This weekend Putterfingers have been meeting wedding couples from across Essex and the East of England at the Chelmsford City Racecourse Wedding Show.
The show was the first we have attended since Covid and it was great to see so many wedding couples over the 2-day event.
We were demonstrating our new White Wedding-themed crazy golf course, which launched earlier this year. We were able to set up the course at the entrance to the show, as well as on our stand, so guests were able to get a good feel for how the course could look at their wedding.
The course makes an eye-catching centrepiece at weddings and provides guests with an activity to fill the gap between ceremony and wedding breakfast. We have received great feedback from both the wedding couples and the venues that have hired our course this year.
We are getting booked up for 2022 dates and even the year beyond, so weddings are well and truly back on the calendar!
Visit our website for more information and to contact our team for a quote.
Win a free mini golf course hire
At the Show we offered guests the chance to win a free hire of our crazy golf for their wedding. We can’t wait to draw the prize this Friday and let the lucky winner know!
During 2022 we will be attending more wedding shows across East Anglia. Watch this space for announcements on where you can come and view our course in action and enter to win a free hire for your big day.
We’ve got a brilliant bunch of Christmas gifts in our online store for the golfer in your life. Many of them are ideal as home stocking fillers, others are higher-priced training aids and accessories for the avid golfer that will improve their game. Quite a few of our Christmas golf gifts are priced about right for the Secret Santa at work, so if you have been drawn to give a gift to a golfing colleague, you are in the right place.
Let’s have a look at our range of gifts for the putter nutter in your life. Here’s a selection of what we are stocking for Christmas (Tee-hee!).
A fantastic stocking filler or a great main gift, the Alignment Ball is a golf ball with two halves that separate to reveal 5 metres of brightly coloured string. It can be used in a variety of ways out on the practice greens to improve alignment.
The 2021 British Championships at Strokes Adventure Golf in Margate saw a Putterfingers.com team outclassed by the very best players in the game. This is nothing to be ashamed of considering that this was only the team’s third tournament, but the desire to do better is now firmly lodged in the players’ minds.
After showing promise at the World Crazies and the Putterfingers.com Sussex Wasps Open, Jon Clarke found himself at the bottom of the Seniors table at close of play. In fairness, Jon was up against top players like Martin Greenhead and Derek Bentall, and had not previously encountered the type of holes they have at Strokes Adventure Golf. This course had multiple uphill shots where shot weight has to be carefully judged, and this was perhaps Jon’s downfall, having previously only played relatively level shots at the Hastings and Peterborough courses that required good angle judgement somewhat more than perfect ball speed. However this experience will stand him in good stead for next year.
Alf Standen and Sam Webster fared no better in the Men’s category, with over-par scores that would have looked good on a cricket scoreboard. The hole called Heartbreak Ridge was particularly aptly named for the team, with all Putterfingers.com players notching up a 7 at least once.
At the top of the leader board, multiple champion Michael Smith kept a tight rein on his scores throughout the weekend and took advantage of a couple of 37s from champion Marc Chapman to stay ahead and come home 21 under par for the win.
Competitively, then, Margate was one to forget for the Putterfingers.com team. But the experience of playing alongside the world’s best minigolfers on a challenging course will have been invaluable. It shows how tough it is in top level competitive minigolf and is a reminder of the amount of dedication and perseverance needed to become a par player, let alone a tournament winner.
None of the Putterfingers.com players were available for comment after the tournament – which reflects their disappointment, staggering naivety and determination to do better.
Outdoor minigolf centre Hastings Adventure Golf have released plans for a new indoor crazy golf course at their complex on Hastings seafront. The idea is to cover the current Pirate Golf course with a brand-new building and leave the Adventure Golf and Crazy Golf courses external. Hastings Adventure Golf say this will offer year-round minigolf family fun, day and night, in all weathers. Hastings Adventure Golf are inviting comments from the public on this project, and initial feedback on social media is mostly positive. The build is entirely funded by Hastings Adventure Golf.
