How much do you know about mini golf? (Quiz)

Crazy golf quiz

This week we came across a nice little quiz on clickondetroit.com that tested our knowledge of minigolf’s history and organisations. We got 9 out of 10 but we blog about this all the time so maybe it wasn’t fair. Why not head over to take the quiz and come back for a walk through the 10 questions? Here’s the original quiz.

How did you do? Tell us on Twitter. If you got 10/10, read no further. You are awesome. Go forth and play crazy golf. 9/10 and under, read on (or go forth and play crazy golf – the weather is great today!)

  1. In the Macaulay Culkin/Ted Danson film Getting Even With Dad, what is the prize if Danson’s character wins? Why, the location of the stolen coins, of course. Here’s a grainy clip from the film.
  2. The World Minigolf Federation is headquartered in which city? Why, Gothenburg, of course.
  3. In 2008, David Pfefferle entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the most mini golf holes played in 24 hours. How many did he play? An astonishing 4,729. That’s a rate of play of 3.28 holes per minute! Pfefferle walked 55 miles in his 24 hour marathon in Ohio and raised £6,000 for charity.
  4. The WMF has how many registered members? We picked 40,000 which turned out to be right. One possible answer was 1,000,000. Maybe one day there will be that many.
  5. The US has 2 organisations that hold national tournaments: true or false? True! They are the Professional Putters Association and the US Pro Mini-Golf Association.
  6. By the late 1920s, there were 150 rooftop minigolf courses in this city. Easy: New York. When Thomas McCulloch Fairbairn invented a playing surface specially for mini golf – a mixture of cottonseed hulls, said, oil and dye – it became possible to apply a puttable surface almost anywhere. Smooth when trodden down, good for putting and colourful, the new surface was enthusiastically applied to rooftops across the city during the crazy golf boom of the 1920s.
  7. Which former Beatle played mini golf in the 1973 film That’ll Be The Day? It was of course Ringo Starr (To our eternal shame this is the one we got wrong! We thought it was George Harrison for some reason.) And here’s proof (see below): Ringo and David Essex mooching around next to the crazy golf course in a clip from the film.
  8. The first documented minigolf competition took place in 1930 at which location? Why, Chattanooga, Tennessee of course. It was at Garnet Carter’s Fairyland Inn on Lookout Mountain and was the foundation for his 1920s Tom Thumb Golf empire.
  9. In the 2017 world player rankings, every female and male player ranked in their respective top-50 lists was from this continent.  Why, Europe of course. Here are the 2017 rankings.
  10. True or false: Joseph and Robert Taylor of Binghamton, New York are credited for building the first set of minigolf courses with obstacles. It’s … true. The brothers were responsible for introducing the windmill to miniature golf. Before their castles, wishing wells and windmills, mini golf courses had banks, curves and hillocks, but not these kitschy objects.

Interestingly, somebody has tracked down the course used in the film and as far as we know it is still there (correct us if that’s wrong.)

If you got 8 or more right, you are a minigolf anorak and can be proud.

9 or 10 … we are not worthy.

6 or 7 … Not quite an anorak. More of a kagoule.

Less than 5 … have you been paying attention at all? If it’s because you’ve been out putting, we’re fine with that.

 

 

Minigolf tops granddad Lionel’s bucket list

A heartwarming minigolf tale

In April Putterfingers got a call from Donna Gooderham, a lady whose grandfather Lionel is in the process of working through his bucket list. Lionel has always been a fan of crazy golf, having played on many courses in various countries whilst on holiday. It seems that he’s well and truly bitten by the putting bug, because top of his bucket list was a family game of minigolf!

As a birthday treat Donna arranged to hire a 9-hole course from Putterfingers as a surprise for Lionel. So, on the hush, we arranged for Donna to pick up the course from our premises (our delivery van would have aroused curiosity.) True to the Putterfingers promise, the whole course fit into Donna’s Honda CRV and she headed to her Nanny and Grandads house early on the Saturday morning and with the help of other family members set up the course just before Lionel came downstairs for his morning coffee. Fair to say it was a great surprise and the whole family had a fab time playing all weekend, obviously Lionel with all his experience playing abroad being the overall winner!

crazy golf bucket list
Lionel lines up a putt on his birthday surprise course with family members

 

Crazy golf granddad minigolf surprise
The whole family joined in!

