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’.

 

Minigolf brightens all kinds of events!

crazy golf events

What kind of events can include minigolf?

Minigolf is a great addition to any event. It gets people socialising (and competing!) and can be used simply for fun, to promote a brand or message, or to raise funds for charity.

So, what types of events are we talking about? Here’s a selection of happenings where minigolf can be a fantastic ingredient to spice things up and create a memorable day.

Corporate events

Awards ceremonies, product launches, marketing drives, annual dinners … any business bash can have a minigolf course laid out to entertain guests. It’s the ideal activity to do while having a drink and socialising. Everybody can join in and take on the hole-in-one challenge or see who can get round the course in the fewest strokes. One caveat though: things can get competitive! It’s fascinating to people-watch at corporate events with minigolf and see who is the most competitive, who comes out of their shell more than usual, who is a good team player. Management, take note!

For more on corporate event minigolf hire, see our page about it.

events crazy golf hire
Everyone can have a go – even the boss!

Schools and Colleges

Open days, fetes, fresher’s weeks, sports days, end-of-term reward days, proms … they can all be livened up with a minigolf course. We deliver the day before the event and take it away the day after. If the event is on a Saturday, you get the course free for an extra day! We’ll come and whisk it away on the Monday or next working day. We’re happy to work directly with the venue if you wish, so you don’t have to worry about the logistics.

See our page on minigolf for schools and colleges for more.

events with crazy golf
A primary school fete

 

school mini golf events
A high school flexi day

 

University open day crazy golf
A university open day

Charity Fundraising

Minigolf is ideal for charity fundraising because of the wide range of people who can participate. Unlike a sponsored run, people don’t need to exert themselves too much, but just give up some of their time for a gentle putt around the course. All ages can participate. We supply a variety of putter lengths for all heights, and the courses are wheelchair-friendly, too. So really there’s no excuse for not joining in and putting for your charity!

You can organise a putt-a-thon (sponsored per hole). Get local businesses involved too – they can each sponsor a hole. We’re happy to help with branding each hole to its sponsor so they get some publicity too. For more on charity fundraising, see our page on it.

crazy golf charity fundraising events
A charity fundraising event for the Guide Dogs charity
fundraising minigolf
… even Nick Clegg turned up!

Weddings

Ah, the wedding party. How do you keep everyone entertained? Will it be a flop? Not with mini golf! It keeps the kids busy by giving them something to do, and can be laid out indoors or outdoors on any reasonably level surface. We can deal direct with the venue so the bride and groom and their families don’t need to worry about the logistics of delivering, setting up taking down and taking away the minigolf course.

For more on wedding minigolf hire, see our page on weddings.

Wedding minigolf
Her first putt as a married woman!

Pubs & Hotels

If you run a pub, hotel or catering establishment, what better way to get more punters in than to give them a fun game to play? You can hire a course for one-off or annual events and promotions, or buy one to use whenever you like. How about organising a minigolf league? It makes a change from darts, pool, skittles and quizzes, and your place could become the talk of your locality.

For more about minigolf for pubs & hotels, visit our page about it.

crazy golf events for pubs and hotels
Minigolf can be a hit in the hospitality industry!

For all your minigolf needs, visit www.putterfingers.co.uk, email office@connectedshopping.com or call 08450 570321.

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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