Hay’s Daze: Soccergolf? Sure, why not?

Kicking around a ball has been around since a lumbering caveperson accidentally stubbed his or her toe on a round object that happened to roll instead of sit there. Soon after that, one of the clan built a net out of Wooly Mammoth tusks so that they could see who could score more goals which resulted in the winner being socked over the head with a club by other jealous cavepersons. That’s why they decided to call it “socker” which some people in Europe didn’t like and called it “football” instead. And now football/socker/soccer is touted as the most popular sport in the world (except for hockey during the Stanley Cup playoffs of course).

And if that wasn’t enough, sometime in the 1920s, just after the cavepersons decided to become extinct from all that hitting each other on the head with clubs, some football fanatic snuck a soccer ball onto a golf course, of all places. It was probably a lousy golfer who got sick and tired of all those double bogeys and snowmen and three putts and thought: “What I need is a bigger ball and a bigger hole!” And since he’d already thrown his golf clubs, bag and all, into the water hazard on Hole 16, he decided to kick a big ball with his foot instead. (For golf neophytes, a “snowman” is a score of eight on a hole because it looks like, well…)

And then in 2008 in the Netherlands of all places the sport of “FootGolf” (also known by stubborn North Americans as “SoccerGolf”) was officially created. Yes, FootGolf takes place on a regular golf course that is less snobby than most golf courses because the length of the holes are shortened and the cups are 21 inches in diameter which is about five times larger than a regular golf hole. (And it’s about the size the average golfer wishes golfing cups actually were.) The official FootGolf Canada website says there are 37 courses across Canuckland, including several in both Edmonton and Calgary.

I must admit I’ve never tried FootGolf. I figure the self torture of regular golf is quite enough time on an expensive golf course, thank you very much, and, really, I wasn’t that stellar at youthful soccer, truth be told. Of course, back in the day, in good old Dead Rear, just after the Wooly Mammoths rumbled away into the mists of time, we didn’t really play organized soccer that much at all. There were no city leagues and we ruffians were too busy with baseball and football (the real kind) to be bothered with a sport where you can’t touch the ball with your hands and where the slightest bump into another player would require you to roll around on the field faking a mortal injury.

Except when it’s real. Like the time I was called to Joseph Welsh school where my Rotten Kid the son one had injured his leg playing soccer. No big deal, I thought. But when he ended up in the hospital with a cast from foot to hip it turned out to be a very big deal indeed. I can still see him dragging himself backwards up the stairs in our house heaving that huge cast. The tears in the eyes were mine, not his.

But it’s great that nowadays soccer is positively everywhere! You can’t pass by a playground, sports field or fairly large patch of grass without seeing a crowd of kids, parents, grandparents and/or innocent bystanders all gathered around hooting and hollering. And somewhere in there is a soccer ball.

But soccer on a golf course? Why not? And bonus – you probably won’t get kicked in the shin.

Harley Hay is a Red Deer author and filmmaker. You can send him column ideas to harleyhay1@hotmail.com.

Be Among The First To Know

Sign up for a free account today, and receive top headlines in your inbox Monday to Saturday.

Sign Up with google Sign Up with facebook

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Reset your password

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

A link has been emailed to you - check your inbox.

Don't have an account? Click here to sign up