Architect’s illustrations of the new building show an aquarium-like structure covering the Pirate Golf course, joined to a two-storey building housing a café and observation platform / leisure space. The observation platform appears to jut out over the existing Hastings Adventure Golf fish and chip shop. The building covers approximately the area occupied by the current Pirate Course. The architectural style is Modernist, from an era (the 1930s) when designers wanted everything to look like an ocean liner. We think it sits well on Hastings beach because its natural curves are unobtrusive and it echoes other buildings in this style along the south coast, such as Marine Court just along the beach in St Leonards, the Ocean Hotel in Saltdean and the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill. We reckon this architect has done his or her homework to make this new proposed structure fit in.
“I’d be lying if I said it won’t boost our business,” said Manager Simon Tompkins when we called him about the refurb. “But we’re throwing it out to the community for their comments to see if they agree with our view that it will reduce the seasonality of the mini golf facilities at Hastings, allow the elderly to play all year round, and provide additional catering and viewing opportunities on the seafront.”
Simon also revealed that they have come to know the building design as ‘The Cloud’ or ‘The Wave’, and that the Pirate Golf course will remain largely unchanged inside it, except for a few slight amendments to holes which might be necessary.
In an interview with the Hastings Observer, Simon said: “As a business that is owned by locals, run by locals and employs locally, we have always been incredibly aware of ensuring that anything we do has a maximum positive impact on Hastings first and foremost. This project is a large investment as part of a recovery process that the whole town is working toward and we’re very hopeful that local residents and businesses will support us in this plan to bring an economic boost to the town as well as extra jobs.”
The Putterfingers mini golf team are feeling inspired for our next tournament, the BMGA British Championship & Singles Matchplay 2021 at Strokes Adventure Golf in Margate. But why, you might ask, after our less-than-inspiring performance at the World Crazies in Hastings? The reason is our potential secret weapon: Jon Clarke. John’s mild-mannered exterior hides a sharp and deadly mini golf brain, and he is making progress with his putting that could pave the way for future success in the game.
The mini golf world does not have talent scouts as they do in football. Rarely if ever do you see men in trench coats loitering by mini golf courses, observing players through binoculars and taking down notes. Or if you do there is always an explanation that has nothing to do with mini golf and should probably be reported to the local constabulary.
But if there were talent scouts in mini golf, they would all have had their optics firmly focused on a certain Jon Clarke as he made his way round the Arnold Palmer course at Hastings three weekends ago. Because here was a man who had never before wielded a putter in anger, yet was cheerfully knocking in threes, twos and ones as if he had always been doing it. The rest of the team were pootling round the tournament with 4s, 5s and 7s wearing embarrassed looks, as complete novices do. But not Jon. He had the knack.
By our calculations, if this rate of progress was to continue then Jon would reach World Champion standard by about lunchtime next Tuesday. So, with our hopes pinned on our one and only mini golf prodigy we will soon be packing our putters and boarding the Putterfingers.com van for a trip to Margate for our third tournament.
BMGA British Championship & Singles Matchplay 2021 will be played at Strokes Adventure Golf. Established in 2005, Strokes is an outdoor mini golf course situated at the beautiful Westbrook Bay in Margate. With no team competition and all of us playing as individuals, we will thrust Jon into the limelight as our only real hope of a Putterfingers.com player getting past the halfway mark on the leader board.
In other news, team member David Hill is delighted to have bought a club-mounted ball picker upper. “After multiple 18-hole rounds, bending down to get your ball out of the hole plays merry hell with your back if you are of a portly disposition like myself”, said Hill. “If you are not very bendy in the middle or over 45 or just lazy, or all three of those things, then I do recommend getting one of these.” (Putterfingers stock the Golf Butler at £3.30 including VAT)
With excitement mounting over Team Putterfingers.com’s third foray into the world of major mini golf tournaments, it is gems of wisdom like Hill’s that the team need to gather as many of as they can in order to become better players.
