Goal in One

By: Juan Mesa

There are moments when opposite things apparently make a perfect match—like when a symphonic orchestra plays a rock tune and it just clicks. In the world of sports, we’ve seen it happen many times (water polo came out of swimming and... rugby!), but the latest craze is soccer related: FootGolf.

The game has been in practice since the late 2000s, the American FootGolf League was instituted in 2011, and the first World Cup of the sport was played in Budapest a year later. FootGolf is rapidly growing in the states, with more than 100 accredited fields.

The rules? Basically those of golf, but kicking a number-five soccer ball around. Oh, and the hole is 21 inches wide. Players can hop on golf carts to move around (which is like half the fun of golf, when you think about it), and wear golfer clothes save for the shoes, which have to be indoor soccer cleats. The other main difference with soccer is in the noise level: as opposed to your average Zen-like golfer, footgolfers normally express their emotions loudly.

As legs replace clubs, footgolfers need to invoke the spirit of soccer idols depending on the situation. Long kicks will require the service of Roberto Carlos, but when it comes to short accurate shots, better to channel Carlos “El Pibe” Valderrama for precision. And if the number-five goes into the sand, Cuauhtémoc Blanco’s lobs will save the par.

Soccer culture is also present in the post-match festivities. After hours of kicking and screaming, pints of beer will normally take the place of those 19th-hole gin and tonics—but we won’t judge you if you go old-school.

See you on the grass.

LOGISTICS: FootGolf, find a field here

Juan Mesa is a freelance writer based in New York City. He covers soccer and Latin music. When he's not writing, you can find him watching soccer games, talking about soccer or collecting soccer memorabilia. To relax, he plays house music vinyls.