Lake Tahoe Golf Course introduces FootGolf on Earth Day | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Lake Tahoe Golf Course introduces FootGolf on Earth Day

Isaac Brambila
ibrambila@tahoedailytribune.com

There were thick clouds covering the sky and a light rain came and went, but young children, soccer players and entire families still chased after a their soccer balls during the first day of FootGolf as part of Earth Day celebrations Wednesday at Lake Tahoe Golf Course.

"We thought it would be successful here and a great things for families," Superintendent at the golf course Bobby Jaeger said of the introduction of the new activity at the golf course.

The young golf derivative is popping up at golf courses around the country and, in the West Coast, has achieved a large reach in Southern California. Nearby, the Carson Valley Golf Course also offers the sport.

The Lake Tahoe Golf Course is on California State Parks land and it is a beautiful venue, Jaeger said, so they want to provide visitors more options to enjoy the land.

"We just wanted to provide another recreational thing besides golf. Something that non-golfers are into," he said.

Eder Vasquez was among the first to kick off the new activity along with the team he coaches, the U-16 Lake Tahoe Futbol Club.

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The young players wandered the smooth landscapes in brightly colored indoor soccer shoes that bounced around the surface with their steps and the swagger of confident athletes. There was bragging and embarrassed laughter, poor kicks and adjustments made as the game developed.

The team had a scheduled practice for that day, but Vasquez decided to take them to the golf course instead and let them have a little fun.

The game also opens the doors for new demographics. Vasquez said he is an occasional golfer, but that it is unlikely any of his players would visit the golf course if the game was not offered.

"I would say 99-percent of them wouldn't go," he said.

Jaeger himself enjoyed the activity as a family experience, with his family and some friends and their children. In all, they gathered a group of about 15, the most active players were younger than the age of 8.

Those new demographics could bring in new business, particularly to the course's restaurant, Jaeger said.

"Were not hurting revenue-wise, were trying to branch out, be innovative and try something new," Jaeger said.

The game follows the same rules as regular golf, except it's played with a soccer ball, and the ball is kicked instead of struck with a club. The course is made up of 18 holes, scattered around the first nine holes of the golf course.

FootGolf will be offered every day after 5 p.m. Management is still working on the fee for the game, but it will be offered for free for the rest of April. It is recommended that players call in advance to reserve a tee time. Jaeger also recommended wearing regular golf attire and tennis shoes or indoor soccer shoes, as cleats are not permitted.

"If they keep it for the season it will be great for the community, both golfers and the soccer players," Vasquez said.

The Lake Tahoe Golf Course is located at 2500 Emerald Bay Road.

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