Perhaps you think mini golf is more of a summer pastime, to be played at the seaside. In fact, with our hire equipment it can be played all year round because putterfingers.com crazy golf courses work indoors too. It breaks the ice and provides some warm and sociable fun on cold winter days. And wait till your hear about our special Christmas obstacles!
Our Christmas hires are so popular that we have also created a set of cheeky, fun Christmas-themed obstacles to lay out on the course. The multi-talented Snowman, gorgeous Snow Globes and baubly Christmas Trees are the perfect backdrop for a spot of festive putting, and they are a great photo opportunity too. The indoor courses come with low-bounce balls designed to stay on the course.
The Christmas Obstacle collection consists of 5 types:
Christmas Tree x2
Snow Globe x2
These unique obstacles are hand made by us and cannot be found anywhere else. You can hire them as add-ons to a mini golf course this Christmas, to give it an extra special festive feel.
You can hire the whole set or just two or three. It depends on the size of course you are hiring from us and how you want to lay it out.
When you hire a course from us, we ship the equipment on a pallet to the venue or to the address you give us, and it’s a breeze to set up. It typically takes about 30 minutes to lay out the course so that it is ready to play. This makes it easy to hold pop-up Christmas mini golf events.
Our flexible putting system lets you lay out the course to fit the venue. You can build multiple smaller holes dotted around, or a few larger holes. Many variations are possible.
Putterfingers Christmas mini golf courses come in a range of sizes to suit different venues. A course can be the main attraction at your Christmas event or a sideshow, it’s your call. And there’s sure to be a package that suits your entertainment budget as well.
Last weekend the Putterfingers.com mini golf team took on a second competitive challenge following our maiden event (the Putterfingers.com Sussex Wasps Open, which you can read about here). Rather than building up to big tournaments gradually like sensible people, we just steamed straight in and had a crack at the World Crazies, the annual festival of putting held every year at Hastings Adventure Golf.
The experience we gained was invaluable and it was amazing to watch the game’s top players in action. It is also a testament to the inclusivity and non-elitist nature of the mini golf world that we were able to enter such a prestigious tournament without having to qualify. Mini golf is truly a sport for all.
Friday saw us in the Team event, and the kindest thing that can be said is that we did not come last. A lack of preparation on our part and having a team consisting entirely of novices was never likely to result in crazy golf glory, yet we felt the sting of defeat keenly and this spurred us on to do better in the Individual event on Saturday.
Saturday’s weather was much nicer after Friday evening’s chilling breeze off the sea. The rounds went more quickly because we were three to a hole rather than six for the Team event. The stewards introduced a 30 second per shot rule to keep players flowing round the course and we did more or less stick to that, though there was something of a slowdown among the top groups as they focused harder and harder on making the cut for Sunday.
Our best player was Jon Clarke, who despite minimal practice and being new to the game (as we all are when it comes to competitive play) scored 37, 41 and 43 to end up in 32nd place in the Novice category. With regular practice and more tournament experience Jon could be one to watch.
By competing at this level, the team gained a newfound respect for the game and for those who play it well. We got hands-on experience of some of the game’s technical aspects, such as the fact that the World Crazies permit the use of only one type of ball. Each player receives an official competition ball at the beginning of the tournament and must play with that ball only. So there is none of the cleverness of using a variety of balls with different weight and bounce, as we had seen at the Sussex Wasps Open. This a great leveller that puts the focus on pure skill by eliminating tactical ball selection.
We would like to give a particular thank you to Steve Lovell, who made the time to show the Putterfingers.com team round the Crazy Golf Course during practice time on Friday with some pro tips on how to play each hole.
We enjoyed the atmosphere of the World Crazies. It was fun to be watched by passersby over the hedge, to play alongside leading players and of course to enjoy the doughnuts and ice cream from the kiosk on the course. We just might be hooked.
If you are buying or already own a minigolf course, then you’ve got the ideal game for Christmas parties and events. Bring it out every festive season if it’s a Putterfingers.com portable set or spruce up a permanent mini golf course with some tinsel for some sociable yuletide fun. But did you know that for a little more you can have a set of specially designed Christmas-themed mini golf obstacles that make the course extra special?
