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

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

 

British Open: Who will don the tweed jacket this April?

BMGA minigolf British Open 2017
Worthing is where the real magic happens. On the seafront, just up from the chippy

As Augusta, Georgia fills up with golf Masters Tournament fans from April 6th, Britain’s minigolfers will be drawing equally large crowds at Splash Point Mini Golf in Denton Gardens on the seafront at Worthing, just up from the chippy. In a stunning timetable clash with golf’s Masters Tournament, the BMGA British Masters is taking place on the very same weekend. Augusta National Golf Club were unable to give a reason for the calendar bungle when Putterfingers called them for an explanation.

This mistake was easily avoidable. Surely the U.S. Masters could have been moved to another weekend? The pro golfers would have understood. However what’s done is done, and it means that fans of both sports will have to check live results as they watch the other tournament. It will be a weekend of twin battles: one for the coveted green jacket of the Masters and the other for the just-as-coveted and only slightly ketchup-stained tweed jacket of the BMGA British Open.

BMGA minigolf British Open 2017
Oh yeah, that is happening as well.

Splash Point is a challenging course run by BMGA rivals Anthony Pope and Peter Emmerson. Richard Gottfried’s definitive blog post about the course gives it a whopping nine out of ten for all three criteria: difficulty, creativity and atmosphere. It will sort the men from the boys at the Open with its tricky holes. However players will already have a good feel for the course, because, like its ‘big golf’ equivalent Augusta National Golf Club, Splash Point has hosted the British Open for the last six years.

In what could be shock news, Minigolf superchamp Michael Smith has not yet registered for the tournament, according to the BMGA website at the time of writing. The list of registered players can be seen here. Smith has been dominant in recent years, and his absence, if confirmed, would lay the field open for a mighty struggle for the tweed jacket between the likes of Steve Lovell, Tiger Pragnell and Adam Kelly. However it’s possible he is playing cat-and-mouse with his opponents and will sign up at the last minute. Make them sweat, Michael.

BMGA minigolf champion Michael Smith
Bubba who?

For those unable to secure tickets for the event, score updates will be available via the BMGA’s website.

For all your minigolf needs, including sports bar minigolf hire during both tournaments, call Putterfingers on 08450 570 321.

Putterfingers.co.uk

office@connectedshopping.com

Pick & mix your perfect wedding entertainment package

wedding entertainment, wedding games, wedding fun, pick & mix garden games
Pick & mix the perfect wedding entertainment package!

We’ve been doing the rounds of quite a few wedding fairs recently, tempting brides and grooms to add minigolf to their big day and make sure their guests of all ages have fun. Hockwold Hall. Bedford Lodge, The Forum in Norwich, the Norfolk Showground, the Newmarket Wedding Show, the Take My Hand wedding show in Bury St Edmunds … brides and grooms at all these shows have loved the idea. In addition to our well-known minigolf course hire, we have expanded our wedding entertainment offer with a ‘pick & mix’ range of garden games and entertaining traditional face-in-hole boards.

pick & mix wedding fun, garden games, giant wooden games, jenga, four in a row, skittles, noughts and crosses, croquet

It’s now even more fun to create your wedding entertainment package. Choose the selection of games and activities you think will be perfect for your guests, and we’ll take care of delivery, collection, and set-up as well if you’re not too far away from our warehouse in Norfolk. When you plan your wedding celebrations, you can consider the space you have available and choose the right combination of minigolf course / giant wooden games / face in hole boards / photo wall / kissing booth etc. to make sure that everywhere they look, guests have something fun to do for a few hours. Pick & mix is like a sweet shop where you get to choose the goodies you want at your wedding!

Everyone can get involved, from young to old, as the games are as challenging as you want to make them. From croquet and skittles to ping pong and giant Jenga, having a selection of mini-games spread around your minigolf course makes sure that nobody has to wait their turn to enjoy themselves!

See our minigolf hire options here.

See our wedding games packages here.

Call us on 08450 570321 or email office@connectedshopping.com to start planning the perfect wedding entertainment package.

 

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

 

Create your own minigolf puzzle!

If you’re given 36 square tiles, how many different combinations can you arrange them in? According to one quick calculation, it’s 7140. We’re not mathematicians, but that’s one answer we have obtained and please correct us if the number should be higher or lower. But one thing we do know is that with Putterfingers astrograss putting surface tiles that interlock to create a smooth and seamless putting green, the number of combinations is … well, a lot.

Our Supersize course has 36 tiles. In theory, you could create one very long putting hole (36 metres or 118 feet!), or a 6 by 6 square with various obstacles and multiple cups to sink the ball into. But you’ll probably want a 9-hole course with greens numbered 1 to 9 if you want your score cards to have a score for a number of separate holes. Let’s look at some of the various shapes that can be made by simply slotting the tiles together.

First, the procedure to create a minigolf hole is simple and consists of four easy steps. The image below shows the four stages:

  • Lay out the tiles in the desired pattern.
  • Join the tiles together via the dovetailed interlocks on their edges.
  • Add foam bumper edges, which attach with velcro.
  • Add obstacles and a hole.

Create, minigolf putting green, minigolf putting surface, eternite, astroturf, astrograss, crazy golf putting green

Obviously a straight hole is the simplest option, but you can create a number of different combinations to make the holes more interesting and challenging. The foam bumpers can also be used as obstacles and for bank shots. Here are a few ideas for holes with 3 or 4 tiles.

Create minigolf putting green tiles

It’s possible to get a hole in one on these designs with a bit of practice. But if you want more fiendish holes that are par 2’s or 3’s, you can get more creative and do things like this:

Crazy golf putting green tiles combinations

You won’t get 9 holes if you’re using 12 tiles per hole as in the above picture, but you can stage a putting challenge with 3 large and challenging holes similar to these, to see who can hole out with the fewest strokes.

If you hire a course and we set it up for you, we’ll usually set up 9 holes in a variety of shapes with an average of 4 tiles per hole. But with the flexibility our modular system provides, there are so many ways to set up a course that each course will be unique in its layout of tiles, bumpers and obstacles.

If you buy a course, then every time you set it out it can be different!

To find out more about our modular putting system, call 08450 570 321 or email office@connectedshopping.com

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