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

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

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.

 

Create your own minigolf puzzle!

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.

Create, minigolf putting green, minigolf putting surface, eternite, astroturf, astrograss, crazy golf putting green

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.

Create minigolf putting green 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:

Crazy golf putting green tiles combinations

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 office@connectedshopping.com

Happy days for 2 new crazy golf courses

Ghetto Golf is number one attraction in Liverpool

Ghetto Golf Liverpool minigolf course

Ghetto Golf, the new themed crazy golf extravaganza in Liverpool, has been listed by a local paper as the number one new thing to do in the city.

The Liverpool Echo has published a list of 15 things you can do in Liverpool that you couldn’t do a year ago, and Ghetto Golf comes in at number one, above gin tours, new stores, the British Music Experience Exhibition, Nerf guns, new restaurants and new nightclubs. It seems crazy golf is ‘bigger than Jesus’ in Liverpool, to quote John Lennon.

We blogged about it back in November just before it opened and it’s great that it is a success. The 18-hole crazy golf wonderland has a cocktail bar and street food stand and can be found in the old Cairns Brewery, Upper Parliament Street. The brainchild of locals Danny Bolger and Kip Piper, Ghetto Golf makes full use of the large indoor space the old brewery provides. Players putt through a full-size house, a hippy caravan and an old sailing boat, to the music of a DJ perched in a treehouse. It’s a surreal and anarchic crazy golf experience that Liverpudlians love.

UK’s most Northerly minigolf course contributes to Orkney tourism

 

Burray Orkney Minigolf Course

Here’s another new minigolf course we blogged about last year that is doing well. It’s the most Northerly course in the UK, at Burray on Orkney.

Orkney has seen a boom in tourism during 2016. VisitScotland Island manager Barbara Foulkes said, ‘ … Orkney has enjoyed one of the best years for tourism in recent memory, with accommodation providers, attractions and other businesses all reporting increases in business in 2016.’

She partly attributed some of this success to the Burray minigolf course. ‘A culmination of a year-long effort by the local community, the 12-hole course made headlines across the country when it opened in April and Britain’s most northerly crazy golf course went on to become a big hit with locals and visitors alike.’

We’re chuffed to bits that these new, permanent minigolf attractions are doing well. With minigolf so popular and such good fun for guests, why not have your own minigolf course? We provide the UK’s leading portable modular minigolf courses that can be set up anywhere in minutes. We provide everything you need including putting surface, putters, balls, obstacles, hole markers and scorecards. If you are planning an event, wedding or party in 2017, give us a call to find out more on 08450 570 321 or email office@connectedshopping.com.

Visit the Putterfingers store

Minigolf is ideal for charity fundraising!

Minigolf charity fundraising
A minigolf fundraising event can be indoors or outdoors

Everybody likes playing minigolf, which makes it the perfect activity for fundraising events. Here’s an example from the USA of how one boy staged a minigolf tournament to raise funds for a Multiple Sclerosis charity because his grandfather has the disease. The event raised over $10,000 for the charity through a $20 playing fee and private donations made by participants. 50 people attended the event, which is a good but not huge number, and generated donations in five figures. Not bad for a game of minigolf!

It’s fairly simple to organise a minigolf fundraising event or ‘mini golfathon’. You need enough equipment to keep golfers moving round the course instead of waiting, but 6 to 9 holes is enough unless you are completely overrun with players. The main part is the preparation work beforehand: visiting local sponsors and canvassing them to attend or sponsor the event.

crazy golf fundraising for charity

minigolf charity fundraising sponsorship form

If your event is anything like as successful as the one described above, the cost of hiring the minigolf course will be covered in the first hour or two and the rest will be funds raised for your chosen cause. You can get local companies to sponsor an individual hole in exchange for some advertising on a backdrop to the hole (we can help with printing company logos and artwork onto these).

We suggest the mini golfathon format in which players seek sponsorship for each hole they manage to play within a defined time period. If you have a 9-hole course then four times round the course in two hours is a reasonable target. The more energetic players can go for fifty holes. If you have 50 players playing 36 holes with 10 sponsors each offering 20p per hole, this will raise £3,600 assuming they all finish the four rounds. If sponsors offer more per hole or if you have more players, the amount raised can go up and up. Players who arrive without sufficient sponsorship can be asked to pay a fee for playing which also goes into the kitty.

A successful mini golfathon can become an annual event. Anyone from 8 to 80+ can play and it can’t be rained off, though it would be a bit soggy. The only barrier to success is the number of sponsored players and their ability to raise sponsorship.

Give us a call on 08450 570 321 to see how we can help you to organise a minigolf fundraising event.

More about minigolf at www.putterfingers.co.uk

Mini Golf fundraising
At 30p a hole that’s … ker-ching!

 

 

Minigolf in the movies

Minigolf is such a popular pastime that it has often been featured in films. The fantastic, surreal environments of adventure golf courses are inviting settings for filmmakers to have their characters exchange dialogue or conjure up some slapstick moments. Some films are all about minigolf, but in others the courses are used as backdrops while the characters pootle around with their putters developing the plot.

Here are seven films that we could think of. We’ve tried to include films in which minigolf plays a significant role. If you think we have missed an obvious one, head over to our Facebook page and let us know.

1. Life, Death and Minigolf

Definitely a B-movie, but minigolf features big. You could say that B-movies and minigolf go hand in glove since both are a little way off the beaten track.

