The Viking Tries: FootGolf


Maddy Atwater

The Viking’s Staff Writer Michael Pappas (’15) kicks off on the first hole of the course.

Maddy Atwater and Michael Pappas

FORE! People are always looking for an innovative yet fun way to combine their favorite sports, so The Viking decided to try FootGolf. The sport is a mix of soccer and golf, and is played on a regular golf course with a green, a bunker and nine holes. The concept is just like golf: to kick the ball into a hole in as few kicks as possible, and the player with the lowest score at the end wins. FootGolf is found at a few local locations, but we chose the Pruneridge Golf Club in Santa Clara (which is also equipped with a driving range and a course for regular golf as well).

When you book a tee time online it is $12 per person Monday through Thursday and $16 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This golf course offers a wide range of tee times, but these times are open to both regular and foot golfers. It is suggested to bring your own soccer ball, but you can rent a ball at the office, which only charges three dollars to use them during your play. A single party can have up to four people, but you can book more than one party during a single tee time. Attire wise, no soccer cleats are allowed and they only allow athletic or turf shoes. They also prefer you to be dressed in appropriate golf attire: a collared shirt, golf cap and hopefully argyle socks. Unfortunately, we were not quite appropriately dressed, and apparently Sperry’s are not considered turf shoes.

FootGolf is a little more laid back than normal golf and most of the other players out there had similar motives to ours: simply to have fun. Among the many golfers on the course, there were two other FootGolf parties ahead of us. One was a group of girls not taking the game very seriously, but in front of them was a group of about five men all in soccer sweats and swagged out shoes who were holding brightly colored soccer balls. Before each hole, they examined the course intently and figured out their plan for action. Obviously, there were a wide variety of people using the course. As beginners, we were relaxed and just had fun with it. On some holes we chose to drop kick the ball to start it and on others we just played normally.

The first hole was very visible and easy to see, but there was also a young man at the start who explained the rules, course and other details to us. After that first hole, the course progressively got harder and the holes became more difficult to locate. After we got through the second hole, we had to wait for the groups ahead of us to move on. Evidently, different groups took different amounts of time to complete a hole and it felt as though we took more time waiting than actually playing. We would have passed them, but with only nine holes we did not want to skip any and we did not want to hit them with our balls, or vice versa.

Towards the end, we started to get better; our kicks were stronger and more direct to the hole. In the beginning, one of us had a big wind up with a strong kick only to have it bounce off a tree and fly back to the tee line. Overall, we averaged about four kicks per hole, but sometimes we would shoot it too powerfully when we were only a short distance away. Being outside didn’t seem to have much of an effect besides the hills and other obstacles on the actual course.

Overall FootGolf was a different, but tasteful experience. It was a great way to try something new while incorporating exercise. It does not require experience in either sport and it is great for parties or just for fun. <<<