The UK’s fastest growing sport homed in on Norfolk this week when the county’s very first FootGolf course opened for play in Tilney All Saints.
The latest sporting craze – a cross between football and golf which has taken America by storm – has been officially unveiled at The Eagles Golf and Tennis Centre.
Centre owner David Horn said he was “gobsmacked” by the amount of interest already shown in the sport, and on Tuesday local students and football players were invited to discover what all the hype was about for themselves.
Guests from Lynn’s King Edward VII School and the College of West Anglia’s Sports Campus joined former Peterborough United player Sam Gaughran, Lynn Town player Sam Mulready, players from Tilney and Snettisham clubs and former Lynn lad and Channel 5 TV presenter Rob Lamarr for a FootGolf taster session.
Mr Horn said: “The launch event went brilliantly. There was a huge, overwhelming response and everyone thought it was fantastic.”
The newly-designed course has been opened on the centre’s par 3 golf course, with larger holes for the footballs, and has already been described by FootGolf representatives as one of the best courses in the UK.
The holes range from a 65 yard par 3, providing a hole in one opportunity, to a 143 yard par 5.
Mr Horn said he was delighted to bring the dynamic, hybrid sport to West Norfolk at a time when participation in golf was in a countrywide decline.
He said: “Golf will always be my core business but unfortunately it’s not as popular as it used to be and there’s a lack of younger people taking it up.
“FootGolf will really liven things up and draw new people into the centre.
“It can be played by people young and old, families and groups of friends, and the best thing is that you only need a pair of trainers to play.”
Gareth May, head of UK development for the UK FootGolf Association (UKFGA), said: “To finally see the people of Norfolk given the opportunity to participate in the sport of FootGolf locally is very exciting. I am originally from Hunstanton, and for Norfolk’s first course to open in Lynn is brilliant news.
“David Horn at Eagles is very passionate to counteract the trend in the worldwide decline in golf participation, and see’s FootGolf as a way of introducing new people to the golf environment.”
“FootGolf is a truly inclusive sport, it can be played by persons of any age or sex, whether it be an individual looking to get in to a new sport, a football club looking to focus on some training elements with players, a company looking for a fun corporate and team building day, or parents and grand-parents looking to take their children to play outdoors, all can participate in FootGolf.”
n To celebrate the opening, UKFGA will be holding Norfolk’s first FootGolf Tournament at The Eagles Golf and Tennis centre on Sunday, November 2, at 1pm.
The event is open to everyone, with prizes for the first, second and third places, and national rankings points awarded.
Entry costs £10 per person for 18 holes of FootGolf.
The event is limited to just 45 entries, so those wishing to play are urged to be quick to book and secure a place.
For more information contact Mr May on 07780902333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org