The Welland Tribune

Footgolf digging its heels into Niagara

- MICHELLE ALLENBERG Twitter: @M_Allenberg TRIBUNE STAFF Online For more photos and video, visit wellandtri­

If you’re not ready to try your hand at golf, you might want to try your foot at a new sport in Thorold.

Andrew Julie and his wife Jen have opened a new course designated to the growing sport of footgolf at their Brock Golf Course on Merrittvil­le Highway. The couple, who have owned the golf course for three years, said they first heard of the sport at a golf conference a couple of years ago and were interested in learning more.

Footgolf has the same rules and scoring system as golf, but instead of using a golf club and golf balls players use their feet and a soccer ball. The goal is to kick the ball into a large hole in the ground. Players can choose between a nine- or 18-hole round, just the same as regular golf.

The owners of a Port Colborne club, who have a footgolf course, told Andrew and Jen the sport was doing well there. Andrew said knowing that, it further piqued their interest. Andrew said the couple also had land that wasn’t being used and the footgolf course would be perfect for the location.

Andrew and Jen’s work with Brock University’s Goodman School of Business students during a consulting competitio­n also influenced their decision. The competitio­n allows students to work on honing their consulting skills. The collaborat­ion during the six-week challenge resulted in the

constructi­on of the course.

“We were doing this consulting project and one of the kids said, ‘Well why don’t you put a footgolf course over there and use it right away?’” he said about the decision.

About four to six hectares of land was converted into the footgolf course. Andrew said the previous owners of the business had let the land grow over, so it took about a year to construct the course.

Last Saturday the couple were excited to hold the grand opening of the footgolf course. Andrew said they received positive feedback from players.

He said footgolf seems to attract people of all ages. He’s seen dads bring their children, university students, elementary and high school students as well as seniors.

Jen said they have local schools signed up for visits, including Holy Cross and Denis Morris high schools.

“It seems to be young families, but these groups of elementary­aged kids — it seems to be popular. Also the high school kids,” she said.

Andrew said he thinks the sport is a great way to introduce people to golf and encourages everyone to give it a try.

 ?? JULIE JOCSAK/POSTMEDIA NEWS ?? Stacey Julie, 8, and sister Clara, 5, play a hole of footgolf at the Brock Golf Course in Thorold.
JULIE JOCSAK/POSTMEDIA NEWS Stacey Julie, 8, and sister Clara, 5, play a hole of footgolf at the Brock Golf Course in Thorold.

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