We loved Donna’s idea and we are so happy that Lionel’s birthday weekend was a roaring success for the family. Donna has thanked us for the hire and is talking about hiring from us again – indeed, it might become a regular thing for Lionel and his family!

 

Footpool: coming soon to Putterfingers!

Let’s have a little sing-song to the tune of ‘Football’s Coming Home’ …

footpool

Why the daft song? Because THIS is coming soon to Putterfingers: [Update 09 May 2018: it’s here!]

footpool hire

Yes, it’s footpool – the blend of soccer and pool that is taking the nation by storm. And it’s available very soon from Putterfingers. Our version has ‘spots and stripes’ balls, just like the pool played in pubs. But the difference is, this pool table is 14 feet long and you play with your feet. There’s no learning curve at all to get playing, but it takes a bit of skill to build a break and pot the black.

The playing surface is ‘grippy’ and non-slip for safety, and the balls are low-bounce futsal balls designed to stay in play on this table. All the physics of pool are there – bounce and spin work like they do on a pool table. But you won’t need any chalk and there’s no offside rule. Everybody reckons they’ve got a bit of footy skill, which makes this game a compulsive winner at events, weddings and parties because pretty much everyone wants to have a go as soon as they see it.

A typical game is fairly short, which means guests don’t spend too long waiting for their turn. The cushions are wide enough to stand on to take a shot when the ball is tight against them, which we think is a good feature.

We deliver a table to you and set it up, so all you need to do is hire it, tell us the date, and let your guests have fun playing footpool!

We reckon it’s nearly as much fun as minigolf, which coming from us is really saying something.

footpool
Probably the least age-specific game there is.

 

footpool wedding hire
Footpool is an easy way to add extra fun to a wedding party.

We’ve already got the equipment and we’re going to add it to our website soon – but footpool is available to hire now! Call us for all the details if you are planning an event or wedding party (indoors or outdoors). 08450 570321

Or request footpool hire details from us at office@connectedshopping.com

Summer event minigolf hire – guaranTEED fun!

Another Summer is nearly here (don’t laugh, it is on its way despite widespread belief to the contrary). For that quintessentially British Summer guest entertainment event, the garden party, what can a host add to the Pimm’s and cucumber sandwiches to make it a memorable day? Some kind of lawn game is a good idea – they are sociable, fun, and just competitive enough to reveal a bit about your guests’ characters, or reinforce what you already knew about them, which is all good for a bit of sun-drenched gossip around the barbecue.

Summer crazy golf hire UK

But you don’t want your guests to work up too much of a sweat, otherwise they’ll get through all the Pimm’s in no time and someone will have to be dispatched to the shops for more. So what’s the perfect genteel game that guests of all ages and fitness levels can enjoy playing without too much physical effort?

We were stumped for a while by this question, then after a long and arduous brainstorming session it finally hit us. How about some smaller version of golf? It could be played in any size of garden, with a series of challenging holes that could be laid out in a variety of patterns. Guests could compete round the course, which could be 3, 9 or 18 holes, whilst never straying far from the drinks table. Brilliant! We had nailed it. The perfect formula for Summer garden party entertainment.

We’re Putterfingers, we’ve been doing this for ten years, and we’ve helped turn lots of garden parties into super fun events with our minigolf hire service. We’ll deliver and collect, and even set it up for you if you aren’t too far away from our base in Norfolk. The astro grass putting surface has lots of little holes in it under the grassy surface, so it drains when it rains. Summer showers are not a show-stopper and play can resume immediately after a soaking. No putting in puddles!

We provide everything needed for a game of minigolf: Astro grass tiles that dovetail together to form the putting surface, foam bumpers that go round the edges to keep the ball in play, putters (duh!), balls, obstacles, putting cups, hole markers, scorecards and pencils.

Planning a Summer event? Get in touch NOW for availability and hire details!

