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New Sport Phenomenon 'FootGolf' Coming To Kansas City


A new sport is catching on across the United States, and soon you will be able to play in Kansas City. The sport will make its Missouri debut at the city-owned Heart of America Golf Academy at Swope Park in Kansas City, Mo.

FootGolf has been gaining popularity since its inception in Europe around 2008. According the the sport's Wikipedia page, the first ever FootGolf tournament was organized in the Netherlands in 2009.

The sport is played on a golf course, but with a soccer ball. Players attempt to kick the ball into a cup in as few tries as possible. 

"We were looking at a way to create more utilization of that golf course, something else for families to come out and do" says Heidi Downer with Kansas City Parks and Recreation. 

Because of stagnant revenue, general manager Craig Martin says he and the course management company were trying to figure out how to better generate funds, when they came across FootGolf, which has taken off on the West Coast.

"What better way to tap into new blood then with soccer?" Martin asks. "This area has taken off with soccer, it is a natural connection with us and the community."

Martin says the cost of adapting their Par 3 course for FootGolf was minimal, and they will be scheduling tee-times and toe-times, if you will, for the course.

"We are hoping this will do for golf what snowboarding did for the skiing industry," he says.

Martin is a bit concerned about FootGolfers interfering with golfers, but says he hopes to diminish any confusion or frustration by educating players of both sports about using the course together.

Heart of America Golf Academy will open to FootGolf players beginning May 3. They hope to have a grand opening event in late May.

A California native, Briana comes to KCUR by way of KMUW in Wichita, Kan. and KUSP in Santa Cruz, Calif.
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