We have created 3 special sets of obstacles for the most requested types of minigolf hire event: Weddings, Christmas and London. These obstacle sets are unique to Putterfingers.com and have been created to provide a beautiful backdrop to events as well as provide a themed putting challenge. They offer a more focused alternative to our standard mini golf obstacles and help to carry off a successful event with a bit more panache.
The Christmas Obstacles range is unique to Putterfingers.com. Sure, our standard My Minigolf obstacles are fun and challenging all year round. But for Christmas it’s all about the festive feel, so we created this memorable (and re-usable) Christmas set to buy and keep. Check out the collection here.
You can buy the whole set, one obstacle only, or two, three or four – whatever suits your course size, layout and budget. Let’s meet the Christmas range and see which ones you want!
Snow Globes Christmas Obstacles
Skating Snowman and Nutcracker are the themes for this pack of two gorgeous snow globe obstacles. What a lovely traditional Christmas feel!
Tree & Presents Christmas Obstacle
You can’t get much more festive than this colourful Christmas Tree & Presents obstacle with a Bridge obstacle underneath it. It will light up any Christmas mini golf game.
Snowboarding Snowman Christmas Obstacle
This cheeky chappie is catching serious airtime on his board. This gnarly obstacle comes with a Maze obstacle underneath to make the shot as tricky as snowboarding.
Skiing Snowman Christmas Obstacle
This snowy fella is adopting a more traditional way to get down a mountain. No extra obstacle here, just a mousehole to putt through – not as easy as it looks.
Skating Snowman Christmas Obstacle
This chilly fellow is carving out some major fun on skates, and comes with two holes to putt through, so take your pick.
The Whole Bundle
All the above in a complete set. Make your mini golf course super festive!
If you are involved in planning this year’s Fresher’s Week activities at your university or college, why not consider adding crazy golf to the mix?
Crazy golf is now hugely popular in the UK and competitive socialising is booming in the leisure industry. Many towns and cities popular with students, may even be home to one of the latest crazy golf venues that have been popping from the likes of Junkyard Golf, Plonk Golf, Ghetto Golf, Swingers, Mr Mulligans, and a growing number of other chains.
We hire out minigolf courses to universities for open days, freshers 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.
Our equipment’s 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.
Mini golf is a great icebreaker at colleges and universities. It can be a fun addition to students’ unions, common rooms, outdoor events, open days, freshers weeks, graduation parties, fundraising events (sponsored mini-golfathons are great for that.). A round of crazy golf is an informal way for students to get to know each other and to add some casual, sociable competition to your institution.
We can supply various sizes of course from 4 holes to 9 holes, and the putting surface will not damage floors thanks to its rubberised backing. It can be used outdoors too, anywhere with a reasonably flat surface such as a lawn, plaza or campus path. We supply everything needed: putting surface, side bumpers, putters, balls, score cards and pencils, putting cups, obstacles and hole cones. A complete portable minigolf course can fit into a standard lift shaft, so whichever floor of the students’ union it needs to get to, that shouldn’t be a problem.
Putterfingers.com have been very privileged to receive some advice and tips on mini golf directly from two of the sport’s top players, Richard and Emily Gottfried. They are multiple tournament winners and their epic mini golf exploits are well recorded on their own blog, which can be found here. The Gottfrieds have given generously of their time on a Zoom call in which they helped our budding mini golf team to get off to a good start with a series of top mini golf tips and techniques. Here are some highlights from that Zoom call, followed by a write-up of the main tips and tricks by our writer David Hill.
How to get ball relief
Stuart from the Putterfingers.com team asked “What if your ball get stuck against the side? How can you get a decent backswing?”.
Most people have wondered that during a casual game of mini golf. Here is Richard’s answer.
What are the best stance and club grip for mini golf?
Putterfingers.com team member David piped up with “What is the best stance, and how exactly should you hold your putter?”
