Sports

Golf Digest: Kelowna's homeless soccer team introduces footgolf to the Okanagan

t's being called the first ever footgolf tournament to be held in B.C. and it's for a great cause, helping Kelowna's homeless people.

Inn From the Cold, the Kelowna Kodiaks—a street soccer team comprised of Kelowna's homeless, underprivileged persons and volunteers—are organizing what they are billing as the first ever foot-golf tournament to be held in B.C.

The inaugural Kelowna Kodiaks Footgolf Tournament will be held Saturday, April 12th, at the Okanagan Golf Club's Bear Course.The Kodiaks are looking to help the Okanagan kick off the soccer  and golf season in style by combining the two sports into one with the possibility of being crowned the first (un)official Footgolf champion in B.C.

So what on earth is footgolf? Kind of exactly like it sounds: A sport that is fun, easy to play and anyone can enjoy. Footgolf originated in the Netherlands and has spread to over 16 countries throughout the world with the Federation for International Footgolf serving as its governing body. The game is similar to golf in that rules, etiquette and attire remain the same (indoor soccer or turf shoes replacing golf shoes as the exception). However for game play, the players' intent is to kick a size 5 soccer ball into a 21 inch hole with the least amount of strokes possible.

The Okanagan golf club is looking forward to being the first golf course in B.C. to offer Footgolf. The course superintendent has only a small amount of work to do in order to prepare the course for Footgolf. Players will “tee off” from the existing tee boxes, and will be aiming for the larger soccer ball-sized holes that are generally cut into the second cut or rough, so as to not disrupt the course from its original intention.

The course layout itself is shorter than a traditional golf course which means a much faster pace of play.

Footgolfers will also get the unique opportunity to directly interact with the players and volunteers of the Kelowna Kodiaks, who will be acting as their caddies for the day.

It is very rare that fundraising participants get to meet the people their donations impact, and the opportunity for the team to become part of the community in a fun way has a significant impact on the self-esteem of the Kodiaks players themselves.

The tournament will cost $50 per person (plus a small registration fee), which Includes 9 holes of Footgolf and a casual dinner. All funds raised go directly to Inn from the Cold - Kelowna.

Players can register and pay at the following link; http://bit.ly/1pu1bl5

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Shannon Lake Golf Course in West Kelowna is reporting its new clubhouse is in the works and is fully expected to be completely operational in the new setting for the 2015 season.

The clubhouse was destroyed by fire last May and this year the club will  continue to operate the golf side of the business from a temporary trailer near the first tee area.

Work on the new clubhouse will begin this year and the design is said to be very cool.

Food and beverage services will be scaled back slightly this season but Shannon Lake will continue to offer these services from the area near our sixth tee.

Shannon Lake continues to be part of the Play Golf Kelowna program.

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The Black Mountain Golf Course is opening today (March 28) as courses continue to open in the area.

It's the sixth season for Black Mountain and this year Russ Latimer takes over as the club's general manager, moving up from his position as head pro.

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At Ponderosa, the under-construction new Greg Norman design course in Peachland, 32 homes are under construction with half of those nearly ready. The new course however will not be ready to open at least until the 2015 season.

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If you have a golf story to be included in our golf digest, please e-mail kparnell@kelownacapnews.com

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