Footgolf – Have You Heard of it?

A few months ago, my husband and I were golfing on a short course we had never tried before.   As we neared the green, we were confused because there were two pins (flags).  On closer examination, we found that one flag pole was sitting in a much larger hole.  What was this?  Was it made for the visually impaired or maybe for someone like me, who has a problem with directionally-challenged balls?  It wasn’t until later that we found out that we’d stumbled across our first footgolf course.

While there are various opinions as to when footgolf was first played, the sport became official in 2008.  It basically is a combination of football (American soccer) and golf.  The rules are essentially the same as golf.  The goal is to get the ball to the cup in as few strokes as possible.  The difference is  that a regulation size soccer ball is used and the ball is contacted by your foot rather than a club.  Also, as I mentioned earlier, the cup is larger so that it can accommodate a soccer ball.

Much larger than a regular golf hole

This last week we finally had a chance to experience the sport first hand.  We drove about an hour to a course, but the long drive was off-set by the fact that we had a Groupon deal which brought the price down to a very reasonable amount.  Most courses include a ball rental fee, so you may want to check into bringing your own soccer ball, if you have one.

From what I’ve read, most footgolf courses have nine holes.  The course we played on had a separate golf course, but most of the time we were within eyesight of the golfers.  As we were handed our scorecard, we were given given one piece of advice – “Watch out for golfers!”  I’ve never been hit by a golf ball, but I’ve had patients who have and have had devastating effects.  All I could do was hope that the golfers near us had better control of their balls that I generally do.

Dark skies couldn’t dampen our enthusiasm

Maybe this is a good time to reveal my lack of golfing ability.  Shortly after we were married, my husband and I took golf lessons.  Our thought was that since neither of us had ever played in the past, we could learn to love the sport together.  I can’t really say that has happened, even after almost thirty years of playing it intermittently, but I do love my husband and enjoy doing things with him.  Our first time golfing netted me a score of 39.  That’s not so bad, right?  That was the number of strokes it took me to get to the first hole!  It was supposed to take me three strokes. No surprise, my husband did significantly better than me.

Even though the years have improved my scores a little, I’m still embarrassingly terrible at golf.  Thankfully I married a very patient man.  For some reason he still seems to enjoy playing with me.  Maybe it’s because I make him look professional in comparison.  So I walked up to the first footgolf tee off area with fresh anticipation.  Even though I’d never played footgolf, it had to be better than regular golf.

Footgolf is not without hazards!

The first thing I happily noted is that it is much harder to miss the ball in footgolf than in regular golf.  I am not saying it can’t be done, but amazingly I never once missed contacting my foot to the ball.  Right from the start, we had a discussion about the proper way to kick the ball.  Should we kick it with the side of our foot or with our toe?  The professional soccer players use the side of their foot.  They must know what they’re doing.  So, I tried my best Pelé kick.  I was glad to see the ball move, but it went way off to one side.  At that moment I decided to switch from being a professional to being a two-year-old soccer player and just kick the ball with my toe.  I’m not saying this is the best method, considering my score was consistently at least double par, but it kept me from running all over the place.

All was going relatively well (at least compared to my usual golf game) until we felt a few drops of rain while waiting to play the second hole.  By the time we had all put our balls in the cup, it started to pour.  We were so thankful that the rain wasn’t accompanied by lightning.  This enabled us to take shelter under a nearby tree.  It didn’t take long for us to realize that a tree, while better than facing the storm without any protection, is less than perfect.  No matter where we stood, we each were getting pelted by rain.  We ran to another tree that gave the allusion that it would shelter us better under its wings.  Hah.  I was just trying to formulate the most direct path back to the clubhouse when suddenly the rain stopped, like someone had just turned off the faucet.  We finished the course wearing sunglasses!

Clouds preparing to bring in rain

I have read that the introduction of footgolf may have saved some golf courses from bankruptcy.  I can see why it is starting to catch on.  No expensive equipment is needed and it is a great option for young and old alike.  I did find my toe was pretty sore by the end of play, but my husband later reminded me that I’d had toe surgery last year on that foot.  I just adjusted by finishing play with my left foot.  Not sure using my non-dominant foot hurt my game all that much.  That’s the beauty of being poor at sports.  I don’t have much to lose!

Why not give footgolf a try?  It’s a simple, inexpensive game.  It will get you outside, breathing in some fresh air.  Thankfully my husband threw our scorecard away, but like with golf, I remind myself that it’s not about winning, but enjoying.

Floating Along

Part of my mission in writing a blog is to give you ideas of activities that can get you out enjoying life. As I’ve stated in previous posts, I’m no athlete. In fact, I have to fight a natural tendency to just sit on the couch in my temperature-controlled home with a good book. Yet, I’ve noticed a strange phenomenon – once I’m outside, I usually wind up enjoying life to a greater degree than if I stayed in my safe cocoon.

Today I’m going to address using self-propelled watercraft. Boats – they go against my very nature in multiple ways. First off, unless you are using one with your rubber duckie in the bathtub, you are likely to be *gasp* OUTSIDE! Since I’ve already discussed my aversion to being outdoors, I’ll proceed to the next point.

