Our customer Zone Digital have just thrown a double Putterfingers minigolf party – two office parties at the same time, one in London and one in Bristol! Bristol hired a Supersize course and London hired Funsize. Here are some photos of the fun at both events and a bit of feedback from Zone Digital on how happy they were with their minigolf hires.
Being digital peeps, the folks at Zone couldn’t resist adding these cute AR characters to our minigolf course!
Zone Digital set up a live link between the two venues so that players in London and Bristol could all compete on the same live leaderboard. We love that idea. In theory, any number of venues could be linked like this, making distance no object. And the Zone Digital party worked so well, it could be scaled up. A whole company’s staff can all play at the same time and compete directly without having to travel to a distant venue. A company-wide putt-a-thon! How’s that as an idea for your next corporate bash? Give us a call and we’ll arrange it!
For this double hire, Putterfingers delivered the equipment to London and Bristol and set out the courses for the event.
Here’s what Ben Wallace from Zone Digital told us after the events:
“The event went really well, Can you thank the two guys that came to Bristol, they did a fantastic job. Will definitely recommend Putterfingers to others.
Thanks a lot for making it so easy.”
Thank you to everyone at Zone Digital!
Got a corporate event coming up at your company? Get in touch!
Look on my minigolf course, ye mighty, and despair!
The whole idea of adventure golf is to get ‘lost’ in a far-away world that takes you away from your mundane existence. So when the courses themselves get lost, i.e. abandoned, there is a very special feel to them as the observer becomes doubly lost. Walking among the gaudy, peeling obstacles, the ghostly laughter of players from the course’s sunlit heyday can almost be heard. It speaks directly to the soul about how brief our enjoyment is, and leaves us with a profound sense of … something or other.
Why are abandoned minigolf courses so creepy? It’s hard to put your finger on it really. Philosophers and writers have tried to pin down our fascination with decay for a long time. Nietzsche had a stab at it with his musings on cultural decadence in Twilight of the Gods, and in the books The Aesthetics of Decay and The Memory of Place: the Phenomenology of the Uncanny, Dylan Trigg explores the thrill of decay in chapters with titles like An Uncanny Memory, An Impossible Nostalgia, Dark Night of the Soul and The Post-Industrial Sublime. Going back a bit further, the Romantic poets nurtured a love for the wild and abandoned. The most famous example is probably Shelley’s Ozymandias, a tale of hubris and destruction featuring the crumbling statue of a once-great king lying in a desert.
It’s funny how so many adventure golf courses feature Mayan temples, Inca gods, dinosaurs, pirates and jungle themes. And that’s before they are abandoned! It’s almost as if they are foretelling their abandoned creepiness before it has even happened.
This all ties in with the urban exploration craze. Abandoned factories, tunnels and fairgrounds attract slightly weird yet understandable people who want to go on adventures that make the hairs on their necks stand on end. Post-industrialist urban decay is a fertile place for the imagination, so in a sense, those old derelict crazy golf courses just keep on giving.
Go beyond doughnuts and be like Google! Offer your staff one of the best perks – minigolf
An article titled The Power of Perks in Incentives Magazine states that employee performance and business revenue can be significantly boosted by employee wellbeing packages including office games. One company in Australia, it reports, calculated that on every $1 it spent in a 12-month period on perks including a games room, $11 was returned. It’s now a certainty that increasing employee engagement is a ‘hidden pay check’ that can be seen as cutting salary costs dramatically. According to research by Nuffield Health, 87% of finance and HR directors in UK companies with over 1000 employees indicate that health and wellbeing is being discussed at board level and 41% view it as a strategic priority.
Office minigolf is good for employees’ health and morale. It can be installed in a break room or even in the offices themselves, along corridors and in between desks. Putterfingers courses are designed for ultimate portability, so that they can be put away when not in use on a floor footprint of just 1 x 1.5m – e.g. under the stairs or in a store room. An entire course fits into a standard lift shaft, so no building is minigolf-proof!
Go beyond a weekly box of doughnuts (or bananas, if you’re a healthy-eating company) and give workers a real perk: a game to play in the office that anyone can have a go at whenever they like. In our experience, employees get creative with an office minigolf course, adding their own obstacles and tweaks, rearranging the interlocking floor tiles to create new shapes and challenges, or making up their own game rules. It’s a constant source of fun and creativity, and gives people a reason to talk to each other where without it they might not. So it’s great for teambuilding.
Branding the course to the company helps people to equate the company with fun, which boosts morale. Show employees some love, and they’re more likely to love you back. Some high-profile companies, such as Google and LinkedIn, have minigolf courses in their offices, and Putterfingers have hired to Facebook for their staff events. So be like Google. Make your company one of the best to work for.
