Archant Herts sports team putt best foot forward at Panshanger Golf Club's footgolf course

PUBLISHED: 10:37 11 November 2016

The sports desk at Panshanger golf course.

The sports desk at Panshanger golf course.

Danny Loo Photography 2016

What happened when the four members of our sports desk went to try out Panshanger Golf Club's nine-hole footgolf course?

As soon as I had sliced that first tee shot just milimetres wide of photographer Danny Loo’s head I knew it was going to be a bad morning on this superb course.

My first experience of footgolf looked like it might turn into a nightmare.

My frustration was eased when Neil Metcalfe, our Herts Ad reporter, overhit his second shot on the first into the bushes behind the hole.

After dissecting the tree he appeared moments later to declare he’d lost his ball. However, he eventually retrieved it and managed to salvage a four, one-over-par on the opener.

Our other two competitors, Damion Roberts (The Comet) and Mark Hemmings (Welwyn Hatfield Times), decked out in half football, half golf attire, made short work of the first, gaining an early advantage.

My fortunes looked to have picked up on the second as a more controlled drive left me in good stead to unleash my short game.

However, four putts later and I’d carded a six and wished I hadn’t unleashed my short game quite as ferociously.

Meanwhile, the other three pros had got their eye in and all registered pars.

And so it continued around the beautifully maintained Panshanger fairways.

I trailed while the rest battled it out for the 2016 Archant Footgolf title.

Damion looked to be most at ease with the task at hand and a series of superb second shots, including one that sweetly navigated into the centre of the hole, had him, as Mark put it, ‘oozing confidence’.

After the lengthy ninth and final hole – where there were more bush adventures for me – the scores stood at the impressive Neil and Damion on one-over-par, motoring Mark on two-over and myself on seven-over.

Having been told by the lady in the pro shop to have as many goes as we wanted ‘until we got cold’, we decided to make it an 18-hole shoot-out.

With nine holes in us and now accustomed to the course, just like the weather, the action hotted up.

Several terrific pars kept the scores tight and I’d even managed to find my rhythm on the tee, low shots leaving myself with a good lie.

A birdie on the seventh was the highlight of my tumultuous round.

I was also spurred on by the scent of a flagging Neil in my nostrils, sensing I may not have to collect the wooden spoon after all.

With Neil’s disappearance from the leaderboard summit and Mark also slowly slipping out of contention, Damion looked to be sauntering towards the finish line.

A poorly-struck tee shot on the final hole had him in trouble though, with a tree hampering his route to the white-flagged target.

However, a superb recovery shot and simple final putt secured him the monika of 2016 Archant Footgolf champion, winning by two shots from Mark.

Meanwhile at the other end of the leaderboard Neil and I’s battle never really materialised as he just had enough holes to avert his slide and not allow my now solid game to bag enough pars to catch him.

Overall a relaxing morning in the picturesque surroundings of WGC and a good first taste of footgolf.

A big thank you to Panshanger Golf Club for allowing us a complete a couple of rounds.

n Visit www.ukfootgolf.com for further information about the sport and visit www.panshangergolfshop.co.uk for more on the club or call 01707 373711.

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