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The near golf experience

Ever have that can’t miss great business idea only to find out that someone beat you to the punch?

I met Glenn Connelly recently, and he told me how he singlehandedly came up with the concept of “footgolf,” by combining two of the most popular sports in the world (soccer+golf). Just as the name implies, you play golf, substituting your legs for clubs and a soccer ball for golf balls. This was brilliant!large_ball_near_hole

Yet it was still so simple that Connelly asked himself, “Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?” Well, about three years earlier, they had. Known as the American Foot Golf League, the organization operates in 31 countries and it will have 100 footgolf courses in the US by this summer.

“I cannot deny, when I found out I wasn’t as smart as I thought I was, I was a little disappointed,” says Connelly. But he did what he had to do and contacted them about being part of the association. He then looked on it as a positive because someone else had already done some of the learning.

Currently, there are only three courses in Florida, in Miami, Tampa and Jacksonville. Located on University Boulevard, the Jacksonville Blue Cypress Golf Course has 18 footgolf holes that are easy enough for children and challenging enough for the most experienced players.

Recently, yours truly, convinced two friends, Erin Doty and Chris Russell, to join me in our first FootGolf experience. We were scheduled for a sunny Friday afternoon 1pm tee time. It did feel a little odd at first showing up at the clubhouse dressed in our soccer garb (no cleats allowed) but that quickly went away when we were greeted with a warm welcome from the course operator, Byron. He handed us our scorecards and we were on our way. We chose to walk the course rather than use golf carts.

My first kick was a shank into the woods. Just like my golf game, Erin joked. Similar to the small, white-ball game, footgolf is about control rather than long drives. Thankfully, I wasn’t the only one with errant shots that day. We all had our moments of bonehead kicks and brilliant shots.
After 18 holes and just about two hours of play we finished with some cold ones in the clubhouse to assess our round and talk of the experience.
“I was surprised how welcoming the other traditional golfers were with footgolfers in their territory,” mentioned Chris. “I would bring my son out here,” joined Erin.

So there you have it. Our first of many footgolf rounds. Thanks Glenn Connelly ,for having us out. We had a great time. Best of luck as you continue to be a pioneer of your new sport.

Brian
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