Putterfingers minigolf courses can be set up indoors or outdoors, and the modular nature of the courses means that they can fit around existing furniture and office layouts. They require no power supply and can be taken down in minutes when necessary. We supply everything that is needed: interlocking astro grass floor tiles, putters, balls, obstacles, cups, marker cones, scorecards and pencils. And we’re happy to add branding to the course to improve employee engagement, morale and productivity.
As you pootle around your local adventure golf course surrounded by animatronic dinosaurs, sinking a hole in one is usually a happy accident rather than an all-consuming goal. Crazy golf is fun, right? A social pastime for family days out, dating and business teambuilding days. We seldom spare a thought for those whose entire lives have been consumed by the plasticky rattle of the ball falling into the cup after a single stroke of the putter. Yet these fevered souls are out there in growing numbers, and the best of them are making money at it. Meet the professional minigolfer.
Pro players will take a couple of days before a tournament to scope out the course, take detailed notes on each hole and plan their shots. The planning is as meticulous as for other pro sports, including ‘big golf’. Prize money is an mini as the game itself, but the glory has no price. When professional minigolfer Matt McCaslin won the 2014 USPMGA Open he walked away with $4,000, and the prize purse for the 2018 Masters is $20,000, so it’s not exactly to be sneezed at. But you’ve got to be really, really good to get in the money.
How do you get that good? You turn pro and practice, practice, practice. Pros spend 8 to 12 hours a day getting the feel right, watching how the ball breaks, deciding on shot strategy, preparing for tournaments.
So pro minigolf is predictably dominated by middle-aged men, right? Well, a lot of the USPMGA‘s top-ranked players come from the world of Putt-Putt and are male and, yes, quite a few are middle-aged. But one good thing about the sport is that it’s open to all ages and genders. In 2013 Olivia Propokova, a Czech 18-year-old, won the triple crown: the Master’s, the U.S. Open and the World Championships. But then she is a bit special, a real fighter and lionized by her fellow pros. She’s also a heroine back in her home country and has landed sponsorship deals and has her own line of clothing.
“I don’t think any us at this level think of it as a hobby – we take it really seriously as a professional sport,” says Brad Lebo, a 55-year-old Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, dentist who’s earned about $145,000 putting professionally since 1991. “We like to think we’re the best at what we’re doing in the world. Unfortunately, we’re just in kind of a niche.” [pga.com]
Here’s a video featuring Matt Male, a minigolf professional who won the 2015 Masters, talking about preparation and the pro minigolfing life. The uncharitable comments on the YouTube video show how far minigolf has to go to be taken seriously as a professional sport by the general public. It probably never will. But there is no doubting the seriousness and commitment if the players themselves. They’re hooked, far beyond help, and they probably feel pity for the ignorant YouTube commenters who have never felt the thrill of a really cracking minigolf score. Haters gonna hate, putters gonna putt.
Got an event coming up? Brighten it up and make it fun by staging your own minigolf tournament! Hire a course from Putterfingers. Details here
Whether you fancy your chances with a putter or want to experience the tension of minigolf events as a spectator, there’s plenty happening this year around the UK. So here are some dates for your calendar if you don’t want to miss out on all the hot competition and good, hole-some fun. Watch top players in action or enter a tournament and try to become a top player yourself!
Planet Hastings Crazy Golf Open
4th March 2018
Spread across the three courses at Hastings Adventure Golf – the Adventure, Pirate and Crazy Golf Courses – this popular fixture is a festival of minigolf. Entry fees are ‘austerity friendly’ and payable on the day, but to participate you need to contact Planet Hastings Crazy golf to officially enter. Otherwise just get down there, loaf around with an ice cream or some fish and chips and watch the players sweat out the tournament.
The English Open
25th March 2018
Nottingham’s Lost City Adventure Golf hosts this event for the fifth consecutive year. The action will take place on the Sacred Skull and Temple Trail courses, which ordinarily feature talking statues and an artificial lightning storm. We’re not sure whether these features will be activated during the tournament! If you get put off your shot by unexpected jungle happenings, you can drown your sorrows at the Tiki bar.
The British Masters
22nd April 2018
Mr Mulligans Dino Adventure Golf course in Sidcup is the venue for the 2018 British Masters. It’s a four-round classic that sorts the men from the boys in minigolf. If you like the idea of putting or watching others putt surrounded by giant prehistoric reptiles, this is your kind of event … if you make it back alive. The winner gets to wear the coveted – and possibly bloodstained – tweed jacket.
