With soccer’s World Cup taking center stage this week in Brazil, it’s an appropriate time for Semiahmoo Golf and Country Club (SGCC) and Loomis Trail Golf Club (LTGC) to introduce to the area a completely new sport that combines soccer and golf.
FootGolf is spreading rapidly to golf courses around the world. Participants kick a soccer ball around a course using the rules of golf, with the aim of sinking the ball in a 21-inch-diameter cup.
Soccer is the most popular sport in the world in part because it is so accessible. The only required equipment is a soccer ball.
Similarly, FootGolf has widespread appeal because anyone can play it, and it allows people who don’t play golf or own a set of clubs to access the beautiful greens of a golf course while playing a fun, simple sport.
“Walking through the courses here at Semiahmoo and Loomis Trail is like taking a walk in the park,” said Brett Eaton, PGA director of golf at SGCC and LTGC. “FootGolf is a great way for families, groups and community members to come out and enjoy our courses.”
The cups for FootGolf are cut into the ground and have artificial turf covers, so when they’re not in use they blend right in. At specific times, the courses are switched over from golf mode to FootGolf mode. The covers are removed from the large holes, flags are placed and the course is ready.
The Whatcom Rangers U14 girls soccer team and the Bellingham United FC mens soccer team tried out the FootGolf course at Semiahmoo on June 3. Lance Calloway, head coach of Bellingham United, said he had a blast playing the course.
“We had a ball. It was absolutely great,” Calloway said. “The pace was quick and fun, and it combines two loves of mine – soccer and golf.”
The FootGolf course at Semiahmoo has three par-5s, five par-4s and two par-3s. Making par on each shot requires some
skill, Calloway said. A good strong kick off the tee helps, but accuracy is especially important for putt shots.
“You have to read the contours of the course,” Eaton said. “When putting, you can’t kick the ball too hard or it will skip over the hole.”
Eaton said it typically takes about an hour and 15 minutes to play nine holes. The rates are much cheaper than for regular golf, and Semiahmoo Resort is offering group packages that include outdoor BBQ and pizza buffet options for large groups.
“It’s great for birthdays, team building, family reunions and other groups,” Eaton said. “Anybody can do it and have fun with it.”
FootGolf is offered at SGCC and LTGC on Friday and Saturday nights after 6 p.m. at whichever course is open to the public on those days. Semiahmoo is open to the public on odd days, and Loomis Trail is public on even days.
Soccer ball rentals are available. For rates and more information, go to semiahmoogolf.com