'Recession sport': First Footgolf tournament held at Sewerby
THE golf course at Sewerby Hall looked more like the KC Stadium yesterday as international teams took part in Britain's first footgolf tournament.
A popular sport on the Continent, footgolf is starting to gain followers in the UK.
Teams from the Humber competed alongside players from York, London and even Hungary.
The sport follows the same rules as golf but with footballs that are kicked instead of putted into much larger holes.
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"The day was a real success," said Mike O'Connor, founder of Footgolf England.
Mr O'Connor, 36, lives in Bridlington and decided to hold the tournament at Sewerby because he loved the course as a child.
"I chose to have the event here because I grew up here," he said.
"I used to play pitch and putt golf here when I was six years old. It's a beautiful setting.
"Everybody was dressed for a sporting event – people were wearing flat caps and shorts and long socks."
He said the sport will be successful because it is a marriage of two already popular games.
"First of all, it's football and a lot of people like football," Mr O'Connor said. "And a lot of people like golf. It's what I would call a recession sport.
"You don't need to buy a lot of equipment to play the game and teams can be a mixture of men and women and children."
Simon Nuttall, 40, was part of one of four footgolf teams from Lloyd Dawson accountants in Bridlington.
"It was our first time playing footgolf," he said. "It's harder than it looks – particularly on the greens. It looks extremely easy but it proved more challenging."
Mr Nuttall plays both golf and football, but even though the game is played on an 11-hole course, he said his soccer skills were far more useful than his swing.
"I think it appeals to someone who has played both," he said.
"The hardest part is getting a ball in off the green."
The accountant said he and his colleagues enjoyed their day.
"Everybody dressed up in traditional Footgolf attire," he said. "That's T-shirts, knee-length socks and flat caps.
"The majority of people I saw were dressed up and it was quite a good turnout. It was very well organised."
The competition was run with the help of East Riding Council.
Senior coastal manager Martin Burnhill turned out on the day.
"There were people all over the golf course enjoying a Sunday kick-about," he said.
"From the council's point of view, it's all gone very well.
"We're trying to engage people across the age groups and get them out enjoying the fresh air."