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While sitting around with one of my redneck SEC football buddies and watching a recent “golf match” one of my friends stated that kicking a football is a lot like hitting a golf ball, and it really did not require a lot of “athletic ability” which of course as you can imagine why I turned and stated to him, the topic of this blog!

First, let’s put some meat around this topic, and to dispel the notion that hitting a golf ball and football are similar in the mechanics, and techniques. Nothing can be further from “reality”, and having been both a golfer and kicker the only similar thing I had in common was that my football jersey and golf handicap were the same number…. 09- but that was in miniature golf!

For instance, as football kickers we only have “two clubs” in our bag (Our kicking foot and plant foot) to hit a field goal, extra point, or kick-off. Golfers have 14 (some even more if you don’t check their bag), and golf clubs and golf balls are made out of the latest Titanium or new highly spun Moon rocks turned into golf balls, and various leather grips for comfort. For the most part footballs are made still made from leather- and not pigs skin (just as a history lesson, the inside bladder was made out of pig bladder, thus the reference to “the ol pigskin” being thrown/kicked around).

Secondly, PGA golfers have a caddie on each hole, helping them with the distance (they now use golf distance/range finders) between each shot, as well as making sure the clubs are kept clean, and their golf balls are free from dirt! As kickers, we thankfully have our goal posts to tell us how far away we are and yard markers, and from a football we only have ONE commercial football we can use in the pro ranks (Wilson) so as kickers, don’t get to have those free balls shipped to us, and our million dollar endorsements to kick with the latest and greatest “X” football on the market.

Thirdly, and probably the BIGGEST difference is that at all PGA events, there are signs of “Hush Y’all, and Quiet Please” before ANY and all golf shots are attempted. God forbid, a plane traveling at 30,000 feet, or a camera crew member makes a noise on someone’s backswing and you’re thrown out of the event.

I am sure even a cricket making a noise, would get a stare down from a golfer, and later on found by the grounds crew members and shipped to Alaska! As kickers, we have all sorts of noises from fans, band members, wind conditions around the various stadiums (and stadium exits areas) and opposing players, jumping, diving/ trying to block our kicks. Can you imagine if Tiger Woods had to hit a ball out of the fairway with 21 people in front of him? He would go nuts!

Or all of a sudden, Phil Mickleson (my favorite golfer) is trying to hit a 40 foot putt to win the Masters, and all of a sudden Ernie Ells, runs over to one of the PGA officials and asks for a time-out freeze Phil before he putts? Both Ells and the official would be working and playing at Putt-Putt land for the rest of their careers!

Yes I know they have trees, and bunkers, and other “hazards” but are not the same “hazards” a kicker faces, and of course, as kickers we don’t have the time nor luxury of “backing off a shot” if we don’t like the wind or a noise.

Fourth, PGA professionals enjoy for the most part hitting a stationary ball, while a kicker receives a ball from the snapper to the holder, and then kick (well OK, we have a stationary ball when we are kicking off-but that’s about it) to our target line.

Okay, so on the flip side are there similarities between us? Of course there are. Both a PGA golfer and kicker get to sometimes hit incredible “shots” from all sorts of bad lies (“holds” in a kickers view)angles under extreme conditions and outside of the weather there are the “mental” conditions both have to prepare for and train for over years and years of practice working mostly by themselves.

If they are lucky, they can hire a true Professional golf coach who uses Video analysis while working alongside the golfer, and professional kicking coaches who use our Coaching –On-Demand biomechanics’ software and cloud based portals allow the true professional in each sport to almost instantly see what they are doing right, and were small changes incorporated in their “swing mechanics” can make a huge difference as to whether you get to “play on the weekends”. And In Golf and Football, that is the goal!

So to all my redneck golfing buddies and football guys I have played with, the next time a kicker misses either left or right a field goal, just remember that we only get that one shot at the “hole” and there are no par threes, birdies or eagles (except as mascots) on our course. We just have “pigskins”.

Coach Nolan


  • Luv it Marc but don’t forget punt golf!!