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Head Over Heels For Foot Golf

What’s foot golf? You’re about to find out at least at three northern Michigan golf resorts including Gaylord’s Treetops Resort & Spa.
Foot golf has been around in other countries for several years, but it was introduced to the U.S. by the American Foot Golf League in 2011. Now, more than 100 golf courses, five in Michigan, feature the game. Many look at it as a way to introduce younger non-players to the world of golf, both this style and regular little-white-ball style, says Barry Owens, Treetops general manager.
Foot golf will be available on the resort’s flatter Traditions course beginning just before Memorial Day, and will be offered all summer long.
Basically, Owens said, players will kick a regulation soccer ball down a shortened course that puts all 18 holes on nine regular golf holes of the Traditions course.
Rules are basically the same as traditional golf. Players kick balls not to the traditional green, but a spot located, Owens says, “out of the way so there’s no traffic on the green.” The hole of course, will be a bit bigger, 21 inches wide, guarded by a traditional pin. Best shoes to use include indoor soccer or turf shoes.
“We’ll be offering foot golf on a couple of mid-week evenings from about 5 p.m. to course closure,” Owens says. Cost will start at just $10.
Foot golf is one of several ways Treetops hopes to lure more younger players onto its golf courses, hopefully for a lifetime of fun, he said.
Others include the PGA of America’s Get Golf Ready program for lapsed and non-golfers. It features a series of five clinic-style lessons for men and women not only on game elements, but how to become a golfer. Cost is just $99, or $49 for active or retired military.
Women completing the course get a spot in the resort’s popular ladies league valued at $50, and men earn free privileges to scramble events.
Another is its Drive, Chip and Putt competition. It’s a chance for junior golfers to appear on the Golf Channel in the national finals at Augusta National Golf Club. Treetops hosts its own qualifying event July 15. Competition is limited to the first 25 in each age group.
Besides Treetops, foot golf in Michigan is offered at Fox Hills in Plymouth, Fellows Creek in Canton, Shanty Creek in Bellaire and Elmbrook in Traverse City. For information on Treetops go to www.treetops.com or call 866-348-5249.