Earlier this summer, Columbus North head boys soccer coach Andy Glover and assistant Chris Morlock decided to break up the monotony of their traditional practice and conditioning sessions.
The coaches took their team to Par 3 Golf Course to play its new FootGolf layout. The city’s first FootGolf course was installed last month by Par 3 and Greenbelt pro Keith VanDeventer and greens superintendent Aaron Brua.
“I thought it was a good experience,” said Cam Phillips, who will be a senior at North. “It was just a little wet when we went out there, but it was a good bonding experience, and it was enjoyable for the price.”
FootGolf, which is believed to have originated in 2008 in Spain, combines the basics of soccer and golf. Instead of striking a ball with a club like in traditional golf, players kick a soccer ball from a tee box toward a 21-inch hole.
As is the case with regular golf, the object is to get the ball in the hole in as few shots as possible.
“I liked it,” said Rico Hollenkamp, who will be a junior at North. “I thought it was really fun. It was a good experience for our team. I’ve always wanted to play FootGolf, and I’ve never been able to go up and play the one in Franklin.”
The Legends Golf Course in Franklin put in a FootGolf course in 2014. VanDeventer, who was an assistant pro at The Legends in the 1990s, talked to Legends director of golf Ted Bishop about what he did to get it started.
After moving back to Columbus late last year, VanDeventer told the city he wanted to bring a FootGolf course to Par 3.
“I thought it would be something that we could offer the community, and I think it is going to be something that the people like,” VanDeventer said. “I truly believe it will be an 18-hole course next year, but we wanted to get nine holes in this year just to get people started.”
The local FootGolf course is a par-33 layout. The four holes shorter than 100 yards are par-3s, the four holes from 100-130 yards are par-4s and the one hole longer than 130 yards is a par-5.
“People that have played say they really enjoy the way it’s laid out and the differential in the holes,” VanDeventer said.
The cost to play FootGolf at the Par 3 course is only $5 for nine holes and $8 for 18 holes. Soccer ball rental is $1 for nine holes and $2 for 18 holes.
Although the course has plenty of soccer balls available for rent, players are welcome to bring their own.
“Activity is picking up,” VanDeventer said. “A lot of kids are enjoying it. I think it’s going to be something that continues to grow as the word gets out. The interest in soccer has definitely put an interest in FootGolf.”
Where: Par 3 Golf Course
When: Open daily
Cost: $5 for nine holes, $8 for 18 holes; soccer ball rental is $1 for nine holes, $2 for 18 holes
For more information, call 812-376-2687