Oxford to get new minigolf centre

Lucky, lucky Oxford

New minigolf Oxford

Minigolf is burgeoning in the UK, with new course openings coming thick and fast. In the last eight months we’ve reported on new course openings in Tonbridge, Hartlepool, Chichester, Cheltenham, Warrington, York, London and Liverpool. And those are just the ones we can remember. Some openings are due to established chains like Mr Mulligan’s and Paradise Island Adventure Golf expanding into new towns, while others are grass-roots facilities created by councils and enthusiasts.

The latest to be announced is a new three-course minigolf facility in Oxford’s new Westgate shopping centre. The minigolf is intended to ‘anchor’ the restaurant area, which will include outlets such as Benito’s Hat, Rola Wala and Shawa Lebanese Grill. The £440m, 800,000 sq ft complex will feature over 100 shops including a mahoosive John Lewis, 25 eateries and a Curzon cinema.

Oxford Westgate brands
Cor! Look at that lot

Emma Mees, Senior Portfolio Manager at Landsec, the site’s developers, said ‘With Westgate Social, we aim to lead the charge for next generation retail destinations by bringing our scheme in line with the rapidly changing lifestyle habits  of consumers.’

We’re happy to hear that minigolf is ‘officially’ part of people’s changing lifestyle habits!

The putting will be provided by Junkyard Golf Club, who already run several other crazy golf venues fitted out with their trademark ultraviolet lights, weird junk and cool urban themes.

Oxford crazy golf Westgate

Junkyard Golf Club Co-founder Chris Legh said: “We are really excited to join Westgate Oxford, giving residents a completely unique day and night out, that is on a par with our leading cities.

“We have a huge space to play with so we’re going to fit in three courses, with crazy installations and some awesome bars. Look out for slides, cars, boats and of course the usual UV and jungle madness that has made our venues famous.

“Our mission in life is to keep making crazy golf epic.” [Oxfordshire Guardian]

The new Westgate Centre is scheduled to open on the 24th of October 2017.

Here at Putterfingers, we sell and hire minigolf that you don’t go to – you take it with you! See our portable minigolf course options at putterfingers.co.uk

Minigolf raises £1000s for good causes

Minigolf raises hundreds of thousands a year for causes

Minigolf can be a force for bettering the community. It’s been a staple of fundraising in the USA for a long time and is beginning to get some traction over here. It’s a fun, social activity that offers ample opportunnity for charity branding to promote the cause and raise awareness and money. Corporate sponsors also get plenty of exposure when they sponsor a hole and the event is written about, photographed and even televised. Here are some examples of how it’s used over the pond to bring communities together and raise funds for good causes.

minigolf fundraising, causes1. The Epilepsy Center of Northwest Ohio raises between $20,000 and $30,000 every year at its ‘Practically a Golf Tournament‘ event. It uses a different set of holes each year, each one being custom-built by a corporate sponsor. The sponsored holes can be very creative and reflect the business the sponsor is in. What a great way to promote a business while raising funds for charity!

cancer research fundraising minigolf, good causes

2. In West Palm Beach, Florida, a 10-year old girl raised $4,000 for cancer research by staging her own minigolf tournament.

Muscular Dystrophy fundraising, good causes

3. Wisconsin students staged a minigolf fundraiser for Muscular Dystrophy.

minigolf charity fundraising

4. At Panama City Beach, Florida, there’s an annual minigolf event called Putting for Patriots, which raised funds for war veterans. A bit like our Help For Heroes.

minigolf for good causes

5. Arizona Small Dog Rescue host ‘Putts for Mutts‘ every year to raise funds.

The list could go on for a long, long time. Minigolf fundraisers are well-established in Uncle Sam, and there are more and more each year in Old Blighty too. Why? Because they work, generate interest and raise substantial amounts of money.

Here’s a link to a page dedicated to organising such an event to promote a cause. It’s, you guessed it, American, but here at Putterfingers we’re also doing our best to offer advice and tips on how to stage a successful and lucrative event.

Mini Golf Fundraiser

Thanks to MinigolfNews.com for the links, which come from their blog posts about bettering the community through minigolf.

To find out more about staging a minigolf charity event anywhere you please (our courses are portable!!), email office@connectedshopping.com or call us on 08450 570321.

