Michael D'Agostino playing at Eaglequest Golf Course
Photograph by: Submitted, Jessica Elliott. Visual Consultant
The Lower Mainland’s first official FootGolf course is set to open in Surrey with a season kickoff event Wednesday.
The Canadian FootGolf Association (CFGA) — founded in 2011 and one of 26 member countries of the Federation for International FootGolf — has partnered with Surrey’s Eaglequest Coyote Creek to bring the sport to Metro Vancouver, joining courses that already exist in Penticton and Kamloops, alongside eight others scattered across Canada.
“Footgolf is essentially what it sounds like,” said Alexander Elliott, CFGA director and also co-founder of the Vancouver Futsal Association. “It’s getting on a golf course (and) instead of using 14 clubs ... you bring turf shoes and a soccer ball.”
Like golf, the game is played individually or in groups of four-to-six for tournaments. The game follows an 18-hole layout in which players kick a soccer ball toward a 21-inch hole about 150 yards away from the tee. And, of course, it follows the “etiquette of being on a golf course.”
“It’s not a Whitecaps game here — we can’t shout and scream on the course,” said Elliott. “You are on a course where you have to be quiet, you have to wear the right attire and respect the golfers.”
The event at Coyote Creek has already registered about 140 people (of a total 210 spots), many of whom are players and coaches from various teams, clubs and associations across the Lower Mainland.
TSS staff coach and also co-founder of the Vancouver Futsal Association, Michael D’Agostino, extended the invite to his TSS players and they “jumped all over it,” he said.
“Playing FootGolf or soccer golf just at a park ... is something a lot of coaches do for fun,” said D’Agostino. “But this is the first time in the Lower Mainland you’ve actually been able to do it on a golf course.”
It’s also more than just a fun extracurricular activity for players, he said.
“For younger kids it just gives them an opportunity to use different techniques that they’ve learned on the soccer pitch,” said D’Agostino.
According to Elliott, “just like golf it puts you in some odd situations,” like having to work around an obstacle, like a tree on the course.
“It’s more about the technical aspect of how well can you spin around something,” he said. “It really does push your technique as a soccer player.”
The opening of the new course will also bring fundraising opportunities for local clubs and associations.
“A lot of clubs right now are using bottle drives or car washes or selling tickets to a bar night (to fundraise),” said D’Agostino.
But the CFGA has put a fundraising partnership program in place, so that when teams host a FootGolf event at Coyote Creek they get a kickback for each ticket sold.
“They end up being really large fundraisers because you’re not making the kids or parents sell something — you’re saying come have a fun event and enjoy the day,” said Elliott.
FootGolf isn’t just for youth players, either — it could serve as a “recovery session” for professionals, or even an alternative for older players who aren’t up to running around a pitch for a 90-minute game, Elliott added.
“It’s just a fun way to get together,” he said. “It just brings out the best of football culture.”
Tee-off times at the kickoff event are 4 p.m. 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are $40, which includes food, the round for the day and a CFGA membership. To register for the event visit footgolf.ca. Following Wednesday’s event, the FootGolf course will remain open under set hours at Coyote Creek.
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