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!

How to win at minigolf: tips and techniques

Win win win with these minigolf tips!

How to win at minigolf and crazy golf
This ball is going in the cup. I will win. I cannot be beaten. You’ll never take me alive, mwahahahaha etc.

There comes a point in every minigolfer’s life when whacking the ball around and hoping for the best is no longer enough. As you’re lining up a shot it suddenly enters your head that luck has very little part in this. You realise that everything can be controlled: stance, eyeline, ball speed, angle and bounce. You start to think technically and plan your ball’s path to the cup as carefully as a pilot flying a plane in to land. This moment of revelation is when the sport first hooks you, and before you know it the last thing you think of before falling asleep is holing out with a magnificent, perfectly-weighted bank shot for a round of 23. It’s usually around the time you buy your own putter and start spending a lot of time in Whitby.

You have two choices at this point: seek professional help, or improve your game to make your dreams a reality. Possibly both, but we’re interested in the second bit: improving your game. We’ve gathered together a smorgasbord of tips for the aspiring minigolfer, with a view to knocking your score card into shape and starting to win. So here we go.

Get a putter that fits you.

The top of a correctly-sized putter should reach to your belt, and your hands should be in the middle of the grip. This will help you to get a comfortable and repeatable stance. Putterfingers stock a range of sizes for adults and children.

 

putter size adult children
Get the right tool for the job

Walk the course before you start and take notes.

Top players have notebooks in which they record the details of every hole and their strategy for playing it. So make a habit of this when practicing on unfamiliar courses, and before tournaments. Walk each hole and note any obstacles, imperfections in the surface, cracked edges, and any other oddities that could affect the ball. Take note of water features and variations in elevation that will affect the ball’s trajectory. If it’s allowed, play some test strokes to gauge the speed of the surface.

Ball speed is everything.

Train yourself to hit the ball with a precisely measured amount of force. On a straight and level green, practice putting to a marked point four feet away until the ball stops on or very near it every time. Move up to six, eight and ten-foot putts until you can place the ball on a sixpence at a variety of ranges. Master this before experimenting with how balls break on curvy surfaces at different speeds – the faster, the less break. As a rule of thumb, though, it’s better to hit a ball a bit too hard than too tentatively and weakly, because the priority is to get close to the hole with your tee shot and the ball can bounce back towards the hole from the walls. And weak shots will deviate more on ramps and curves, which can take you towards hazards and cost you shots. Be positive and firm, but get the ball speed right.

How to win at crazy golf
Ball speed control will lead to better scores

Watch your opponents’ shots. Then win.

Unless you’re up first, you can glean valuable information on bounce strength, angles and speed from watching your opponents play their shots. This can help you to make adjustments – or copy what they did if it went well! Watching how the ball behaves when close to the hole can help you to plan your shot with precision.

Focus on form and technique, not scores.

If you are tied for the lead and terrified of dropping a shot, or in any other pressure situation in minigolf, it won’t help you to worry and stress about missing. Why? Because it’s a sure-fire way to make you miss!

If you have practised enough, you will know how to strike a ball towards a hole. Any mental distractions from this ‘muscle memory’ skill will make you change something in an attempt to hit an ‘extra-good’ putt. So tune out everything including the score and your opponents, and trust your putting technique, with nothing but the present shot in mind. Some players say ‘practice as if you were competing, and compete as if you were practicing’.

How to win at crazy golf
Don’t let the occasion get to you at tournaments. Play as if you were practicing. Yeah, it’s easier said than done – but it works!

Win with positive self-talk.

Don’t think about missing. Only think about sinking the ball. In fact, don’t think at all. Just focus, visualise the ball falling into the cup, and trust your subconscious mind to execute the shot perfectly (this comes after a lot of practice). See yourself as already having reached your goal, even if it sounds ridiculous to your conscious mind, because your subconscious will eventually believe it. Maybe something like ‘I am British minigolf champion. I score really low every time I play because I have a knack for finding the right ball path. I’m just an awesome shot. I’m fully prepared and mentally calm. It’s normal for me to win. I shoot more aces than anybody else’, etc.

To inspire you, here’s an excellent little video telling the story of a perfect 18 at Putt-Putt scored in 2011 in America. Now that was a win!

