Ayrshire football fans are being urged to take to the fairways to get their fitba fix.

Football matches and training sessions are still off limits under the coronavirus lockdown restrictions, leaving scores of players itching for a game.

But golf is one of the sports allowed under the the eased measures and, as FootGolf is played to the same rules as golf, it is allowed - as is playing with people from different households while observing social distancing.

And with a tournament quality course in Ayrshire, some of the country's top players have urged football lovers to head to FootGolf Kilmarnock, which is based at Caprington Golf Club, to give the sport a try.

The 18-hole dedicated FootGolf course is based at Caprington Golf Club, has hosted a number of tournaments over the years, and will once again host an event on the official Scottish FootGolf Tour on July 12 next month.

A round at FootGolf Kilmarnock is currently priced at £10 for adults and £5 for children, and three of the country's top players have said it will be money well spent.

Former Scotland Captain Neil Shave was the 2019 UK No 7 and World No 33, having competed in tournaments in Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, Switzerland and Portugal last year.

Neil, 32, also previously trounced Roberto Fabian Ayala - who earned 115 caps for Argentina in a 20-year career which saw him captain his country, win Serie A with AC Milan and win two La Liga titles, the UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup with Valencia - at a tournament in Las Vegas.

Last year Neil, current Scotland Captain Joe McCourt, and 2019 World No 6 Matthew Morgan, were part of the Team UK side that won two pieces of silverware.

They defeated Team USA in The Jansen Cup - a Ryder Cup-style event between the nations at The Celtic Manor Resort in Wales, where the 2010 Ryder Cup was staged.

They were then crowned European Champions after defeating France in the final of the European Championships, after beating Slovakia, Belgium, Italy, Hungary and Holland on route to the final.

Irvine Times: Joe McCourt 2Joe McCourt 2

And, along with Ardrossan player Rory "Cass" Cassidy, they were also key players in the Scotland side that won the Tri-Nations Cup with Scotland in the three-way contest with England and Wales in September.

Neil, who is also head of the FootGolf Association of Scotland, said: "As a former footballer now playing FootGolf I can see how a footballer, especially a young player, can massively improve their accuracy and technique by playing FootGolf.

Irvine Times: Neil ShaveNeil Shave

"The hazards and undulations of a course force you to focus on exactly how you are striking the ball and how much weight you need to put behind it.

"Unlike on a football pitch you don't have someone else on the other end who can run after a slightly misplaced pass and turn it in to a good one."

Matt ended 2019 as the World No 6, UK No 2 and Scottish National Champion, after competing in events in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Italy, Hungary, France, Holland, Turkey and the USA.

The 26-year-old said: "At a time where there is little sport to play and not many ways to exercise I can't stress enough how amazing FooGgolf is - and it is a game for all ages, genders and abilities.

"Get involved and give it a try.

"Since being able to get back out on the course I have seen a huge improvement in both my mental and social health."

Scotland Captain Joe, 32, who used to play for Caprington FootGolf Club, said: "It's a great thing to do for team bonding, and with current restrictions in place and football unavailable.

"So many people who have tried it are just happy to be out kicking a ball again."

And 34-year-old Cass, who was formerly Club Captain at Kilmarnock and Captained Glasgow FootGolf Club to their 2019 Scottish League win, said: "FootGolf is a great way to get back in to the swing of kicking a ball properly and getting your touch up to speed ahead of a game.

"I first started playing when I was returning from an injury, and found that when I went back to training my touch, weight of pass and passing and shooting accuracy was much better than it would normally be when returning from a knock.

"The course at Killie is a great wee course, it's quite challenging but a very enjoyable course and it is in very good condition just now."

Cass also won the UK FootGolf Club League's Captain of the Year for 2019, for being the best-performing Captain from the 20 clubs across the UK.

Irvine Times: Rory Cass CassidyRory Cass Cassidy

Anyone interested in finding out more about social or competitive FootGolf should contact the FootGolf Association of Scotland on Facebook or Twitter.

Anyone interested in booking a round should visit the FootGolf Kilmarnock Facebook page or book via http://www.ukfootgolf.com/kilmarnock-footgolf/4593887214.