FootGolf Comes to the Wichita Area

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In the aftermath of a fallen economy, golf is still in a great recession. While business has started to rebound for courses like Pine Bay Golf in Haysville, owners are taking creative steps for the sport to appeal to a wider audience.

"I think this could be really the future of golf. I mean soccer is getting major here in the United States," says Pine Bay assistant manager Aaron Ellison-Ross.

Pine Bay is the first footgolf course in the Wichita area. It's one of less than 300 in the country. On it's very first day of business, the first tee time belonged to a threesome of soccer super fans.

"It's about an hour and 45 minutes up to Manhattan to play. So now to have it literally be a 10 minute drive from my house, it's really nice," says Zach Light, a part of the local Sporting KC fan club called the "Wichita Wanderers."

Players like Light are the reason the course has installed cups with a 21-inch diameter and made soccer balls available for rent. The hope is that more players will come.

"I think with the growth of soccer in America, a lot of people are going to look for a leisurely way to get into it and I think this is the best way," says Light.

But whether or not the sport catches on in the area is not just up to Pine Bay, because it is not the only place to play footgolf around Wichita.

Andover Municipal Golf Course is opening footgolf this Saturday.

"Footgolf is obvisously going to get a lot of people out here that haven't been out here before," says general manager Neil Flickinger.

"Hopefully there will be some carry-over into the game of golf as well. If not, it generates some revenue for the golf course. It helps keep the courses in better shape."

When asked whether or not he thinks footgolf is as hard as real golf, Flickinger responds, "It's easier to find your ball."

Both courses say they have fielded many calls from interested players, leagues, and even schools looking to put on fundraisers. The owners also hope the new sport becomes attractive for birthday parties and other events for kids.

At Pine Bay Golf Course, the price is $12.00 per round and $8.00 for kids under 16 years old.

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