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

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’.

 

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 !

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

Spring minigolf course openings around England

There’s plenty happening in the minigolf world as the weather warms up and we all emerge from our winter holes! From now until Octoberish, minigolfers will have the delights of al fresco putting as well as the year-round fun of indoor adventure golf. Hardcore minigolfers will have carried on through the winter regardless, but in terms of numbers out on the courses, Spring and Summer are peak times. Minigolf attractions are gearing up for the increased footfall by reimagining themselves or opening for the first time. Whether indoors or outdoors, minigolf is in full swing. Here are a few of the exciting things going on this Spring.

Birdies at Roof East

Let’s start in the capital, where urban park Roof East in Stratford will be back on the 4th of May with an offering that includes a roller disco, cinema, crazy golf and bowls. The Social, Fun & Games Club is home to Birdies Rooftop Crazy Golf, a popular destination in recent years, with a bar open from noon at weekends and 5pm on weekdays and tickets at £8 for a round of minigolf.

Rooftop crazy golf London Stratford, Spring 2017
Birdies rooftop crazy golf will be open for Spring crowds on the 4th of May

Bents Garden & Home

We’ve been tweeting and facebooking about the exciting new dinosaur adventure golf park at Bents Garden and Home in Glazebury, Cheshire. Now it’s open, and here’s a first look inside with a gallery of photos of the nine-holer and its life-sized moving dinosaurs. Jurassic Cove Adventure Golf is open 10 to 17:30 with the last ball served 30 minutes before closing. Just keep your eyes peeled for large hungry raptors.

dinosaur adventure golf, Spring 2017
Dinosaur toothpase tubes are quite big. Or we may have misunderstood what this man is doing

Devon’s Jurassic adventure golf park

Another Jurassic-themed adventure golf park has opened its doors down in Devon. We’ve been following the development of the attraction at Seafield Gardens in Seaton as the it was being built on the site of the former putting green, and wish Seaton all the best with its newly completed minigolf landmark. Here’s some local news and info about it.

Seaton, Devon, crazy golf
Local Councillors tee off at the opening ceremony in Seaton

Aldershot Lido

Crazy golf is part of a plan being touted for the redevelopment of Aldershot’s lido. However, there is quite strong local opposition to the plan as it would see the much-loved lido pool disappear and be replaced with a giant splash pad. We love minigolf, but don’t want to see it built at the expense of any local treasures. We’ll report on any developments in this story.

Aldershot lido, Spring 2017
It would be a shame if this has to go

 

As always, for all your Spring minigolf needs, whether it be course hire, putters, balls, obstacles, novelty balls, gifts, wedding minigolf hire, or branded courses for events, get in touch with Putterfingers, the minigolf masters.

08450 570321

office@connectedshopping.com

www.putterfingers.co.uk

 

 

 

Spring is outdoor minigolf season!

The S-bend hole using interlocking astro grass tiles

It looks as if we can all emerge from our Winter holes now … the air is getting warmer, we can shed a few layers and outdoor activities are suddenly a lot more appealing. It’s the time of year when outdoor minigolf really comes into its element. It’s simple and easy to crank up the fun at parties, weddings and events with a minigolf course to challenge and amuse guests. Delivery from Putterfingers is the day before the event and setup is ridiculously easy – a full course can be laid out in just half an hour. Here are a few common questions people ask us about our minigolf courses and equipment, and their answers. Here we go then – you’ll see how straightforward it is. Then it’s just pure fun for you and your guests.

How is the course put together?

The putting surface consists of a number of interlocking astro grass tiles. They dovetail together to create a smooth green. A wide variety of different putting green shapes can be made out of the square tiles, from smaller Tetris-like L’s and T’s to looooooong holes for a challenging putt. You get a large number of foam edge bumpers to line each hole with. They stick to the putting surface with Velcro, so you just lay them along the edges of the hole to keep the ball in play. The bumpers can also be used to create barriers across the putting green to make a ‘pinball’ – type hole where it’s hard to get a hole in one. Bumpers can also be used at various angles to create bank shots where players have to calculate the angle to get a good bounce towards the cup.

Obstacles come in quite a few shapes and sizes. The My Minigolf set contains Bridge, Acapulco (spiral), Daytona (banked curve), 360 and Maze. Place them anywhere you like to make the hole as challenging or easy as you see fit. For kids, we have the Soft Golf set of spongy farm animals with a hole at the bottom to aim for. And with Picture Putt, you putt towards face in hole boards featuring Punch and Judy and traditional seaside characters for a fun photo opportunity.

Portable mini golf crazy golf obstacles
The My Minigolf obstacle set

When the course is laid out, just place the cones or flags at the tee for each hole, grab a putter and you’re off!

What kind of outdoor surface do I need?

Any reasonably flat and level outdoor or indoor surface is fine for a Putterfingers minigolf course. You can use a sports field, a tarmac area, a back garden or a car park – pretty much anywhere. If you’re planning an event indoors, you’ll be pleased to know that the tiles do not mark or scratch floors, so whether it’s a wooden floor, a gym floor, a hotel function room, an office or a community centre hall, it will work just fine. The tiles are also non-slip with a rubberised backing so the course is stable when walked on.

outdoor minigolf

What if it rains?

