Footgolf receives trial at Foxtail
RP council skeptical about game’s future at local golf facility
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By Jud Snyder  January 17, 2014 12:00 am

Foxtail Golf Club has held a trial session on the sport of footgolf, and they’re excited about its prospect as a game to be played on nine holes of Foxtail’s south course, its future and a new revenue source for the club.

But it won’t be for a while yet. The proposal became ensnarled in a discussion about the alleged dismal condition of Foxtail’s south 18-hole layout. A discussion about this with CourseCo, Inc., and its president, Tom Isaak, along with his deputy, Tom Bugbee, VP of operations, will be held soon.

This delay was triggered by an impassioned slide show of the south course’s dry fairways from Mayor Joe Callinan, who’s probably the only council member who plays golf regularly at Foxtail.

Both Isaak and Bugbee were at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.

“Footgolf started in 2009 and is gaining much support,” said Bugbee. “There are 26 footgolf courses in the nation and California has four of them already (none are in the North Bay).”

Basically, it’s kicking a soccer ball over a regular golf course instead of using a small white ball and a bagful of clubs. It has a separate green, not a typical putting green carpet.

“We plan to have footgolf start after 1 p.m. and play the nine holes twice. There are fewer regular golfers after 1 p.m. compared to the early morning hours,” said Bugbee. “It’s sort of like snowboarding on proven ski 

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slopes. We’d like to try a six-month trial footgolf game starting in May this year. To be successful it has to co-exist with regular golf.”

Said Callinan, I’m not against footgolf. But my concern is the maintenance of the south course. It’s in terrible shape, it needs work.” His slide show displayed dried, barren patches on the fairways.

“I do confess,” said Isaak. “The south course needs maintenance, it’s almost 50 years old and we have to use men with hoses to try and keep up with the problem.

“I suggest we put this on hold until we can meet with CourseCo staffers to improve the condition before we give an OK for footgolf. Give it several weeks at least.”

Councilwoman Pam Stafford agreed with Callinan’s suggestion.

Councilman Jake Mackenzie said, “I say go ahead with footgolf and also meet with Isaak to see what can be done.”

“I think we should wait until we meet with Tom Isaak and get his report,” said Councilwoman Gina Belforte.

“This footgolf idea will bring in additional revenue for Foxtail,” said vice-Mayor Amy Ahanotu. “I support trying it out.”

“I really look forward to footgolf. But it’s the maintenance problems on the south course that bother me. I get criticisms from other golfers on this every time I’m out there.”

No vote was taken, the council was only asked for direction from city staff. But the council’s non-existing vote is split with two in favor of trying out footgolf in May and three saying let’s wait until a report from Isaak on what can be done to remedy maintenance problems is handed to the council.

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