If you haven’t yet heard about Footgolf, you must have been living under a rock for the past 12 months! In that period, the sport has quickly blossomed and taken a hold of the US market. It is, in fact, one of the fastest growing sports in the country, with new courses popping up every week.
I’ve had the pleasure of playing in several tournaments and am actually part of the sponsorship team for some upcoming events, so I figured now would be the perfect time to give you the 101 on footwear and what you need to be wearing to participate in the sport.
There are Rules!
Courses restrict the use of any footwear that relies on studs or blades. In other words, you can’t wear soccer cleats that you would normally wear while playing on an FG, SG or AG surface. The primary reason is because these types of soles can damage the surface of the course. Footgolf is played on golf courses, so it wouldn’t make sense to have spike marks all over the fairway and across the beautifully crafted golf greens.
Another reason these configurations don’t work is because of the most popular putting technique. Most players use the top of their foot to swipe across the top of the ball when near the hols for a more consistent resulting putt. It is proven to be more successful and having a shoe that features a more flat surface is a must. Studs or blades would result in unneeded variation. In other words, this Rule is doing you a favor!
The top choice for all players should either be the Turf or something from the Nike5 collection. You can also choose to wear something with a more standard Indoor design, but you will definitely lack traction when you head that direction. The benefit to wearing something along the turf line is the fact that you get some added grip as you step in to strike long tee-off shots.
The image above gives you a better look at the best choices you have. As you can see, these configurations are much more compacted and provide a more uniform pressure across the surface. The above shoes featured are as follows:
1. Nike5 Bomba Finale II
2. Adidas 11Nova TF
3. Puma Momentta TF
4. Nike Hypervenom Phelon IN
5. Adidas Freefootball x-pro
There are plenty of options to choose from and the above listed are just some recommendations based on our experience.
Personally, I am all about the TF configuration, and it is what I’ve been wearing when I play because of the comfort they provide as well as the high level of grip I have encountered while wearing them on courses.
If you want to find a widest selection of shoes suitable for footgolf, check this line-up at soccer.com.
Everything Else Etiquette
Appropriate attire and equipment is MANDATORY on the FootGolf course.
- Golf Cap is included as part of your registration (no baseball caps or beanies)
- Collared Shirt (will be available for sale onsite)
- Knee High Socks (Argyle Socks preferred and will be available for sale onsite)
- Shorts (no Cargo Shorts or Soccer/Athletic Shorts)
- Size 5 Soccer Ball (bring your own or they will also be available for sale onsite)
Choosing 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 most highly recommend ball is the one designed specifically for the sport – the Senda Footgolf Match Ball.
[Also: Senda Footgolf Match Ball Review]
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.
Others prefer to go the high priced route with balls like the Adidas Brazuca and the Nike Incyte (both come in around the $140). For striking, they are absolutely solid and have the ability to make up length in the air. But, the one thing you will quickly learn about footgolf is the fact you don’t need to drive the ball into the air – especially when it gets a little windy! Low drives are your best bet for getting length, so a slightly heavier ball might serve players better.
It all comes down to personal preference in this area and it is testing different balls that will give you the best indication of what works!