Chancellor’s Budget: outdoor weddings to be allowed!
We’ve all seen al fresco wedding ceremonies in the movies. Typically the vows are exchanged, or prevented from being exchanged depending on the film, on a beach, with nothing more than an arch of flowers and a celebrant forming the ‘venue’. Until now this has not been possible in England, forcing those whose hearts are set on an outdoor wedding to go to Hawaii or Florida or somewhere even more exotic. But that’s about to change.
One of the unexpected announcements in this week’s budget was a change to the laws that dictate the type of wedding venues we can get married in. It paves the way for outdoor weddings, pub weddings, restaurant weddings, even weddings at home, and it is designed to reduce the cost burden of getting hitched, a significant part of which is venue hire. Previously (since the 1830s), we have only been allowed to marry in a structure with a solid roof (not a marquee), and food and drink may not be served there. That’s why the norm is usually a service or registry office wedding followed by everybody decamping to a reception venue for speeches, food, drink and dancing. Currently, civil ceremonies must take place in register offices or approved premises that have been licensed for the purpose by local authorities.
The new law aims to make it cheaper and simpler to get married. Full disclosure: at Putterfingers we’re happy about this, because we hire out minigolf for wedding parties and if this means more people can afford to get married, then it means more business for us! Readers of this blog will know that our minigolf courses work just as well outdoors as indoors and don’t require a power supply, which makes them ideal for outdoor weddings. The courses are modular and weatherproof, easy to set up and can be shaped to fit the space available.
We’re delighted that wedding couples and their guests are going to be able to enjoy Putterfingers minigolf at a wider variety of venues!
Never one to miss an invitation to London, the Putterfingers team headed to London in preparation of 5th October to bring golf to a corporate client and twinned this with the opportunity to supply a couple of golf holes for the infamous MakeSomeNoise Charity Day, held at Global Media & Entertainment Group’s HQ in Leicester Square. Global’s media brands include Heart FM, Capital FM, Smooth Radio, LBC, RadioX, CapitalXTRA and My Gold Music, and all these stations put the fundraising campaign front and centre of their scheduling for the day, with their listeners making it happen by donating.
Organiser Wendy Nicol said, “The golf holes were a real hit with not only the staff but the canine companion we had in for the day as you can see! We will be sure to spread the word about using Putterfingers for future events.”
This year’s @MakeNoise campaign raised a whopping £4,198,678 to help disadvantaged children, young people and their families across the UK! We’re proud that our minigolf was a part of this successful fundraising drive. Here are some photos from the big day.
We’re please the fundraising event went so well and Global say they will be back for more!
The University of Salford wanted to add fun and inclusive activities to its 2018 Welcome Week, so naturally enough the called Putterfingers for a minigolf hire. What better game for students to socialise over and what better game to project the image of the University as a fun place to be? They tweeted out to invite everyone down to the sports hall and play on the Funsize course:
Putt your skills to the test and check out our 9-hole crazy golf course all day tomorrow from 10am in the Student's Union!
Set the best from the rest as you'll compete to see who's the next Tiger Woods! Please bring a spare pair of trousers, you might get a hole in one! ?? pic.twitter.com/6kuhf97gxS
We hire out minigolf courses to universities regularly for open days, fresher’s weeks, graduation days, parties, fundraising events, Students’ Union activities and sports days. All ages and abilities can play and the courses are wheelchair friendly too. Their modular design means they can be laid out to fit almost any indoor or outdoor space and can even be laid around or through other things that are going on. The putting surface consists of square astro grass tiles that dovetail together to build a wide variety of shapes, which makes it highly adaptable to any venue. Here’s a bit more info on hiring minigolf on our Schools and Colleges page.
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.
Challenge Putt: a simple way to break the ice at trade shows
Do you exhibit at trade shows? Want to attract more people to your stand and get them talking to you? A good way to hook them is with a Challenge Putt – a small mini golf hole designed to fit into a typical exhibition booth space. It offers a have-a-go putting exercise to get attendees thinking about what you do and how it relates to them. We’ll design the end board to include your logo and a brand message. When people focus on trying to get a putt through the hole, they are focusing on your brand – and they are far more likely to remember it! Meanwhile, you have a good chance of striking up a conversation with them and telling them more about what you do. It’s a simple and effective way to get more footfall through your trade show stand and interact with more people.
You can add incentives like a cash prize or something people would normally have to pay for, like a consultation, a free service or some of your product. The challenge can be to get the ball through one of the holes in the board or into the putting cup. We can suggest ideas that have worked well in the past if you’re not quite sure what to do with your Challenge Putt hole.
