Oxford to get new minigolf centre

Lucky, lucky Oxford

New minigolf Oxford

Minigolf is burgeoning in the UK, with new course openings coming thick and fast. In the last eight months we’ve reported on new course openings in Tonbridge, Hartlepool, Chichester, Cheltenham, Warrington, York, London and Liverpool. And those are just the ones we can remember. Some openings are due to established chains like Mr Mulligan’s and Paradise Island Adventure Golf expanding into new towns, while others are grass-roots facilities created by councils and enthusiasts.

The latest to be announced is a new three-course minigolf facility in Oxford’s new Westgate shopping centre. The minigolf is intended to ‘anchor’ the restaurant area, which will include outlets such as Benito’s Hat, Rola Wala and Shawa Lebanese Grill. The £440m, 800,000 sq ft complex will feature over 100 shops including a mahoosive John Lewis, 25 eateries and a Curzon cinema.

Oxford Westgate brands
Cor! Look at that lot

Emma Mees, Senior Portfolio Manager at Landsec, the site’s developers, said ‘With Westgate Social, we aim to lead the charge for next generation retail destinations by bringing our scheme in line with the rapidly changing lifestyle habits  of consumers.’

We’re happy to hear that minigolf is ‘officially’ part of people’s changing lifestyle habits!

The putting will be provided by Junkyard Golf Club, who already run several other crazy golf venues fitted out with their trademark ultraviolet lights, weird junk and cool urban themes.

Oxford crazy golf Westgate

Junkyard Golf Club Co-founder Chris Legh said: “We are really excited to join Westgate Oxford, giving residents a completely unique day and night out, that is on a par with our leading cities.

“We have a huge space to play with so we’re going to fit in three courses, with crazy installations and some awesome bars. Look out for slides, cars, boats and of course the usual UV and jungle madness that has made our venues famous.

“Our mission in life is to keep making crazy golf epic.” [Oxfordshire Guardian]

The new Westgate Centre is scheduled to open on the 24th of October 2017.

Here at Putterfingers, we sell and hire minigolf that you don’t go to – you take it with you! See our portable minigolf course options at putterfingers.co.uk

Kids love minigolf! Here’s how to get them started

kids minigolf
Kids love minigolf

A new adventure golf course for kids has just opened in Bournemouth. It’s not the first one and it won’t be the last, but it is brilliant. Mighty Claws Adventure Golf, part of Playgolf Bournemouth, does more than offer a dinosaur-themed crazy golf experience. They’ve got a book that tells the story of a little dinosaur called Truly, and how she helps the Mighty Claws to triumph against the evil Iron Jaws to save the Roaring Kingdom. Kids who read the book with their parents before visiting will have absorbed the narrative of having to find magical totems that will restore peace to Sweet Claw Valley. These totems are to be found in real life on the adventure golf course. We love this idea and the way it draws kids in to a sense of adventure.

Kids minigolf
Mighty Claws Adventure Golf

There are plenty of ways to get your kids into golf. The Golf Foundation began in 1952 to help young people enjoy the playing and the personal benefits of golf. It is a charity that promotes golf to young people via schools and clubs. It came up with Tri-Golf, a version of golf designed for youngsters that aims to promote ‘Skills for Life’ including co-operation, good sportsmanship and concentration. Tri-Golf uses a plastic putter and an oversized, dimpled foam ball to make it easier to putt the ball into the hole or hit the target. Both items are available in our online golf store.

Kids tri-golf soft golf
Soft Golf

Soft Golf is our own version of golf for the very young. It uses a set of soft play obstacles with a farm animals theme, oversized plastic putters and large dimpled foam balls. It introduces small children to the concept of accuracy and helps them take their first steps towards developing sports skills. It can be used anywhere and is an ideal addition to any garden used by young children.

Youth mini golf training equipment
Youth golf training kits

We also supply youth training kits which contain enough equipment to get started in minigolf. The putters come in a variety of lengths to suit any age.

To find out more about getting kids into golf and minigolf, visit our page ‘Get into golf’.

 

Battle of Hastings: World Minigolf Champs in 3 weeks!

Hastings Adventure Golf
The Battle of Hastings starts on the 10th of June

Hastings Adventure Golf lies on the seafront in the shadow of the ruins of Hastings Castle. This quintessential British seaside town, town, famous for a certain invasion rather a long time ago, sees a newer invasion every year in the form of hundreds of avid mini golf enthusiasts, who descend on Hastings for the World Crazy Golf Championships. Brandishing putters rather than swords, they are of all abilities from novice to professional (uniquely, it’s an open competition), and compete for the coveted trophy. The tournament has its own unique set of rules, including the condition that all players must use the same type of ball. This contrasts with some other minigolf championships where a selection of balls with different properties can be used, and players select the desired one for each hole.

