FootGolf is a new concept that is gaining much popularity across America and Europe. This sport that adds a fun and exciting element to the golf course experience has interested the Dubai Creek Golf Academy that has recently organized the first and second edition of the Dubai Creek, Creek Kicks (Football Golf). The Academy has been hosting these FootGolf events alongside the FIFA 2014 World Cup. Over 20 players turned out to compete over the 9 Hole Palm Par 3 course at Dubai Creek. This was the first event of its kind in the UAE.
FootGolf, a blend of Football and Golf, is a growing sport. The game, which is played by men and women of all ages, follows many of the same rules as traditional golf: the player with the fewest shots wins. Participants wear proper golf attire and kick a football into a cup in as few shots as possible; no cleats are allowed.
As the name implies, this sport is traditional golf played with a size five soccer ball. Of course the holes are bigger (the cup regulation size is 22-inches) and the player uses no golf club, rather, his/her foot to kick a ball down the fairway to the pin/flag.
FootGolf is designed to attract a new generation of participants to the fairway, players who might not be attracted by traditional golf playing and that might find its cost rather prohibitive. However, also traditional golfers and soccer players alike have been jumping at the chance to try out footgolf.
Golf Academy Manager Rashid Hamood held two events between June and July—i.e., until the end of the World Cup—to continue the public interest in this sport and creative event.
According to a post featured on Emirates Golf Federation’s website, “it was young Matthew Kane, who combined his skills of both football and golf to take top honours on the evening with a superb 2 under par score of 25 and become the first Creek Kicks Champion.”
The second edition of Creek Kicks at the golf academy had Aaron Sykes been crowned champion with a score of six-under par 21.
Although the origins of FootGolf are unclear, the governing body for the sport is the Federation for International FootGolf (FIFG). It establishes the international rules and guidelines of gameplay to be followed by Members and Continental Federations. In addition, FIFG enforces rules and/or regulations of the sport and oversees uniformly for all events throughout the world, since 2012. The FIFG has nearly a 24 member country leagues, including its newest member, the UAE.