The New Paltz Golf Course, located off historic Huguenot Street, is the first accredited FootGolf course in all of New York State. FootGolf is a relatively new sport that is being played across the country and in Europe. According to Larry Furey, the longtime owner and golf pro at the New Paltz Golf Course, this sport “combines soccer and golf…. The holes are 21 inches wide, and you kick or ‘putt’ the soccerball the same way you would a golfball.”
There are pars and birdies, and Furey says that they’ve already had a few holes-in-one. “The course is still nine holes, but the holes are shorter, because a soccer ball doesn’t travel as far as a golf ball.”
This Saturday, November 8 the New Paltz Golf Course will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. for its newly created “Rail Trail FootGolf Course,” located by the driving range, bordering the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail in a bucolic setting. “We are dedicating this new course in honor of Michael Oremus, who was a talented soccer player for Highland and who was tragically killed in Baghdad, Iraq while serving our country in October 2006,” said Furey. To that end, 50 players have signed up to compete in a round of FootGolf, many of them family and friends of Oremus.
The Rail Trail course will be the third FootGolf course at the New Paltz Golf Course. “Soccer is experiencing tremendous popularity right now, and golf, unfortunately, is in a bit of a downturn. So this sport brings our large soccer population to the golf course, and then many of those soccer-players end up getting into golf. So it’s a real win/win,” said Furey.
The Rail Trail course will be used for purely recreational purposes, but Furey said that he hopes to bring in FootGolf tournaments, which are also growing in popularity. “A course in New Jersey recently held one that attracted FootGolf clubs from all over the world! They had 13 countries represented. So I just see this as a sport that’s going to take off, and it’s so fun and active and in a gorgeous setting.”
To learn more about FootGolf, you can look up NewPaltzFootGolf on Facebook, or just call the Golf Pro Shop at (845) 255-8282 for information on hours and rates.