Minigolf raises hundreds of thousands a year for causes
Minigolf can be a force for bettering the community. It’s been a staple of fundraising in the USA for a long time and is beginning to get some traction over here. It’s a fun, social activity that offers ample opportunnity for charity branding to promote the cause and raise awareness and money. Corporate sponsors also get plenty of exposure when they sponsor a hole and the event is written about, photographed and even televised. Here are some examples of how it’s used over the pond to bring communities together and raise funds for good causes.
1. The Epilepsy Center of Northwest Ohio raises between $20,000 and $30,000 every year at its ‘Practically a Golf Tournament‘ event. It uses a different set of holes each year, each one being custom-built by a corporate sponsor. The sponsored holes can be very creative and reflect the business the sponsor is in. What a great way to promote a business while raising funds for charity!
4. At Panama City Beach, Florida, there’s an annual minigolf event called Putting for Patriots, which raised funds for war veterans. A bit like our Help For Heroes.
5. Arizona Small Dog Rescue host ‘Putts for Mutts‘ every year to raise funds.
The list could go on for a long, long time. Minigolf fundraisers are well-established in Uncle Sam, and there are more and more each year in Old Blighty too. Why? Because they work, generate interest and raise substantial amounts of money.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Back in June 2016 we supplied and set up a Supersize office crazy golf course at the London head office of Internet marketing company Criteo. The course was set up at their Bloomsbury offices for a social function. This year they called us again asking for a repeat performance, with ‘something a little different this time’. Happy to oblige, we created a set of special putting obstacles for Criteo’s party which depict London icons: a red bus, a red phone box, a black taxi and Tower Bridge.
We also got creative with the hole layouts to make them pretty challenging, but not ridiculously challenging, so that guests could still have fun. Maybe our photography skills are not the greatest – our photographer here got his own shadow in the frame – but it doesn’t matter, because the emphasis was on providing Criteo with the best office crazy golf experience we could. Actually the hole in the foreground is pretty fiendish, come to think of it. If you can hit a 3 on that you’re doing well, unless you go airborne to get over the foam bumpers. A well-placed book or coaster might help there!
Once again Ruby Cassin-Davies, Workplace Experience Office Manager for Criteo, was delighted with the crazy golf and she really appreciated the bespoke obstacles of London icons.
The good weather was a bonus, and with a rooftop terrace just outside it must have been a great party. Incidentally, Putterfingers astro grass interlocking floor mats are UV-treated to protect them from strong sunlight so they won’t lose their colour. So the course could equally well have been outside on the terrace. On the flipside, if it rains then the tiles will drain quickly thanks to the hundreds of little holes they have. There is never any standing water on the putting surface, so play can go on straight after a shower.
Planning an office party? Get in touch to find out our prices and hire options today!
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!
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.
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!
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.
So get down to your local course this National Miniature Golf Day, grab a putter and find out why so many people love minigolf!
As thousands of runners of all ages and abilities head for the start line of the London Marathon this weekend, many will be taking part to raise funds for their chosen charities. You don’t necessarily have to dress as a muppet or a banana to run the marathon for charity, but it does tend to get you more sponsorship!
There’s another type of marathon that really works for fundraising, and isn’t anywhere near as exhausting as running (or staggering) twenty-six and a bit miles. The relatively gentle setting of a nine-hole minigolf course can be a fundraising magnet if you stage the event right. Here’s how to do a mini-golfathon!
Pick your day. You’ll need several weeks or longer to publicise the event, and for participants to raise sponsorship. For a Summer mini golfathon, the time to start planning is now.
Plan the event format. It can be a 24-hour mini-golfathon where total number of holes putted can approach 250. Players sponsored per hole will raise quite a lot if they have the stamina! Make sure drinks and snacks are available for everybody. Alternatively, players can get sponsored for how many holes they putt in an hour, two hours, or another period that fits with your event arrangements.
Secure a venue. It can be indoors or outdoors, as our equipment works just as well either way.
Check with Putterfingers for course hire availability on your planned day. We usually have enough stock to accommodate everyone, but at particularly busy periods such as the Summer months it’s worth calling us to see if we can cater for you.
Get your publicity out there. We can help you on the day with minigolf course branding to promote your cause, but the lion’s share of the donkey work (to use a mixed animal metaphor) is up to you!
Approach local celebrities or public figures such as MPs, mayors and business leaders. Ask them to participate by hitting the first putt, speaking, or engaging in a photo opportunity with the public. Even better if you can do this before the event as well as during it, to raise interest and gain sponsored players. We can provide customised sponsorship forms if you don’t have time and resources to make your own.
Order your personalised scorecards from Putterfingers. It can take us a couple of weeks to get them printed for you.
Do more publicity. You can never do too much!
Ask local companies to sponsor a hole. They get publicity from it, and you get money for your cause. It’s a win-win. We can assist with adding their company branding to hole flags and course edge bumpers.
Arrange delivery and collection of your Putterfingers kit. We supply:
A 9-hole crazy golf course
Plenty of putters and balls
Sponsorship forms, if required
A staff member to assist with organisation on the day (subject to location)
Organiser packs with complete golfathon instructions.
Here’s an example of a mini golfathon staged by the charity Guide Dogs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
If you’re given 36 square tiles, how many different combinations can you arrange them in? According to one quick calculation, it’s 7140. We’re not mathematicians, but that’s one answer we have obtained and please correct us if the number should be higher or lower. But one thing we do know is that with Putterfingers astrograss putting surface tiles that interlock to create a smooth and seamless putting green, the number of combinations is … well, a lot.
Our Supersize course has 36 tiles. In theory, you could create one very long putting hole (36 metres or 118 feet!), or a 6 by 6 square with various obstacles and multiple cups to sink the ball into. But you’ll probably want a 9-hole course with greens numbered 1 to 9 if you want your score cards to have a score for a number of separate holes. Let’s look at some of the various shapes that can be made by simply slotting the tiles together.
First, the procedure to create a minigolf hole is simple and consists of four easy steps. The image below shows the four stages:
Lay out the tiles in the desired pattern.
Join the tiles together via the dovetailed interlocks on their edges.
Add foam bumper edges, which attach with velcro.
Add obstacles and a hole.
Obviously a straight hole is the simplest option, but you can create a number of different combinations to make the holes more interesting and challenging. The foam bumpers can also be used as obstacles and for bank shots. Here are a few ideas for holes with 3 or 4 tiles.
It’s possible to get a hole in one on these designs with a bit of practice. But if you want more fiendish holes that are par 2’s or 3’s, you can get more creative and do things like this:
You won’t get 9 holes if you’re using 12 tiles per hole as in the above picture, but you can stage a putting challenge with 3 large and challenging holes similar to these, to see who can hole out with the fewest strokes.
If you hire a course and we set it up for you, we’ll usually set up 9 holes in a variety of shapes with an average of 4 tiles per hole. But with the flexibility our modular system provides, there are so many ways to set up a course that each course will be unique in its layout of tiles, bumpers and obstacles.
If you buy a course, then every time you set it out it can be different!
To find out more about our modular putting system, call 08450 570 321 or email email@example.com
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call Shelley on 08450 570 321. Check out all our courses and options at www.putterfingers.co.uk.