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Penticton  

Footgolf comes to valley

The first officially sanctioned footgolf tournament is coming to Skaha Meadows in Penticton Aug 23. 

Footgolf is a fast-growing sport that adds bigger holes to existing golf courses. Instead of a bag of clubs and tees, players wear turf shoes and use a soccer ball. There are typically two footgolf holes per standard-golf hole on participating courses.

The Aug 23 event at Skaha Meadows is a grand opening of the footgolf holes on that course. There are now 12 courses across Canada, and three in BC that have footgolf holes.

"You can call it the first official foot golf tournament in the Okanagan," said Alex Elliott, vice president of Footgolf Canada.

Elliott was raised in the Okanagan where he played soccer for the Pinnacles before moving to the coast and eventually playing in Europe. When he saw it cropping up in Europe, he knew it was something he could take home.

"Whether you toe poke the ball down the course with a beer in your hand or want to take it seriously, there's fun for every skill level." 

All sanctioned events feature footgolfers-only on the course. After the tournament, Skaha Meadows will have specific and separate times for footgolfers to play.

Elliott said it takes a footgolfer approximately half the time to play a round compared to regular golf.

Players wear soccer gear, turf shoes and use a standard soccer ball. "Obviously you don't want to go out onto those nice courses with studs on the bottom," said Elliott. 

Elliott says footgolf is not just a fun activity, it's a fully sanctioned professional sport under the Federation for International Footgolf which features its own World Cup tournament. 

People who want more information can go to www.footgolf.ca 

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