After beating Hungary, Holland and Argentina in the final, the United States became the 2016 Footgolf Team World Champions. The team's coach, Marcelo Landau, told us how Team USA won this new and innovative format of the sport.
You played in Hungary four years ago. How do you remember the first World Cup?
It was amazing to be invited and play with the first countries and to be a part of the FootGolf history. I was one of the oldest players there and the only one sent by the AFGL to represent the United States on that World Cup.
What was your job as a coach of the US team before and during the second World Cup?
I knew we had sixteen champions on the course, so the most important thing was to keep the team spirit high. Our goal now is to be prepared to defend the title at the next World Cup.
Was it hard to pick the best members for the match play?
Even though these players live in different states in the US, they managed to train and it was not so easy to determine who could be the very best option to play in the first day of team competition. We practiced once all together in Palm Springs, CA and then we had the 16 again at practice day in Pilar Golf Club. Deciding the first line-up is not easy, we made changes before the semi-final, and then returned to the original four players. All were great, including those who didn't play in the team competition as they had a very important role of supporting the four that played each day.
Seeing just the results, the quarter and the semi final seemed easy, was it?
Every game was very tough. We were lucky against Hungary. While our balls landed in the cup, they missed their chances. In the semi final, we had a big opportunity, because Collin Green missed the game. But the hardest match was the final, it's true.
What are the main differences between the two World Cups?
The game continues to develop and the rules have changed a lot. It's exciting to see how many people are familiar with our sport, and how many play it. In June 2012, we had only one course and a few players. Now the AFGL has 450 courses in 49 states to play FootGolf. The potential is big, the participation is increasing by the day, we have the structure for competitive players all around the country and we are also focused on the kids now. I know the FIFG is working on getting more countries involved and with everybody's support, we can all work together to get FootGolf to the Olympics.