SA scores footgolf

HOLE IN ONE: Mount Pleasant and District Golf Club committee member Deann Watkins, treasurer Beth Wright and president Dave Swann test the state's first footgolf course.
HOLE IN ONE: Mount Pleasant and District Golf Club committee member Deann Watkins, treasurer Beth Wright and president Dave Swann test the state's first footgolf course.

YOU’VE heard of a hole in one, but what about two sports in one?

It’s time to put on the harlequin-patterned socks, pristine white shorts and caps, because the state’s first sponsored and accredited footgolf venue is coming to the region. 

The Mount Pleasant and District Golf Club will be home to the novel sport, which is a fusion of soccer and golf, while Australian cricket icon and local sportsman Darren Lehmann has been locked in as the club’s patron.

The sport, which has taken the UK and US by storm, involves kicking a soccer ball into a 53cm diameter hole. Like golf, holes are rated as either par three, four or five. 

In an exclusive interview with the Barossa Herald, the golf club’s president Dave Swann revealed Football Federation Australia and Golf Australia had agreed to support the locally based course, which is now affiliated with Footgolf Australia. 

“With two national bodies very much behind this sport, we are fairly confident it will take off at our club,” he said.      

“We’ve got a massive market of people who are playing soccer – both male and female – and we are keen to get Barossa United Soccer Club and Torrens Valley Soccer Club on board.

“(The sport) provides an opportunity for families, seniors and expert footballers to test their skills in a quick and simple game.” 

Mr Swann said the club, which hopes to secure Adelaide United Football Club as a major sponsor, would partner with soccer clubs across the state.  

“We will target clubs in Elizabeth, Salisbury, Para Hills, and Adelaide’s north-east districts,” he said.

“We are going to make it available for football and netball clubs to use as a pre-season activity, because it’s an ideal facility to train at and we don’t have many golfers during the week.”

Mr Swann said they had been exploring the new sport, which is taking off around the world, for several months.  

“Footgolf is played in 16 countries across the globe and is already recognised internationally with the World Challenge in Argentina in January of 2016,” he said.

“I recently visited a number of footgolf courses in the UK and we’re very enthusiastic about bringing the sport to South Australia.

“The advantage is the sport is only a short version of golf, with it taking about half the time it takes for a normal game of golf.

“If players fancy themselves as pretty reasonable at the game, they can put themselves up for national selection by playing in six competitions between March and April. 

“They’ll get a national ranking and may be invited to compete against the best in each state.”

The golf club will hold a demonstration day on Sunday, February 14, at 11am, while the course will (officially) open in March. 

Competitions for the new sport will commence in March, and will allow players to achieve state and national recognition. 

The course will be open for social footgolf on Sunday to Tuesday and Friday. 

Lehmann locked in as club patron

The Mount Pleasant and District Golf Club recently welcomed Australian cricket icon and local sportsman Darren Lehmann as its patron.

The former Australian cricketer and current Australian national cricket coach displayed his talents in both football and cricket throughout Gawler and the Barossa. 

“Darren’s earthy approach to his sport has brought both enjoyment and success to the teams he has lead. It is this philosophy that that club wishes to emulate,” Mr Swann said.  

Darren Lehmann.

Darren Lehmann.