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.

 

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!

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 !

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

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.