 

Kids love minigolf! Here’s how to get them started

kids minigolf
Kids love minigolf

A new adventure golf course for kids has just opened in Bournemouth. It’s not the first one and it won’t be the last, but it is brilliant. Mighty Claws Adventure Golf, part of Playgolf Bournemouth, does more than offer a dinosaur-themed crazy golf experience. They’ve got a book that tells the story of a little dinosaur called Truly, and how she helps the Mighty Claws to triumph against the evil Iron Jaws to save the Roaring Kingdom. Kids who read the book with their parents before visiting will have absorbed the narrative of having to find magical totems that will restore peace to Sweet Claw Valley. These totems are to be found in real life on the adventure golf course. We love this idea and the way it draws kids in to a sense of adventure.

Kids minigolf
Mighty Claws Adventure Golf

There are plenty of ways to get your kids into golf. The Golf Foundation began in 1952 to help young people enjoy the playing and the personal benefits of golf. It is a charity that promotes golf to young people via schools and clubs. It came up with Tri-Golf, a version of golf designed for youngsters that aims to promote ‘Skills for Life’ including co-operation, good sportsmanship and concentration. Tri-Golf uses a plastic putter and an oversized, dimpled foam ball to make it easier to putt the ball into the hole or hit the target. Both items are available in our online golf store.

Kids tri-golf soft golf
Soft Golf

Soft Golf is our own version of golf for the very young. It uses a set of soft play obstacles with a farm animals theme, oversized plastic putters and large dimpled foam balls. It introduces small children to the concept of accuracy and helps them take their first steps towards developing sports skills. It can be used anywhere and is an ideal addition to any garden used by young children.

Youth mini golf training equipment
Youth golf training kits

We also supply youth training kits which contain enough equipment to get started in minigolf. The putters come in a variety of lengths to suit any age.

To find out more about getting kids into golf and minigolf, visit our page ‘Get into golf’.

 

Minigolf brightens all kinds of events!

crazy golf events

What kind of events can include minigolf?

Minigolf is a great addition to any event. It gets people socialising (and competing!) and can be used simply for fun, to promote a brand or message, or to raise funds for charity.

So, what types of events are we talking about? Here’s a selection of happenings where minigolf can be a fantastic ingredient to spice things up and create a memorable day.

Corporate events

Awards ceremonies, product launches, marketing drives, annual dinners … any business bash can have a minigolf course laid out to entertain guests. It’s the ideal activity to do while having a drink and socialising. Everybody can join in and take on the hole-in-one challenge or see who can get round the course in the fewest strokes. One caveat though: things can get competitive! It’s fascinating to people-watch at corporate events with minigolf and see who is the most competitive, who comes out of their shell more than usual, who is a good team player. Management, take note!

For more on corporate event minigolf hire, see our page about it.

events crazy golf hire
Everyone can have a go – even the boss!

Schools and Colleges

Open days, fetes, fresher’s weeks, sports days, end-of-term reward days, proms … they can all be livened up with a minigolf course. We deliver the day before the event and take it away the day after. If the event is on a Saturday, you get the course free for an extra day! We’ll come and whisk it away on the Monday or next working day. We’re happy to work directly with the venue if you wish, so you don’t have to worry about the logistics.

See our page on minigolf for schools and colleges for more.

events with crazy golf
A primary school fete

 

school mini golf events
A high school flexi day

 

University open day crazy golf
A university open day

Charity Fundraising

Minigolf is ideal for charity fundraising because of the wide range of people who can participate. Unlike a sponsored run, people don’t need to exert themselves too much, but just give up some of their time for a gentle putt around the course. All ages can participate. We supply a variety of putter lengths for all heights, and the courses are wheelchair-friendly, too. So really there’s no excuse for not joining in and putting for your charity!

You can organise a putt-a-thon (sponsored per hole). Get local businesses involved too – they can each sponsor a hole. We’re happy to help with branding each hole to its sponsor so they get some publicity too. For more on charity fundraising, see our page on it.

crazy golf charity fundraising events
A charity fundraising event for the Guide Dogs charity
fundraising minigolf
… even Nick Clegg turned up!

Weddings

Ah, the wedding party. How do you keep everyone entertained? Will it be a flop? Not with mini golf! It keeps the kids busy by giving them something to do, and can be laid out indoors or outdoors on any reasonably level surface. We can deal direct with the venue so the bride and groom and their families don’t need to worry about the logistics of delivering, setting up taking down and taking away the minigolf course.

