In this week’s episode, Dude and Scott are treated to a lengthy conversation with the Pioneer of Footgolf in the USA, the Founder of the American Footgolf League, the Godfather of Footgolf as he has been dubbed because of his passion, his magnanimous spirit, and his influence on the growth of this new hybrid sport, Roberto Balestrini. We asked Roberto for one hour of his time, knowing he’s a busy man. To our absolute delight, we spent almost 3 hours talking to him about all things Footgolf, what the pioneer life is like, the challenges and rewards of spearheading an entirely new sport in the United States and Internationally, and we even had the good fortune of his wife, Laura Balestrini, joining us mid way through the interview. Well, there was just too much good here for one 30 minute episode...so we’ve decided to bring you part 1 today, and part 2 next week.
This week we focus on the history of Footgolf leading up to Roberto’s auspicious discovery of this new and exciting hybrid sport while surfing the TV in 2011. Roberto seized the window of opportunity and jumped head first into his role as pioneer of Footgolf in the US. It hasn’t always been an easy road, and certainly the idea of giving up crossed Roberto’s mind more than once. But with his wife Laura by his side, Roberto focused on taking maximum advantage of the opportunities that presented themselves, and trusted the attraction to the sport would inevitably draw mass appeal.
Starting with 4 courses in 2012, Roberto tirelessly promoted the benefits of bringing Footgolf to golf course operations, and built strong relationships with course owners and operators as he invested every last penny traveling across the US introducing golf courses to Footgolf. As of the time of this interview in December of 2015, the AFGL has over 450 Affiliate courses in 49 States.
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