We are quickly closing in on the first ever official FootGolf tournament to take place in Northern California, at the Haggin Oaks golf complex in Sacramento. If you haven’t had an opportunity to play FootGolf before, let me be the first to tell you that it is one of the most fun sports you will ever play. Fans of soccer and golf get to mix both sports in a quick paced game that involves a lot of intricate skills and an extremely soft touch.
For any readers who will be playing the tournie, see this as a little guide to get you ready for the event. For the rest of you, enjoy this little intro into what can be expected at next weekends event.
*Please note, we are not an official FootGolf partner and the information relayed comes from my knowledge and experiences.
Choosing the Right Footwear
A very common question players have is what footwear they should be wearing. In according to pretty much all new FootGolf courses, boots with conical studs or blades are not permitted. In other words, you can’t wear boots that feature a FG, SG or HG configuration. The primary reason for this is to ensure the main golf putting greens are not damaged from players standing on them, something that can happen so easily without a player being aware.
So, playing at Haggin Oaks, you should be choosing between turf and indoor configurations. The image above gives you a better look at the choices you have, with images #1 through #7 being permitted. As you can see, these configurations are much more compacted and provide a more uniform pressure across the surface. These are some recommended choices, with many similar versions available for players to choose from. The above are as follows:
1. Nike Bomba Finale II ($109.99)
2. Adidas Mundial Team ($94.99)
3. Adidas Freefootball x-pro ($99.99)
4. Adidas 11Nova ($69.99)
5. Adidas Freefootball x-ite ($54.99)
6. Nike Hypervenom Phelon ($74.99)
7. Nike Elastico Finale II ($92.99)
The only sole I would be nervous about wearing is the Elastico Finale (#7). It is actually an indoor shoe with a much flatter base and it might not give you enough grip in the heavier grass. The other major factor that players might want to consider is some sort of technology across the strikezone. If I had my way, I would definitely be wearing the latest version of the Mizuno Wave Ignitus 3, but I don’t have a pair with the turf configuration. Instead, I am going to go with the Nike Bomba Finale (#1).
I spoke with Mike Woods, Haggin Oaks Director of Golf, about the option of AG soleplates, like the remaining 3 shoes seen above in the red box. The baby blue configuration seen on the Nike Tiempo would be an ideal option traction wise, but unfortunately at this time the AG configuration is not an option. It is definitely one that will be considered in the future, but for now they are not permitted. If you were considering a pair like this, scratch them from your bag!
If you have any footwear questions not covered here, please leave them in the comment section below!
Picking a Soccer Ball
If you have a size 5 soccer ball that is pumped up, you are all set to kick-off on the course! Obviously, soccer balls come in all different sizes and weights, so there are a lot of options for players to choose from. The ball I will be using and that I highly recommend is the ball designed specifically for the sport – the Senda Footgolf Match Ball. The Senda team has developed a ball that factors in a dimple pattern to make the most of long drives in the air and short chip shots onto the green. The dimples provide better flight and I have found you can really ping the ball without losing too much distance from drag. Then there is the benefit of playing chips shots from around the green, because of the dimple pattern the ball tends to slow quicker. Trust me when I say you want a ball that holds up on the green, the most delicate shot can result in the ball ending up 3 or 4 times further away from the cup than where it started.
And the best part about Senda balls is that this is a Fair Trade Certified product, which means that the people who make it enjoy safe working conditions, and fair wages.
Again, you don’t need the official ball, but it is a pretty solid option to consider if you have the money to invest in a new, high quality ball that is tailored specifically for the sport.
You can order the ball online at Senda’s website or you can buy one at the event.
The Haggin Oaks FootGolf Course
I’ve actually been lucky enough to have had an opportunity to test out the Haggin Oaks course and it is pretty awesome. We were able to offer some feedback on the course and suggested a few minor changes that could enhance the quality of the course. There are a lot of trees in play and there are several holes where left footers will have a distinct advantage, but overall the course is going to be a tremendous test.
As a final tip, don’t get overly confident after playing a relatively tame 15th and 16th hole….or the 17th and 18th will sneak up and kick you in the ass! Both holes offer an exciting challenge to all levels of players, with the 18th featuring a ravine that is in play. You can play short with your first and second, then play over the water hazard or you can take a chance and look to drive your first and second – it depends how your round is going I suppose.
If you decide to register…..
The consensus is that the event will sell out in the next few days and before the weekend – so if you are interested in being a part of the weekend, get signed up now! To do so, you can head over to the FootGolf Haggin Oaks Sign-Up page or FootGolf has offered us a limited number of discounted passes for SoccerCleats101 friends and family to register and play, please contact me asap if you are interested and I will send you a link.