Soccer golf is a combination of soccer and golf. You play soccer, but you get points for hitting the ball into a golf ball-sized target. You can run up and down the field, or stand still. The only rules are that there are no fouls and no players from the other team can interfere with your swing.
Soccer golf requires a special kind of skillz. To hit the ball accurately in soccer you have to be able to not just see where it’s going to be, but also where it will be when it hits the ground. To do this you need to know about velocity and acceleration, which means lots of math.*
The same is true in soccer golf. If you use poor judgment as to where the ball will end up when it strikes the ground, you’ll probably end up hitting it way out of bounds or missing the target altogether. This is bad because it will cost you points (and bad for the other team if they recover possession).
To make it work, you have to understand how things move in three dimensions (where “things” includes things other than balls), what forces act on them, and how they’re affected by gravity and friction.
This is harder than it looks: only one person in a hundred has
A field of play is a set of rules. A football field has two dimensions. The rules specify when the ball is in each dimension. For example, you can kick the ball forward or to either side, but not backward or in midair.
Soccer fields have three dimensions: length, width, and height. They are usually played indoors, on a basketball court or the like. Soccer isn’t normally played indoors. But if it’s cold out, or raining, or your kid isn’t feeling so hot, then it makes sense to practice indoors instead of outside.
The rules specify how long the ball should be in each dimension and how it should behave when it crosses from one dimension to another. In soccer golf these rules are written as a sequence of moves in which players try to score points by getting the ball through a hole in an obstacle course made out of posts and cones.
The rules for soccer golf aren’t completely different from those that govern soccer on a football field; they’re just written differently: as sequences of moves rather than sequences of positions on a gridiron.
The key idea of soccer golf is to have fun. The idea of sports-related fun is a new one, and it’s not just playing games with friends. It’s being encouraged to enjoy the game itself. It’s part of a shift in the way we think about sports.
It used to be that sports were there to make us strong, fit, and fast. Now they are there to make us have fun.
The word “fun” can sound frivolous or frivolous at first, but it’s not. We don’t like fun because we don’t want to be frivolous; it’s more than that – it gives us a chance to enjoy ourselves without making life too easy for ourselves.
Soccer golf is not just for kids; it’s for everybody. You can play with your grandparents, or your friends, or strangers in a park, and you can pick up the rules on the Internet or in a book or at your local library.
Soccer golf is like soccer, but instead of a ball you have a soft red bean-bag. You hit it with a mallet, or just with your hand, into holes on the floor marked out with chalk marks. The goal is to knock over pins that are two feet high and two feet away from the hole.
The game is popular in Europe and in Asia where the local populations want an indoor sport. I’m not sure why it’s not popular here; I think it just takes more time to explain than most people think they need.
In practice, soccer golf seems to be more about having fun than about learning how to play soccer well. You don’t learn how to pass or shoot or dribble at all. But you do learn how to be cool and confident on the field: something that might come in handy later in life, even if you never take up the sport again.
This combination is a bit like the fusion of chess with baseball or football. It’s not an obvious one, but it works. In fact, it has worked so well that a lot of children who played soccer as children now play soccer golf as adults, and a lot of kids who played golf as children have switched to soccer as adults.
Soccer, like baseball, is a game in which most players are standing up and moving around, and for whom the concept of a “home run” is relatively recent. And golf is a game in which most players are sitting down at a table with a ball on it and hitting it with clubs.
The sport made possible by that combination was invented by the same man who invented chess and poker: Arnold Palmer. He got started in the early 1950s when he threw out some ideas about how to improve the game of golf. His idea was that people would be more interested in the game if they could play it indoors on artificial turf instead of on real grass. What he didn’t realize at first was that because the options for playing any given point were limited, players would develop strategies for making sure that each point was playable for them. But he did understand how important it was to make the game playable indoors, and he fore
Soccer golf is a little like golf, and a lot like soccer. It uses the same equipment (tennis balls, tennis rackets). It’s a game that you can play by yourself, or with two people. You can play it anywhere.
In some ways it’s a more interesting game than golf: for each hole you get to see how the other player responds to your shot. The players’ reactions are sighted through the holes in the wall behind the net. (You can still practice without seeing them.) The players’ positions have to be adjusted to bring the net closer to their position, so that they can shoot over different parts of the net. In soccer, you tend to get more points if you score in front of your opponent’s net.
Soccer golf is also like soccer in some ways that are less interesting: unlike soccer, you need to take shots from the back of the court; unlike soccer, you have to shoot underhand because of the court shape; unlike soccer, there are no substitutions.
We would all like to be free to pursue any goal we want, and we would all like even more if we had a few years of experience under our belts before we tried it, so we only get to do things that are sure bets.
Soccer and golf have both unusual rules. Golf has the iron, putter and hacksaw, which every golfer must know by heart. Soccer has the ball, the player with the most control of the ball at any time is the winner. In soccer you can win by scoring a goal or deflecting or putting the ball into an opponent’s goal; in golf you can win by holing out from 100 yards.
Golf and soccer are so similar that some people joke about them being just one game played indoors. The real reason is that practicing your swing for freedom is a lot like practicing your math for physics, so saying two sports have nothing in common is not quite right.