An Eastwood teenager has soared to the top of the leaderboard at FootGolf.
Ranked UK’s Number One junior in 2015, Ben Richardson, is getting used to gracing a very different green to the football pitch, taking to the greens with a putter like no other.
The hybrid sport - combining football and golf - sees players lay foot on the fairway with the aim of getting a size five football in a larger cup in as few shots as possible.
It has seen a surge in popularity in recent years and, with the FootGolf World Cup set to take place in Argentina this year, more are expected to switch their clubs for boots.
Ben’s interest in the game began when his dad, Lee, from Newthorpe, took him along to Leen Valley Golf Course to have a go out of football season and he was hooked.
Since taking up the sport little more than a year ago, the Hall Park pupil, 15, who plays for Hucknall Town and Vernon Colts has gone on to win 16 of the 23 competitions he entered.
Richardson senior, 49, said: “He started playing in local competitions around Nottinghamshire then went in to regional and then national events. He now travels all over the country playing.
“He played football and wanted something to do out of season to keep up his exercise. He’s really keen and enjoys it a lot. I saw that Leen Valley had a FootGolf course and went along to see what it was all about.
“We had a go and really enjoyed it so kept on going. Ben’s got great technique.
“I think the game suits his abilities on the football field. It is a mixture of long range, short range and ideal for players with control of the ball. It’s not all about who can kick it the hardest or the furthest.”
He added: “The sport will be massive. We have only been playing a year and seen a big increase in people trying it out. Ben had been to the driving range a few times but football was his first love. Now he loves doing both.”
His family are looking for sponsorship opportunities ahead of the 2016 season. All those interested can contact Lee Richardson on 07902 185641.