Flying soccer balls are not staples of most golf courses, but the Gay Brewer Jr. Course at Picadome is adopting the new sport of footgolf, a hybrid game that combines soccer and golf.
Picadome is the only Lexington golf course to introduce footgolf and is one of only three Kentucky golf courses to adopt the sport, according to the American Footgolf League.
As they played golf recently, Bradley Stevenson and Bill Ellis watched a few guys kicking around a soccer ball on the course.
"It's a little different," Ellis said. "But I think it's a great thing."
Footgolf is basically golf but with a soccer ball. The main goal of the sport: kick the ball into the hole with the fewest kicks possible.
Overshooting the ball was the biggest challenge for first-timer Garrett Brown, who tried the sport with his cousins Andrew and Chase Brown. Garrett Brown was excited to make his first par on the third hole after struggling on the first two.
Chase Brown discovered footgolf through Facebook.
"I was really intrigued," Chase said. "It's an interesting concept, and I wondered how it worked." After a little more research, Chase invited his brother Andrew and cousin Garrett to play.
Footgolf is a perfect way to introduce people to golf, said Aaron McDowell, the head golf professional at Picadome.
"My whole goal is to start a league of footgolf, and then in the long run, to actually throw in clinics of golf to introduce them as well," McDowell said.
He has enjoyed watching how much players like footgolf.
"Golfers sometimes can be temperamental," McDowell said. Seeing footgolfers truly just play a game is awesome, he said. "Golfers seem to forget that every once in a while."
For now, footgolf seems to appeal to younger generations, but it is of some interest to traditional golfers.
Preparing the footgolf course was about a three-month process, and figuring out the footgolf standards was the most challenging part, McDowell said.
In footgolf, players follow golf rules with a soccer ball, and the hole is about 21 inches wide, McDowell said.
Footgolfers have to share the Picadome course with regular golfers, but the footgolf course has its own holes and tees, McDowell said.
Footgolf even has its own head-to-toe dress code for tournaments: an old-fashioned caddy hat, golf shirts and shorts, knee-length argyle socks, and indoor soccer shoes or tennis shoes.
"It is a unique thing," McDowell said.
He has received only one complaint about footgolf: It's a distraction to those playing regular golf.
"It is new to this area, so sometimes distractions can happen," McDowell said.
When playing golf at Picadome, it's important to remember that white flags are for golf and orange flags are for footgolf.
"On the first hole, I can actually say I shot at the wrong pin because I saw the orange flag there," said Ellis, the golfer. "Once you get used to it though, I think it's awesome. ... It's not that hard to figure out."
Ellis was hesitant to commit to a game of footgolf, but fellow golfer Stevenson said he would be attempting Lexington's new sport.
"It is generating a lot of talk, and we haven't even really kicked off a true kickoff yet," McDowell said.
To publicize footgolf, the golf course has primarily used the Facebook pages Play Golf Lexington and Gay Brewer Jr. Course at Picadome, McDowell said.
The official footgolf kickoff for Picadome is June 19.
For now, the golf course is offering footgolf every day from 1 to 3 p.m. The fee is $11.