Our minigolf putting surface is modular, so it’s possible to make any size of Challenge Putt. For those with enough space, we can make a Challenge Putt that’s 7 or 8 metres long! Add an obstacle or two and make it a par 2 for a trickier challenge.
Businesses who want to make minigolf a regular fixture at their corporate events or have it as a breakout room perk can buy a fully branded course. From three to nine holes can be branded with your company logo, strapline, or other insignia to enhance the corporate image and brand.
To hire or buy a Challenge Putt hole for trade shows and events or to talk about a branded minigolf course, call Putterfingers on 08450 570321, email us or visit our site.
A little while back, we blogged about how pub minigolf could be the next big thing in leisure. Somebody must have heard us, because not long after that we had a call from The Hangout in Llandeilo asking to hire crazy golf for a crazy golf pub crawl. The Hangout is a vibrant venue that serves delicious healthy food and puts on a lot of events throughout the year for its regulars and their friends. The 9 hole mini golf tour started at The Hangout but nobody remembers where it finished, probably because there were drinks at each hole. We have no photographic evidence of the scene at the 9th hole, but we suspect that any reports of putting accuracy there are greatly exaggerated.
The Hangout’s patrons and their friends took the compulsory fancy dress rule and ran with it, most of them going for the PGA golfer from the 1980s look. With a drink served at every hole, it looks as if this photo was taken well into the round or after it. Or it could just be the euphoric effects of playing mini golf, which are well documented. Probably a mixture of the two. They also have Nerf gun wars and an Oktoberfest at the Hangout, which are two other reasons, if such were needed, to like this fun-loving town very much indeed.
We were more than happy to provide the mini golf equipment for their Pub Golf Day. It seems that the pub minigolf format works well for a bunch of fun-oriented folks like the residents of Llandeilo.
The Pub Golf Day was part of the Llandeilo Festival of the Senses | G?yl y Synhwyrau, a three-day binge of music, food, comedy and sport throughout the town.
Most towns have at least one festival of food, music, arts or other things. A mini golf pub crawl can add extra fun to town festivals everywhere. For hire details, call Shelley on 08450 570321, visit our pubs & hotels page or drop us an email.
Putterfingers visited Disneyland Florida earlier this month, all in the name of product research of course. Being of a putterish persuasion, a spot of minigolf at the Magic Kingdom was just the ticket for a fun-filled day.
In sweltering heat we headed straight for the Winter Summerland crazy golf course, having heard so much about it and hoping that the Winter course might offer some kind of relief from the blazing sun and 34-degree temperature.
We loved the Christmas music played throughout the really neat winter course. The winter course is full of fun surprises, so we were careful to read the signs on each course for hints. The snowman squirted water out of his nose when you got the ball in and at various points cool water jets helped us stay just the right side of boiling. We got to know some of the local wildlife, too, which isn’t officially sanctioned by Disney but tends to come along and explore the courses along with humans. In particular we made the acquaintance of quite a few lizards (real ones) which were actually pretty cute.
The mix of difficulty on the holes was reasonable, but overall the course was on the easy side, which is probably right considering that most visitors are children. We didn’t witness any putter tantrums, so the kids weren’t finding the course too frustrating.
After 10 holes on the Summer course, we were told to abandon play because of the threat of lightning! It seems that even Disneyland’s imagineers haven’t yet worked out how to control the weather. Here are a few more snaps of our Disneyland minigolf experience!
Putterfingers are thrilled to be involved in a major fundraising event in Norwich. A Funsize course graced the courtyard of the Intu Chapelfield shopping centre for a weekend as part of GoGoHares 2018 – a fundraiser to mark the 50th anniversary of local charity Break.
Break has been providing homes for vulnerable children and young people across East Anglia since 1968. GoGoHares is a sculpture trail around Norwich featuring 50 large hare sculptures and 164 leverets (smaller hares) all decorated by local artists for people to find and mark on their maps. At the end of the event, which started in June and ends in October, the sculptures will be auctioned off to raise funds for Break.
GoGoHares is the latest in a series of sculpture trails organised by Break with the help of public art events specialists Wild in Art, who organise major art trails like this all over the world and raise millions for charity. GoGoGorillas in 2013 and GoGoDragons in 2015 were similar events and highly successful in raising funds. This year there have been numerous side-attractions and things to do, including a Guinness World Record attempt at the most people dressed as a hare in one place, which must have been pawsome. Our minigolf course was one such ‘sideshow’ to the main event.
The Putterfingers course was branded ‘GoGoGolf’ and we’ve got some pictures of the course with some of the hares dotted around it. There were plenty of jokes about putting a ball down the rabbit hole, doe-nating a few bucks or going as crazy golf as the Mad March Hare.
