Footballgolf - Czech Open 2015

Footballgolf is for children, for women, for men, for seniors. For everybody!”

It combines the agility of football with the strategic thinking of golf. What, then, is not to love about “Footballgolf?”

In May, the 2015 Czech Open will take place on Dymnik hill, not far from the town of Rumburk. The event is a special one, as it marks the first time a Footballgolf tournament will be held in the Czech Republic. Players from roughly 19 countries will converge on Fotbal Park Dymnik, along with their family, friends and fans. They will pitch their tents in the park’s “tent city” or secure accommodation in its clubhouse. They will play several free rounds of Footballgolf during the four days of scheduled training before the tournament begins. And then, from May 29-31, they will compete for the coveted title of Czech Open champion.

If you have never heard of “Footballgolf,” chances are, you can infer a good deal from its name. The sport is a mixture of football moves and golf rules. Like a golf course, a Footballgolf course has 18 holes and contains small hazards, like short bridges and rough grass, around which players must navigate. Also like golf, players must guide their balls into the holes using the fewest possible strokes – but unlike golf, these “strokes” are not the number of times they strike a golf ball with a golf club, but rather, the number of times they strike a football with their foot.

Tomas Neumann is the head coach of the Czech Republic’s futsal team and the man responsible for bringing Footballgolf to the CR. He saw his first Footballgolf match in Germany two years ago. He refers to the sport as “a great outdoor activity for all. For children, for women, for men, for seniors. For everybody!”

Neumann founded the Czech Footballgolf Association in 2013, and in 2014, opened the Dymnik course. In fact, the 2015 Czech Open marks, nearly to the day, Dymnik’s one-year anniversary.

Footballgolf itself is not much older. The sport that originated in Sweden has only existed in its current, organized form since 2004. In 2007, the World Football Golf Association held its first annual European and world championships, and began administering world rankings for men and for women. But the idea for Footballgolf, according to Neumann, is several decades’ old. He says people in Norway have been playing on FBG courses for 30 years. Even in the Czech Republic, “they played in the past. Not organized; just on green fields.”

It is this casual spirit that Neumann loves, and hopes to preserve. Footballgolf is not a professional sport. It is not to be confused with “Footgolf,” which has similar rules and is a small professional league. “We want to play without a salary,” he explains. “As amateurs, as a hobby, as an outdoor activity.”

There is a Footballgolf Membership Association players can join for a small fee. However, non-members are welcome to play on Footballgolf courses throughout the sport’s April-October season. Visitors to Neumann’s Fotbal Park Dymnik cover a range of ages and abilities: families, football clubs (including clubs for kids), and companies. In fact, the park hosts “team-building” events for the latter: two days of FBG games and barbecuing.

Since Footballgolf is indeed “a sport for all,” anyone can sign up to compete in the Czech Open this May. The tournament includes men’s and women’s singles, as well as men’s and women’s doubles.

Neumann plans to begin construction this summer on a new FBG course in Prague. “Five years from now, I see about 20 courses in the Czech Republic,” he predicts. “And many players!”

Web: Footballgolf Czech Open 2015Fotbal Park Dymník (CZ / DE)

Fotbalgolf Video (Czech language)

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