Foot Golf expanding at Milwaukee County Parks
Posted: Apr 27, 2015 12:18 PM CDT | Updated: Jul 28, 2016 5:26 PM CDT
\"There's a few strange looks obviously, you know, people aren't quite sure what's happening,\" said James Moran, Executive Director of the Milwaukee Soccer Development Group.
Lincoln Park began offering foot golf last year.
\"Foot golf is a great way for soccer fans, like myself to get on a golf course, surround yourself in beautiful scenery, and kick a soccer ball around,\" said Moran.
Moran helped bring the game of foot golf to Milwaukee.
\"I was very excited, because everybody's really wanted to get on a golf course to do this,\" said Moran.
As players \"tee\" or \"kick off\" with their soccer ball, the goal is simple.
\"Same as golf, I mean, it's really just who can do it in the least amount of shots,\" said Moran.
John Dargle is the Executive Director of Milwaukee County Parks.
\"I've been out there, played 18-holes at the end of the day I was pretty sore, but it was just an enjoyable way of getting out there and kicking the ball around,\" said Dargle.
Dargle says Lincoln is just one of four municipal golf courses in the Milwaukee County system that offer foot golf.
\"We were able to generate 3500 rounds last year so this is just a start,\" said Dargle.
Foot golf brought in $30,000 for Milwaukee County Parks last year.
Dargle says the county plans to expand the game to other parks, hoping more people will become interested in traditional golf.
\"We've got to change the model, the game of golf, it has it's traditions, so you want to preserve and protect that, but we also have to think outside the box,\" explained Dargle, \"what's going to attract more people to the game and grow the game and this is one way of doing that.\"
\"It's getting more people to golf courses, some of them are struggling around the country, and this is a great way to bring in more income,\" said Moran.
While the game helps golf courses across the country stay open through tough times, as more foot golfers step onto the green, there's some mixed feelings from traditional golfers.
\"I don't know how the other golfers would react to that,\" said Janice Palleon, a golfer.
Some believe the foot golfers are distracting, and the soccer balls are too close for comfort.
\"What do you do with the soccer ball? Do you holler 'fore?'\" asked Jim Palleon, another golfer.
While some traditional golfers raise their eyebrows, others want to give the game a try.
\"My wife and I are planning on trying it one of these times,\" said Gus Talhami.
For many, the appeal behind foot golf is that it's less expensive.
\"You got to get the bag, you need to get the clubs, you're looking at hundreds of dollars, here, you got the shoes already,\" said Moran.
For soccer players like Moran, it's just another way to enjoy the occasional day at the links.
\"I couldn't see many soccer players switching to golf completely, I think they try it and get into it that way, and still play soccer, you can never lose that,\" said Moran.