Putterfingers were super-pleased to help out at GoGoHares 2018 and we hope that when the hares are auctioned off it will raise masses of doe for Break!
An evening at the local mini golf course is fun and challenging, and a great way to get to know your date. It’s a bit of a classic dating idea over in the USA, tinged perhaps with 1950s-type nostalgia. It’s an innocent pastime that breaks the ice and brings out people’s personalities. And it gives you something to do with your hands while you’re fighting those first- or second-date nerves. Meeting someone new is an emotional roller-coaster at the best of times, so why not simply do something fun?
Crazy golf is affordable – much cheaper than taking your date to a restaurant or even a film these days. It fosters social interaction, which is what you are after on a date, right? Almost anyone can play it as well. You might think naked bear wrestling is a cool thing to do with your date, but they might not be quite as enthusiastic. Minigolf is a tried and tested way to have simple and relatively safe fun together.
Wear sun protection – a wide-brimmed hat, or slather yourself with sun cream. You’ll be out on the course for a while and getting fried to a crisp would spoil the fun (unless it’s a ploy to have your date apply lotion to your shoulders. If so, well played.)
Don’t be over-competitive. You’re on the minigolf course to get to know someone, not just to beat them at minigolf. Celebrate their good shots as well as your own.
You can make a friendly wager at the beginning, though, like buying a drink or an ice cream afterwards.
Wear trainers, sandals or flat shoes. You know, suitable footwear for playing minigolf. No boots or high heels.
If you want a quick date, choose a 9-hole course. If you want a more extended meeting, choose an 18-hole course. If Cupid’s arrow has at least left his bow and is on its way, then go round again!
Southport man proposes to girlfriend at their favourite mini golf course
A heartwarming story reached Putterfingers Towers this week. Louisa Henry and Allan Connell are regular players at The Masters Mini Golf Course in Southport. One day after two years of playing together as a couple, Allan suddenly got down on one knee after the 18th hole and produced a small round golden item from his pocket. Louisa responded in the traditional fashion by going bright red, fanning her face and giggling uncontrollably. Luckily for Allan she then said ‘Yes!’ The happy couple were applauded by onlookers and given two free games. Here’s a photo of the moment of romance captured by the Champion Newspaper!
Minigolf is traditionally a great place to go out for a date. From the 1920s onwards, it has been a fun and friendly activity for couples getting to know each other. It brings out the kid in everyone, breaks the ice and there’s the opportunity for a bit of one-to-one swing guidance if things go well. It doesn’t matter how rubbish you are at it. In fact, it’s best to be as rubbish as possible and have a good laugh as your ball bounces off walls and onto the next hole. Even bad minigolf beats sitting rigidly in a restaurant or staring silently at a movie together!
If one thing leads to another and the Big Question gets popped, as it did with Louisa and Allan, then you’ll need a theme for the wedding. Now what could that possibly be?
Minigolf-themed weddings are great fun for guests and the happy couple alike, for the same reasons it’s good for dating: it breaks the ice and helps people get to know each other and have a good time. Plus it makes for some good wedding photos!
Putterfingers have provided minigolf at hundreds of weddings up and down the country. Give Shelley a call and find out how to book it at your wedding!
Much-loved American putting game Putt-Putt turned 64 last week and is still going strong, which shows that the U.S. putting population’s answer to the question “Will you still need me, will you still feed me when I’m sixty-four?” is a resounding “Yes!”
Some British readers might not be familiar with Putt-Putt, but rest assured it’s miniature golf, just a specific version of it that was commercialised and popularised in the USA in the 1950s. Here’s a bit of its history and one notable occurrence.
When the first Putt-Putt® course opened in Fayetteville, North Carolina in 1954, the Putt-Putt mission statement was simple and honest: “To provide families with a safe, clean, wholesome entertainment venue where they can have an enjoyable experience for a reasonable cost in their own community.” A game cost 25 cents and the courses were standardised to give as equal a challenge as possible from one course to another. Doing away with windmills, fountains and other paraphernalia, they consisted of simple geometric shapes and standardised carpet and rails to give even roll and predictable bounce. The holes are designed so that a hole in one is always possible. So it’s a game of pure putting skill and judgement.
A franchise business right from the start, Putt-Putt courses spread quickly and became a household name in family entertainment. It is still possible to apply to become a Putt-Putt franchisee! Soon the brand had its own league, the Professional Putters Association (PPA) which still exists today and offers relatively substantial prize money.
Here’s a video we’ve shared before which not only shows what Putt-Putt holes look like, but also one of the very few occasions on which a player has hit 18 consecutive aces – the perfect game (see original post here). It’s a superbly made animated video that documents the most exciting moment in the putting career of an IT manager called Rick Baird.