For more on wedding minigolf hire, see our page on weddings.

Wedding minigolf
Her first putt as a married woman!

Pubs & Hotels

If you run a pub, hotel or catering establishment, what better way to get more punters in than to give them a fun game to play? You can hire a course for one-off or annual events and promotions, or buy one to use whenever you like. How about organising a minigolf league? It makes a change from darts, pool, skittles and quizzes, and your place could become the talk of your locality.

For more about minigolf for pubs & hotels, visit our page about it.

crazy golf events for pubs and hotels
Minigolf can be a hit in the hospitality industry!

For all your minigolf needs, visit www.putterfingers.co.uk, email office@connectedshopping.com or call 08450 570321.

 

Office crazy golf fun at Criteo’s London HQ

Office crazy golf

Back in June 2016 we supplied and set up a Supersize office crazy golf course at the London head office of Internet marketing company Criteo. The course was set up at their Bloomsbury offices for a social function. This year they called us again asking for a repeat performance, with ‘something a little different this time’. Happy to oblige, we created a set of special putting obstacles for Criteo’s party which depict London icons: a red bus, a red phone box, a black taxi and Tower Bridge.

Here’s our blog post about last year’s event:

Putterfingers rock Criteo’s London offices!

Office party fun crazy golf

We also got creative with the hole layouts to make them pretty challenging, but not ridiculously challenging, so that guests could still have fun. Maybe our photography skills are not the greatest – our photographer here got his own shadow in the frame – but it doesn’t matter, because the emphasis was on providing Criteo with the best office crazy golf experience we could. Actually the hole in the foreground is pretty fiendish, come to think of it. If you can hit a 3 on that you’re doing well, unless you go airborne to get over the foam bumpers. A well-placed book or coaster might help there!

Once again Ruby Cassin-Davies, Workplace Experience Office Manager for Criteo, was delighted with the crazy golf and she really appreciated the bespoke obstacles of London icons.

Office crazy golf London

The good weather was a bonus,  and with a rooftop terrace just outside it must have been a great party. Incidentally, Putterfingers astro grass interlocking floor mats are UV-treated to protect them from strong sunlight so they won’t lose their colour. So the course could equally well have been outside on the terrace. On the flipside, if it rains then the tiles will drain quickly thanks to the hundreds of little holes they have. There is never any standing water on the putting surface, so play can go on straight after a shower.

Planning an office party? Get in touch to find out our prices and hire options today!

office@connectedshopping.com

08450 570321

www.putterfingers.co.uk

Battle of Hastings: World Minigolf Champs in 3 weeks!

Hastings Adventure Golf
The Battle of Hastings starts on the 10th of June

Hastings Adventure Golf lies on the seafront in the shadow of the ruins of Hastings Castle. This quintessential British seaside town, town, famous for a certain invasion rather a long time ago, sees a newer invasion every year in the form of hundreds of avid mini golf enthusiasts, who descend on Hastings for the World Crazy Golf Championships. Brandishing putters rather than swords, they are of all abilities from novice to professional (uniquely, it’s an open competition), and compete for the coveted trophy. The tournament has its own unique set of rules, including the condition that all players must use the same type of ball. This contrasts with some other minigolf championships where a selection of balls with different properties can be used, and players select the desired one for each hole.

In 2013 an 18-year old Czech, Olivia Propokova, was both the first lady winner and also the youngest. Michael Smith has won it for the last two years, with Sean Homer never far behind. This year it kicks off on the 10th of June and lasts two days. The course presents many challenges, including a waterwheel, a windmill, an obelisk, lighthouse, ramps, bends, twists and bunkers. The top players know each hole inside out and are frequently able to hit a hole in one. The winner is the one who hits the most – and it’s usually tight at the top, with play sometimes going down to the last hole and the victor winning by a single stroke.

Here’s a video taken at the 2014 World Crazy Golf Championships, in which Sean Homer, Chairman of the British Mini Golf Association, talks about the World Minigolf Federation’s efforts to get Minigolf into the Olympic Games. There’s no good reason why it shouldn’t be included in the Olympics. It’s competitive, watchable, tense and requires great skill. Who knows? Maybe in a few years we will be watching Michael Smith and other top players kissing their gold medals on the Olympic podium. We’re keeping our Putterfingers crossed for that!

National Miniature Golf Day this Saturday!

