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A New Sport for Golf Destinations: Foot Golf

5 Aug, 2014


Looking for More Green, Golf Course Managers are Turning to New Uses

Will golf destinations start hosting foot golf? The answer is easy: They already are. According to an article in Florida's The Ledger , many golf clubs are seeking to increase greens usage. They think they may have found it by using ‘golf hacks,’ or changed versions of the game that encourage younger players to use the facilities.

One of the new sports is footgolf, in which players kick balls down the fairway. While some purists might shudder in chagrin, there’s no doubt that foot golf is bringing in new funds for facilities. And the Southeast is no exception, according to the article, which notes,

In October, Largo began offering footgolf at its city golf course. Footgolf has brought in a new demographic as well as a new revenue stream.

The sport is coming to Polk County and Winter Haven's Willowbrook Golf Course in August.

Willowbrook isn't bringing Footgolf just as a public service. The sport has reinvented how the Largo Golf Course makes money, and Willowbrook is following suit.

"We looked into Footgolf and thought it would be a good opportunity," said Joe Koly, general manager at Willowbrook. "We can get away with it without altering the golf course."

Koly said he expects to pay about $3,000 to get the course ready for kickers. That price includes new scorecards, holes, flags and balls.

That cost estimate was true for Largo when it installed its course. In terms of profit, the sport has brought in almost $40,000 from footgolf since its October inception, Wilson said.

After renovating the bar and completing several course improvement projects, footgolf is another plan aimed at bringing new customers.

If Largo is any indication, with almost a third of all rounds purchased at the course being footgolf rounds, it could be a game-changer.

"We've had grandfathers come out and play golf and at the same time their grandkids are playing footgolf," said Chip Potts, Largo's recreation program manager. "That's uncharted revenue, that's people who never otherwise would have stepped foot on a golf course. And we're just beginning to tap the surface of it."

The sport is also picking up among colleges, with increasing numbers of schools fielding teams at the rec level.

Read the full article here

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