Bob Clanin thought he was seeing things two years ago when he walked onto Table Rock Golf Course.

"Instead of golf balls, there were soccer balls everywhere," he said. "I asked, 'What is this all about?' They said it was a new game called footgolf.

"And I looked around and saw couples playing together and families of five playing together, and I thought, 'They may have something here.' "

Clanin and Deborah Silver Guzzo, his friend and business partner, are opening Kickmaster Footgolf, a nine-hole course at 1700 Dyer Road in Jackson Township.

Guzzo said their course was designed specifically for footgolf. She said hundreds of footgolf courses are available, but she believes most were converted from golf courses.

The facility is on land Guzzo and her late husband, John, owned adjacent to their home. Clanin also lives in Grove City.

Footgolf is played like regular golf, except using a soccer ball and one's foot rather than a golf club.

The course at Kickmaster, which will be open for play in April, features nine holes with a par 36.

A footgolf hole is much shorter than a regular golf course.

"You're still aiming to get a ball into a hole, except in footgolf it's a 21-inch diameter hole," Guzzo said.

At Kickmaster, most of the holes range from 85 to 180 yards, Clanin said.

"You can play a nine-hole round in an hour. Even if you play 18 holes, it won't take you much longer than two hours," he said.

Footgolf also is a family-oriented game, Clanin said.

"It's mainly dads you see playing golf," he said. "Footgolf creates family time."

The burgeoning sport connects to the growing popularity of soccer among millennials, Guzzo said.

"If you're an athlete like Bob, you can play footgolf with a goal of being as good as you can be," she said. "I'm (not an athlete), but I like to have fun. With footgolf, you don't have to have a lot of talent. The idea is just to have fun."

The footgolf course is expected to be open by mid-April, but other components of the 10-acre facility will open beginning Feb. 24.

An indoor soccer-themed park includes soccer dart boards, target challenges and soccer tennis, an inflatable climbing wall and a soccer pool table.

"You actually get up onto the table to play a game of pool using soccer balls that are painted to look like pool balls," Clanin said. "You don't use a cue stick, you use your feet."

An indoor field offers opportunities to practice soccer, baseball and softball and to take swings in batting cages.

A clubhouse adjacent to the indoor field offers food and beverages (including beer and wine), six TVs and a window through which parents can watch their children participate in activities.

In addition, a conference center features a golf simulator and a meeting room with a putting-green floor.

The fees for playing footgolf will be $20 for 18 holes and $15 for nine holes for adults and $15 for 18 holes and $10 for nine holes for children.

Players may bring their own soccer balls or rent one for $3.

The cost for the soccer theme park is $15 for two hours for adults and $10 for children.

Memberships also are available.

Kickmaster Footgolf will be open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays. Glow-in-the-dark footgolf will be offered 9 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays. Cornhole tournaments and other events are planned, Clanin said.

Information about the facility is available at kickmasterfootgolf.com or facebook.com/kickmasterfootgolf.

afroman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekAfroman