Minigolf breaks the ice during Freshers’ Week

Freshers' Week minigolf crazy golf
University of Hertfordshire Welcome Fest Sept 2015 photography by Pete Stevens

Universities and colleges pull out all the stops in September/October to make Freshers’ Week as fun as possible for their new intake of students. Societies scramble to recruit members, industrial amounts of beer are drunk and everybody gets to know their classmates for the coming year. A big part of the ‘ents’ budget goes on concerts and shows, but the students’ union needs to be a fun place in between these events as well.

We have found over the years that minigolf fits the bill nicely as an icebreaker during Freshers’ Week. It’s fun, colourful and as competitive as you want to make it. Students love to mingle over a round of minigolf, and it can even raise funds for charity at the same time if the students’ union organises a sponsored putt or mini-golfathon. Here are a few snaps from just two of the many Freshers’ Weeks Putterfingers have supplied.

freshers' week crazy golf hire
Photography by Pete Stevens

We can supply various sizes of course from 4 holes to 9 holes, and the putting surface will not damage floors hanks to its rubberised backing. It can be used outdoors too, anywhere with a reasonably flat surface such as a lawn, plaza or campus path. We supply everything needed: putting surface, side bumpers, putters, balls, score cards and pencils, putting cups, obstacles and hole cones. A complete portable minigolf course can fit into a standard lift shaft, so whichever floor of the students’ union it need to get to, that shouldn’t be a problem.

The putting surface tiles are square and made from astro grass on a rubberised backing. They interlock together to create a variety of different hole shapes, and this means a course can be built around existing objects and furniture – there’s no real need to clear a large space to set it up.

freshers' week crazy golf hire
Sheffield Hallam University’s Freshers Week in the students’ union foyer

So with Fresher’s Week fast approaching, now’s a good time to order a Putterfingers minigolf course hire to start off the academic year with a bit of fun. We deliver to anywhere on the UK mainland.

08450 570321

office@connectedshopping.com

www.putterfingers.co.uk

8 reasons to hire portable minigolf from Putterfingers

1. It’s portable

A complete Putterfingers crazy golf course fits into the back of an average family car, so you can drive it wherever you want to set up. No power supply is required, so in theory you could set it up on top of Ben Nevis, although obviously that would be mad. Still, it’s not called crazy golf for nothing.

Our courses are best suited to any reasonably level indoor or outdoor surface, anywhere you choose.

Portable crazy golf hire

2. Easy Assembly

No bulky wooden or metal frames to lay down. Our interlocking 1m x 1m astro grass tiles form the playing surface. Transform your garden, indoor room, office or event venue into a crazy golf course in 30 minutes!

portable crazy golf putting surface

3. Tricky Obstacles

Think our obstacles look innocent? Heh heh. It takes a steady hand to tackle the curves of the Volcano and just the right amount of speed on the ball to negotiate the twists of the Acapulco. They can challenge all ages and experience levels of minigolfer.

crazy golf obstacles

4. Hire a Course by Post

You don’t have to be beside the seaside to enjoy our crazy golf!  Our portable crazy golf hire transports easily via courier to your chosen venue so that you can enjoy for as long as you like -a one day event, a weekend hire or long term if you require.

Portable minigolf delivery

5. Any Weather (even all round British weather!)

Not just for outside, the portable crazy golf course is rubber backed and won’t mark floors indoors.  Have you an unused space – unutilised sports court, school assembly hall, hotel atrium, roof top terrace, empty office? For outdoors, rain doesn’t stop play because the tiles drain through the holes in the bottom!

portable Minigolf Putting surface

 

7. Modular Flexibility

Play Tetris with minigolf tiles! The modular nature of our courses means you can build each hole the way you want, to suit the venue and floor space available. Whether it’s 4 holes or 9 holes, the flexibility means they can fit almost any space!

Portable crazy golf course

8. Nice people to deal with!!

We always have availability, the team at Putterfingers are friendly and efficient, we strongly believe in our concept – so why not let us help you with something different at your event this year?

View our customer testimonials and see for yourself!

Crazy golf hire delivery
Putterfingers at Facebook’s London headquarters

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!

Sipsmith Distillery chooses crazy golf for team building day

team building crazy golf

Sipsmith is the first copper-pot distillery to open within London’s city limits in nearly two centuries. Since opening in 2009 the firm has been awarded the Observer Food Monthly Award for Best Newcomer and established a strong presence as a craft distiller of note. For their recent team building event at their HQ in Chiswick, London, Sipsmith’s Minister of Fun Adam Ellesmere called us to hire our Supersize course. Here’s a short video of the course laid out inside the distillery!

Using bottles as obstacles was a great idea. A minigolf ball running along the sides of the bottles made a pleasing xylophone effect as their new recruits and student applicants putted round and got to know the team. One of the great things about hiring Putterfingers minigolf is that it can be laid out wherever it is needed and customised to give it the company’s identity. It’s portable, so you don’t go to it – it comes to you!

Sipsmith are brilliant at creating a fun atmosphere to work in. Just look at their ‘meet the team’ page, with job titles like ‘Prime Minister of Fun’, ‘Ginthusiast’ and ‘Empress of Events’. It’s clear that they take employee happiness seriously (because the founding team of Sam, Jared and Fairfax are huge fun-lovers themselves). Sipsmith are the latest brand to choose Putterfingers crazy golf as the entertainment centrepiece of their team building event. To see others, including Facebook and Tommy Hilfiger, just look back through this blog.

Courses can be used outdoors or indoors. Or even in a distillery, because why not? Even if an event is in a remote field for some reason, mminigolf works perfectly because it requires no power supply, is lightweight, portable and weatherproof. It is even gin-resistant for those tricky distillery events!

So if you’re ginterested, give your employees a tonic and hire a minigolf course for your next company event. It’s sure to lift their spirits!

08450 570321

office@connectedshopping.com

www.putterfingers.co.uk

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

Office crazy golf fun at Criteo’s London HQ

Office crazy golf

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.

Here’s our blog post about last year’s event:

Putterfingers rock Criteo’s London offices!

Office party fun crazy golf

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.

Office crazy golf London

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!

office@connectedshopping.com

08450 570321

www.putterfingers.co.uk

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!

Fundraising? Stage a Minigolf marathon!

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!

minigolf marathon
Balls and scorecards ready for a minigolf marathon
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Secure a venue. It can be indoors or outdoors, as our equipment works just as well either way.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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.
  7. Order your personalised scorecards from Putterfingers. It can take us a couple of weeks to get them printed for you.
  8. Do more publicity. You can never do too much!
  9. 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.
  10. Arrange delivery and collection of your Putterfingers kit. We supply:
  • A 9-hole crazy golf course
  • Plenty of putters and balls
  • Scorecards
  • Golf flags
  • 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.

guide dogs minigolf marathon
A clever idea to promote the cause – avoid street clutter with your putter
minigolf marathon
Local dignitaries participated
minigolf marathon
The branded putting surface promoting the charity

Planning a Summer fundraising event? Call Putterfingers on 08450 570321 or email 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

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.