111 Howard Gap Rd, Fletcher, NC 28732 • 828.687.7273
FOOTGOLF SPREADS ACROSS U.S.
WITH MORE THAN 200 CERTIFIED COURSES
Fletcher, NC. — 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 38 states.
A combination of golf and soccer played with a regulation soccer ball on a 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. 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 Country Club in Oxnard, CA, Sept. 19-21. 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 our first regional pro-am events this fall and are already working on national and international events for 2015-2016. The momentum behind this movement is amazing.”
The AFGL made the strategic decision to sanction only existing golf courses as official FootGolf facilities. “We felt that golf courses were a natural fit as the basic layout is already in place and they are run in a professional manner,” said Balestrini. “As we’ve seen with Haggin Oaks and many others, this strategy is definitely working.”
The golf industry has also embraced FootGolf as an alternative way to grow the game. FootGolf and the AFGL have been recognized by many golf and soccer national organizations.
“The golf industry has also embraced FootGolf as an alternative way to grow the game.“