The British Championships
12th and 13h May 2018
It’s back to Hastings for the British Championships. Played on the Pirate Course, this is one of the major minigolf events. There are men’s, women’s, senior and youth trophies. Hastings has seen some spectacular minigolf action, having hosted the British Champs in 2012 and 2015 and the World Minigolf Championships in 2017. Soak up the action at the mecca of minigolf.
The Midlands Open
28th July 2018
Held at the Four Ashes Golf Centre in Dorridge on their brand new 18-hole course, this promises to be a cracking tournament. It’s a three-rounder all on the Saturday so play will be intense as players won’t get an overnight break. Registrations are handled by the Midlands Minigolf Club.
The Sussex Wasps Open
2nd of September 2018
The Sussex Wasps Open will once again take place at the Dobbies Garden Centre course in Peterborough on Sunday 2nd September. Sussex Wasps are a very active minigolf club that has nurtured a lot of talent and produced several champions.
The British Open
15th and 16 September 2018
Strokes Adventure Golf in Margate is the venue for this top event and it will be the seventh time it has been held there. Described as ‘minigolf heaven’ on TripAdvisor, Strokes is a worthy venue for this major tournament.
The Kent Open
11th November 2018
Mr Mulligan’s in Sidcup hosts its second big tournament of 2018 in the final club open of the season.
The Star City Open
2nd of December 2018
One of the nation’s favourite minigolf events takes place at Star City in Birmingham. Thankfully it’s indoors, so the December temperatures won’t be a problem. The season’s finale, it is played on the Lost Hut Trail course. 2018’s last chance to prove yourself at a big minigolf tournament! Or to watch others prove themselves as you enjoy the surroundings and food.
All events are listed on the BMGA website so check there for updates as the year progresses.
Why not stage your own minigolf tournament with a Putterfingers course hire? Minigolf events of all sizes are always loads of fun. Instead of going to a course, we send the course to you! Find out more here
They say a lot of business gets done on the golf course. Closing deals, strategic planning, team building, sussing out suppliers and competitors, getting to know people. Forbes have published a list of 19 tips for closing a deal on the golf course which states that you ‘really get to know the other golfers in a way that LinkedIn and email will never provide.’
Golf famously reveals people’s characters. So does minigolf, of course – we’ll get to that. First, here are a few pearls of wisdom from golfers on the subject of business and character:
Baseball reveals character; golf exposes it. – Ernie Banks
If there is any larceny in a man, golf will bring it out. – Paul Gallico
If you wish to hide your character, do not play golf. – Percey Boomer
A well-adjusted man is one who can play golf as if it were a game. – Anonymous
It’s OK to have butterflies. Just get them flying in formation. – Francisco Lopez
I never learned anything from a match that I won. – Bobby Jones
The proper score for a businessman golfer is 90. If he is better than that he is neglecting his business. If he’s worse, he’s neglecting his golf. – St Andrews Rotary Club Member
Minigolf is a microcosm of golf. A person’s reaction to a bad shot and the level of arrogance or modesty shown after a successful shot can tell you just as much about a person on the minigolf course as out on the fairway. That makes minigolf an excellent socialising tool for recruitment days, team building days, corporate away days and business events. One U.S. entrepreneur has the following reason for using minigolf as part of his recruitment process:
“Within half an hour of entering the room, interviewees are more relaxed,” he says. “What they don’t realise is that over a game of mini-golf, they’re giving off who they are as people – we get to know them better than if they were in a stale white room with a desk.”
So why not ditch the flip charts and blindfolded trust-fall exercises and hire a minigolf course for your next recruitment day? It’s fluid, it keeps people moving and talking, and it gives you insights into their personalities. And it’s an awful lot cheaper than hiring a firm of team-building consultants!
We looked at our corporate client list today and thought: Blimey, look at all the big companies who hire our crazy golf courses!
Things have moved on a lot in the last couple of years, with marketing agencies and events organisers from blue chip companies ringing us to book minigolf hire for their corporate events. We’ve hired to BP, ASDA, Nestlé, the BBC, the RAF, Morgan Stanley, Vimto and other blue chip clients, plus lots of smaller businesses as well.
Oooh, get us, little old Putterfingers, hobnobbing around with all these big names!
But before we get stars in our eyes, let’s come back down to why we started crazy golf hire in the first place. We still love the serve the people who have helped us grow and are still the core of our business: private weddings, birthday parties and charity events.
We believe that minigolf is for the people. It’s a grass roots thing. So while it’s thrilling to drive a course down to London for a bash at Facebook HQ, or design a branded course for Zurich Insurance, we get just as much satisfaction from setting up a course at a wedding or a children’s party.
