A Day on the Links

[one_half last=”no” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text]Recently the new crop of SDSU Sports MBA students was introduced to a new sport: FootGolf. A combination of soccer and golf, it’s a rapidly growing niche sport that could offer golf courses a way to survive the waning interest in golf and high costs of course maintenance.

The class met on a sunny weekday afternoon at National City Golf Course, where they got a quick primer on the rules. It’s just like golf, but you kick a soccer ball! The holes were anywhere from 80-200 yards away from the tees, and off on the side of a fairway.

Only one student had played it before, Ian Cook, and he tied the course record at 12 under!  The rest of the  class, even those who had never kicked a soccer ball, had a great time. It’s very easy to play, and the chance for a long birdie or even hole in one is always possible.[/fusion_text][/one_half][one_half last=”yes” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/imageframe][/one_half][fullwidth backgroundcolor=”” backgroundimage=”” backgroundrepeat=”no-repeat” backgroundposition=”left top” backgroundattachment=”scroll” video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” bordersize=”0px” bordercolor=”” borderstyle=”” paddingtop=”20px” paddingbottom=”20px” paddingleft=”0px” paddingright=”0px” menu_anchor=”” equal_height_columns=”no” hundred_percent=”no” class=”” id=””][fusion_text]Enter FootGolf! From a sports business perspective, FootGolf offers a lot to consider. In Southern California, there are many challenges to operating a successful golf course. There are already too many courses for the population, particularly in San Diego. The sport of golf is falling in popularity, in part due to the high cost and high degree of difficulty. Also, the recession hit the core golfer demographic hard. Most difficult of all is the cost of maintenance. Severe water shortages in the area show no signs of abating, and keeping a golf course green and in decent shape is very expensive and environmentally unsound.

The sport is ideal for soccer players, and San Diego is loaded with soccer clubs of all ages around the county. This creates a new audience that might come to a golf course for the first time to play FootGolf. The game is very easy to play, and a round takes half the time of a typical golf round. What’s more, the upkeep of the FootGolf fairways and greens is not as demanding as it is for golf. Add new concession and retail sales, and FootGolf offers a much needed lift for course managers.

There are currently three courses in San Diego, and several dozen in California, driven by the CFGA on a state level. In the near future, the class is aiming to work on a business plan locally with FootGolf San Diego to figure out how to grow this new sport.[/fusion_text][/fullwidth]

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