FootGolf introduced at Carson Valley Golf Course
FootGolf made its offical Northern Nevada debut this week at the Carson Valley Golf Course. And Tommy Brooks, who introduced FootGolf to the course his family has owned since 1983, sees a bright future for a game that combines the skills of golf and soccer.
“All the response has been good,” the course owner/general manager said Friday morning when he hosted a guided tour of the new FootGolf facility for a small group of local media and community members. “We have a group of families coming out tonight, and we’ve already had a couple of soccer teams out here.
“Kids can play and what we’re finding is there are a lot of adults who like the challenge. The learning curve is so much easier; if you can kick a ball, you can play.”
FootGolf is played on its own course, built within a traditional golf course, by kicking a size No. 5 soccer ball into a 21-inch diameter hole. Like golf, the objective is to get the ball in the hole with as few kicks as possible. Brooks noted that FootGolf originated in Europe and has grown rapidly since the American FootGolf League was founded in 2011.
“We think it’s going to grow significantly,” Brooks said. “There are more than 70 certified courses now, and they expect to triple that by the end of this year.”
The Carson Valley FootGolf course, the first to open in Northern Nevada, was designed in conjunction with the American FootGolf League and is recognized as one of its approved 18 hole courses, he added. The FootGolf course is within the back 9 of the existing golf course, with separate tees and FootGolf holes. The distances of the hole vary from 62 yards (par 3 No. 14) to 232 yards (par 5 No. 15).
“We chose our back 9 because it’s a better fit,” Brooks said.
The objectives and rules are the same as the traditional game of golf. Brooks pointed out it is a fast-paced game that will not interfere with regular golfers on the course. Players can expect to spend about two hours playing 18 holes, he added.
“Everybody can play at the same time,” Brooks explained. “It’s just like golf is a game of etiquette — you don’t hit into a group and you don’t be loud — so it should all flow along nicely.”
Paul Van Sickle, the new assistant pro at the Carson Valley Golf Course, is a 1994 Douglas High School graduate who played soccer for the Tigers.
“I know it’s going to be fun,” Van Sickle said. “I played last week and I looking forward to seeing how it goes. You’ve got to have a particular touch and in soccer you need to have a particular skill, the difference is, you don’t have a goalkeeper and you don’t have any contact. And at the same time, it’s a game anybody can play.”
The FootGolf course opens every day after 2 p.m. The cost is $9 for juniors and $18 for adults. Players are encouraged to bring their own soccer ball, however, rentals are available. Cleats are not allowed on the course.
“We are very excited to bring this new sport to our golf course,” Brooks explained. “It’s a perfect fit for us and our ongoing objective to make access to the course fun and affordable. We have always taken an innovative approach to the golf business, and FootGolf definitely accomplishes that goal.”
Information is available at http://www.carsonvalleygolf.com or by calling the pro shop at 265-3190.