Soccer-golf promises hole lot of fun for competitors, novices

August 18, 1993|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Staff Writer

The par-3 fourth hole is particularly hazardous, with its long fairway that doglegs to the left.

A driver would be recommended in most cases, but this is a much different case.

No golf clubs are needed on this course. The dimpled little balls you're used to seeing are replaced by much bigger ones with panels.

The holes are 28 inches in diameter, plenty of room to put a size 5 soccer ball through.

A strong leg suffices for your woods, an accurate foot works as your putter and wedge. No caddie is necessary.

Four Seasons Sports Complex in Hampstead is opening a first-of-its-kind commercial soccer-golf course on Monday.

Anyone can play soccer golf, but the new sport is geared toward the soccer enthusiast, who can sharpen his skills.

Nine holes are complete on the 16-acre course with nine more set to be ready for the first Soccer Golf Tournament scheduled for the last weekend in November -- $500 will be awarded to the low scorer.

The first nine holes are all par 2s and 3s, averaging 280 feet.

"We've really pushed our attention toward soccer and this was a great opportunity to expand in that," said Kevin Bidelspach, director of operations at Four Seasons.

"The idea allows soccer players to go out and play competitively, while families and others who don't play soccer can also have fun playing recreationally -- much like miniature golf."

Hagerstown resident Mark Moler created the program after playing a less detailed version at soccer camps and after games.

"I had been kicking the idea around for around 10 years and finally took some time to follow up on it," he said.

"The front nine which is already up is pretty challenging and we're looking to add some things to the back nine. It can be a lot of fun for everyone."

Sand traps, ponds and other hazards found in typical golf courses are replaced by sheet metal figurines of soccer players, boulder-sized rocks and barrels.

About the only time a soccer player doesn't want to score a goal is at the second hole where a goal rests in the middle of the fairway. Participants must kick around or over the goal not to be penalized.

Four Seasons is a showcase of sorts to Moler's program. He would like to see it gain popularity nationwide, and is looking to put his next course in St. Louis.

The floods in that area have delayed his start there.

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