwaukee, and this course is a lot nicer."
Footgolf rules are similar to regular golf rules from the tee box to
the greens, bunkers, hazards and holes of play. The difference is you
don't need any special skills to play footgolf. "If you can kick
a ball, you can play footgolf," said Pinecrest manager Sarah
Oberther. "Players can either bring their own soccer ball or rent
one at the clubhouse."
In footgolf, groups of up to four players take their turns kicking
their ball toward each hole and walk the course or ride in a golf
cart. While the soccer ball doesn't travel as far in the air as a
golf ball, it rolls much farther in the fairways. Holes are 21 inches
around and about 14 inches deep, and they are placed away from the
traditional golf holes. The goal is to get your soccer ball to land
in each footgolf hole with the fewest number of kicks. Scorecards
display par scores for each hole as in regulation golf and can be
used to determine the winner.
Footgolf is played throughout the world in many
different forms, and as a sport in the United States, it is governed
by The American FootGolf League (AFGL). In just four years since the
AFGL was founded, 418 courses nationwide have launched footgolf
programs, and Pinecrest Golf Course is one of only three in Va.
certified by the AFGL. Though the game is just getting started at
Pinecrest, enthusiasts like Novotny expect it to catch on like
wildfire. "This is such a great activity for former soccer
players, and this area is so soccer heavy, this course is going to
blow up with events once the word gets out," he said.
An 18-hole round of footgolf is just $12 per person (walking) if you
bring your own ball or $15 if you rent a ball at the clubhouse. Footgolf tee times are available at Pinecrest on
Saturday and Sunday afternoons starting at 1:30 p.m., and power carts
are available for an additional charge. To reserve a footgolf tee
time or for more information, call (703) 941-1061.