New sport kicks off at Cedar Hill Golf Course

Foot golf expected to make up for declining number of rounds

Simon Miles taps in a putt during the deubt round of foot golf at Cedar Hill Golf Course on Tuesday with Saanich’s Rob Phillips looking on. The course is now open for the new sport

Unsure how her first game of foot golf would unfold, Kelsey Kuebler immediately felt that competitive urge.

The Prospect Lake premier women’s soccer player is recovering from injury but was able to kick the ball around for the first known game of foot golf at the Cedar Hill Golf Course.

Foot golf is growing in popularity as a simple, fun way to get on the golf course. At Cedar Hill, the hope is it brings new and former visitors to the course, says Saanich director of parks and recreation Doug Henderson.

“This is part of the continued efforts to make the golf course sustainable, we’re still nowhere near the number of [golf rounds] we were at a few years ago,” he said.

Golf rounds are down across North America, not just at Saanich’s only municipal course. It was actually Henderson who brought the idea forward after he came across foot golf during a recent trip to the U.S.

Cedar HIll is at about 40,000 rounds per year right now, and while the numbers and revenue are up again this year, the growth is nowhere near the number of rounds from 10 years ago, which was nearly double.

As for the sport, foot golfers start their rounds in the same time slots as golfers and are expected to obey course etiquette.

Cedar Hill head golf pro Craig Rencher was luke warm on the idea at first, to say the least, but quickly came around.

“I’m pretty open minded but I had some questions about it,” he said. “Once I did some research I was at ease.”

The holes for the course are short and are situated on the sides of the fairways, not on the greens.

Rencher even played one hole of foot golf on Tuesday versus local CTV news reporter Chandler Grieve. Rencher looked to have done better off the ‘drive’ only to watch Grieve birdie the par-four first hole. Regardless, Rencher is in support going forward.

The course is open to foot golf reservations for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday afternoons beginning at noon.

“We start this weekend, on Thanksgiving Sunday. I’d ask that people phone ahead for the first couple of weeks so we can get used to booking foot golf tee times but soon I think people can use our regular online booking.”

Kuebler said she’ll definitely be back and with her soccer pals in tow.

“I didn’t know what to think but it’s really fun.”

The starting price is $9 for nine holes. Call 250-475-7151 to reserve. No cleats. Indoor soccer shoes and soccer turf shoes are recommended.

 

reporter@saanichnews.com