Golf: the everyday golfer
What is Footgolf? I was trying to understand what my 13 year old son was saying to me. He tells me its like golf, but with a soccer ball and he wanted to give it a go. He is crazy about soccer and knowing I Love golf, he thought this would appeal to both of us. So I agreed to take him and give this a go.
It turns out that the Footgolf takes place at what used to be known as the Ralph Stocker Mashie Golf Course located in Roosevelt Park in Johannesburg. It was previously run by the Municipality but wasn’t properly maintained and the South Africa Golf Association stepped in. They approached Randpark Golf Club to assist and they stepped up and run the facility now known as Creek 9.
I have history with this place. In fact it was here where I practiced golf during my school years many moons ago. My brother and I used to sneak in and play, hoping we could outrun the caretaker should he ever question us. We are not encouraging anyone to follow our lead, but it was a nostalgic walk down memory lane showing my son the old stomping ground.
It is today, as it was then, a great facility for those learning the game of golf and wanting to practise without ploughing up the fairways of a larger golf club. It is a 9 hole mashie course which is now managed and maintained by Randpark. Their impact on Creek 9 has been quick and positive and the greens and overall facilities have been upgraded significantly. It was pleasing to see so many people out enjoying some golf and taking their young kids along to get exposed to the game of golf in such a wonderful environment right in the heart of Joburg.
But…..I was not there to play golf. My Son and I took on the Footgolf challenge. It is a very simple concept. Nine soccerball size holes have been cut adjacent to the golf greens with their own flag sticks. You simply kick a soccerball (supplied by Creek 9), instead of swinging a club. Each kick counts as a stroke and scoring is done on the same basis as golf. Sound easy? Well think again. It was far more challenging than I thought it would be having played soccer for many years (I’m now old and I suck at it). It still took almost 50 kicks of the ball to get through the nine holes, but it was great fun. I was stiff the next day, so be warned old timers.
It was really great to get outside and spend some quality time with my Son and revisiting a place I remember so fondly from my youth. Randpark GC have done a great job in uplifting what was becoming an eyesore for the local community and they deserve credit.
If you are looking for some fun in the sun in Joburg, Creek 9 is worth a visit. Play some golf or try out Footgolf and spend some time bonding with your laaity.