In 2013 an 18-year old Czech, Olivia Propokova, was both the first lady winner and also the youngest. Michael Smith has won it for the last two years, with Sean Homer never far behind. This year it kicks off on the 10th of June and lasts two days. The course presents many challenges, including a waterwheel, a windmill, an obelisk, lighthouse, ramps, bends, twists and bunkers. The top players know each hole inside out and are frequently able to hit a hole in one. The winner is the one who hits the most – and it’s usually tight at the top, with play sometimes going down to the last hole and the victor winning by a single stroke.

Here’s a video taken at the 2014 World Crazy Golf Championships, in which Sean Homer, Chairman of the British Mini Golf Association, talks about the World Minigolf Federation’s efforts to get Minigolf into the Olympic Games. There’s no good reason why it shouldn’t be included in the Olympics. It’s competitive, watchable, tense and requires great skill. Who knows? Maybe in a few years we will be watching Michael Smith and other top players kissing their gold medals on the Olympic podium. We’re keeping our Putterfingers crossed for that!

National Miniature Golf Day this Saturday!

National Miniature Golf Day

It’s almost here again – National Miniature Golf Day! Minigolf enthusiasts like us are excited because not only is this Saturday dedicated to our sport, but other things are happening too – read on to find out. It’s time to head to your nearest minigolf/crazy golf/adventure golf course and see what’s on offer. Some courses might be offering discounts on Saturday by way of promoting the sport.

Wondering how to find a minigolf course near you? For a pretty much definitive list of Britain’s minigolf courses, written by someone who has played over 700 of them – head over to Richard Gottfried’s blog for descriptions of and information on each one. There’s sure to be one near you to play on during National Miniature Golf Week.

The Himalayas St Andrews Ladies Putting Club

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the world’s first miniature golf course, the green known as the Himalayas at St Andrews Ladies’ Putting Club.  It was created to prevent the ‘unseemly’ spectacle of a lady raising her club above her shoulder – something which is still unseemly, not to mention inaccurate and potentially dangerous – on modern mini golf courses for either sex!

May is also National Golf Month. This year it is dedicated to getting more women into golf. Heaven forbid they should raise their clubs above the shoulder … which of course they will. It’s hard to hit a drive from a putting stance!

National Golf Month

And just a few weeks away, there will be a fantastic festival of minigolf at the World Minigolf Championships at Hastings Adventure Golf on the seafront. Last year Britain’s superstar Michael Smith won by four strokes from Sean Homer. Expect to see him fired up to defend his title this year. The World Champs are on the 10th and 11th of June.

World Mini golf Championships Hastings

So get down to your local course this National Miniature Golf Day, grab a putter and find out why so many people love minigolf!

For all minigolf needs, we’re the minigolf masters. Find out what we do at www.putterfingers.co.uk !

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

 

 

 

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

Inaugural Irish Minigolf Open and other news

2017 has only just begun. There hasn’t been any proper snow yet, but there is a flurry of minigolf news. The first Irish minigolf Open will happen this year, a new course is planned in Nottinghamshire, and Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle is fast becoming the hippest place in the UK after the opening of Ghetto Golf.

The Inaugural Irish Minigolf Open

Irish minigolf open, minigolf news, 2017, rainforest adventure golf ireland

The weekend of the 18th and 19th of February will see the first ever Irish Minigolf Open take place at Rainforest Adventure Golf in Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin. It will be the first World Minigolf Sport Federation (WMF) sanctioned competition in the Republic of Ireland and some top players from across Europe are expected to be there to play 8 rounds over two days for prize money. There will also be a tournament for local players with some prize money involved.

Sean Homer, President of the BMGA, said, ‘The course will provide a brilliant venue and challenge for all the players who take part and we will see some top class Minigolf over the weekend in February. I am sure that the generous prize fund and hospitality that Dublin has to offer will appeal to players from across Europe and that, along with a sizable field of local players adds up to what promises to be a superb weekend in Ireland.’

Registrations are open at €40 for international players and €20 for Irish players. Online registration can be done here: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/irish-minigolf-open-2017-registration-29403079402

New dinosaur-themed course in Nottingham?

adventure golf nottingham dinosaur

Apart from dinosaur eggs and T-Rex bones, another obstacle for a new adventure golf course planned at the Riverside Golf Centre is Nottingham Council planning permission. If given the green light, the outdoor Jurassic-themed course will be added to the existing golf course, driving range, short course and footgolf facilities. (Footgolf is golf with a football and, obviously, a bigger hole, and it’s really catching on).

