There is a good chance you have played football before; and you may have had a go at golf. But have you ever heard of footgolf? No? Well, that could be about to change.
The fun sport has been introduced at three of the golf courses owned by Ealing Council: Gunnersbury Park, Hanger Hill and Horsenden Hill. It is particularly popular during the summer months for birthday parties and other events with families or groups of friends.
“Footgolf is very popular all over the world but has been much slower to progress in London,” said Tyran Adam, a professional golfer. He is also the director of Complete Golf, which leases the sites and runs the golf courses on behalf of the council.
“It appeals to people of all ages. Footgolf is a perfect family activity that takes 45 minutes to play nine holes or double that if you are playing 18 holes. I’ve seen families play with every age from toddlers to granddads.
“Personally, I’m a golfer but footgolf is loads of fun. You don’t need lessons or lots of practice. The holes are 21 inches wide and provide a fair but challenging target. The objective of the game is to kick the football off the teeing area and into the hole. The person with the fewest number of kicks wins.
“The courses are set up the same as a golf course with a par-three course measuring 60 yards or less, par-four measuring 120 yards or less and par-five measuring 180 yards or less.
“It can be played at a casual pace or some players prefer to jog. It’s a great form of exercise and perfect for promoting a heathier lifestyle in both children and adults. It’s a right laugh, too.”
The games are played on golf courses in scenic settings: The first is a nine-hole course in Hanger Hill Park with a brook running through the middle – and from the highest point you can see Wembley Stadium. The second, on Horsenden Hill, is an 18-hole course which claims to provide a challenge to all – ‘full of testing slopes and tricky decisions’. It also has plenty of vistas from the highest points, from where you can look across London. The third, at Gunnersbury Park, is an 18-hole course in the middle of the beautiful parkland there and is badged as being ideal for beginners.
There are party packages available for those wanting to go down as a group – and you can see one in action in the video above. Prices can be viewed online.