Putterfingers crazy golf courses are portable and modular – the putting surface is made up from square astro grass tiles that interlock to create a smooth surface. So a course can be built in minutes that fits into practically any space, indoors or outdoors. That makes Putterfingers minigolf courses the most flexible option for minigolf hire – and it has been designed to all fit into a standard lift shaft, so that even if the party is on the tenth floor, the course can get up there!
We love meeting brides and helping them select unique wedding entertainment. One of our favourite annual fixtures is our stand at the Newmarket Wedding Show. It’s always fun to meet brides and their families, wedding planners and other wedding suppliers. We always come away bristling with business cards and new customers. This post gives details about the 2018 Newmarket Wedding Show as well as two other wedding shows we are exhibiting at in the coming weeks.
Look for the Fun4Guests stand. Our sister company Fun4Guests provide fun packages including Putterfingers minigolf, and Putterfingers staff will be there, so our stand covers both brands. We have 10 years of experience in hiring our event equipment under our portable crazy golf banner of Putterfingers, but as Fun4Guests we have brought wedding crazy golf and other games together at the request of bridal parties.
Newmarket Wedding Show
The show takes place on Sunday 21st of January at the Millennium Grandstand, Rowley Mile Racecourse from 11am to 4pm. Come along and meet us on stand G20 to talk about wedding entertainment including crazy golf, giant wooden garden games, kissing booths, photo walls and much more.
Hockwold Hall Wedding Fayre
Hockwold Hall is a beautiful wedding and events venue on the borders of Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. We have exhibited at the Wedding Fayre there for several years and we never miss the opportunity to meet people there and show them our wedding hire packages. If you go to the show, come and say hello to us in the marquee.
EDP Bride: The Wedding Show
This great wedding show takes place at the Norfolk Showground on the 17th and 18th of February. It’s a regular fixture in our calendar. We look forward to seeing you there!
OK, so here we are in 2018, and so far outdoor conditions have been less than ideal for a round of minigolf at your favourite course. Is you putting arm twitching with desire to get out there? Well, maybe you can redirect that twitchy feeling into your finger and have a go at one of the many golf (and minigolf) games available for mobile devices.
Some of you might have got a shiny new ‘fondle slab’ for Christmas – a smartphone or a tablet. What better use for it than to get in a bit of finger-powered putting action?
We blogged about mobile minigolf games a while back. Since then some new games have hit the Apple and Google Play stores, offering everything from no-frills physics simulation to wild, improbable golfing fantasy lands. This time we’ve broadened it to ‘big golf’ games, because it isn’t real, so what does it matter whether it’s minigolf or golf? It’s just a bit of fun for rainy days.
Here’s a selection of the top 5 mobile games from thegolfnewsnet.com. We’ve played Golf Star and Flick Golf and they are both fantastic in very different ways. Golf Star is as realistic as a mobile golf game can get, with all the factors you would encounter in the real world coming into play except hunger and tired legs. Flick Golf is cartoonish and actually defies physics (you can add spin to the ball while it’s in the air!) but it is fun to play, highly addictive and satisfying if you buy into its game logic.
Hopefully we’ll all be out putting again soon, but in the meantime the less (fool)hardy of you who don’t like force ten gales and hail when putting might like to try out one of these mobile games for a bit of fireside fun.
We are now officially living in The Future. With self-driving cars, pizzas delivered by robots and TVs thinner than a polar bear, it’s probably about time to update the sport of minigolf as well as everything else. Puttshack, a new venture to hit London’s White City is March 2018, is doing just that.
Westfield London‘s 20,000 square foot high-tech crazy golf centre is the result of a collaboration between ping pong venue Bounce and global computerised golf phenomenon Topgolf. Topgolf already use in-ball computer technology at their golf driving ranges where players hit their ball at a dartboard-style target. Your microchipped ball sends data back to a digital scoreboard and points are scored for distance and proximity to the centre. Along with food, drinks and other games at Topgolf’s venues, it has proven popular – a new bowling alley for our times.
This leisure concept is being ported over to minigolf for the new venue in West London. Players will see video replays of their shots and will be able to participate in interactive quiz holes and pinball-style challenges. Suitably swish cocktails will be served to ride the wave of the current gin craze, and their executive chef has created a scrummy-looking menu.
We look forward to the high-tech venue opening in March 2018, and time will tell if ‘the most incredible minigolf concept in the world’ is a hit with Londoners.
Meanwhile, if all this technology is all too much for you, we still supply traditional minigolf courses to hire for events, parties, weddings and corporate events! We don’t think the desire for good old minigolf will go away any time soon!