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Exploring Electric Bicycles

*You should know that I received no compensation from either the Pedego company or the area retailer for writing this article.  We paid for our rentals and tested the ride before I mentioned to the owner that I would be writing a blog article.

Hello and Happy June!

The goal of my blog has always been to direct people (especially those in the older sector) to new ways of seeing the world around them and hopefully bringing increased joy to their lives in the process.  Incorporated in this endeavor is refocusing our eyes on God.  I have found just in being the bearer of these ideas that my life has been enhanced and I think I’ve experienced a fresh appreciation for my life.  I hope my goal has been realized, at least in some part, for you too.

Sometimes my search for ideas to write about has led me to try new things.  This past week has had just that experience.  Over the winter, I heard about electric bicycles.  Actually, I believe my sister was the first one to tell me about them, but I had largely forgotten them until something prompted me to do a little research online.  Maybe it was the cold weather and my longing for springtime and the start up of bicycle season that initiated this search.  I ended up contacting the Pedego company and was sent a brochure.  The first thing that caught my eye were the vibrant colors.  The pages sported bicycles in bright greens, pinks, yellows, and oranges – to name a few.  There were quite a few style options, in fact, so many that I found myself getting confused.  I figured the best way to find out about them was to test ride one.  I was delighted when I found out that there was a dealership in Michigan that also rented out their bikes.

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Geo…what?

Spring for me brings on a sense of wanderlust – defined as a strong, innate desire to rove or travel about.  One way I satisfy my urge to discover new things is by playing a worldwide game called geocaching.  “Geo…what?” you might ask.  The simple definition is that it is a game where latitude and longitude coordinates for a specific place are downloaded into a GPS from a website.  These coordinates are used to find a container that has been hidden.

Geocaching began in the year 2000.  Prior to this time, GPS devices were used for military purposes, but around this time they were opened up to civilian use.  The first container was hidden to celebrate this new public use of satellite coordinates.  Soon the game caught on.  Today there are millions of geocaches hidden throughout the world.  They are found on every continent, including Antarctica, and there is even one located on the International Space Station.

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Walking Smart with Walking Poles

Good Morning!

Tomorrow, April 5, is National Walking Day.  We all have heard that walking is one of the best and most inexpensive ways to put exercise into our daily lives.  Today I’m going to tell you one way you can raise your calorie burning potential by as much as 48% plus maintain good posture and balance while walking in your neighborhood.  Make sure you read to the end of this post to see an offer created just for my readers!  Disclaimer:  I was provided a free product in return for my honest review.  All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.

Last fall my husband and I were taking a walk in a local park.  As we were enjoying the beauty, we noticed a man going in the opposite direction who was walking with some walking poles.  We looked curiously at him and at the poles, wondering exactly what he was doing.  Seeing our interest, he stopped and explained that he was walking regularly with these poles in preparation to walk the Appalachian Trail. Continue reading

New Year – Body Control




Hello again – glad you’re still with me for week three of my New Year blog posts.  This week I felt like I should talk about taking care of our bodies and keeping them under control.  The trouble is, I have no expertise in this area.  If I wasn’t so new at blogging and had more connections, this would definitely be a time I would have a ‘guest blogger’ take over.  I could learn a lot myself!  Instead of telling you what I’m doing to help my body, let me tell you what I should be doing.

I should be exercising.  During the warmer months, I definitely am better at this.  The trouble is, it is incidental exercise.  My husband and I enjoy bicycling and hiking in parks.  We like to walk around the nearby neighborhoods.  We are having fun doing the activity and exercise is just a by-product.  The trouble comes in when it is too hot, too cold, rainy, or icy.  Then we don’t get outside.  If I were more dedicated to movement for its own sake, I would find a way.  We have a treadmill in the basement, but I have come up with countless excuses why I don’t want to use it – the basement isn’t finished, I have no secure way to keep my iPad in place to distract me, I have almost fallen off multiple times….You get the picture and while you’re getting it, imagine an out-of-shape middle aged woman sitting on her comfy couch motionless (unless you count the hand to mouth movement)!  I must say that it did help when I listened to downloaded podcasts/Ted Talks while I was walking.  If the subject didn’t keep me distracted, balancing my iPad did.  If the topic was too interesting, I’d find myself slowing down until I was in danger of catapulting off the end.  Last year I tried walking outside even when it was icy by using crampons on my shoes.  This is a test of faith when your mind is telling you, “Don’t go there.  You’ll slip!” and you know your metal spikes should hold you upright.

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Take a Hike!





This Thursday, November 17th, img_1120is National Take a Hike Day.  My husband and I like to hike, although for many years regular exercise was not a part of my life.  Typically, we’d go on vacation and then my usually inert body would be shocked by the sudden increase in forward movement.  In fact, my hiking problems have become quite legendary in our family.  It all started on our honeymoon.  We set out to hike in the beautiful Muir Woods in northern California.  Although I tried to impress my new husband with my physical prowess, in truth I was dragging behind the whole way.  When I returned home, I found a doctor’s report waiting for me that said I was borderline anemic.  Aha, so there was a reason I was so slow…. Continue reading