New game, new kicks: FootGolf hits High Desert

Fast-growing sport combines soccer, golf

FootGolf hits the High Desert

BEND, Ore. - FootGolf is the newest, novel sporting trend to hit the High Desert. It's like regular golf, but with a soccer ball and a cup 21 inches in diameter.

Friday was the inaugural event at Awbrey Glen Golf Club.

Two months ago, the course discovered FootGolf on a YouTube video. Fast-forward to Friday, and it's the only place to play, so far, in Central Oregon. 

"Another great amenity to have at the club, with so many families and kids that we have here," said Mark Amberson, general manager of Awbrey Glen. "It's another way to use our beautiful turf."

It's a game for everyone -- the big and small, young and old.

"I'm really looking forward to having our team, and seeing what FootGolf will be like, because I think it's going to be totally different than golf," Evan Bleyer said. "I think it's going to be a bit more fun."

With a lot of first-timers on the course, the confidence level of the players varied.

"I think I might get a hole in one, maybe," Bleyer said.

Predicting her performance, Cherri Miller said, "Based on my warm-up, not very well. I don't know."

Miller decided to play so she can stay connected with the younger members of her family.

"Not that many people golf really, especially when they're younger. And so I've got little nephews growing up, and I always want to have activities for them to do," Miller said.

While competitive in nature, FootGolf also provides a laid-back kind of vibe.

"It's low-impact, fun, just a good way to get out and enjoy this great Central Oregon weather we're having," Amberson said.

The Bend FC Timbers chose to play for team camaraderie.

"I think it's going to be fun, and if we like it, we'll probably come back and do it again," Bleyer said.

Overall, it's a game to enjoy, even if it may hurt a little bit.

Asked how she felt afterward, Miller said, "Pretty good. Now I need some ice, and a drink."

The course at Awbrey Glen is a five-hole, par three course, and will be open to club members every Sunday at 2 p.m.

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