Crazy Snooker chalks up another year

Loopy version of snooker drives players potty

Crazy Snooker, crazy golf, Neil Robertson, Mark Selby, Snooker
It’s crazy golf, on a table

Crazy Snooker was dreamed up by Betway, sponsors of the UK Snooker Championship, as a way of making snooker more appealing to those who find the regular game a bit boring to watch. Maybe the players needed a break from the monotony of potting and snookering for a living as well. Crazy Snooker is a blend of crazy golf and snooker, played on a standard 12-foot table covered in helter skelters, windmills, jumps, ramps, and other minigolf obstacles.

The 2016 Betway Crazy Snooker series of matches was played by snooker’s top stars, including Neil Robertson, Mark Selby, Dennis Taylor and John Parrott. It is something of a leveller among the top players, even though plenty of skill is involved. As Betway say in one of their YouTube videos, ‘Mark Selby and Neil Robertson may have won all there is to win in the sport, but they’ve never faced a challenge like this.’ The 6-hole course is brutal, and can send even the most seasoned snooker player’s ball slithering back towards him off a ramp and failing to get anywhere near its target.

This blog has been a bit slow on the uptake with Crazy Snooker, since it has been around for quite a while now. Encyclopaedic minigolf enthusiast Richard Gottfried played an outdoor table-top version of crazy golf called Pit-Pat in Littlehampton back in 2012. Here’ s a video of him trying it out with his wife Emily.

So perhaps Betway didn’t actually invent the sport, but being entrepreneurial folks, decided to create their own version and popularise it. Anyway, its 2016 season was a success and now it’s back in 2017 for another bout of physics-based action from the greatest players in snooker. Here’s a video of them having an infuriating but good-natured match.

Could snooker go the same way as ‘pyjama cricket’, with variations on the original game gaining popularity due to the audience enjoying it more? Maybe. Look what happpened with golf and crazy golf!

Putterfingers.co.uk 

 

Steph & Dom off of Gogglebox play crazy golf!

 

Steph & Dom play minigolf

Gogglebox stars Steph & Dom, the ‘posh ones’, are known for cracking up viewers with their hilarious banter. The B&B owners enjoy a tipple in front of the camera and have a knack for surreal and funny comments.

They found their way onto Gogglebox after appearing on Channel 4’s Four In A Bed in 2013, which they thought would help to promote their B&B The Salutation in Sandwich, Kent. They played up and enjoyed it so much that they were asked to be on Gogglebox, and the rest is comedy gold.

Post-Gogglebox they are now on a show called Steph & Dom’s One Star To Five Star, in which they visit hotels and B&Bs around the country and offer advice to the owners on how to sprinkle a little magic around the place. It isn’t always the best advice, but Steph & Dom’s offhandness about it all is quite funny in itself.

In Episode 30, aired this week, the funny posh duo had a go at minigolf and were charmingly bad at it, as you’d expect. The minigolf was part of their last day ‘helping’ at Beldon House not far from Scunthorpe. They appear to have visited Oddballs Crazy Golf at Cleethorpes, a course played and reviewed by the ubiquitous Richard Gottfried, who commented on its exceptionally large windmill. We just happened on the episode and managed to grab the minigolf bit on a smartphone camera.

So yeah, they are not exactly world championship material, but they don’t care, do they? And it’s a bit ironic that they are criticised for not providing ‘enough banter’. We think Steph should be called the Archbishop of Banterbury (Are women bishops allowed now?)

One way for hotels and B&Bs to liven up the place a bit for their guests is to have a Putterfingers crazy golf course! Visit our Pubs & Hotels crazy golf page!

Animated short film: Putting purgatory for minigolfer

Funny short film conveys minigolfers’ frustration

crazy golf short film
It’s just not his day.

