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Senior pros visit new course at Lake Jonesco

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Travel by RV to play, rate new courses

  • Senior pros visit new course at Lake Jonesco
    Darrin Karuzas kicks a putt toward hole as James Hoskinson watches. CHUCK THOMPSON/Staff
  • Senior pros visit new course at Lake Jonesco
    James Hoskinson tees off on the second hole of the Lake Jonesco course. CHUCK THOMPSON/Staff

A couple of footgolf celebrities visited Jones County last week to try out the footgolf course at Lake Jonesco Golf Course.

The 18-hole course was added recently to the course, with the layout superimposed on the first nine golf holes.

In footgolf, players kick a soccer ball along the course to a hole, much the way normal golf is played. Score is kept by the number of kicks needed to get the ball from the tee to the hole, with the person with the lowest number winning.

The holes are generally shorter than normal golf holes, thus the possibility of fitting an 18-hole footgolf course onto only nine normal golf holes.

James Hoskinson and Darrin Karuzas are senior members of the American FootGolf League. They were in Georgia last week to play a couple of courses, including the one at Lake Jonesco.

First, they visited Brazell’s Creek Golf Course at Gordonia-Alatamaha State Park to play the footgolf course there. Robert Greer, superintendent of the Brazell’s Creek course, helped Matt Goins and the Jones County Recreation Department with laying out the footgolf course at Lake Jonesco, so he sent the two pros on to Gray to play at Lake Jonesco last Thursday.

Hoskinson, 64, travels the United States by motor home, visiting places that have footgolf courses. He plays them and rates and ranks them for the AFGL. He said he also plays in about 50 AFGL tournaments a year.

Karuzas plays in more than 100 tournaments a year and was the association’s 2017 and 2018 national senior champion, and he has also represented the U.S. team in events in England and Morocco. He occasionally travels with Hoskinson when his schedule permits.

Karuzas is a former college and pro soccer player who retired after a career as a coach and educator.

“We played some courses in Florida and then came up here to play these two courses,” Hoskinson said. “Footgolf is a fun activity that most anyone can enjoy. I love to travel, and this has been a great way to get out and see different parts of the country.”

He and Karuzas said they enjoyed the rolling terrain of the Georgia courses, and that the slopes offer different challenges than the flatter courses in Florida and other areas.

“With this being a new course,” Karuzas said of the Lake Jonesco layout, “we’re just going to play it and then give Matt and his people some suggestions on how they can improve it. Maybe adjust some of the holes to have better landing areas around the cups. But it looks like it will be fun.”

Goins, his daughter, Keegan, and Loo and Max Loosier, played part of the course with the visitors.

“They seemed to like the layout,” Goins said. “We put the footgolf holes in areas off the main fairways to not interfere with the regular golfers, so we know it will take some time for the greens to grow in. But overall they liked the course.”