The first footgolf course in Northamptonshire has kicked off with the help of a former Premiership football referee.
Cold Ashby Golf Club has constructed the first course for the hybrid game, which is now open to the public.
We find that its those with footballing backgrounds that tend to be better at itDavid Croxton, joint golf course owner
It will see players take on the least-used of the complex’s three sets of nine holes. They will tee off from the same area as the traditional game and use the same fairways, but the hole length will be much shorter with specially-constructed greens in out-of-bounds areas.
David Croxton, joint owner of Cold Ashby Golf Club, said: “It’s a halfway house between the two sports and something we thought would appeal to a broad range of people.
“It’s not as precise a game as golf but still requires a bit of skill. We find that its those with footballing backgrounds that tend to be better at it.”
As it would be extremely difficult to kick a football as far as striking a golf ball, the par three footgolf holes are only 50 yards long.
Par four holes are 150 yards long and par fives are between 200 and 250 yards long.
The holes are 21 inches in diameter and much deeper than golf holes.
Ex-Premiership referee and Northamptonshire resident Pete Walton blew the starting whistle to get Footgolf underway with and impromptu competition for those present. A score of 4 over par was returned by Mr Walton, who finished in joint-first place.
Gareth May, of the UK Footgolf Association, said this was the 85th Course to open in the UK, but the first in Northamptonshire, an area where he felt that the game would continue to grow in popularity.
He said: “It is becoming known as one of the fastest growing sports in the country and I’m particularly impressed with the layout at Cold Ashby and its great variation of terrain and views.”