Footgolf arrives in Weston

PUBLISHED: 11:02 24 April 2016

Course ambasador Danny Ward with course partner Paul Collinson.

Course ambasador Danny Ward with course partner Paul Collinson.

Archant

Football and golf might not have always made the most natural bedfellows, but with a new craze arriving in Weston this week, that could be about to change.

Footgolf is a rapidly-evolving sport which arrived in the UK in 2012, and has now made its way to Weston with the opening of the town’s first course, next to Weston Football Club in Winterstoke Road.

The aim of the game may seem somewhat familiar to golf players – get the ball in the hole in the fewest shots possible.

But instead of choosing the right golf club, you decide your favoured leg to launch the ball hole-wards.

And do not worry – the 0.5cm-diameter golf ball has also been replaced, with the same size five regulation football you would see in the Premier League.

Paul Collinson, who has worked with the club to help make the nine-hole course a reality, told the Mercury the addictive sport ‘isn’t as easy as it looks’, but would provide a cheap, fun way to get families – of all ages – playing sport together.

He said: “My 78-year-old grandmother has been round a footgolf course enjoying it, because it’s something anyone can get involved in.

“There are few outdoor activities families can do together as a sport, but this is one of them, and we had 30,000 people playing across the UK last year.

“The course in Weston has initially been designed for families, youth players and people who have never played the sport.

“The reason it’s taking off is because, unlike golf, you don’t have to spend time practicing your swing before you get on the course. Everyone has kicked a football at some point before.”

Mr Collinson said the sport could seem ‘really easy’ to anyone who plays football – but added looks could be deceiving.

He said: “When you start getting to the nitty-gritty of it, it’s not that straightforward. It’s as much about course management as anything; golfers will know that more than footballers.

“If you are kicking a ball from one side of a goal to the other to your mate, they normally have to move left or right to control it, but the hole isn’t going to do that.

“In fact, the guy who was highest in the UK rankings last year was never that great a footballer, but he is an ex-professional golfer – and his course management won it for him.”

A nine-hole round at Weston Footgolf costs £8 for adults and £4 for under-16s, or two rounds can be purchased for £10 for adults and £5 for under-16s.

The holes range from 49-110 yards long – and from par three to four – and footballs are provided with a £5 refundable deposit.

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