Minigolf is booming in North Korea!

Nuke-happy leader gifts minigolf course to inexplicably cheerful populace

General Kim Jong-Il of the People’s Republic of North Korea is said to have played the inaugural round at Pyongyang’s golf course in 1987 with a score of 34 strokes, including 5 holes-in-one. The feat was witnessed by 17 bodyguards, a handful of officials and no-one else, so it is of course true. Now his son Kim Jong-Un, no doubt also capable of smashing the best PGA score of all time by 25 strokes before breakfast, has further enhanced the fun-loving image of North Korea by revamping the minigolf course situated next to the golf course. Thanks to the generosity of the little man who runs the country with an iron haircut, grateful North Koreans have flocked to the glorious facility to unwind after a hard day’s applauding wildly. Here they are enjoying the minigolf course:
Minigolf Pyongyang North Korea Kim Jong-Un
Photo: Dylan Harris from Lupine Travel
In a cheeky attempt to upstage this enviable fun palace, soldiers of the free world maintain a golf course with a single hole in the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas. It is sited in Camp Bonifas, named after a United Nations soldier who was murdered with an axe by angry Norks in a dispute over pruning a poplar tree. Often called the world’s most dangerous golf hole, it is lined with live land mines and it is one place where you don’t go looking for your ball if it goes out of bounds. It’s listed in our blog post The World’s Most Dangerous Golf Courses. If you really wanted to, you could try to recreate the atmosphere there by using our exploding golf balls!
North Korea golf DMZ
The course is between two countries who hate each other and is surrounded by landmines.
North Korea crazy golf, mini golf, minigolf, Pyongyang minigolf
The red velvet-covered bench is where the Leader sat as he directed construction. Photo: Dylan Harris from Lupine Travel
Dylan Harris, the man behind the unusual-location company Lupine Travel, had the awesome opportunity to play the inaugural Pyongyang Minigolf Open Tournament, a precursor to the equally surreal DPRK Amateur Golf Open Competition. Thanks to him for most of the photos in this post. Here he snapped a Western competitor playing a hole under the watchful eye of one of the course staff.
Minigolf in North Korea
Photo: Dylan Harris from Lupine Travel
We’ll never use the words ‘adventure golf’ in quite the same way again after hearing about this trip!

Low bounce balls and why we use them

Low bounce balls

There’s always one. Sooner or later someone rocks up on the minigolf course and inexplicably feels the need to wallop a minigolf ball as hard as they can with their putter, just to see how far it will go.
This is a bad idea because a) it doesn’t do much for safety and b) minigolf is a game of precise control and finesse that takes place in the confined area of the putting green.
But there will always be excitable individuals who attempt to make what they fondly hope will be 200 yard drives off the tee for no reason other than to have fun. With a full-bounce ball this will not end well – our budding Rory McIlroy will probably never see the ball again, and if they do it will be as they try to retrieve it from an old lady’s hat, a pond, or from behind a pane of freshly-shattered glass.
These people are the reason we provide special low bounce balls with our minigolf kits. They bounce perfectly well off the foam bumpers and obstacles, but just enough to make for an enjoyable game. When sensible, non-maniac players have got used to the speed of the low bounce balls on our putting surface, they can make controlled shots and enjoy the game.
Low bounce balls
Now you’re probably thinking, ‘Is this a low bounce ball or a regular ball?’
Want to try a 200 yard drive?
Make my day, punk!
Let’s look at how golf balls have evolved to get bouncier, just so we can say that our low-bounce balls deliberately reverse hundreds of years of history.
The first golf balls were made of wood. They were terrible, but nobody knew it yet because modern golf ball manufacturing techniques hadn’t been invented yet and they didn’t know any better.
The next generation of ball (17th century) was a stitched leather case stuffed with boiled feathers. They must have resembled a little hacky sack and were also rubbish. Notwithstanding, the game remained popular.
A breakthrough came in 1850 with the solid gutta percha ball, and then – finally – rubber-cored balls appeared on the scene in about 1900. The Open Championship winner of 1902 used a rubber-cored ball and that pretty sealed it as the standard ball from then on.
Modern balls consist of a liquid or solid rubber core wound with highly elastic rubber thread and encased in a dimpled, injection-moulded plastic cover. That makes them super bouncy, unlike our low bounce balls which, as the name suggests, have as much bounce in them as a bog-snorkeler’s hair.
What's inside a golf ball
Here’s a video of someone sawing various types of golf ball in half, just to see what’s inside, basically. We applaud this endeavour because it’s weird and interesting.
 And have you seen the other balls we sell? Airflow balls, foam practice balls, lake balls, floating balls, flashing balls, exploding balls (honestly!), novelty balls and more. Check them out here!

8 reasons to hire portable minigolf from Putterfingers

1. It’s portable

A complete Putterfingers crazy golf course fits into the back of an average family car, so you can drive it wherever you want to set up. No power supply is required, so in theory you could set it up on top of Ben Nevis, although obviously that would be mad. Still, it’s not called crazy golf for nothing.