Minigolf breaks the ice during Freshers’ Week

Freshers' Week minigolf crazy golf
University of Hertfordshire Welcome Fest Sept 2015 photography by Pete Stevens

Universities and colleges pull out all the stops in September/October to make Freshers’ Week as fun as possible for their new intake of students. Societies scramble to recruit members, industrial amounts of beer are drunk and everybody gets to know their classmates for the coming year. A big part of the ‘ents’ budget goes on concerts and shows, but the students’ union needs to be a fun place in between these events as well.

We have found over the years that minigolf fits the bill nicely as an icebreaker during Freshers’ Week. It’s fun, colourful and as competitive as you want to make it. Students love to mingle over a round of minigolf, and it can even raise funds for charity at the same time if the students’ union organises a sponsored putt or mini-golfathon. Here are a few snaps from just two of the many Freshers’ Weeks Putterfingers have supplied.

freshers' week crazy golf hire
Photography by Pete Stevens

We can supply various sizes of course from 4 holes to 9 holes, and the putting surface will not damage floors thanks to its rubberised backing. It can be used outdoors too, anywhere with a reasonably flat surface such as a lawn, plaza or campus path. We supply everything needed: putting surface, side bumpers, putters, balls, score cards and pencils, putting cups, obstacles and hole cones. A complete portable minigolf course can fit into a standard lift shaft, so whichever floor of the students’ union it need to get to, that shouldn’t be a problem.

The putting surface tiles are square and made from astro grass on a rubberised backing. They interlock together to create a variety of different hole shapes, and this means a course can be built around existing objects and furniture – there’s no need to clear a large space to set it up.

freshers' week crazy golf hire
Sheffield Hallam University’s Freshers Week in the students’ union foyer

So with Fresher’s Week fast approaching, now’s a good time to order a Putterfingers minigolf course hire to start off the academic year with a bit of fun. We deliver to anywhere on the UK mainland.

08450 570321

office@connectedshopping.com

www.putterfingers.co.uk

Hitch and Putt: a perfect minigolf wedding

Minigolf wedding
The Saunbys chose minigolf and our garden games for their wedding entertainment

With the kind permission of the bride and groom, we’d like to share the minigolf wedding of Dawn and James Saunby, which took place on the 4th of August at Newton House Barns in South Derbyshire. The Saunbys chose to entertain their guests with a full entertainment package from Putterfingers which included a Supersize minigolf course complemented by a set of Garden Games.

Supersize minigolf wedding
A nice big lawn for the Supersize course

If you’re wondering what the garden games are, you can find out by following the link above. The Saunbys went for Space Hoppers, Four in a Row, Croquet and Skittles. At their Derbyshire minigolf wedding these games were positioned around the minigolf course for guests to have a go at, either while waiting to play minigolf or just for the pleasure of knocking over skittles, bouncing around on a space hopper, puzzling over the next move in four in a row, or pegging out at croquet. It all made for a genteel wedding party – except perhaps for the space hoppers which are huge fun but require leaving your dignity behind before you get on!

wedding crazy golf
Afternoon tea was served before the wedding service from a white cart to give the garden party feel

It really was a charming wedding and we thoroughly enjoyed setting up the Supersize course and chatting to the lovely guests. We wish Dawn and James a very happy future together!

Putterfingers are attending two wedding shows in the near future, both in East Anglia. We will be exhibiting at:

The Newmarket Wedding Show on the 3rd of September 2017 at stand G20

Hockwold Hall Wedding Show on the 1st of October 2017 in the Marquee.

Come and meet us if you’re going to be around!

www.putterfingers.co.uk

 

Putterfingers in GoHen’s Top 50 Wedding Entertainers!

Wedding minigolf, wedding entertainers

For over ten years Putterfingers have been diligently supplying crazy golf to wedding parties to make sure the guests have a fun time. We beaver away behind the scenes delivering and setting up the courses, dealing directly with the venue or with the bride and groom and their family. We supply the best crazy golf equipment for hire and we’re nice people, so it’s lovely to get a bit of recognition from time to time. This week hen party planning website GoHen have included us in the Top 50 UK Wedding Entertainers Guide. Here’s what GoHen said about us:

Top 50 wedding entertainers 2017

We’ve always known that minigolf is just as entertaining as magicians, casinos, singers, bands, karaoke, fairground rides and dancers. So it’s good to see our crazy golf hire service listed alongside all those other favourite wedding party entertainers.

As GoHen say, ‘Sometimes weddings can a little bit boring. There, we said it! But while the bride and groom are off posing for the perfect wedding photo, guests can sometimes get a little bit lost.’

