FootGolf is the next evolution of fun – a sport growing quickly in popularity that combines the rules and setting of golf with the skills and shots of soccer. With the American FootGolf League introducing FootGolf to the United States in 2011, so far 170 AFGL-accredited FootGolf courses have been built across the nation in 35 states, including in California. If you’re searching for the best FootGolf in Southern California or FootGolf in Los Angeles, check out Lake Forest Golf & Practice Center in Orange County, Orange County’s first FootGolf course. Or if you’re located in the Santa Clarita Valley, Vista Valencia Golf Course offers a Los Angeles FootGolf option.
If you’re heading out to the course, here are 5 FootGolf Tips & Tricks we recommend to all beginner FootGolfers and casual FootGolf players.
1. Dress the Part
While the FootGolf outfit of indoor turf or soccer shoes, pulled-up argyle socks, an Ivy Cap, collared shirt and vest are only required dress for official FootGolf tournaments, it’s fun to dress the part even for a fun day of FootGolf with friends. While you should always check with the FootGolf course too to make sure you’re adhering to the course’s dress code, wearing at least some of the recognizable FootGolf outfit will immediately identify you as a FootGolf player and help spread awareness and interest in the game.
2. Bring A Towel
Some FootGolf courses, including Lake Forest Golf & Practice Center, offer FootGolf tee times throughout the day, starting in the early morning. If you happen to play an early morning FootGolf tee time, we recommend you bring a towel for your ball (and hands). Soccer balls are more prone to pick up condensation, dew, dirt, and grass as you kick them around the course. Especially if you’re picking your ball up to move it from green to tee, a towel will come in handy to wipe down both the ball & your hand. Note: If you’re playing in a regulation tournament, the only time you can wipe down your ball is between holes.
3. Rent Balls
While you are invited to bring your own soccer ball to the FootGolf course (as long as it is a regulation #5 soccer ball – the standard ball size played in adult leagues), we recommend renting a ball from the course itself. Ball rental is often only $5 (with photo ID), and renting a ball saves you the stress of worrying whether you’ll accidently lose or puncture your personal soccer ball. Especially if the FootGolf course has a water hazard, if you kick your ball into a lake, it might be awhile before you can retrieve it. And as the sport is fairly new, most rental balls should still be in good shape – and you can always bring a personal soccer ball as backup just in case.
4. Use A Spotter for Hazards
Oh those hazards. One of the fun aspects of FootGolf is that it’s played on, or adjacent to, an actual golf course. However, that means just like golf, a FootGolf course incorporates varying hazards including bunkers, trees, hills, streams, lakes, and out-of-bounds. If you have a tricky hazard, like a lake or a hole that crosses a golf hole or borders out-of-bounds, we recommend sending a spotter out (after he/she kicks off the tee) to catch any errant shots that risk splashing into the water or sailing into untreadable area. Always be aware of your pace of play, but using a spotter can reduce time waiting for floating balls to return or prevent wasted time spent retrieving an out-of-play shot.
5. Remove Balls After Putting
Once you get on the green, FootGolf mirrors golf in that as you putt, you’re trying to sink your ball in the least number of shots. You can either abide by official “longest out” rules to determine who kicks first, or play “ready FootGolf” and the first one ready to kick can go. However, whatever the case, once someone sinks a ball into the 21-inch hole, we recommend promptly removing that soccer ball before others putt. Though the hole is large, a soccer ball does take up quite a bit of room, and you risk your ball bouncing off an already sunk ball and out of the hole if you don’t remove holed balls.