Even if you’ve never been interested in golf, you are likely to get a kick out of foot golf. It’s played with a soccer ball, but it’s not particularly a test of your soccer skills. Most importantly, it’s played outdoors—often on the edges of a traditional golf course—and easily lends itself to social distancing.
Foot golf is played over 18 holes and scored much like regular golf—but the holes are, of course, larger; they have to accommodate a soccer ball. To give it a try, I headed out to Kresson Golf Club in Voorhees (298 Kresson Gibbsboro Road).
The first thing you realize is the importance of strategy. No matter how hard you kick it, a soccer ball is never going to travel nearly as far as a well-struck golf ball. Thus, the keys are accuracy and being mindful of obstacles like sand traps and steep slopes. Soccer balls tend to accelerate down the latter.
Once you find the balance of speed and accuracy, you can work on making par (in this case, 76). The game can be mastered in a couple of trips. And no matter what level of play you achieve, you can be assured plenty of fresh air and exercise. Since there’s no bag of clubs to carry, foot golf lends itself to walking. Just be sure to keep clear of golfers as they tee off down the neighboring fairways. (Their round will take at least four hours; you can play foot golf in half that time.)
Although it’s only been in North America for about 10 years, foot golf already has a foothold in New Jersey, including a state chapter of a national organization (the United States FootGolf Association), as well as leagues and tournaments. There are a number of other places to play in New Jersey, the foremost being Crystal Springs Resort in Sussex County, which has two courses. Most courses charge in the range of $10–$35 for an 18-hole round, depending on the day of the week. Ball and cart rentals are optional extras.
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Grab a Kayak and Paddle the Pinelands
Test Your Agility on a Treetop Course
Hike the Wonders of Wawayanda State Park
Explore Two Attractions on Jersey’s Appalachian Trail
Sleep Under the Stars in Worthington State Forest