Films about minigolf are few and far between, if you discount the big hitters like Happy Gilmore. We blogged about minigolf films a while back – check out that post here. More recently, a crowdfunded feature film has emerged called Through The Windmill that premiered at the Savannah Film Festivalbut it has met with mixed reviews. However, we have stumbled across a tiny, two-minute animated short film that brilliantly conveys – and exaggerates – the frustration ordinary minigolfers go through on a daily basis. It was made by a Paris-based collective of film students called Megacomputeur who specialise in animated shorts. In terms of ‘plot’, Play Off somewhat resembles the Mr Bean episode in which Rowan Atkinson gets himself in a pickle at a municipal crazy golf course. The idea of a grown man competing with a child and desperately trying to win is present in both. But rather than ending up on a bus, the animated protagonist’s ball ends up defying the laws of physics as he munches a sandwich at the end, resigned to his fate of never holing out.

putting cup
Our regulation putting cup with hinged side plates

Putterfingers putting cups are a bit more forgiving than the ones in Play Off. One of our most popular ones has hinged side plates that let the ball roll in, but don’t let it roll back out. The protagonist of Play Off would have appreciated these, but he would still have missed somehow because the minigolf gods were just not with him him that day.

Our astro grass putting surface gives a smooth roll and small items like the little stone that frustrates our animated friend will sit beneath the astro grass surface and not impede the ball.

So here’s the short film. How unlucky is this bloke?

www.putterfingers.co.uk 

 

The Eiffel Tower has a minigolf course for a week!

Gallic landmark hosts sky-high putting action

eiffel tower minigolf crazy golf ryder cup 2018

It’s fairly common to see an Eiffel Tower obstacle out on a minigolf course – after all, its inviting arch makes a natural target to putt through. La Tour Eiffel pops up most often on ’round the world’ – type courses featuring famous landmarks. Made out of metal, wood or whatever came to hand, the giraffe-like structure is a pleasing addition to any minigolf course.

So what if we told you that now you can play minigolf ON the Eiffel Tower rather than through a miniature version of it? That’s right, there is now a minigolf course on the viewing platform of the actual Eiffel Tower! In Paris!

It’s all part of the build-up to the 28th of September 2018, the day the next Ryder Cup starts. The big ‘big golf’ event will be held at Le Golf National near Paris, and the organisers have only gone and bagged the city’s most famous landmark for some promotional stunts, including the two team captains hitting golf balls off the tower down the Champ de Mars (what people picnicking down there thought of this has not been reported).

And as part of these events, for the first time ever a minigolf course has been installed on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower. It’s a themed 6-hole ‘tour of Paris’ with players putting past the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe and – guess what – an itty-bitty Eiffel Tower, on their way to the Ryder Cup itself. With the thousands of visitors to the tower each day, it’s bound to generate extra ticket sales for the Ryder Cup.

It’s only there for a week, but we think it’s a great piece of marketing from the Ryder Cup folks. If you’re in Paris this week and are OK with heights, go and have a play!

Here’s a report on this amazing attraction (with photos) from golfshake.com.

eiffel tower mini golf
The minigolf course is up there on the first floor.

Halloween minigolf action around the UK

Putting Pumpkins, it’s Halloween!


halloween crazy golf

Here’s a rundown of ghoulish Halloween minigolf action going on around the UK. It’s half term, so it’s a great time to take the kids out for some scary-ish putting action. A number of adventure golf courses and themed attractions are putting on spooky putting events, so read this and see if there’s one behind you … I mean near you.

October already! But that means half-term and Halloween at the end of the month – and we've got lots of spooky fun…

Posted by Four Ashes Golf Centre on Sunday, October 1, 2017

Four Ashes Golf Centre in Solihull have Spooky Adventure Golf during the half term week, with a free trick or treat tub for each kid and free hot chocolate before 12 pm.

Globalls in Brighton have glow-in-the-dark creepies on their Jurassic course for an extra-spooky UV experience.

Lost World Adventure Golf, Hemsby have made their course super-scary for some petrifying putting.

Halloween minigolf

Tee Rex Golf in Cardiff has been infested by spiders, ghouls and ghosts waiting in the shadows to jump out at you.

Chichester Golf Club have creepy things going on at their adventure golf course, with a halloween fun and pumpkin lighting event from 2 to 6 pm on Friday the 27th.

Codonas Amusement and Theme Park’s in Aberdeen is ghosting … I mean hosting its CarnEvil Haunted Walkthrough on Friday from 6-11pm (This one is for 15 + only).

Halloween minigolf

Forest of Dean Adventure Golf are holding a ‘Putt and Pose’ competition on Saturday 28th from 6-8 pm with a prize for the best Halloween costume (adult and child categories).

