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Get Active: Post reporters kick into Dagenham’s hole new world

PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 May 2015

A strong start sees Sebastian celebrate at the fourth hole, while colleague Mark despairs.

A strong start sees Sebastian celebrate at the fourth hole, while colleague Mark despairs.

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“Do you fancy trying that new foot golf thing at Golf Kingdom for the Get Active campaign?”

Skills like this ensured Mark had a tough opening, though he went on to win the gameSkills like this ensured Mark had a tough opening, though he went on to win the game

These were the words of my colleague Mark Shales, a Manchester United fanatic with a working knowledge of most sports.

Being northern, I’m generally spoken to in a tone of voice that assumes football familiarity, but long ago I broke it to Mark that I don’t know what offside means and have a concentrated hatred of golf. So it took a few moments to realise this was aimed at me.

After turning to see his excitement at the prospect of playing the first round of foot golf at the new course in Whalebone Lane North, Chadwell Heath, I accepted.

Foot golf is exactly as it sounds – you “tee off” from an artificial turf strip by kicking a football toward a hole the size of a large bucket.

I doubted my suitability for a game warranting such spatial awareness, but was somehow able to call forth a previously untapped pool of football and golfing skill.

Like a futuristic fusion of Tiger Woods and Lionel Messi, I booted the ball about the green certain of victory while Mark, in odd socks and an outfit he’d found in the back of his car, kept score looking as sad as a schoolboy told to “get in goal” by bigger boys.

As he revealed the score, I was ecstatic to see a mighty 71 next to my name and a puny 54 next to his.

Mark then took sadistic delight in destroying an otherwise cracking morning by explaining that, in the irrational world of golf, the smaller number wins.

Feeling guilty (as he should), he tried to make me feel better with shallow sports patter.

“Ultimately it was a game of two halves,” he said. “You had the early advantage but I stuck to the plan and got the basics right.”

Foot golf is open every day from 10am until dusk and is £14 for adults and £10 for under-12s. More details at golfkingdom.net


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