National Miniature Golf Day

It’s almost here again – National Miniature Golf Day! Minigolf enthusiasts like us are excited because not only is this Saturday dedicated to our sport, but other things are happening too – read on to find out. It’s time to head to your nearest minigolf/crazy golf/adventure golf course and see what’s on offer. Some courses might be offering discounts on Saturday by way of promoting the sport.

Wondering how to find a minigolf course near you? For a pretty much definitive list of Britain’s minigolf courses, written by someone who has played over 700 of them – head over to Richard Gottfried’s blog for descriptions of and information on each one. There’s sure to be one near you to play on during National Miniature Golf Week.

The Himalayas St Andrews Ladies Putting Club

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the world’s first miniature golf course, the green known as the Himalayas at St Andrews Ladies’ Putting Club.  It was created to prevent the ‘unseemly’ spectacle of a lady raising her club above her shoulder – something which is still unseemly, not to mention inaccurate and potentially dangerous – on modern mini golf courses for either sex!

May is also National Golf Month. This year it is dedicated to getting more women into golf. Heaven forbid they should raise their clubs above the shoulder … which of course they will. It’s hard to hit a drive from a putting stance!

National Golf Month

And just a few weeks away, there will be a fantastic festival of minigolf at the World Minigolf Championships at Hastings Adventure Golf on the seafront. Last year Britain’s superstar Michael Smith won by four strokes from Sean Homer. Expect to see him fired up to defend his title this year. The World Champs are on the 10th and 11th of June.

World Mini golf Championships Hastings

So get down to your local course this National Miniature Golf Day, grab a putter and find out why so many people love minigolf!

For all minigolf needs, we’re the minigolf masters. Find out what we do at www.putterfingers.co.uk !

Wedding mini golf prize winner photos!

Every now and then we feel like running a competition to spread the minigolf love. In November’s Newmarket Wedding Show we offered the chance to win a free wedding mini golf course. The challenge? Take a photo of yourselves in the special wedding face in hole board from Photocutouts and share it on social media. The winners, chosen at random out of a hat by our lovely Shelley, were Kat and Chris Price, whose wedding took place at Bedford Lodge, Newmarket on Easter Monday. Here’s Shelley at our offices pulling the winning photo out of a hat.

Kat and Chris have kindly sent us some photos of the wedding mini golf course. It was a beautiful day, but even if the weather hadn’t been quite so friendly, the Putterfingers course would have stayed useable because of the quick-drain astro grass matting that makes up the putting surface, which ensures that water does not gather and leaves the surface dry to putt on after a shower.

Wedding minigolf hire
All ages can participate!
Wedding mini golf competition winners
One very smartly-dressed young man trying out the wedding mini golf course

As you can see, the course works just as well outdoors as indoors. Any reasonably flat surface can be used to lay it out on.

Free wedding crazy golf, free wedding minigolf, free wedding golf
The wedding board with instructions on entering a photo for the prize

The competition combined Putterfingers crazy golf with our sister company Photo Cutouts, who make face in hole boards for every occasion including weddings.

bedford lodge wedding minigolf
Such a beautiful location, and the minigolf went down a treat with the guests.

A wedding mini golf course keeps young ones amused and can challenge grown-ups as well. It’s not as easy as it looks to get a hole in one. Warning: minigolf is very addictive!

Now is the time to talk to us about hiring a mini golf course for YOUR Spring or Summer wedding! Call Shelley for a chat on 08450 570321 or email office@connectedshopping.com.

Putterfingers.co.uk

 

 

Accessories for Summer minigolf fun!

Our complete minigolf courses come delivered with everything you need: putting surface, putters, balls, cones, obstacles, scorecards and pencils. But what of you just need some putters or balls to replenish a permanent minigolf course, want to buy a smaller minigolf course or get someone a golfing gift? We can help with that too. We stock a wide range of minigolf and golf accessories and portable minigolf sets that can be purchased on their own.

First, let’s look at our ultra-portable, play anywhere putting game, the My Minigolf set. For a very reasonable price, you can have a set of 13 injection moulded plastic obstacles that come in a handy black nylon carry bag with handles and include a club, 2 balls and a scorecard. The obstacles can be set up literally anywhere on a reasonably level surface including grass, tarmac, laminated or wooden floors.

