The Stars Will Shine at FIFG’s 2023 FootGolf World Cup
FootGolf stars representing the FIFG's four world regions - North America, South America, Europe, and Asia/Oceania - will compete at 2023 FIFG FootGolf World Cup.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA, USA, April 20, 2023/ -- Soccer, the world’s most popular game, is the basis of the sport of FootGolf. Most footgolfers play or played soccer and transfer those skills from a soccer pitch to a golf course. Many of the world’s best footgolfers competed at soccer’s highest levels, both amateur and professional. And now, recent and past champions are on their way to Orlando to compete in the 2023 Federation of International FootGolf (FIFG) World Cup. There is historical relevance as we highlight several players who fueled the game’s growth in its early days and still strive to compete at a high level.
From FIFG’s South America Region, please meet Christian Otero, 44 years old, from Mar del Plata, Argentina. Otero hones his FootGolf skills at La Serranita golf course in Sierra de los Padres, south of Buenos Aires, when he’s not running his premium gelato company, Lucciano’s.
Otero competed in his first FootGolf event in 2012 in Las Vegas at an event organized by the American FootGolf League (AFGL). He’s since twice been Argentina’s champion and World Champion in 2016. This fierce competitor also won FootGolf tournaments in the US, Italy, Norway, and Puerto Rico.
“I have been training the last two months for the World Cup, where I have very high expectations,” says Otero. “I’m confident competing with the best players in the world. I believe this World Cup the FIFG is organizing will be a fantastic tournament in a magical place.”
Photo courtesy: Archive This is FootGolf Magazine
From Marseille, France, representing FIFG’s Europe Region, is reigning 2022 world No. 1 footgolfer Cedric Bonot. The 39-year-old automotive technician first competed in 2017 in Paris and finished 117th out of 120 players, a rather inauspicious start. However, playing out of Golf d’Aix-en-Provence golf course, Bonot has since proven himself on the world stage, winning the World Cup as captain with his French team in 2018, along with the French Championship three times, twice the French Cup, the 2022 World Tour, and his current No. 1 world ranking.
“It’s a dream to win a World Cup,” says Bonot. “I think it’s the most difficult because you start from zero – no one cares what you won before. You also need to manage both team and individual competitions. And with about 1000 players, this World Cup will be a spectacle to behold.”
Photo courtesy: Asociacion Argentina de FootGolf
The FIFG’s Asia-Oceania Region boasts 61-year-old senior player Arihiro Eugene Otsuka from Sagamihara City in the Fujino district. Otsuka’s family of soccer and FootGolf players include his wife and three boys. In addition, he is a founder of Music Label, introducing international music into Japan and Japanese music to the world.
Otsuka discovered and fell in love with FootGolf while enjoying a vacation holiday on Maui in 2016, on the Ka’anapali FootGolf course. He soon joined the Japan FootGolf Tour and, as a member of the Japan national team, played in the Pacific Trophy, World Cup in Morocco, and two Asia Cup tournaments. In addition, he has often competed overseas at the US Open, French Open, and UK Open and founded the Fujino FootGolf Club.
“I am thrilled to be a part of the biggest celebration of this promising sport, which would be a giant step forward in its development, Otsuka says. “The location of this World Cup in Orlando, FL, is perfect, and I know great opponents are waiting to compete.”
Photo by: Arihiro Eugene Otsuka
Last but certainly not least, Jordan Godfrey is the defending US National Champion from FIFG’s North America Region, hailing from La Verne, CA., and playing out of Arcadia Golf Course. The 30-year-old is a Small Format Sales Representative for Pepsi Beverages North America. Godfrey has achieved domestic success individually and as a club member, including the US National Champion four times (2015, 2020, 2021, 2022) and Club National Champions with West Coast FootGolf five times (2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020).
Godfrey’s third trip to FootGolf’s World Cup follows the two previous ones in Morocco, where the US team finished third, and Argentina, where the US team was triumphant. Individually, Godfrey finished eighth in Morocco and 16th in Argentina. But, he says, “Winning a World Cup, especially on home soil, would be special because it cements your name in the history of our sport for many years to come.”
Photo courtesy: AFGL Tour
About the FIFG: The Federation for International FootGolf (FIFG), headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, is the world’s governing body for the sport of FootGolf. Its primary function is to promote worldwide recognition of the sport of FootGolf. In addition, it oversees international development and growth to ensure equitable play for all players. To reach a goal of fair play for all, the FIFG established the international rules of play and the constitution of FootGolf, which all members agree to abide by.