Our courses are best suited to any reasonably level indoor or outdoor surface, anywhere you choose.

Portable crazy golf hire

2. Easy Assembly

No bulky wooden or metal frames to lay down. Our interlocking 1m x 1m astro grass tiles form the playing surface. Transform your garden, indoor room, office or event venue into a crazy golf course in 30 minutes!

portable crazy golf putting surface

3. Tricky Obstacles

Think our obstacles look innocent? Heh heh. It takes a steady hand to tackle the curves of the Volcano and just the right amount of speed on the ball to negotiate the twists of the Acapulco. They can challenge all ages and experience levels of minigolfer.

crazy golf obstacles

4. Hire a Course by Post

You don’t have to be beside the seaside to enjoy our crazy golf!  Our portable crazy golf hire transports easily via courier to your chosen venue so that you can enjoy for as long as you like -a one day event, a weekend hire or long term if you require.

Portable minigolf delivery

5. Any Weather (even all round British weather!)

Not just for outside, the portable crazy golf course is rubber backed and won’t mark floors indoors.  Have you an unused space – unutilised sports court, school assembly hall, hotel atrium, roof top terrace, empty office? For outdoors, rain doesn’t stop play because the tiles drain through the holes in the bottom!

portable Minigolf Putting surface

 

7. Modular Flexibility

Play Tetris with minigolf tiles! The modular nature of our courses means you can build each hole the way you want, to suit the venue and floor space available. Whether it’s 4 holes or 9 holes, the flexibility means they can fit almost any space!

Portable crazy golf course

8. Nice people to deal with!!

We always have availability, the team at Putterfingers are friendly and efficient, we strongly believe in our concept – so why not let us help you with something different at your event this year?

View our customer testimonials and see for yourself!

Crazy golf hire delivery
Putterfingers at Facebook’s London headquarters

Meet the Gottfrieds: the nation’s favourite putter nutters

Couple play on over 700 crazy golf courses

The couple who played on over 700 crazy golf courses ??“It's about 50/50 about who comes first”

Posted by BBC Radio 5 live on Monday, July 10, 2017

If you haven’t heard about Richard and Emily Gottfried, they are the charmingly eccentric (but otherwise normal) couple who have made it their life’s mission to play every single crazy golf course in the country. Their Crazy World of Minigolf tour started in 2006 and is showing no signs of slowing down. With new courses opening all the time and being reported on this blog and elsewhere, it’s clear that their task is never-ending. To date the Gottfrieds have played 740 crazy golf courses in the UK and quite a lot abroad too. Both are tournament winners with a swelling trophy cabinet – which includes a Putterfingers mug! Richard blogged about that in 2012.

Minigolfers the Gottfrieds
Minigolf makes them happy – or maybe they are happy anyway and that’s why they play minigolf. Either way they are winners.

 

The past week has been a media extravaganza for the putting-mad couple, with radio and TV interviews, newspaper articles and social media exposure. So we’re adding to the buzz by dedicating this week’s blog to Richard and Emily’s various media appearances in the last week or so. What a week it’s been!

BBC Radio 5 Live’s segment on Richard and Emily is at the top of this post. You can hear Richard tell the story of how the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour got started and ‘kind of steamrolled from there’. The Beeb have overlaid the sound onto various clips of Mr Gottfried holing out and fist-pumping with infectious enthusiasm.

Emily and Richard Gottfried
The Gottfrieds on international minigolf duty

Next thing we knew they were on the 6 O’clock news on Radio 4. The dulcet tones of Radio 4’s Danny Savage relate the tale of the Gottfrieds’ first game of minigolf at Southsea, and Richard tells the nation about the equipment used by top players, including the special set of minigolf balls. Here’s the programme, start listening at 27:10.

As if that wasn’t enough media exposure to warrant the Gottfrieds going around in dark glasses and wigs, The Times published an article about their putting exploits, in which Richard said, “It really has become an addiction. Mini golf is incredibly good fun and always such a challenge as the courses are different.

“Some require a lot of skill, and others are just down to luck. Visiting all of them has become a bit of an obsession, but it’s also been a great way to use our weekends and see other parts of the country we otherwise would never have been to.

“As much fun as I always have playing with Emily, we are also really competitive. We very often finish only a couple of shots apart, and sometimes if I lose I won’t speak to her in the car on the way home.”

The readers’ comments below the article are quite amusing too, reflecting both the general public’s bafflement at people getting obsessed with minigolf and the ‘dull’ image it is given by people who have never played it. The Gottfrieds revel in such prejudices – they are longstanding members of the Dull Men’s Club, an organisation that celebrates the ordinary.

We wish Richard and Emily all the best for their future putting endeavours. Their fun approach to life makes them wonderful ambassadors for the sport!

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