Our putting surface is astro grass which dries out quickly after a shower. The ball is never bogged down by water as there is none on the actual putting surface. It soaks through the tiles via the little holes. So after a downpour you can be playing again in no time.

astrograss putting surface, portable crazy golf, rain, wet, puddles
Rain, rain, go away …

How much space do I need?

For a Supersize or Funsize course, about half a tennis court. Roughly 50 square metres. For a Bitesize course, it can fit in a small back garden – around 20 square metres.

Portable crazy golf in the shopping centre
At a shopping centre

What are the delivery options?

minigolf, delivery, pallet, collection

The delivery cost includes return delivery. We deliver via a pallet service with national coverage and the option of selecting a timed delivery if required. Arrange with us beforehand when and where you want the course collected. Then simply pack up your course when finished and leave it for collection.

Call us on 08450 570321 to find out more or email office@connectedshopping.com !

www.putterfingers.co.uk

 

Minigolf technique: finding your groove

Minigolf can be a carefree day out, a serious obsession, or anything in between. Where do you lie on this scale? Have you played a few times and started to hanker after a better score? Or are you already impressing your friends and wanting to improve your technique to shave a few more strokes off your rounds?

Here are some general suggestions on minigolf technique. We should start out by saying that there is no one-size-fits-all set of instructions on how to putt successfully. The beauty of the game is that different players will grow into a style that works for them, and each player looks a bit different as they putt. But there are some basics that apply to everyone, and this Mr Bean-style video covers a few of them. Actually rule number one should be ‘don’t dress like him’.

So, bring your own putter if you have one because you’ll be more used to it.

Walk the course before you start and check out any imperfections in the edges or putting surface that might affect your shot. Walking it also gives you a better idea of distance.

Observe the timing of moving obstacles (if any) to help you time your shot just right.

Focus. Tune out all distractions.

Hit the ball just hard enough to get the desired effect, no harder.

Now for actual putting technique.

The backhand grip is the most common grip used by pro minigolfers. If you are right handed, your right hand is above your left hand on the grip of the putter. It gives firm control of the putter and requires less movement of the upper body when playing a shot. Not every minigolfer uses this grip but some pro ‘big’ golfers have stated that they wish they had started out with it rather than the forehand grip.

Experiment with how far apart you place your hands on the putter grip. It will affect how much force you can easily get into a shot. If playing on beton or eternite, less force is needed so you might have your hands closer together. If playing on felt or astrograss, especially on long holes, you are likely to need more leverage to get the required power, so move your lower hand further down the grip.

Stance is very important too. It is a balance between stability and upper body movement. The feet should be no less than 30cm apart. Any closer together and you are sacrificing stability. Many good minigolfers will adopt a much wider stance than this, which is great for stability but allows less ‘pendulum’ effect of the upper body, so the arm muscles are more involved in the shot. It is generally easier to play gentle shots accurately with a wider stance since you are not swinging your whole body at the ball. Bend your knees a little, but not so much that your legs get tired. Keep your heels on the ground throughout the shot so as to preserve the solid base of your chosen stance.

minigolf technique, putting technique, improve your minigolf scores
Keep your heels on the ground!

The head of your putter should be at 90 degrees to the intended direction of travel of the ball and the head should rest horizontally on the putting surface when you are sighting. Find a putter that fits your stance to achieve this. There are also putters with adjustable-angle heads to help you address the ball perfectly.

So there are a few pointers on technique. Apart from that, it’s practice, practice, practice!

For all your putting equipment and minigolf hire needs, visit www.putterfingers.co.uk

 

All-weather minigolf that drains when it rains!

Here’s a little video of what happens at a typical minigolf course after it rains. Small children might love it, taking after infant role model Peppa Pig and splashing in puddles for fun. But grown-ups who have paid for a minigolf experience might feel that they could have found a puddle elsewhere for the little ones to splash around in free of charge.

So how about a putting surface that drains when it rains? Water doesn’t lay on top of the rolling surface of Putterfingers astrograss tiles, which means they can be played on in any weather, barring heavy snow. No more putting in puddles. Your ball rolls evenly over the surface unimpeded by water, even after a heavy shower. So even if players get a bit soggy, the minigolf course won’t be.

The tiles are also UV-treated so that the lovely green colour won’t fade even when left out in the sun for extended periods.

astrograss putting surface, portable crazy golf, rain, wet, puddles, rains
Rain, rain, go away …

 

astrograss putting green, portable putting green,minigolf putting surface, rains
Side view of our tiles

When the tiles interlock together with their dovetail joins, it creates a smooth putting surface and the ball does not bobble when it rolls over a join. The surface is like a flat, well-trimmed lawn.

We hope it doesn’t rain at your event. But if it does, the minigolf won’t have to stop with a Putterfingers minigolf course.

To hire a minigolf course whatever the weather, drop us a line at office@connectedshopping.com or call Shelley on 08450 570 321. Check out all our courses and options at www.putterfingers.co.uk.

 

4 new minigolf attractions planned for England!