Haigh Woodland Park, Wigan have Pumpkin Carving; Flower Cauldron Making; Ice Scream Party; Pig Tail Trail (Sunday); Halloween at Crazy Golf (Sunday).

These are some of the spooky minigolf events that we are aware of here at Putterfingers Plaza. It’s pretty easy to find one near you – try googling ‘Halloween minigolf’, ‘Halloween crazy golf’ or ‘Halloween adventure golf’ along with your locality.

For more Halloween minigolf action in the UK and abroad, check out minigolf supremo Richard Gottfried’s blog posts about Halloween.

 

Can smells make you a better minigolf player?

music, minigolf, crazy golf
What music would you listen to to improve your game?

Can music help you play better minigolf? What about SMELLS?

Improbable Research, the website behind the Ig Nobel Prize, has brought to our attention some crucial research in this area.

About Ways of Psychoemotional Status Regulation of Minigolf Players is a piece of research published in the Medcrave Online Journal of Sports Medicine. In the name of science, a group of Russian boffins in Moscow bombarded minigolf players with music and odours to find out which ones made them perform best. We think that’s hilarious, so we’re sharing it with you.

Here’s a typical sentence from the study: ” The
functional status of an athlete organism is directly bound to his
psychoemotional states – conditions of stress, optimum readiness
and frustration.’

The researchers assessed the players’ minigolf performance before and after playing them music at 54 BPM and releasing various pongs.

“Odorants represented
10% of mix of essential oils of bergamot, ylang-ylang, lemon,
mint, sage muscat, basilic, geraniums, lavenders, rosemary and an
eucalyptus in different combinations in oil of grape seed.”

miinigolf aromas and smells
What whiff turns you into a hole-in-one machine?

The scientists took 13520 measurements of blood pressure and heart rate to assess the psychoemotional state of the players. Their conclusion, if you can call it that, is ““It is established that the effect of influence of the functional music is comparable with effect of influence of an activating odorant and exhaustion.”

So does this mean minigolf courses will soon be full of people playing chill-out music on their earphones and sniffing bottles of essential oil?

Do you have some favourite music you listen to when you play? And as for smells, well, we reckon that a true minigolf player just needs the smell of eternite and injection-moulded plastic to get into the Zone. That is the true smell of victory!

www.putterfingers.co.uk

 

Minigolf is the star in this classic Simpsons episode

Simpsons, minigolf, dead putters society
Bart feels the pressure of competitive minigolf in this classic episode

This might be ancient news to some, but we’ve only just stumbled across this episode of The Simpsons from 1990 which revolves around minigolf. So we’re excited about it and flapping our arms around like chickens. If you’ve seen it before, you can re-live the yellow putting fun with the two clips we’ve posted below. If you haven’t seen it, you’re in for a treat.

Simpsons writer Jeff Martin was an experienced miniature golfer and based much of the golf-related scenes in the script on his own experiences. This episode (Season 2 episode 6) is titled Dead Putting Society and tells the story of Homer’s plan to humiliate Ned Flanders by setting their two sons against each other in a minigolf competition. The loser’s father has to mow his front lawn dressed in his wife’s Sunday dress. But Bart and Todd turn out to be equally matched, with unexpected results for the two feuding dads.

Lisa helps to train Bart for the showdown with some mystical advice that seems to work, and Bart becomes a putting prodigy. Homer tries to help too, telling Bart that the club is to the golfer what the violin is to the ‘violin guy’.

For this episode, the animators went on a field trip to a local miniature golf course to study the mechanics of a golf club swing. Moore commented that the reason for this was that much of the humour in the series comes from making the scenery look lifelike; “The realism of the background serves as the straight man for the absurd situations.”

So, are you a father with a young son, feuding with an annoying religious neighbour who also has a young son? Then you’re reading the right blog post! Settle it once and for all with a minigolf showdown. And get your wife’s Sunday dress ready, because you’ll probably be needing it.

For all your minigolf-based neighbour feuds, hire the equipment from Putterfingers!

Watch a couple of clips from the Dead Putting Society episode below 🙂

 

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!