We’ve always done our best to make wedding parties more fun by giving guests a challenging but enjoyable game that can be played by all ages. What better way to bring wedding guests together than letting each one grab a putter and get on the minigolf course? Everyone from Grumpy Gramps to Tiny Tim can have a go, and that’s when the smiles start spreading around the wedding party. Crazy golf isn’t terribly noisy, so that guests can actually hear each other speak, and that helps them to socialise. They can take the game as seriously or light-heartedly as they please. Uncle Fred might want to place a bet on a game, whereas Auntie Mabel might just wat to have a friendly game with the kids. Either way, it works and is absorbing fun for everyone.

wedding crazy golf hire, top 50 UK wedding entertainers

Portable crazy golf hire couldn’t be simpler. We deliver and take away a premium crazy golf course complete with everything needed for a wedding party to have a fun game. Just call us on 08450 570321 a minimum of two weeks before the event, and we’ll do the rest!

www.putterfingers.co.uk

office@connectedshopping.com

Planning a fundraiser? Why not try minigolf?

Hire minigolf for your Summer / Autumn fundraiser!

Sponsored minigolf fundraising events have been a tradition for years in the United States, but are now catching on over here. Fundraisers are discovering how good minigolf can be to raise money for good causes.
Here are a few examples of how minigolf has been used to raise funds and provide a fun day for participants and exposure for local businesses at the same time.
minigolf fundraiser
A minigolf fundraiser for the St Nicholas Hospice, Bury St Edmunds
Putterfingers supplied the minigolf at a Summer fundraiser for the St Nicholas Hospice, Bury St Edmunds. Players were sponsored per hole, and passersby in the busy shopping centre (The Arc) could play a few holes too in exchange for a donation, while they waited for their families to finish their shopping or just for a bit of fun.
Crazy golf fundraiser
A minigolf fundraiser at Cullercoats Harbour for the RNLI
A beach charity event was held at Cullercoats Harbour to raise funds for the local lifeboat. The RNLI is almost entirely funded by donations – 95% of its income is from the public’s generosity – so fundraising is a constant need. Minigolf was the answer for this event.
Library crazy golf
Here’s an idea for cash-strapped libraries to raise funds by building a course out of their stock of books.

It’s also possible to improvise a crazy golf course, as in this example of a library building a course out of books and having customers putt around for a donation. Putterfingers course hires do cost some money up front but are easier – we deliver and collect, and set the course up for you if you are not too far away from us. Our putting surface is high quality for a better feel and performance and can be set up into any shape desired. You also get all the balls, putters, obstacles, holes, hole markers, scorecards and pencils you need.

Call us for a quote today on 08450 570321!

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!

Sipsmith Distillery chooses crazy golf for team building day

team building crazy golf

Sipsmith is the first copper-pot distillery to open within London’s city limits in nearly two centuries. Since opening in 2009 the firm has been awarded the Observer Food Monthly Award for Best Newcomer and established a strong presence as a craft distiller of note. For their recent team building event at their HQ in Chiswick, London, Sipsmith’s Minister of Fun Adam Ellesmere called us to hire our Supersize course. Here’s a short video of the course laid out inside the distillery!

Using bottles as obstacles was a great idea. A minigolf ball running along the sides of the bottles made a pleasing xylophone effect as their new recruits and student applicants putted round and got to know the team. One of the great things about hiring Putterfingers minigolf is that it can be laid out wherever it is needed and customised to give it the company’s identity. It’s portable, so you don’t go to it – it comes to you!

Sipsmith are brilliant at creating a fun atmosphere to work in. Just look at their ‘meet the team’ page, with job titles like ‘Prime Minister of Fun’, ‘Ginthusiast’ and ‘Empress of Events’. It’s clear that they take employee happiness seriously (because the founding team of Sam, Jared and Fairfax are huge fun-lovers themselves). Sipsmith are the latest brand to choose Putterfingers crazy golf as the entertainment centrepiece of their team building event. To see others, including Facebook and Tommy Hilfiger, just look back through this blog.

Courses can be used outdoors or indoors. Or even in a distillery, because why not? Even if an event is in a remote field for some reason, mminigolf works perfectly because it requires no power supply, is lightweight, portable and weatherproof. It is even gin-resistant for those tricky distillery events!

So if you’re ginterested, give your employees a tonic and hire a minigolf course for your next company event. It’s sure to lift their spirits!

08450 570321

office@connectedshopping.com

www.putterfingers.co.uk