The origins of FootGolf are unclear as they can be attributed to many countries or people at the same time, as early as 2001. The first nine-hole FootGolf tournament on a golf course, and played as the sport is know today, was organized in the Netherlands in 2008 by Michael Jansen and Bas Korsten, and played by a mix of Dutch and Belgian professional footballers.
Jansen learned of the sport from Dutch footballer Willem Korsten, who recalled playing a similar game during his time with British club Tottenham Hotspur, who would end training sessions by kicking the ball from the pitch back to the changing rooms in as short a time as possible. Later Belgium and Hungary switched from playing in parks to golf courses and the game was introduced to Argentina in 2010.
The American FootGolf League was founded in 2011. The game was internationally publicized, and countries worldwide started collaborating on the development of the game. FootGolf has been recognized or is in the process of being recognized as a sport in many countries.
FootGolf in the U.S.
The American FootGolf League as the governing body for the sport of FootGolf in the US has grown the game to over 500 courses in all 50 states, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, since 2011. With over 10,000 FootGolf players booking tee times every month, the game continues to prove a viable source of revenue for golf course operators. Golf facilities can be Accredited and Certified with the AFGL receiving guidance in course design and the standards for the distances for par.
The AFGL gives support to courses with marketing to generate traffic on their FootGolf course; bringing them a new demographic. In early 2015, the AFGL launched a FootGolf specific handicap system FFANS. This allows courses to have league play and manage handicap, giving them even more revenue from FootGolf. Golf courses and players alike will be impressed with the state of the art technology that was used to create a unique and accurate handicap and ranking system for the sport. 2016 brought the National Tournament series, where certified courses have the opportunity to host between 50 and 80 national qualifiers every year.
These competitions lead into regional championships that feed into the U.S. National Championship.