08450 570321

Email Putterfingers

Visit our site

Is the minigolf pub crawl the next big thing in leisure?

minigolf pub

Minigolf boosts business in pubs, bars & hotels

A recent article from the Daily Mail Group was titled ‘How Crazy golf has ousted fashion at shopping centres: Leisure replaces retail in the fight back against online shopping‘. If you want to read it, we’ll wait. But basically it goes on about how leisure brands ‘like’ minigolf (there’s nothing else like minigolf!) are the new in thing in retail. As regular readers of this blog will know, crazy golf emporia are springing up in city centres at an impressive rate and raking in money as the nation goes minigolf loopy.

This supports what we already know: minigolf is a proven formula for making money. The public loves it and it ties in well with food and drink. For years we’ve been hiring our minigolf courses to pubs and hotels to help them pull in custom and sell more of their stock-in-trade. If you run a pub or hotel and would like to give your customers some extra fun, here’s how to hire or buy a minigolf course from us. But we’ve just stumbled across an idea from the USA we think is even more brilliant, that could work well over here. Here it is … drum roll … the minigolf pub crawl!

Over there they call them ‘Barstool Opens’. Here’s an example from an excited local paper that gives playing tips for each of the 17 bars and restaurants hosting a hole. Why there weren’t 18 we don’t know; maybe one of them pulled out at the last minute. Or maybe the town only has 17 bars and restaurants. But if you had a beer at the first 17 minigolf joints, you’d be past caring anyway.

minigolf pub crawl

One hole per watering hole

We reckon it’s a great idea. The pubs and bars in a town or neighbourhood can agree to host one hole each – one hole per watering hole, so to speak. With enough publicity, they will all get more business. The cost of hiring or buying a minigolf course can be split between the establishments, making the cost to each venue very low. If single pubs, bars and hotels can afford to hire or buy (and they do, often hiring for short one-off events and buying for the longer term or for regular events), then it is more than affordable to a group of them who are pooling their resources. Putterfingers provide everything needed for a minigolf pub crawl: 18 holes with obstacles, putters, balls, scorecards and pencils.

 crazy golf pub crawl

If a minigolf pub crawl sounds like something you’d like to be involved inn (pun intended), give us a call on 08450 570321 and we’ll give you the lowdown on how to light up the pub trade in your area. Buy your customers a round – of minigolf!

Crazy golf hire for pubs and hotels

 

Putterfingers rock Zone Digital with TWO office parties

Buy your staff a round – of minigolf!

Our customer Zone Digital have just thrown a double Putterfingers minigolf party – two office parties at the same time, one in London and one in Bristol! Bristol hired a Supersize course and London hired Funsize. Here are some photos of the fun at both events and a bit of feedback from Zone Digital on how happy they were with their minigolf hires.

Being digital peeps, the folks at Zone couldn’t resist adding these cute AR characters to our minigolf course!

 

Crazy golf office parties
There was a live link between the two office parties and staff competed on a joint leaderboard connecting Bristol and London.

Zone Digital set up a live link between the two venues so that players in London and Bristol could all compete on the same live leaderboard. We love that idea. In theory, any number of venues could be linked like this, making distance no object. And the Zone Digital party worked so well, it could be scaled up. A whole company’s staff can all play at the same time and compete directly without having to travel to a distant venue. A company-wide putt-a-thon! How’s that as an idea for your next corporate bash? Give us a call and we’ll arrange it!

crazy golf hire office parties
100% fun was had

For this double hire, Putterfingers delivered the equipment to London and Bristol and set out the courses for the event.

Here’s what Ben Wallace from Zone Digital told us after the events:

“The event went really well, Can you thank the two guys that came to Bristol, they did a fantastic job. Will definitely recommend Putterfingers to others.

Thanks a lot for making it so easy.”

Minigolf obstacles London
Some of the London landmark-themed obstacles on the London course

 

Minigolf office party
This is an angle on a Putterfingers course you don’t see every day!

Thank you to everyone at Zone Digital!

Got a corporate event coming up at your company? Get in touch!

