FootGolf kicks off at Metro Vancouver's Eaglequest course
New sport mixes golf, soccer and half-metre wide holes
A sport new to Metro Vancouver is grabbing the attention of soccer players and golfers alike. Eaglequest Golf Course in Surrey has become one of the first facilities in Canada to welcome FootGolf on the links.
And yes, it's just how it sounds. FootGolfers play the game of golf, including tee-offs, putting and all, but only with their foot and a soccer ball, rather than a set of clubs.
The holes are much bigger at 53-centimetres in width, and the length is considerably shorter, with two FootGolf holes per regulation golf hole, but otherwise the rules are pretty much the same.
Michael D'Agostino, a director with the Canadian FootGolf Association and former soccer pro, has been instrumental in growing the sport from its fledgling stages. He says soccer players have always played FootGolf, without even knowing it,
"We saw the videos of it and thought, 'Hey, as soccer players we used to do this with our teams,' but it was more like 'Hey, put it over the fence there and hit the tree on the left'," he said.
D'Agostino says the sport is taking off at the grassroots level, but it's growing at the elite echelons as well. The sport's international body holds a World Cup every two years. This year's was in Paris, France.
And while golf is widely regarded as a bit of a costly, stuffier sport, D'Agostino says FootGolf's strength lies in its accessibility.
"The beauty of this is anybody that has a soccer ball and can kick a ball can play," he said.
'With golf, you've got to have your clubs, you've got to have your lessons, or it becomes a very frustrating game.'
Eaglequest Golf Course in Surrey will have dedicated time for FootGolfers to use the course moving forward, but will remain primarily a golf facility.