Minigolf seems to be top of the list for developers, councils and shopping centres as a sure-fire winner to attract business and happy putting people. With a bit of luck and a fair wind, this Spring and Summer could see FOUR new minigolf attractions around England, and probably more. These are just the ones we’ve heard about this week!

Jurassic-themed course in Tonbridge

adventure golf tonbridge dinosaur
Families will have a roaring good time at the new course

‘Dino Putt’ is slated as the name of a new 18 hole adventure golf course to be built within the boundaries of the existing Tonbridge Golf Centre. The Jurassic-themed course aims to attract around 50,000 visitors a year.

A planning statement submitted to Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council says: “The emphasis of the game is that the participant embarks on an adventure through the features, which all form interactive environments that the player will engage with.

“Tonbridge Golf is well known for its junior golf and the Centre is continuing to develop programmes to encourage and facilitate the take-up of the sport by younger people.

“The Adventure Golf Facility would fulfil this objective, with typically 50 per cent of customers being children under the age of 12.”

The plans have been approved, so Families will soon be able to enjoy a brand new 2,000 square metre 18-hole adventure golf course in Tonbridge.

Cheltenham’s Brewery Quarter to get a Mr Mulligan’s course

Mr Mulligan new minigolf England
Mr Mulligan drops in to Cheltenham

The Brewery Quarter in Cheltenham has signed up Adventure Leisure Ltd. to build a Mr Mulligan’s Lost World of Golf in the centre. Mr Mulligan’s is going from strength to strength and the Cheltenham course will add to the portfolio of current courses at Castleford, Sidcup, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Stevenage and Woking.

Work on the 20,000 square foot space is expected to start this month.

A spokesperson for Adventure Leisure said: “We’re very excited to bring Mr Mulligan’s Lost World of Golf to The Brewery Quarter with such a prime location within the town centre, we’re sure it’s going to be the perfect location for our unique brand of adventure golf fun.”

Demelsa Coleman, Marketing Manager for The Brewery Quarter said: “We’re delighted to welcome Adventure Leisure and Mr Mulligan’s Lost World of Golf to The Brewery Quarter, as a visitor attraction we expect it to add to footfall and complement our existing mix of tenants.”

Glow-in-the-dark minigolf for Chichester?

Flashing Golf Balls | www.putterfingers.co.uk
Never lose your ball again

Glow-in-the-dark minigolf is a special kind of fun and we haven’t seen all that much of it in the UK yet, so it’s great to hear that Chichester District Council has received a planning submission for a luminous minigolf-filled extension to Chichester Golf Club in Hunston. If approved, it will add to the existing minigolf offer which includes Jungle Paradise Adventure Golf.

Seaton Carew (Hartlepool) redevelopment to include crazy golf

seagull minigolf crazy golf
There’s an obstacle you might want to hit

Hartlepool Council is seeking bids for a crazy golf attraction to be privately run and financed at seaside resort Seaton Carew. This comes as part of a seafront regeneration effort that will include water jets, play areas, beach huts and communal spaces on the promenade. It will complement recent traditional seaside additions to the seafront such as Gelatos, Glady’s Vintage Tearoom and Fizzy Izzys. Yay! We’re all for keeping England’s seaside atmosphere and traditions alive.

We’re taking bookings for our portable minigolf courses, so as well as visiting permanent attractions, why not hire or buy your own crazy golf course to set up wherever you like? Talk to Shelley for more details on 08450 570 321 or email office@connectedshopping.com.

www.putterfingers.co.uk

Dawlish minigolf course entrepreneur needed

Last week we posted on Facebook about the uncertain future of the minigolf course in Dawlish. Teignbridge Council had decided the course was dangerous and would have to be demolished. This caused a furore among town councillors who said they had not been consulted about what would replace the historic minigolf course and were left in the dark about future plans for the site. The ire of local minigolfers and travelling putters was not mentioned, but we can only assume the would consider it a great loss to the minigolf world.

Well, a week is a long time in minigolf. According to the Torquay Herald Express, the area is to be redeveloped but the minigolf course will remain, albeit with some re-landscaping.

Dawlish minigolf course redeveloped business opportunity

The Exe Estuary Trail cycle route is to be extended through Dawlish and this will require widening an existing footpath running next to the minigolf course. Some modifications will be necessary to the course, but it will remain in place … if the Council can find somebody willing to run it.

A Teignbridge Council spokesman said: “As part of the alterations, Teignbridge looked at what improvements could be made to the existing Mini Golf Course.

“Investigations were made and it was felt that there was an opportunity to invite Expressions of Interest to take on the running of the mini golf for a minimum term of five years so that it could be open all year round. Any improvements proposed could involve modernising the course and making it more of an attraction to the area.

“This will hopefully offer an exciting business opportunity for someone to invest in the town as we look to welcome visitors to Dawlish all year round.”

So if you are a minigolf fan with an entrepreneurial bent and/or deep pockets, here is your chance to run your own course – and one steeped in minigolf history.

Interested parties are to invited complete an Expressions of Interest form by 12pm on Friday, February 17.

Planning an event or wedding in 2017: Hire a minigolf course from Putterfingers for friendly service and a lot of putting fun!

www.putterfingers.co.uk