Footgolf has rapidly become one of Scotland’s fastest growing sports - and Cumbernauld is at the centre of its rise in popularity
Footgolf - as it sounds, a hybrid of football and golf - came to the Palacerigg Family Golf Centre two years ago.
At first was only available at the weekend for a few hours and a Tuesday with the rest of the time the course being used for traditional golf.
But so popular did it become that Footgolf Cumbernauld was the first facility in Scotland to be used solely for footgolf, open seven days a week and designed exclusively for the sport.
Footgolf Scotland sales director Paul Doherty explained: “The course was a nine-hole golf course which meant it could be used as an 18-hole footgolf course as footgolf holes, although scored the same as golf ie par 3, par 4 and par 5 - are around half the distance of golf holes.
“It became apparent at the end of the first year that we were getting many more footgolfers than golfers playing and so we took the decision to just convert the golf course to footgolf full time.
“This enabled us to just cut it for footgolf rather than both meaning we could define the grass solely for the use of footgolf.”
Since then the sport has gone from strength to strength. Footgolf Cumbernauld hosted the Scottish Open last year, the best players from all over Europe competing in a 36-hole event which eventually won by UK number one Ben Clarke.
Scotland’s number one player is Cumbernauld Footgolf Club captain Gavin Craig. By winning a series of events held all over Scotland, he qualified to represent the UK against the USA in the Jansen Cup, footgolf’s equivalent of the Ryder Cup.
That took place in Palm Springs, California, las month, with Gavin helping the 24-strong UK team romp to victory.
There is a series of Tartan Tour events again this year where players can compete for prizes and get the chance to play for Scotland against England this year.
And a club league has been set up (see sports digest section) with Cumbernauld looking for players to compete against Edinburgh, Bridgend and Kilmarnock, particularly female players as we only have one registered female at the moment.
The winners of the league after home and away fixtures will compete against some of the best club teams from all over the UK later in the year.
Paul said: “Footgolf can be enjoyed by all the family and we regularly get mums and dads up playing with their kids as you don’t need expensive equipment to play, just a normal football and two hours of free time.
“It is very popular with football teams, stag parties and office team building days but we also work closely with a number of charities and we have helped raised tens of thousands of pounds for various causes.”