Owner of Riverside Golf Centre Declan Malone says, ‘This will be a new adventure golf facility similar to crazy golf or pitch and putt … it will be an outdoor facility similar to what Trent Lock Golf Centre and Ramsdale Park Golf Centre have developed.’

We’ll keep you updated on developments.

Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle officially very hip indeed

We’ve blogged before about Ghetto Golf, the new crazy golf experience in Liverpool. The Liverpool Echo reckons it is one of the top reasons why the Baltic Triangle is one of the hippest places in the UK at the moment. If this photo is anything to go by, they are right.

hipsters, beards, baltic triangle, liverpool
Hipsters are starting to show their age!

For all your minigolf equipment and minigolf hire needs, visit putterfingers.co.uk 

 

Happy days for 2 new crazy golf courses

Ghetto Golf is number one attraction in Liverpool

Ghetto Golf Liverpool minigolf course

Ghetto Golf, the new themed crazy golf extravaganza in Liverpool, has been listed by a local paper as the number one new thing to do in the city.

The Liverpool Echo has published a list of 15 things you can do in Liverpool that you couldn’t do a year ago, and Ghetto Golf comes in at number one, above gin tours, new stores, the British Music Experience Exhibition, Nerf guns, new restaurants and new nightclubs. It seems crazy golf is ‘bigger than Jesus’ in Liverpool, to quote John Lennon.

We blogged about it back in November just before it opened and it’s great that it is a success. The 18-hole crazy golf wonderland has a cocktail bar and street food stand and can be found in the old Cairns Brewery, Upper Parliament Street. The brainchild of locals Danny Bolger and Kip Piper, Ghetto Golf makes full use of the large indoor space the old brewery provides. Players putt through a full-size house, a hippy caravan and an old sailing boat, to the music of a DJ perched in a treehouse. It’s a surreal and anarchic crazy golf experience that Liverpudlians love.

UK’s most Northerly minigolf course contributes to Orkney tourism

 

Burray Orkney Minigolf Course

Here’s another new minigolf course we blogged about last year that is doing well. It’s the most Northerly course in the UK, at Burray on Orkney.

Orkney has seen a boom in tourism during 2016. VisitScotland Island manager Barbara Foulkes said, ‘ … Orkney has enjoyed one of the best years for tourism in recent memory, with accommodation providers, attractions and other businesses all reporting increases in business in 2016.’

She partly attributed some of this success to the Burray minigolf course. ‘A culmination of a year-long effort by the local community, the 12-hole course made headlines across the country when it opened in April and Britain’s most northerly crazy golf course went on to become a big hit with locals and visitors alike.’

We’re chuffed to bits that these new, permanent minigolf attractions are doing well. With minigolf so popular and such good fun for guests, why not have your own minigolf course? We provide the UK’s leading portable modular minigolf courses that can be set up anywhere in minutes. We provide everything you need including putting surface, putters, balls, obstacles, hole markers and scorecards. If you are planning an event, wedding or party in 2017, give us a call to find out more on 08450 570 321 or email office@connectedshopping.com.

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Now that’s a club!

It’s often assumed that that ‘big’ golf is all serious, and crazy golf is where silly things happen involving windmills and dinosaurs. But to think that is to reckon without Danish golf trick shot supremo Karsten Maas. He makes silly things happen on a full-size golf course. He can drive a golf ball with practically anything, even if it’s bent or floppy or 18 inches long or 13 feet long or has a hammer on the end. He hasn’t tried a cat yet, but we won’t rule it out. A golf professional, he has been travelling the world since 2003 with his amazing collection of strange clubs, and entertaining audiences with his trick shot skills. Here is a video of the maestro himself displaying the assortment of objects he can drive a golf ball with.

Karsten Maas currently holds the world record for Longest Usable Golf Club, having hit a ball 165 metres with a monster 4.09 metre long driver. Here he is showing off the mega-club and driving a ball with it. The double follow-through is an obvious necessity.

The rules of ‘big golf’ limit the length of clubs to 48 inches, so Maas’s Clubzilla could not be used in competitive golf. But he has been wielding it for years and can drive a ball straight with it as long as there is room for him to stand four metres away from the tee, and there’s nobody else standing nearby.

We’re wondering about the potential for novelty clubs in minigolf. How about floppy ones? Telescopic ones? Bent ones? Extremely long ones? It would add an extra dimension to crazy golf adventure parks and warehouse bar clubs, wouldn’t it? Especially after a drink or two. One time-honoured way of holing out in non-competitive crazy golf is to lie down and use your putter like a pool cue. Let us know if you have seen any bizarre objects used as putters, or any bizarre putters.

And, of course, merry Christmas and a fantastic 2017 from the team at Putterfingers!