Putterfingers.co.uk

office@connectedshopping.com

08450 570321

Why are abandoned minigolf courses so creepy?

Look on my minigolf course, ye mighty, and despair!

The whole idea of adventure golf is to get ‘lost’ in a far-away world that takes you away from your mundane existence. So when the courses themselves get lost, i.e. abandoned, there is a very special feel to them as the observer becomes doubly lost. Walking among the gaudy, peeling obstacles, the ghostly laughter of players from the course’s sunlit heyday can almost be heard. It speaks directly to the soul about how brief our enjoyment is, and leaves us with a profound sense of  … something or other.

Creepy abandoned minigolf courses
This YouTube video gives some examples of creepy abandoned minigolf courses.

Why are abandoned minigolf courses so creepy? It’s hard to put your finger on it really. Philosophers and writers have tried to pin down our fascination with decay for a long time. Nietzsche had a stab at it with his musings on cultural decadence in Twilight of the Gods, and in the books The Aesthetics of Decay and The Memory of Place: the Phenomenology of the Uncanny, Dylan Trigg explores the thrill of decay in chapters with titles like An Uncanny Memory, An Impossible Nostalgia, Dark Night of the Soul and The Post-Industrial Sublime. Going back a bit further, the Romantic poets nurtured a love for the wild and abandoned. The most famous example is probably Shelley’s Ozymandias, a tale of hubris and destruction featuring the crumbling statue of a once-great king lying in a desert.

Creepy abandoned crazy golf courses
The statue of Rameses II, thought to be the inspiration for Ozymandias.

It’s funny how so many adventure golf courses feature Mayan temples, Inca gods, dinosaurs, pirates and jungle themes. And that’s before they are abandoned! It’s almost as if they are foretelling their abandoned creepiness before it has even happened.

This all ties in with the urban exploration craze. Abandoned factories, tunnels and fairgrounds attract slightly weird yet understandable people who want to go on adventures that make the hairs on their necks stand on end. Post-industrialist urban decay is a fertile place for the imagination, so in a sense, those old derelict crazy golf courses just keep on giving.

Here are some links to photos and videos we’ve found on the web that feature abandoned crazy golf courses. If they give you a thrill, you’re probably an urban explorer at heart. Where is your nearest abandoned crazy golf course? Here are some in the UK visited by Richard Gottfried’s The Ham and Egger Files.

Hole In None: 12 Abandoned Miniature Golf Courses

A good slideshow of abandoned crazy golf courses: http://nextimpulsesports.com/2016/06/01/abandoned-mini-golf-courses-are-both-creepy-and-oddly-fascinating

More creepy abandoned minigolf courses: http://www.placesthatwere.com/2015/12/creepy-abandoned-miniature-golf-course.html

And more: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/galleries/The-worlds-eeriest-abandoned-theme-parks/

We would like to stress that out minigolf courses are not creepy. They’re fun! Here’s info about Minigolf course hire in the UK from Putterfingers.

 

 

Perks at work: employees love minigolf

Go beyond doughnuts and be like Google! Offer your staff one of the best perks –  minigolf

An article titled The Power of Perks in Incentives Magazine states that employee performance and business revenue can be significantly boosted by employee wellbeing packages including office games. One company in Australia, it reports, calculated that on every $1 it spent in a 12-month period on perks including a games room, $11 was returned. It’s now a certainty that increasing employee engagement is a ‘hidden pay check’ that can be seen as cutting salary costs dramatically. According to research by Nuffield Health, 87% of finance and HR directors in UK companies with over 1000 employees indicate that health and wellbeing is being discussed at board level and 41% view it as a strategic priority.

Minigolf as an employee perk
Show employees some love, and they’re more likely to love you back

Office minigolf is good for employees’ health and morale. It can be installed in a break room or even in the offices themselves, along corridors and in between desks. Putterfingers courses are designed for ultimate portability, so that they can be put away when not in use on a floor footprint of just 1 x 1.5m – e.g. under the stairs or in a store room. An entire course fits into a standard lift shaft, so no building is minigolf-proof!

