Our family tends to like adventures that include a little challenge. If there’s a chance to push ourselves physically, compete in a game, learn a new skill, or test our minds in some way, we are more than likely up for it (unless it involves jumping out of an airplane or something crazy daredevilish… that I would not do, though the rest of my crew probably would :-/ ).
So, when I first heard about FootGolf at East Potomac Park from a dad in the neighborhood, I was intrigued. It sounded right up our alley. We already dig games that are like golf but are not golf. Both kids play soccer, so it’s like a new twist on a sport they enjoy. And even though it takes place at a location we’ve frequented plenty over the years, we had no idea it was there…or even a thing, for that matter. That factor alone piqued my curiosity.
It took a few months to get there, but we finally gave FootGolf a whirl during the last week of summer break. Just like regular golf, you can reserve a tee time in advance, but we just headed over there and took the first slot available about 25 minutes later. While we waited to hit the White Course, which is set up for FootGolf as well as regular golf, we went over the “goals” of the game. Basically, it’s just like golf, but instead of using golf clubs to drive a golf ball down a course and into a small hole, you kick a soccer ball and aim for a 21″ hole. And the “tee” in FootGolf is about a five-foot space between two orange markers in the grass.
The game description at East Potomac says it’s for ages 10 and up, but Sasha is only 8 and played along just fine. (2020 Update: Ages 5 & up can now play.) Like regular golf, you start with a long drive or big boot to get the ball far down the course, then keep kicking toward the hole as needed. Usually a couple of hard kicks are required, then lighter ones with more precise aim as you approach the hole. A scorecard is provided to keep track of everyone’s kicks if you’re all feeling competitive. You can go fast and run as much as possible to get in some extra exercise or just relax, take your time, and enjoy the views and company as you complete the course. East Potomac Park is the only place is the District with FootGolf (and one of five in the DC-Metro area), and the Washington Monument looms in the background as you make your way through the 18 holes.
East Potomac Park FootGolf is located at 972 Ohio Drive SW near Hains Point. Tee times are available anytime Monday – Thursday that golf is open, and after 2pm Friday – Sunday. Cost is $20/player. And plan to reward yourselves after with a bite at the Potomac Grille right there.