Most golfers try their hardest each time they tee off, but now many are finding a new way to put their best foot forward on the course.
The Oklahoma St. Paddys Footgolf Scramble is scheduled for March 16 at the Silverhorn Golf Club, 11411 N Kelley Ave. It will be the first official footgolf event in the state’s history, organizers said.
“Footgolf” is a sport similar to traditional golf in concept. However, the golf ball has been replaced by a soccer ball, and the player’s foot is substituted for the usual bag of clubs.
The objective is for players to kick the ball into a hole 11 inches deep and 21 inches in diameter. The St. Paddys Scramble is an event sponsored by the local chapter of the World Adult Kickball Association.
When James Speegle, community coordinator and league manager for the association, first approached local golf courses last year about digging a series of holes as big around as a small coffee table into their greens, most thought he was joking.
“Probably the first six golf courses I went to, they didn’t take me seriously, to say the least,” Speegle said.
Silverhorn was the first course to actually listen to Speegle. The golf club is owned by American Golf, which operates several courses across the country and has experience with footgolf at one of its locations.
Speegle spent all winter designing and setting up the course for the spring.
The Silverhorn footgolf course currently is the only one in Oklahoma.
Hoping to grow
Silverhorn officials are waiting to see how much demand there will be for the new sport before they start scheduling regular tee times.
Still, Speegle said there will be at least two tournaments a year at the course, and maybe more. He also plans to start a regular league for the sport.
Golf greens such as the ones at Silverhorn must go through an annual process called aeration, in which little holes are punched into the ground in order to loosen up the soil. This creates less than ideal conditions for the traditional golf game.
“Obviously, that doesn’t affect us with soccer balls, so they (Silverhorn) told us we could have essentially free rein during those weeks because it doesn’t really affect their profit at all,” Speegle said.
There are still a handful of team spots left for the St. Paddys Footgolf Scramble. Teams are made up of four players. The cost is $65 per player.
Players, spectators and anyone who stops by also are invited to shave their head, benefiting The St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s childhood cancer research. Shavees raise money similar to walk-a-thon participants, collecting money from friends and family to contribute to their cause.
If you go
What: St. Paddys Footgolf Scramble.
When: 10 a.m. March 16.
Where: Silverhorn Golf Club, 11411 N Kelley Ave.