As the quickly emerging sport of FootGolf continues to grow in popularity throughout the United States, the sport’s governing body, the American FootGolf League, has been busy making sure FootGolfers have plenty of opportunities to play.
Recognized by the Federation for International FootGolf as the exclusive governing body in the United States, the AFGL has certified more than 100 courses to date in 2014, bringing the total to more than 200 in almost 40 states.
A combination of golf and soccer played with a regulation soccer ball on a shortened golf course, FootGolf is played much like golf, with the goal being to get the soccer ball into the 21-inch hole with as few kicks as possible.
“FootGolf is the sport of the future,” said Roberto Balestrini, who, along with his wife Laura, introduced FootGolf in the U.S. in 2011. “As we saw with the World Cup, the popularity of soccer is incredible in the United States and it will only grow. FootGolf provides a new fun – and competitive – outlet for the more than 24 million soccer players here.”
The sport has grown so much in popularity since its introduction in the United States in 2011 that the AFGL will stage its inaugural U.S. Pro-Am Tour later this fall with a national championship to follow in 2015. The Pro-Am Tour features an East Coast event at Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg, NJ, from Sept. 14-16 with a West Coast event being held at River Ridge Golf Club in Oxnard, CA, Sept. 19-21.
This tour will offer a total cash purse of $25,000. The tournaments will be multi-day events to attract players at all level and categories with the intention of creating more awareness about FootGolf nationwide and around the world. More than 50 players from 10 different countries are already registered. AFGL officials have confirmed participation of top players worldwide in both the East and West Coast Tournaments.
The AFGL has recently introduced a handicap system similar to golf in order to provide a foundation for competitive events. “Our vision is that FootGolf will evolve into a competitive national sport,” Balestrini added. “We are hosting the first pro-am events in the history of our sport this fall and are already working on national and international events for 2015. The momentum behind this movement is amazing.”