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!

2016 British Minigolf Championship this weekend!

BMGA minigolf championship, wroxham barns
One of the holes at the championship course

An exciting weekend of minigolf is in store this weekend at Wroxham Barns in Norfolk. They are hosting the 2016 BMGA British Open Championships, and it’s tight enough amongst the Men’s top seeds to promise a white-knuckle contest for the title. Reigning champion Michael Smith will be up against 2014 winner Adam Kelly as well as strong contenders Steve Lovell, Chris Wood and Andy Wilde. In the Ladies’ Championship, defending champion Ruth Burke will face 2014 winner Brenda Smith as well as Marion Homer, runner-up in the last two competitions.

Minigolf champion, Michael Smith
Defending Champ Michael Smith

The Champs are over Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th May. Ahead of the main tournament, on the evening of Friday 6th May Wroxham Barns will see a charity Pro-Am event run by the BGMA to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The mini adventure golf course at Wroxham Barns, designed by UrbanCrazy, was opened in 2008 by the GB minigolf team. With 18 varied holes, it has an all-weather, true-rolling putting surface and rewards accurate putting and cleverly played rebound shots. It has water hazards and other obstacles including a bridge, all set in a landscaped site with rockeries, a watercourse with waterfall and a central fountain. The course is designed to British Minigolf Association standards and is DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) compliant.

Minigolf BMGA champion Ruth Burke
Defending Champ Ruth Burke

You can’t play the course during the Championships, but it will be a great weekend for a minigolf fan to see the UK’s top players putt it out for the 2016 title. Just watching them will improve your game, and you can get close enough to observe their technique!

Don’t forget it’s also National Golf Month! National Golf Month is an initiative driven by the British Golf Industry Association (BGIA) that gives golf clubs the opportunity to promote offers through the National Golf Month website that will target both lapsed and new golfers. Its stated aim is ‘to make 100,000 lapsed or new golfers aware of an opportunity to try golf again for free or at special offer prices’. So keep an eye out on the site for special offers near you!

2016 Minigolf Tournaments Calendar

Below you’ll find details of minigolf tournaments around England and Wales along with links to the wonderful venues hosting each one. Why not pop along to one and have a go? Or do a golfathon for charity, playing at some or all of them? The closing date for the English Open is the 26th of February so hurry up if you fancy trying your hand at it. There will be some very serious players there, some of whom are BMGA Tour Pros, so you probably won’t win it! But there’s nothing wrong with having a go. You can pay cash on the day (£25 for a non-BMGA Tour Pro) but they do need your application form to book you a place.

From the beaches of Hastings to the Norfolk Broads via the Midlands and Cardiff, this island is buzzing with minigolf action in 2016. See below for full details.

Here’s a throwback to 2008 when Team Putterfingers went down to Brighton to play in the British Open.

minigolf, crazy golf, BMGA,
Putterfingers Managing Director Richard Standen putting for glory and missing at the British Open 2008

 

2016 Tournaments

Date Title Venue City
28.02.2016 English Open 2016 The Lost City Adventure Golf Nottingham
06.03.2016 Planet Hastings Crazy Golf Open 2016 Hastings (All Courses) Hastings
20.03.2016 Midlands Open 2016 Four Ashes Golf Centre Dorridge
10.04.2016 British Masters 2016 Splash Point Mini golf Worthing
24.04.2016 British Club Championship 2016 Strokes Adventure Golf Margate
07.05.2016 – 08.05.2016 British Championships 2016 Wroxham Barns Hoveton
11.06.2016 – 12.06.2016 World Crazy Golf Championship 2016 Hastings Seafront Hastings
16.07.2016 Cambridgeshire & Essex Open 2016 Dunton Hills Brentwood
17.07.2016 British Doubles Championship 2016 Dunton Hills Brentwood
17.09.2016 – 18.09.2016 British Open 2016 Hastings Seafront Pirate Golf Hastings
16.10.2016 Welsh Open 2016 Treetop Adventure Golf Cardiff
13.11.2016 Kent Open 2016 Lost Island Encounter Adventure Golf Course Chislehurst
04.12.2016 Star City Open 2016 Adventure Island Mini Golf (Star City) Birmingham

 

 

 

British Mini Golf Association 2015 Event Calendar

The British Mini Golf Association have launched their event calendar for the 2015 season – my New Year’s resolution is to take part in at least one of these mini golf tournaments this year!

SUNDAY 1st MARCH – BRITISH CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS

The first mini golf event of the year takes place on Sunday 1st March as the BRITISH CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP returns to the Hastings Seafront Pirate Course.  The Hastings Adventure Course is quoted as not for those with a nervous disposition!  The ‘volcano’ holes allow for those not so experienced players to overshoot the ball over the other side…….along with tunnels, ramps and banked curves to contend with.

SUNDAY 12TH APRIL – BMGA BRITISH MASTERS

The BMGA BRITISH MASTERS takes place on Sunday 12th April  at Splash Point Minigolf  in Worthing. The event takes place over the same weekend as the US Masters in Augusta where the winner will receive the coveted BMGA Masters Jacket. Last year’s winner was Michael Smith who got to adorn the tweed jacket.

