Just a few days before the biggest FootGolf event ever, let us introduce the host nation. Argentina is the home of the second World Cup.
More than 200 players are going to play on the course of Pilar Golf Club next to Buenos Aires. Argentina delegates 24 footgolfers to the World Cup.
Just to mention a few celebrations, Christian Otero has won the Argentine championship in 2015 a few weeks ago. He has international experience as well. Otero won the Inter-American FootGolf Trophy, the Atlantic FootGolf Cup in 2015 and the US Pro-Am FootGolf Tour West Coast stage in 2014.
Matias Perrone won the French stop of the European FootGolf Trophy Tour and finished 22th in the European (!) competition in 2015 and won the US Pro-Am FootGolf Tour East Coast stage in 2014.
Sebastián Pelliccioni reached the podium in the Tacoma Open in 2015, while Nicolas Garcia grabbed medals from different international tournaments also. This very strong team will fight for the team gold as well.
Esteban R. Taborda
Juan Pablo Riba
Team Slovakia is ready for the second World Cup. Jan Kozák is in the squad also, he has played in a World Cup already, but it was the biggest football event in 2010. The next week's event will his second World Cup, but in his second sport.
Five players are crossing the ocean from Slovakia to play in Argentina. All the footgolfers were football players before starting their new career. Ján Kozák Jr. is the son of Ján Kozák, national coach of the National Football Team of Slovakia. His son played at the WC in South Africa, 2010, while Branislav Fodrek was capped twice as well in the National Team. In this year's European FootGolf Trophy Tour, three Slovakians finished in the first hundred.
Ján Kozák Jr.
Eight players will represent Switzerland in the FIFG World Cup Argentina 2016, including the current and previous European FootGolf Champions.
David Mancino won the first edition of the European FootGolf Trophy Tour in 2014. Lionel Jacot repeated the Swiss celebration, when he won the EFTT Series this year. Their strong team has arrived to Argentina, already and Nicolas Charles was the first! He went to Brazil for the football World Cup in 2014 and never went back to Switzerland, so he was the first player arriving to Argentina.
After organizing the first World Cup in 2012 and grabbed all the medals, what else can the goal of team Hungary, than repeating their performance in Argentina?
The Hungarian National Championship 2015 was the qualifying tournament for the World Cup. Sixteen players got quota including the first World Champion, Béla Lengyel and the new Hungarian champion Krisztián Bogár, who was the best Hungarian in the European Footgolf Trophy Tour this year, finishing 9th.
The Hungarian Team grabbed the bronze medal in EFTT. Róbert Tajtyi won the Beligian open, while Gábor Gelencsér finished second in Croatia. Four Hungarians was in the top 20, and six of them finished in the top 30 this year. György Podusil grabbed the silver medal in Florida, on one of the US Pro-Am Tour stages.
The central American country is sending Paul Villeda Zimmer to the World Cup.
The federation in El Salvador was founded this year, and they are member of the FIFG also. They have the opportunity to send players to Argentina. The president, Paul Villeda Zimmer is the only player, who will represent El Salvador.
FootGolf is created in the Netherlands, the inventors are going to the World Cup with a strong team. Three Dutch players finished among the best twenty footgolfers of this year’s European Footgolf Trophy Tour (EFTT).
After a long season, 15 players were selected for the World Cup in the Netherlands. The squad includes Collin Green, who finished tenth in the EFTT. The Dutch champion in 2014 (Jim Kuipers) and in 2015 (Sam van Bracht) are going to Argentina also.
Sam van Bracht
Herman van Eekeres
Ricardo van Eijk
Fred van der Veldt
Everyone knows, how strong is the German football, but they have a great talent of footgolf also. Julian Kelkel finished sixth in this year’s European Footgolf Trophy Tour. He and his teammates are going to the World Cup representing the German FootGolf League.
Having not so much international experience, no one can predict Germany’s performance in the World Cup. They have announced their team for the tournament including one of the best in Europe. Only Alex Kober and Julian Kelkel played on international tournaments in 2015, their team’s performance is unpredictable.
Kelkel could have won the European Footgolf Trophy Tour (EFTT), he was the leader in the summer at half time of the championship. He missed the last three events of the continental race, finally he finished sixth after the long season.
The German team:
- Julian Kelkel
- Robin Schölch
- Daniel Bachmann
- Wolfgang Bengel
- Markus Thurlin
- Thomas Biegel
- Alex Kober
The Korea FootGolf Association was established this year, and joined to the FIFG in 2015 also. They are sending their best players for the World Cup.
Euntaek Choi (Seoul National University), Seungho Choi (Semyung University), Sungjin Bae (Seoul National University) and the president of the association, Kisung Dennis Kwon are going to Argentina to participate in the World Cup.
Pilar Golf Club is going to host the World Cup in Argentina. The special treatment of the grass has started two months ago to have the best quality for the tournament. 220 players have registered yet.
Javier de Ancizar, president of the Association Argentina of FootGolf told the fifg.org, that they already had the course design and all they layout were ready for the World Cup.
“We also have everything ready for the TV, media and sponsors. We are now finishing some deals in order to start with all the production of signs and marketing pieces. We have been added a lot of things to the event with a lot of surprises.”
The organizers expect 220 players, as it is stands now.
“It is going to be the greatest and biggest FootGolf event ever. The golf course is one of the best facilities in all South America. They are more than ready for these type of competitions. Last January they hosted the Latin American Golf Championship, one of the most important tournament in the continent. They started a special treatment for the grass two months ago, specially where the FootGolf tee boxes and greens will be. It is similar to the treatment they use in the real greens.”
The president thinks, the Argentine team has no extra advantage just because they are playing on home field. “This course has never been used for regular tournaments. So, the course is going to be new for everyone.”
Thirteen players are representing Ireland in the World Cup including Cathal Jenkinson, who finished 13th in this year’s European Footgolf Trophy Tour (EFTT), but grabbed “just” the 6th place in their national championship.
Ireland had ten regional events on ten courses around the country plus the Irish Open (which was also the EFTT stage in Ireland). Each player's best six results were counted. After eleven qualifying events, Gary Mullin has been crowned Irish champion after finishing as the highest ranking player, winning four competitions including the Irish Cup. Chris Grace finished second after a blistering start to the campaign. Chris claimed six podiums in nine events including two wins. James Barry pipped Stephen Sawyer and Ricky Lahart to third place on the final day and also claimed the Champion of Champions title in Kilkenny. The top twelve players were selected for the World Cup team including Europe’s best Irish player, Cathal Jenkinson, who earned the podium in Croatia during the EFTT season this year, but finished sixth in the Irish qualifying race. The 13th member of the World Cup squad is Gareth Morcombe, who was born in Ireland and originally played for Spain but has decided to play for his homeland.