Go beyond a weekly box of doughnuts (or bananas, if you’re a healthy-eating company) and give workers a real perk: a game to play in the office that anyone can have a go at whenever they like. In our experience, employees get creative with an office minigolf course, adding their own obstacles and tweaks, rearranging the interlocking floor tiles to create new shapes and challenges, or making up their own game rules. It’s a constant source of fun and creativity, and gives people a reason to talk to each other where without it they might not. So it’s great for teambuilding.

Office games perks teambuilding crazy golf
Having a minigolf course in an office gives employees a chance to let off some steam, be a bit competitive and enjoy a fun ambience.

Branding the course to the company helps people to equate the company with fun, which boosts morale. Show employees some love, and they’re more likely to love you back. Some high-profile companies, such as Google and LinkedIn, have minigolf courses in their offices, and Putterfingers have hired to Facebook for their staff events. So be like Google. Make your company one of the best to work for.

Putterfingers minigolf courses can be set up indoors or outdoors, and the modular nature of the courses means that they can fit around existing furniture and office layouts. They require no power supply and can be taken down in minutes when necessary. We supply everything that is needed: interlocking astro grass floor tiles, putters, balls, obstacles, cups, marker cones, scorecards and pencils. And we’re happy to add branding to the course to improve employee engagement, morale and productivity.

For hire and purchase info, email office@connectedshopping.com or call us today on 08450 570321.

 

Professional minigolf – yup, it’s a thing

Professional minigolf – looks easy? Try it!

Professional minigolf putt-putt crazy golf
Measure twice, putt once

As you pootle around your local adventure golf course surrounded by animatronic dinosaurs, sinking a hole in one is usually a happy accident rather than an all-consuming goal. Crazy golf is fun, right? A social pastime for family days out, dating and business teambuilding days. We seldom spare a thought for those whose entire lives have been consumed by the plasticky rattle of the ball falling into the cup after a single stroke of the putter. Yet these fevered souls are out there in growing numbers, and the best of them are making money at it. Meet the professional minigolfer.

Pro players will take a couple of days before a tournament to scope out the course, take detailed notes on each hole and plan their shots. The planning is as meticulous as for other pro sports, including ‘big golf’. Prize money is an mini as the game itself, but the glory has no price. When professional minigolfer Matt McCaslin won the 2014 USPMGA Open he walked away with $4,000, and the prize purse for the 2018 Masters is $20,000, so it’s not exactly to be sneezed at. But you’ve got to be really, really good to get in the money.

How do you get that good? You turn pro and practice, practice, practice. Pros spend 8 to 12 hours a day getting the feel right, watching how the ball breaks, deciding on shot strategy, preparing for tournaments.

Pro minigolf, pro putt-putt, professional miniature golf
Players duke it out at a pro tournament in the USA

So pro minigolf is predictably dominated by middle-aged men, right? Well, a lot of the USPMGA‘s top-ranked players come from the world of Putt-Putt and are male and, yes, quite a few are middle-aged. But one good thing about the sport is that it’s open to all ages and genders. In 2013 Olivia Propokova, a Czech 18-year-old, won the triple crown: the Master’s, the U.S. Open and the World Championships. But then she is a bit special, a real fighter and lionized by her fellow pros. She’s also a heroine back in her home country and has landed sponsorship deals and has her own line of clothing.

“I don’t think any us at this level think of it as a hobby – we take it really seriously as a professional sport,” says Brad Lebo, a 55-year-old Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, dentist who’s earned about $145,000 putting professionally since 1991. “We like to think we’re the best at what we’re doing in the world. Unfortunately, we’re just in kind of a niche.” [pga.com]

Here’s a video featuring Matt Male, a minigolf professional who won the 2015 Masters, talking about preparation and the pro minigolfing life. The uncharitable comments on the YouTube video show how far minigolf has to go to be taken seriously as a professional sport by the general public. It probably never will. But there is no doubting the seriousness and commitment if the players themselves. They’re hooked, far beyond help, and they probably feel pity for the ignorant YouTube commenters who have never felt the thrill of a really cracking minigolf score. Haters gonna hate, putters gonna putt.