SATURDAY 16TH AND SUNDAY 17TH MAY – BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIPS

The two day BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIPS will be contested at the Pirate Course in Hastings across the weekend of 16th and 17th May. As well as the overall British Champion being crowned, the event will also see the British Senior, Junior and Women’s titles being fought out across the 2 day, nine round event – with my score I might have a chance at least within the Junior category!

SATURDAY 6TH AND SUNDAY 7TH JUNE – WAGM

The 2014 WORLD ADVENTURE GOLF MASTERS (WAGM) returns to Hastings with the competition taking place on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th June.

SATURDAY 19TH AND SUNDAY 20TH SEPTEMBER – BRITISH OPEN

The weekend of September 19th and 20th sees the BRITISH OPEN taking place at Strokes Adventure Golf in Margate, the course hosting the event for the sixth time and provides a fitting venue for our premier event of the year.

SATURDAY 24TH AND SUNDAY 25TH OCTOBER – WORLD CRAZY GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP

The final Major of the year, the WORLD CRAZY GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP at the Seafront Crazy Golf Course in Hastings will be taking place across the weekend of 24th & 25th October. Will female champion Olivia Prokopova be back this year to repeat her 2013 performance with a 21 stroke lead over the rest of the pack?

SUNDAY 15TH NOVEMBER – KENT OPEN

The KENT OPEN will be taking place at the Lost Island Encounter in Sidcup on Sunday 15th November.  As this will be the 10th anniversary of the competition, the Kent Minigolf Club are promising some exciting news regarding this landmark event.

SUNDAY 6TH DECEMBER – STAR CITY OPEN

The STAR CITY OPEN will once again take place in Star City, Birmingham, at a new slot in the calendar, with the course hosting the event on Sunday 6th December, rounding off another terrific season on the BMGA tour.

Those who don’t think mini golf is a serious sport be warned it gets very competitive!

BMGA Seasons Only Rankings – mini golf statistics for the 2012 season

Having made my first ever appearance at the BMGA and Putterfingers Oswestry Games Minigolf Championship in July this year, I am on the closing  list for 2012 top mini golf  players in the UK………but don’t hold your breath I didn’t make the top 100!

My attempts to play on our modular mini golf course at the Oswestry Games had me in 53rd position back in August, so I have seen the latest 2012 Season Only Rankings list to find I am not in the last spot, but the one before last at 119th position!

British Mini Golf Season 2012 Rankings
BMGA Seasons Only Ranking 2012

Considering I was a Category 3 Player I am quite pleased not to be last but should certainly warrant myself as a ‘wooden putter’ or whatever is the equal to wooden spoon for mini golf!   Maybe a revised New Year’s resolution is to play in more than one tournament or championship in 2013!

The 2012 season has stretched from the 22nd January to the 25th November and starts again on Sunday 27th January 2013 at the BMGA Star City Open in Birmingham.

For those of you that don’t play mini golf or crazy golf, our portable mini golf courses are a definite way to add an attraction to your Christmas party, wedding or festive celebration.  Why not run a tournament of your own on our modular crazy golf course?  Hopefully you will finish in a better slot than 119th!

If you would like to hire a course before 2012 is out, call us for more information or check our hire page for more details.

Mini Golf Monday Madness!

Well today has certainly been a mad Mini Golf Monday already!

We are approaching an action packed challenge as we prepare for one of the busiest mini golf hire weekends in our events calendar.  A number of enquiries and late bookings have kept me busy and away from the blog, and busy juggling putters and balls around the office!

We are pleased to be attending two events this coming weekend 14th and 15th July:

Golf East Show

Golf East Show at Trinity Park, Ipswich – this is a whole weekend dedicated to golf including fashion shows, music, golf club testing, full driving range facilities, free lessons, trick shot shows, great Golf East show offers, catering, demonstrations and interactive areas for all to try their hand at golf.

You will find us in the Junior Golf area which explores the opportunities for children and young adults to take the next step in golf whether it be with tuition or equipment where the GolfEast PGA Professionals will be on hand to offer advice.

You will also see us at:

Oswestry Games 6th - 15th July 2012 at Oswestry Leisure Centre

Oswestry Games Fun Day which is being held at Oswestry Leisure Centre on Sunday 15th July and our portable mini golf course will be set-up for the public to play from 9am-5pm. The course will cost £2 per round and everyone who plays will be able to enter their best score into the BMGA Oswestry Open competition which will run from 9am-3.30pm.

Susie Hancock from the Oswestry Games Organising Committee said

“Crazy Golf is a favourite holiday game for many local families at our own minigolf course in Cae Glas Park.  The BMGA Pro-Am tournament in the Park on Saturday will be a unique opportunity for local people of all ages to learn from the Pros and enjoy a brilliant sport.  I am excited that the BMGA and Putterfingers.co.uk have also offered to bring their portable course to the Family Fun Day on Sunday 15th July.  My son is looking forward to having a go on it too!”

You can read more about the BMGA and an interview with one of the UK’s top mini golfer’s Richard Gottfried  here on the Olly M’s Mini Golf Blog, the Oswestry Games Mascot blog.

Have you tried mini golf?  Would you like to hire one of our courses for your event?