Richard provided a thorough explanation, of which this is a clip.
Armed with a mine of information from the Gottfrieds and having done a bit of research himself, our writer David Hill has summarised the top tips that anybody entering the world of mini golf needs to know. Read on for his take on things.
Mini golf – how hard can it be?
There comes a point in every minigolfer’s life when whacking the ball around and hoping for the best is no longer enough. As you’re lining up a shot it suddenly enters your head that luck has very little to do with this. You realise that everything can be controlled: stance, eyeline, ball speed, angle and bounce. You start to think technically and plan your ball’s path to the cup as carefully as a pilot flying a plane in to land. This moment of revelation is when the sport first hooks you, and before you know it the last thing you think of before falling asleep is holing out with a magnificent, perfectly-weighted bank shot for a round of 23. It’s usually around that time you buy your own putter and start spending a lot of time in Whitby.
You have two choices at this point: seek professional help, or improve your game to make your dreams a reality. Possibly both, but we’re interested in the second bit: improving your game. We’ve gathered together a smorgasbord of tips for the aspiring minigolfer, with a significant contribution from the Gottfrieds.
Get a putter that fits you.
The top of a correctly-sized putter should reach to your belt, and your hands should be in the middle of the grip. This will help you to get a comfortable and repeatable stance. Putterfingers stock a range of putter lengths for adults and children.
Walk the course before you start and take notes.
Top players have notebooks in which they record the details of every hole and their strategy for playing it. So make a habit of this when practicing on unfamiliar courses, and before tournaments. Walk each hole and note any obstacles, imperfections in the surface, cracked edges, and any other oddities that could affect the ball. Take note of water features and variations in elevation that will affect the ball’s trajectory. If it’s allowed, play some test strokes to gauge the speed of the surface.
Ball speed is everything.
Train yourself to hit the ball with a precisely measured amount of force. On a straight and level green, practice putting to a marked point four feet away until the ball stops on or very near it every time. Move up to six, eight and ten-foot putts until you can place the ball on a sixpence at a variety of ranges. Master this before experimenting with how balls break on curvy surfaces at different speeds – the faster, the less break. As a rule of thumb, though, it’s better to hit a ball a bit too hard than too tentatively and weakly, because the priority is to get close to the hole with your tee shot and the ball can bounce back towards the hole from the walls. And weak shots will deviate more on ramps and curves, which can take you towards hazards and cost you shots. Be positive and firm, but get the ball speed right.
Watch your opponents’ shots. Then win.
Unless you’re up first, you can glean valuable information on bounce strength, angles and speed from watching your opponents play their shots. This can help you to make adjustments – or copy what they did if it went well! Watching how the ball behaves when close to the hole can help you to plan your shot with precision.
Focus on form and technique, not scores.
If you are tied for the lead and terrified of dropping a shot, or in any other pressure situation in minigolf, it won’t help you to worry and stress about missing. Why? Because it’s a sure-fire way to make you miss!
If you have practised enough, you will know how to strike a ball towards a hole. Any mental distractions from this ‘muscle memory’ skill will make you change something in an attempt to hit an ‘extra-good’ putt. So tune out everything including the score and your opponents, and trust your putting technique, with nothing but the present shot in mind. Some players say ‘practice as if you were competing, and compete as if you were practicing’.
Win with positive self-talk.
Don’t think about missing. Only think about sinking the ball. In fact, don’t think at all. Just focus, visualise the ball falling into the cup, and trust your subconscious mind to execute the shot perfectly (this comes after a lot of practice). See yourself as already having reached your goal, even if it sounds ridiculous to your conscious mind, because your subconscious will eventually believe it. Maybe something like ‘I am British minigolf champion. I score really low every time I play because I have a knack for finding the right ball path. I’m just an awesome shot. I’m fully prepared and mentally calm. It’s normal for me to win. I shoot more aces than anybody else’, etc.
To inspire you, here’s an excellent little video telling the story of a perfect 18 at Putt-Putt scored in 2011 in America. Now that was a win!