As most of you will know, I have an addiction for Footgolf and have become a pretty consistent player over the past few months. Everyone I have spoken to who has played the sport has had nothing but positives to offer and the most popular comment is “when can we play again?”
To play, you need a soccer ball. Realistically, any soccer ball will do but as with most sports, their are specific products created to help optimize your performance. Senda are the leaders in the world of Footgolf and they actually have the only 2 official balls of the sport. Both offer different attributes and each provide a unique type of strike.
The ball featured here is the Senda Footgolf Match Ball, and it features a lot of attributes that define it as the ideal ball for Footgolf. Here is a breakdown of what it has to offer and why you should consider one.
Note About Footgolf
Contrary to popular belief, players that can simply kick a ball really far do not have an advantage over your everyday soccer enthusiast. There is an element of finesse about the game and if you are not able to play short shots and gauge your distances around the green, you are in real trouble. I’ve seen players kick to the green with their first shot then end up taking 4 more shots close to the hole to get it in. Keep that in mind as you continue reading.
The first things that differentiates this ball is the micro-textured casing material that is used. It is a dimple design that looks and functions in much the same way as the dimples work on a golf ball. In theory, this is supposed to allow air to move more uniformly around the ball as you strike it and it moves at speed – leading to longer shots. In the case of a soccer ball, it serves a more effective purpose than this. Distance wise, professional players are going to drive a golf ball at least 3 times more than they kick a soccer ball. In other words, there is less of a need for the ball to defeat the powers of wind and airflow.
Where it is more effective is in and around the green. When you use a regular soccer ball, the material used is smooth and other than some paneling, there is no grip or adequate texture to slow it down. When you play short chip shots from off the green, you need a little bit of friction to slow the ball down, otherwise you are just going to land off the other side. This is where the dimples come into play, as they help slow the ball down and stay on the green. From experience, I would much rather have a slower ball that I need to kick a little harder to get close to the hole than one that runs extremely quickly and can end up off the green if you miss the cup.
General Performance and Flight
I’ve compared and tested this against other top performing balls and one thing is clear, there is a large scale difference in how they perform on the course. Ultimately, the Senda Footgolf ball is much better for playing shots around the green, but it doesn’t travel as far when you strike it. Depending on your style, this could help your game or cause you to be a little short at times. It just doesn’t have the same pop as something like the Select Brillant Super, but that is down to the dimples and the actual feel of each panel.
When it comes to accuracy, if you strike the ball straight, it stays straight and their is no deviation in the flight path. This is very important and allows you to really focus on where you want the ball to land. There are plenty of hazards involved with playing Footgolf, so getting the accuracy part right will make follow-up shots a lot easier.
Fair Trade Certified
This is a Fair Trade Certified product, which means that the people who make it enjoy safe working conditions, and fair wages. It is something that Senda is passionate about tand their whole company is built on the principle of Fair Trade practices.
Pricing – The Difference
What makes this ball different is the fact you are getting high quality at an extremely competitive price. Technically, a ball like this would be priced over $100 by the likes of Nike or Adidas, but Senda has kept it at a very affordable $49.99 and it is easily a ball that all Footgolf players could take advantage of. Top marks in this section and it is nice to see a brand formulating a way to ensure all players have the opportunity to use their product!
“Who should buy this ball?” is ultimately the question that needs to be answered. It is a ball that would be ok for a kick around and you won’t notice too many differences between it and a regular ball, but you definitely wouldn’t be able to use it in a competitive game.
If you are new to the game, I’d definitely say why not pick up a ball and start with the specific equipment endorsed by the governing body of the sport (AFGL). Players who lack a delicate touch and need to slow the pace of their shots are other definite contenders, but remember it does lack that pop when attempting to strike long shots.
You can pick up one of these balls directly on the Senda Website.