This week 24 FootGolf players from Great Britain flew to Palm Desert, California, to take on the United States of America in the inaugural Jansen Cup.
The competition sees the two nations compete for the trophy which has been dubbed the ‘Ryder Cup of FootGolf’. But what is the sport of FootGolf, how big is it in the UK and what does the tournament involve? Here’s all you need to know.
What is FootGolf?
It sounds obvious, but the clue is in the name – it is a hybrid of football and golf.
Players play with a regular size 5 football, and in terms of rules, it’s virtually the same as golf – tee off, get to the hole in as few shots as possible, and the lowest score in the round wins.
How big is the hole? And are there greens?
The hole is a special dug out 21-inch in diameter hole, and the greens are not as short as on a normal golf hole – the grass is usually about the height of a normal golf fairway.
In the UK there are roughly a dozen bespoke FootGolf courses, which have been specially made for use of FootGolf, but many courses sit on a regular golf course with the hole located elsewhere on the hole – quite often on the right or left of the regular fairway.
When was FootGolf created?
The first official FootGolf tournament was played in 2009, and it was created by Dutchmen Michael Jansen and Bas Korsten, the brother of former Tottenham Hotspur and Leeds winger Willem Korsten.
Are there any professional FootGolf players?
There are currently no professional FootGolf players in the UK, but the best players in the country compete in tournaments in which there are cash purses.
The highest paying tournament can pay up to $5,000 for the winner.
What is the Jansen Cup?
The Jansen Cup has been dubbed the ‘Ryder Cup of FootGolf’. It is a competition between the UK and USA, and pits 24 players (16 men, four women and four over-45 ‘seniors’) against each other over the course of two days.
The format sees the first day consisting of a four-ball round, followed by a doubles round, and on the second day the players will play a singles round.
As with the Ryder Cup, points are awarded according to the winner of each round, with 48 points available over the course of the two days.
The inaugural Jansen Cup was played in May 2017, and it is named after the aforementioned Michael Jansen – one of the creators of the sport of FootGolf.
Where can I play FootGolf?
Is there special equipment that players use? Do they use the same ball?
The beauty of FootGolf is that there’s no really specialist equipment involved – you can just turn up with football shoes and a football and get going.
Players are not required to use a dedicated football when playing, though most players in the Jansen Cup have used the Adidas Jabulani and Adidas Speedcell balls.
To find out more about FootGolf in the UK, head to their website.