Footgolf combines football and golf with players competing against each other to kick the ball into enlarged holes on a golf-style course which has just opened at Mollington.
And Jon McCarthy’s men were in good spirits when they arrived at the venue following their 2-1 victory over Grimsby Town at the weekend.
Midfielder Tom Shaw and winger Craig Mahon were soon even more chipper after both got a hole-in-one and Tom achieved the course record with just 24 shots to get around the nine-hole attraction.
Star player John Rooney’s verdict: “It would be a good laugh to come down with the lads, with your mates.”
John, brother of Manchester Utd striker Wayne, wasn’t convinced it would become a regular part of training but said footgolf could be used as ‘a cool down’ after games.
Fellow midfielder Luke George commented: “It gives you something different, doesn’t it? It’s more difficult than you think. It’s good for a group of you, stags and things like that and the lads or whatever.”
Defender Johnny Hunt also enjoyed the game but wasn’t happy to get caught in an April shower – he’s hoping for ‘better weather’ next time.
Martin Redrup, who co-owns the business with brothers Mike and Dave Bell, will manage the course, which had a ‘soft opening’ at the weekend with 160 players on the Saturday and 65 on the Sunday.
Martin, former owner of Pryors Hayes Golf Club at Tarvin, said: “It’s a game anyone can play. We had youngsters here over the weekend. Older people can play. Anyone can play. It’s a very inclusive game, very enjoyable and great for parties and children’s parties, both boys and girls.”
Partner Mike Bell said no special gear or sportswear is required. And the ball can be hired from the venue which also features a miniature clubhouse with refreshments and outdoor seating. He hopes Footgolf Chester can be the first of five or six courses across the north west.
Mike believes it will give parents another option.
He said: There’s not a lot to do for kids, is there? You can go for a game of adventure golf at Cheshire Oaks, go to the zoo , go to the ice cream farm at Tattenhall, go to the cinema and there’s not a lot else to do.”
He added: “It’s totally different etiquette to actual golf because everybody is quite loud and having a good laugh.”
A Chester FC and Manchester Utd fan, Mike wants to work in partnership with the Blues so that his business promotes theirs and vice versa.
And on July 2, Chester FC is holding a special Footgolf Championship that will see 300 supporters paying £10 each to raise £3,000 to support the Junior Blues fan club and the youth team. Mike says other good causes can hold similar events.
Weekend prices are £10 for adults and £7.50 for children. A family ticket with up to three children is £27. Prices are cheaper during the week and there are concessions for groups such as students. Ball hire is £1. The venue is open seven days, between 9am and 5pm. For more details, visit: www.ukfootgolf.com/chester