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FootGolf comes to Clackamas County

Soccer balls are flying at Sah-Hah-Lee Golf Course -


Golfers at Sah-Hah-Lee Golf Course in Clackamas have been doing a double take in recent weeks, as they see young people kicking soccer balls on the fairways.

Sah-Hah-Lee is among a handful of golf courses in Oregon that has opened its fairways to the relatively new sport of FootGolf.

Photo Credit: PHOTO BY JOHN DENNY - Tayler McCamman putts on the second FootGolf hole at Sah-Hah-Lee, while Tahni Harr looks on. The FootGolf cup is 21 inches in diameter and players use a standard soccer ball.The rules are pretty much the same as in regular golf, except FootGolfers play with a soccer ball and they advance the ball with their feet, instead of with a club. FootGolf greens are situated on the course, near the regular golf greens.

Glendoveer in Portland, Mallard Creek in Lebanon and Awbrey Glen in Bend are the only golf courses in the state besides Sah-Hah-Lee that have opened up their fairways to FootGolf. Sah-Hah-Lee saw its first FootGolfers on July 19.

Photo Credit: PHOTO BY JOHN DENNY - Tayler McCamman attacks the ball as she tees off on the ninth hole at Sah-Hah-Lee. FootGolf players use the same tees as golfers, but they have their own greens, which are situated near the regular golf greens.“It’s a growing sport,” said Steve Lisac, owner of Sah-Hah-Lee. “It just started in Washington last fall and they’ve already got it on 15 courses. There are something like 300 courses that offer it nationwide.”

Lisac says that par 3 courses like Sah-Hah-Lee are a great fit for the game.

“Most people can’t kick a soccer ball 100 yards, so many of our par 3’s become par 4’s or par 5’s,” he said. “A par 54 golf course turns into a par 72 FootGolf course.”

“We had 115 individual plays in our first nine days, and we’re getting a few more people every night, as the word gets out,” said Sah-Hah-Lee assistant pro Nick Pileggi.

Pileggi says he has introduced youngsters to the sport at his junior golf camp.

“It’s a little faster pace [than golf],” said Pileggi. “Our hope is that we can use it as a way to introduce kids to golf. Everyone that’s played seems to like it.”

“Our vision is that mom and dad play golf, while their kids play FootGolf in the same foursome,” Lisac says. “It’s all about growing the game.”

Lisac noted that Sah-Hah-Lee also has an 18-hole mini-golf putting course to help introduce people to the game.

Tayler McCamman and Tahni Harr, teammates on Clackamas Community College’s successful soccer team, were out playing 18 holes of FootGolf together at Sah-Hah-Lee in late July.

“It’s fun,” said Harr, who will be studying business at Washington State University this fall. “I like it. It’s quick, and you can be outside in the sun....

“The only thing I don’t like about it is the price. It sucks, if you’re a college student. If it didn’t cost so much, I’d do it more.”

“It’s fun,” said McCamman, who is transferring to Mt. Hood Community College this fall to study physical therapy. “I like it a lot. I’d do it all the time if I had the money. If it was like maybe seven bucks, I’d come twice a week.”

Asked if she thought playing FootGolf might help her soccer game, Harr said. “Not much, except maybe your free kick.”

“The people who play [KickGolf] tend to be people who have played soccer,” said Pileggi. “They’re young, or middle-age.”

Photo Credit: PHOTO BY JOHN DENNY - Playing the relatively new sport of FootGolf with her friend Tayler McCamman, Tahni Harr found the water on the 125-yard third hole at Sah-Hah-Lee Golf Course. The Clackamas par 3 golf course added FootGolf to its regular golf and mini-golf offerings in mid-July.“We started it here May first and it’s becoming pretty popular,” said Evan Lundgren, golf assistant at Glendoveer. “We had 800 rounds in July, and that’s pretty good, considering we just do it two days a week [Tuesday and Saturdays], and after 3 p.m.”

Lundgren said that the average age of FootGolfers at Glendoveer has been 18 to 35 years of age.

Glendoveer lists its course record for FootGolf at 6-under-par 66.

Glendoveer will host its first major FootGolf tournament, the Playworks Charity FootGolf Open, on Saturday, Aug. 16.

Organized FootGolf is said to have originated in the Netherlands in 2009. It began to take hold in the United States in 2011.

Sah-Hah-Lee opens its fairways to FootGolf at 4 p.m. every day of the week, except for Fridays. They’ll also allow FootGolf play, by reservation, at any time on Mondays and Thursdays.

FootGolf green fees at Sah-Hah-Lee are $8.50 for nine holes and $15 for 18 holes for adults; and $7 and $12 respectively for youth 15-and-under.

Players can provide their own standard-sized soccer ball for play, or they can rent a soccer ball at the course.

To reserve a FootGolf tee time at Sah-Hah-Lee, phone 503-655-9249, or visit the website at www.sah-hah-lee.com.