Cambs golf course chips in with new game ... FootGolf

Foot Golf at Cromwell Golf Course, Abbotsley. Hunts Post sports reporter Richard Hughes putting.

Foot Golf at Cromwell Golf Course, Abbotsley. Hunts Post sports reporter Richard Hughes putting. - Credit: Archant

AN e-mail from Abbotsley Golf Club caught my interest. FootGolf? Surely that’s my idea. Well, mine and Andy Harrison’s – when we came up with it in a pub in Torquay 15-odd years ago?

Teeing off.

Teeing off. - Credit: Archant

But no, it turns out, if you leave an idea festering in the back of your brain long enough, someone else will have the exact same thought and act upon it.

“We saw an piece about it on Sky Sports and just felt it was a really good way of introducing a slightly different clientele to the golf club,” said the Abbotsley and Cromwell clubs’ golf pro Steve Connolly.

He had just taken Hunts Post photographer Helen Drake and myself around five holes of the nine-hole course – par to be determined.

Now, I feel I should declare at this point that I played quite a high standard of football in my mid-to-late 20s as a right wing back for The Kents Cavern in the Torbay Pub League.

Ms Drake – who assured me her right-foot ‘swing’ was out of practice – said she was no stranger to a football either, having once “owned a pair of Predators”. But neither of us was prepared at the first tee.

I curled my first kick behind a tractor (the vehicle wouldn’t be there on a normal round), and Helen followed suit – the arcs of our right-footed strikes, like off-course tracer bullets, were embarrassing.

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Steve, with his experience of the game, landed his ball on the fairway and then allowed us to drop ours on a better lie.

Oh dear, not a great start.

“It’s a different game,” he told us. “It’s neither golf nor football. I have had footballers here who think they can play golf but can’t play FootGolf.”

Both Helen and I were better at ‘putting’. But kicking a ball over an undulating fairway is a unique experience.

And judging the distance from a hole? That’s not easy. It’s a massive hole – bigger that you expect – yet you still miss. My excuse? The wind didn’t help.

It takes a little getting used to but it’s a fascinating game. I shall be returning soon, determined to show what my right foot is capable of.

So who won, I hear you ask? Man or woman? Journalist or photographer? Victory was mine but it came to the last hole and the margin was just one shot (male pride intact).

Steve, of course, won convincingly – but then he is a pro …

But the nine-hole course record still stands. “Richard Conby from Little Paxton Football Club scored 32 on our open day on April 7,” said Steve, making me immediately want to go out and try again …

INFORMATION: Prices: Adult £6 (nine holes); £9.50 (18 holes) and junior £3.50/£5. The Cromwell Club will be holding FootGolf tournaments throughout the summer.