There’s golf, and then there’s soccer, but the BYU women’s soccer team has discovered both combined at the new East Bay FootGolf Course in Provo.
Brett Watson, the assistant golf professional at East Bay Golf Course, decided this past summer to create one of the first FootGolf courses in Utah.
“It was in one of our monthly staff meetings when three of us brought up the same idea of FootGolf,” said Watson. “(FootGolf) has become really big in Europe and has started to drift over into the United States.”
The game is simple for those who know golf; the goal is to simply put the ball in the hole. Instead of clubs and golf balls, participants kick regular-sized soccer balls into enlarged holes. Although the game is simple to play, the FootGolf course wasn’t simple to make.
Watson and his team spent a few weeks studying out how and planning where to create the holes. They wanted to make sure that the course wouldn’t interfere with the regular golfers.
“We drove around on our executive course for two weeks trying to find out how to position the FootGolf course,” said Watson. “We decided to put the FootGolf holes away from the greens and that way, the two groups don’t actually meet.”
Then the digging began.
“We spent [three days] out there just digging holes,” said Watson. “One thing that a lot of people don’t know is that East Bay Golf Course is built on a land fill, so when we were digging, we got into this really thick clay and it took a lot of chiseling.”
After the initial digging, the team realized that it needed to dig even deeper and fill the holes with gravel so they wouldn’t fill up with water when the rain and snow came.
The East Bay FootGolf Course currently has nine holes, making it an activity that doesn’t take as long as a full-length game of golf. Next spring, however, Watson and his team plan to expand the course to a full-length 18-hole course, allowing for both a short game and a long game.
Some members of the BYU women’s soccer team played FootGolf together when the course first opened at East Bay, seeing it as a great way to have fun and improve their skills. Members of the BYU football kicking team have also played together for one of their training days.
“It’s good for soccer players, especially because it helps you with accuracy, and it makes you actually think about what you’re doing,” said Rachel Bingham, a BYU women’s soccer midfielder. “But I think it’s fun whether you’re an athlete or not.”
Bingham and fellow teammate Shaylyn Orr, a BYU women’s soccer defender, recently played FootGolf on a double date and both said it was a great way to get to know their dates.
“It’s a way fun date activity because you’re not just sitting there awkwardly,” Orr said. “You get to play a game while you get to know your date at the same time.”
For those planning on playing FootGolf, the BYU women’s soccer players say that to get the most out of the game, participants should take it seriously.
“Both of our dates would challenge each other and it was fun to get competitive,” said Bingham.
There isn’t a limit on the number of people that can be playing together on the FootGolf course, so it’s a great opportunity for families, students, athletes, or youth groups. With one of the first FootGolf courses made in Utah being so close, members of the Provo community will especially enjoy this new activity.
Prices are normally $8 per game, but for college students and youth (under the age of 18), it’s only $6 per game. For more information, visit eastbaygolf.com.