2. Legends of Minigolf: The Flamingo’s Challenge

Jeff is a young man trying to get his life back together. With the aid of his girlfriend, Jenna, he’s re-enrolled in school at Utah Valley University and is determined to make things work this time. However, when an eccentric mini-golfer by the name of The Flamingo challenges him to an exhibition match, Jeff develops an obsession that begins to tear his world apart.

Minigolfers who have watched the sport gradually come to dominate their lives can probably relate.

Legends of Minigolf: The Flamingo's Challenge

 

3. Happy Gilmore

A better-known film starring Adam Sandler, in which a rejected hockey player puts his skills to the golf course to save his grandmother’s house. Here’s a slapstick minigolf scene that takes place as our hero is trying to improve his short game.

4.  Overboard

Goldie Hawn helps Kurt Russell to land a construction job for a miniature golf park by suggesting a theme of famous world landmarks, and prepares sketches that sell the concept to the investors.

Here is a very short clip from the film as Russell’s character is pitching the concept to investors.

It's the Wonders of the World miniature golf course.

5. Getting Even With Dad

Macaulay Culkin is a cocksure brat who frustrates his dad (Ted Danson) by various means, including minigolf. This is the best clip we could find – sorry about the quality.

6. That’ll Be The Day

Ringo Starr played minigolf in this film. Here’s an interesting video about a search for the Isle of Wight course that was featured in the film.

7. Putterfingers: The Movie

We had to include this classic. Shelley from Putterfingers stars in Putterfingers: The Movie a demo video on setting up a portable, modular Putterfingers minigolf course. She ramps up the dramatic tension superbly. Great acting skills Shelley!

For all your minigolf needs, visit us at www.putterfingers.co.uk.

 

Jingle Balls: Winter minigolf action around England and Wales

A bit like caster sugar on a warm mince pie, here is a light sprinkling of places to go for some winter minigolf action this festive season. What’s on offer below should be a treat if you’re not too far from one of the venues. And don’t forget you can always stage your own minigolf event by hiring one of our portable modular minigolf courses – the top choice of private party and corporate events organisers: www.putterfingers.co.uk

In Edinburgh on the 10th and 11th of December, there’s minigolf and gourmet burgers, live music and lots of beer and cider at the Street Food Putter Club. Following its success at the Glue Factory in Glasgow, Street Food Putter Club will be at Edinburgh’s Biscuit Factory over that weekend.

street food putter club burgers
Yum

Also on the 10th and 11th of December, down on the Isle of Wight, there’ll be a winter minigolf tournament at Rylstone Tea Gardens and Crazy Golf, Shanklin.

Shanklin minigolf

http://englandevents.co.uk/shanklin-christmas-market-2016/866871

Bath on Ice is back until the 3rd of January, with glow in the dark mini golf and ice skating. Try not to confuse the two things. Minigolf on ice is a recipe for frustration.

Bath glow in the dark minigolf

Mr Mulligan’s Adventure Golf have venues in Castleford, Milton Keynes, Sidcup, Nottingham, Stevenage and Woking. Here are some festive events at Mr Mulligan’s for little ones and grown ups.

Plonk Golf, a popular purveyor of minigolf experiences in London, will be offering a variety of winter minigolf experiences including a new course opening alongside the Walthamstow Winter Feast and Beer Festival. It’s worth staying on top of exactly what they are up to by checking their site often and seeing what’s on when you plan to have your frosty festive minigolf fun.

Plonk Golf London

http://plonkgolf.co.uk/

For company Christmas morale-boosting events in Cardiff, you could do a lot worse than booking Treetop Adventure Golf. They might have a few slots left for corporate minigolf fun.

Treetop Adventure Golf Cardiff

http://www.adventuregolf.com/Treetop_Christmas_Party_Packages.pdf

Over Peckham way, don’t forget to check out the Peckham Feastival with minigolf provided by Birdies.

Birdies crazy golf Peckham Feastival

Enjoy the festive season, get your wooly hat on and see if you can get in some minigolf action.

And remember to hire your own minigolf equipment from www.putterfingers.co.uk!

Putterfingers Black Friday offer!

Ugly golf sweater

Black Friday Putterfingers crazy golf offer!

Here it is – our Black Friday offer on everything you see on Putterfingers.co.uk! With everything at 15% off until the end of Monday the 28th of November, now’s the time to buy a course, stock up on putters and balls, grab some minigolf sticking fillers, or buy a course to keep. If you are looking to hire a course, get in touch with us and we’ll work out a special package for you.

Just grab what you need and enter the code ‘blackfriday15’ at the checkout. The discount will be taken off your order. The discount covers everything you see in the store that you can ‘Buy Now’. The links below take you straight to the ranges:

All the courses: Bitesize, Funsize and Supersize

Putt-a-Round

Big Putt

Soft Golf

Step Into Golf

The Putting Edge Rope Course

Putters

Balls

Obstacles

Putting Cups

Extras

Gifts

Training Aids

Gifts For Serious Golfers

Our offer is already live and it isn’t just a measly one-day offer on Black Friday. It runs until the end of Monday the 28th of November 2016!

So get shopping, and if you have any questions or special requests, give Shelley and Richard a call on 08450 057 321 or drop an email to office@connectedshopping.com.

We always do our best to get your minigolf equipment to you as quickly as we can. With Black Friday, due to the busy period and high demand, delivery times may vary. Our minigolf elves work as hard as they can to get your orders to you as soon as is elfly possible.

While you’re waiting for our elves to pack and dispatch your order, here are some pictures of hideous minigolf sweaters to get you in the festive spirit. We don’t sell these. Try Gyles Brandreth.

Ugly Christmas golf sweater

Hideous minigolf sweater