Putting bumblebees enjoy the sweet game of minigolf

bumblebees, bee, minigolf, crazy golf, reward, sugar
The clever critters can ‘putt’ for a prize

Scientists have discovered that bumblebees can learn to ‘putt’ a ball into a hole in order to receive a sugary reward. It’s surprising because rolling a ball into a hole isn’t standard bee behaviour. But they can learn how to do it, and not only that, but teach other bees how to do it as well.

Using a fake bee on a little stick, the boffins rolled a tiny ball into a hole and then administered a drop of sugar solution which the test bee hungrily sucked up. After a couple of goes at this, the bee was left to its own devices with a ball and a hole rigged to dispense a reward when the ball dropped into it. Pretty much straight away, the test bee rolled the ball into the hole and had a sweet drink. It then appeared to show this behaviour to another untrained bee. Watch it in this video.

One of the boffins said, ‘We wanted to explore the cognitive limits of bumblebees by testing whether they could use a non-natural object in a task likely never encountered before by any individual in the evolutionary history of bees.’ Not only did the bees succeed, but they got better at it over time and showed adaptive behaviour that goes well beyond what most people would expect from a bee. They haven’t tried including obstacles in their experiments yet because it’s difficult to make really tiny windmills, but the bees would probably learn to get round them if they were there.

So what do we learn from this? Well, that minigolf is fun, even for bees. And all human minigolfers know the sweet sensation of holing out. This research shows that bees experience the sweet sensation too. All right, it is administered by someone in a lab coat holding a pipette, but still, this shows that bees enjoy minigolf just as much as people.

We don’t sell putters for bees, but we do sell them for people. Maybe after holing out you could drink a coke or eat a cupcake if you want to imitate the experiment. But usually just playing minigolf is enough enjoyment in itself.

Hire or buy a minigolf course from Putterfingers and see what the buzz is all about.

www.putterfingers.co.uk

08450 570321

 

New games packages for event and wedding hire!

A fresh new year brings a fresh new range of products from Putterfingers! We’ve put our heads together over the Christmas break and thought of ways to boost the fun factor even further at events, parties and weddings with a range of traditional garden games, face in hole boards, ping pong and our new popup face in hole art gallery. Our aim is to leave no guest un-entertained.

Giant wooden garden games

garden games, giant wooden games, jenga, four in a row, skittles, noughts and crosses, croquet

 

Set these games up at various spots around your event and let guests amuse themselves. Giant Jenga, Dominoes, Skittles, Noughts & Crosses, Four in a Row and Croquet are all good fun, and because there is a variety, guests can move from one to the other for a quick game or hang around their favourite and get competitive – it’s their choice. Hire the games in addition to a minigolf course for extra fun for everyone.

Face in the hole boards

face in hole boards, aunt sally boards, peep boards, seaside boards, games

We have a big selection of these traditional funny boards. There’s a set specially for weddings, another with a seaside theme, Christmas boards, and seasonal Easter and Halloween boards. We can also make you a bespoke face in the hole board to your specifications if you give us a bit of notice. The boards are best used for taking photos. Guaranteed laughs and some memorable snaps!

Face-in-the-hole portrait gallery

face in the hole, portraits, oil paintings, popup art gallery

This is an absolute scream. Classic portraits with the faces cut out so guests can pose in them. This picture shows just some of the results you can get. The gallery consists of five boards that can be arranged in a ‘U’ shape. Guests walk round the back and put their faces in the holes. Another great photo opportunity, and a really good laugh.

Here’s the gallery when all the boards are put together:

Portrait gallery, face in hole, classic portraits, paintings, games for hire

It can be set up indoors or outdoors.

Ping pong

ping pong, table tennis, games, party games, table tennis hire

We supply full-size tables and everything you need: bats, balls and nets. Give your guests a chance to be competitive and have fun practicing their slice shots and smashes. The tables can be set up indoors or outdoors. You can leave the table for free play or organise a tournament. Tables, bats and balls are tournament quality and in top condition so duff shots are the player’s fault, not our equipment’s!

Visit this page to make an enquiry about hiring our new selection of games for your wedding, party or event: http://putterfingers.co.uk/games-packages-for-hire.htm

You provide the guests, we provide the fun!