For small children, with safety in mind, we offer a set of colourful farmyard animals in the shape of minigolf holes. We call it Soft Golf. Kids putt on any flattish surface towards soft PVC targets filled with fire retardant foam. The set comes with 9 plastic safety putters, jumbo foam golf balls and everything else needed for a fun game of minigolf with young children. Perfect for indoor or outdoor birthday parties!

minigolf accessories, soft golf, farmyard animals, kids minigolf, birthday parties

For the golfer in your life, check out our golf gifts and training aids. Golf mugs, novelty balls, trick balls, putting cups, club head covers, tee tins, automatic putt returners, putting mats, chipping nets, ball retrievers, scorecard holders, gloves, bags, lake balls … there’s sure to be something for the birthday gift or Christmas stocking.

minigolf accessories, putting mat, golf giftsgolf gifts, chipping net, minigolf accessories golf gifts, putt returnergolf gifts, golf mug

 

 

And, of course, we have all the putters, balls, scorecards, clipboards, number flags, and other minigolf accessories you’ll ever need. Browse our site to find the perfect gift or accessory you need for a perfect Summer of minigolf!

minigolf accessories, corner flags

Novelty golf balls, minigolf accessories

putters, minigolf accessories

minigolf accessories, putters

 

 

For all your minigolf needs, be it hire a course for an event or buy some golf-related stocking fillers, buy directly from our site or call 08450 570321.

office@connectedshopping.com

www.putterfingers.co.uk

Fundraising? Stage a Minigolf marathon!

As thousands of runners of all ages and abilities head for the start line of the London Marathon this weekend, many will be taking part to raise funds for their chosen charities. You don’t necessarily have to dress as a muppet or a banana to run the marathon for charity, but it does tend to get you more sponsorship!

There’s another type of marathon that really works for fundraising, and isn’t anywhere near as exhausting as running (or staggering) twenty-six and a bit miles. The relatively gentle setting of a nine-hole minigolf course can be a fundraising magnet if you stage the event right. Here’s how to do a mini-golfathon!

minigolf marathon
Balls and scorecards ready for a minigolf marathon
  1. Pick your day. You’ll need several weeks or longer to publicise the event, and for participants to raise sponsorship. For a Summer mini golfathon, the time to start planning is now.
  2. Plan the event format. It can be a 24-hour mini-golfathon where total number of holes putted can approach 250. Players sponsored per hole will raise quite a lot if they have the stamina! Make sure drinks and snacks are available for everybody. Alternatively, players can get sponsored for how many holes they putt in an hour, two hours, or another period that fits with your event arrangements.
  3. Secure a venue. It can be indoors or outdoors, as our equipment works just as well either way.
  4. Check with Putterfingers for course hire availability on your planned day. We usually have enough stock to accommodate everyone, but at particularly busy periods such as the Summer months it’s worth calling us to see if we can cater for you.
  5. Get your publicity out there. We can help you on the day with minigolf course branding to promote your cause, but the lion’s share of the donkey work (to use a mixed animal metaphor) is up to you!
  6. Approach local celebrities or public figures such as MPs, mayors and business leaders. Ask them to participate by hitting the first putt, speaking, or engaging in a photo opportunity with the public. Even better if you can do this before the event as well as during it, to raise interest and gain sponsored players. We can provide customised sponsorship forms if you don’t have time and resources to make your own.
  7. Order your personalised scorecards from Putterfingers. It can take us a couple of weeks to get them printed for you.
  8. Do more publicity. You can never do too much!
  9. Ask local companies to sponsor a hole. They get publicity from it, and you get money for your cause. It’s a win-win. We can assist with adding their company branding to hole flags and course edge bumpers.
  10. Arrange delivery and collection of your Putterfingers kit. We supply:
  • A 9-hole crazy golf course
  • Plenty of putters and balls
  • Scorecards
  • Golf flags
  • Sponsorship forms, if required
  • A staff member to assist with organisation on the day (subject to location)
  • Organiser packs with complete golfathon instructions.

Here’s an example of a mini golfathon staged by the charity Guide Dogs.

guide dogs minigolf marathon
A clever idea to promote the cause – avoid street clutter with your putter
minigolf marathon
Local dignitaries participated
minigolf marathon
The branded putting surface promoting the charity

Planning a Summer fundraising event? Call Putterfingers on 08450 570321 or email office@connectedshopping.com!

www.putterfingers.co.uk