The Lake Oswego Public Golf Course is about to join a growing trend by bringing the new hybrid sport of footgolf to its links with a soft launch this Thursday, March 19. The sport plays by golf-like rules but with soccer-like foot skills. Players try to get a No. 5 soccer ball from the tee box into a 23” diameter hole in the least amount of kicks, while maneuvering around bunkers, trees, water and hills. Holes are shorter than on a typical golf course, with pars averaging 5 or less.
Here are 5 reasons why you should give it a shot.
1. It’s easier to play than either soccer or golf. Don’t get me wrong. There is skill involved as you need to read the course, determine the best path to the hole, and rely on precision as much as power. But chances are the learning curve is a lot shorter than golf and the fitness regimen a lot less demanding than a soccer game. While it’s considered a cross between golf and soccer, I’d say soccer players have the advantage here because ball control (with your foot, not a club) is definitely a predicator of success.
2. Less expensive. You save money on two counts—green fees and equipment. The rates for footgolf at the Lake Oswego Public Golf Course are $9 for nine holes; $15 for 18. That’s the same winter season rate to play golf during the weekdays. But weekend rates and warm weather rates for golf go up to as much as $24.50 for 9 holes/ $27.50 for 18, on a summer weekend. Footgolf stays a bargain year-round (especially this Thursday when it’s free); however, at the time, is only available on Thursdays after 3;00 p.m.
All you need to play is a pair of athletic shoes and a No. 5 soccer ball. Leave your expensive clubs at home. And if you don’t have a ball, the golf course will rent you one for $5 per round.
3. Calorie burner. It’s estimated you can burn up to 2,000 calories walking 18 holes on a traditional golf course, so set your step trackers once you get on the greens.
4. Takes less time than golf. Eighteen holes of footgolf generally takes between 2-2 ½ hours to play, cutting the commitment that golf requires by at least half.
5. Fun. Footgolf combines the precision and strategizing of golf with the energy and fun of soccer. Golf course officials hope that will widen the appeal of the game beyond diehard golfers to bring in a younger clientele as well as families. I imagine there will be more laughs and less restraint as players use their foot skills to chase the ball into the hole. As one recent player said, “FootGolf is officially the most fun you can have on a golf course.”
Footgolf will be available Thursdays after 3:00 p.m. and manager Tom Mueller has already signed up some tee times. In addition to adult rates, Juniors can play nine holes for $7 and 18 holes for $10. Call for tee times: 503.636.8228.
If there’s something about Lake Oswego you’d like to know more about, let me know in the comments section and I’ll feature it in an upcoming blog.