Got an event coming up? Brighten it up and make it fun by staging your own minigolf tournament! Hire a course from Putterfingers. Details here

Unmissable minigolf events 2018

Small golf, big events

Minigolf events 2018
How hard can it be? Here, hold my beer

Whether you fancy your chances with a putter or want to experience the tension of minigolf events as a spectator, there’s plenty happening this year around the UK. So here are some dates for your calendar if you don’t want to miss out on all the hot competition and good, hole-some fun. Watch top players in action or enter a tournament and try to become a top player yourself!

Planet Hastings Crazy Golf Open

4th March 2018

Minigolf events 2018 Planet Hastings Open

Spread across the three courses at Hastings Adventure Golf – the Adventure, Pirate and Crazy Golf Courses – this popular fixture is a festival of minigolf. Entry fees are ‘austerity friendly’ and payable on the day, but to participate you need to contact Planet Hastings Crazy golf to officially enter. Otherwise just get down there, loaf around with an ice cream or some fish and chips and watch the players sweat out the tournament.

The English Open

25th March 2018

Minigolf events 2018 English Open

Nottingham’s Lost City Adventure Golf hosts this event for the fifth consecutive year. The action will take place on the Sacred Skull and Temple Trail courses, which ordinarily feature talking statues and an artificial lightning storm. We’re not sure whether these features will be activated during the tournament! If you get put off your shot by unexpected jungle happenings, you can drown your sorrows at the Tiki bar.

The British Masters

22nd April 2018

Minigolf events 2018 British Masters

Mr Mulligans Dino Adventure Golf course in Sidcup is the venue for the 2018 British Masters. It’s a four-round classic that sorts the men from the boys in minigolf. If you like the idea of putting or watching others putt surrounded by giant prehistoric reptiles, this is your kind of event … if you make it back alive. The winner gets to wear the coveted – and possibly bloodstained – tweed jacket.

The British Championships

12th and 13h May 2018

Minigolf Events Hastings British Championships 2018

It’s back to Hastings for the British Championships. Played on the Pirate Course, this is one of the major minigolf events. There are men’s, women’s, senior and youth trophies. Hastings has seen some spectacular minigolf action, having hosted the British Champs in 2012 and 2015 and the World Minigolf Championships in 2017. Soak up the action at the mecca of minigolf.

The Midlands Open

28th July 2018

Minigolf Events Midlands Open 2018

Held at the Four Ashes Golf Centre in Dorridge on their brand new 18-hole course, this promises to be a cracking tournament. It’s a three-rounder all on the Saturday so play will be intense as players won’t get an overnight break. Registrations are handled by the Midlands Minigolf Club.

The Sussex Wasps Open

2nd of September 2018

Minigolf events Sussez Wasps Open

The Sussex Wasps Open will once again take place at the Dobbies Garden Centre course in Peterborough  on Sunday 2nd September. Sussex Wasps are a very active minigolf club that has nurtured a lot of talent and produced several champions.

The British Open

15th and 16 September 2018

Minigolf Events 2018 British Open Margate

Strokes Adventure Golf in Margate is the venue for this top event and it will be the seventh time it has been held there. Described as ‘minigolf heaven’ on TripAdvisor, Strokes is a worthy venue for this major tournament.

The Kent Open

11th November 2018

Minigolf events 2018 Kent Open

Mr Mulligan’s in Sidcup hosts its second big tournament of 2018 in the final club open of the season.

The Star City Open

2nd of December 2018

Minigolf events 2018 Star City open

One of the nation’s favourite minigolf events takes place at Star City in Birmingham. Thankfully it’s indoors, so the December temperatures won’t be a problem. The season’s finale, it is played on the Lost Hut Trail course. 2018’s last chance to prove yourself at a big minigolf tournament! Or to watch others prove themselves as you enjoy the surroundings and food.

All events are listed on the BMGA website so check there for updates as the year progresses.

Why not stage your own minigolf tournament with a Putterfingers course hire? Minigolf events of all sizes are always loads of fun. Instead of going to a course, we send the course to you! Find out more here

0845 0570321

office@connectedshopping.com

www.putterfingers.co.uk