Take what you know about traditional golf and give it a 21st century twist – that is where you get footgolf. The sport has risen in popularity over the last few years, giving Wichita and the surrounding area the chance to open two courses: Pine Bay Golf Course and the Andover Municipal Golf Course. Each offers a different collection of holes for any skill set. The sport has become so big, there are national and international leagues loaded with players.
Just like golf, the goal is to get the ball into the hole, except players use a regulation No. 5 soccer ball instead of a golf ball, and the holes are 21 inches in diameter. The object is to earn as few points as possible and shoot under par. It is easy to learn, but not as easy as it looks to play. Players learn different ways to kick the ball to increase the chances of them making their shot.
The holes for footgolf are much closer to the tee box than traditional golf, because soccer balls cannot be launched as far. An average hole is between 90 and 150 yards away, depending on the par.
There is some disagreement about the actual origins of the game of footgolf, but most agree Dutch players Michael Jansen and Bas Korsten are credited as being the first people to develop the rules of footgolf, as we know it. It stems from a game played in America in the 1920s and 1930s, as well as a game Swiss people have played since the late 80s.
Jansen and Korsten organized the first world tournament of footgolf in 2017 after launching the sport in 2009. The American footgolf League was created in 2011, as the sport officially took over America. There are nearly 500 footgolf courses across the United States, with at least one in every state, including Alaska and Hawaii. All tournaments played in the U.S. lead to regional championships and eventually to the U.S. National Championship at Desert Willow Golf Resort in Palm Desert, CA.
Pine Bay Golf Course - Try the footgolf courses at Pine Bay, a golf courses located in south Wichita at 6615 S. Grove St. Designer Kevin Pangaman built this 9-hole course in 1985.
Andover Municipal Golf Course - Formerly Cedar Pines, this 9-hole courses sits just outside Wichita at 1208 W. Hwy. 54. The public courses offers par 4 and par 3 holes for all skill levels.
Clapp Golf Course [closed] - The footgolf holes were filled-in August 2019 after a City Council vote to close the entire course. The future is still being decided for the 90-acre park at 4611 E. Harry. A disc golf course has been added to part of it, while the city develops a master plan for the park with community input.