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!
On The 18th and 19th of May the US Prominigolf Association’s U.S. Open Championship was held in Hendersonville, North Carolina. One professional player stood out in particular, a man by the name of Niko Manou. What is different about him is that he does not use a putter. Niko has a debilitating condition that causes his wrists to dislocate very easily and without warning, which is painful and makes using a putter almost impossible. Refusing to be ‘disabled’, he has overcome this by designing special attachments to his shoes that present a putter-like face to the ball – and he putts with his feet.
He calls them shlubs, a portmanteau of shoes and clubs. And they are not just for himself – he makes them for other minigolfers and sells them. Here’s the shlubs Facebook page. Niko also plays big golf with shlubs and can drive a ball quite a way. He calls this sport shloffing.
Other pro players accept Niko and respect him for his resilience and creativity, and for the simple fact that he is a nice guy. Here’s a video of Niko talking about shlubs, shloffing and what makes him happy.
The sporting world is full of examples of people who play despite apparently overwhelming odds. Though his case is completely different, Niko reminds us of another disabled American by the name of Matt Stutzman, who has risen to the top of the sport of archery despite one tiny problem – he was born without arms. Want to see how he overcomes that one? Here’s a video about Matt, the amazing Armless Archer, who shoots as well as his able-bodied peers.
While we’re on the subject, it might be worth mentioning that Putterfingers minigolf courses are wheelchair-friendly. Because the putting surface is so low, wheelchair access is easy, and people using wheelchairs can enjoy a game if they are otherwise able-bodied. The only obstacles on Putterfingers courses are the ones they have to get the ball over!
There are special putters out there for wheelchair minigolfers. The shaft hinges just before the head to enable a good putting angle from a seated position. Unfortunately we are unable to source them at the moment, but we’re trying to get a supply line to help make our courses even more inclusive.
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!
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!
Minigolf is a great addition to any event. It gets people socialising (and competing!) and can be used simply for fun, to promote a brand or message, or to raise funds for charity.
So, what types of events are we talking about? Here’s a selection of happenings where minigolf can be a fantastic ingredient to spice things up and create a memorable day.
Awards ceremonies, product launches, marketing drives, annual dinners … any business bash can have a minigolf course laid out to entertain guests. It’s the ideal activity to do while having a drink and socialising. Everybody can join in and take on the hole-in-one challenge or see who can get round the course in the fewest strokes. One caveat though: things can get competitive! It’s fascinating to people-watch at corporate events with minigolf and see who is the most competitive, who comes out of their shell more than usual, who is a good team player. Management, take note!
Open days, fetes, fresher’s weeks, sports days, end-of-term reward days, proms … they can all be livened up with a minigolf course. We deliver the day before the event and take it away the day after. If the event is on a Saturday, you get the course free for an extra day! We’ll come and whisk it away on the Monday or next working day. We’re happy to work directly with the venue if you wish, so you don’t have to worry about the logistics.
Minigolf is ideal for charity fundraising because of the wide range of people who can participate. Unlike a sponsored run, people don’t need to exert themselves too much, but just give up some of their time for a gentle putt around the course. All ages can participate. We supply a variety of putter lengths for all heights, and the courses are wheelchair-friendly, too. So really there’s no excuse for not joining in and putting for your charity!
You can organise a putt-a-thon (sponsored per hole). Get local businesses involved too – they can each sponsor a hole. We’re happy to help with branding each hole to its sponsor so they get some publicity too. For more on charity fundraising, see our page on it.
Ah, the wedding party. How do you keep everyone entertained? Will it be a flop? Not with mini golf! It keeps the kids busy by giving them something to do, and can be laid out indoors or outdoors on any reasonably level surface. We can deal direct with the venue so the bride and groom and their families don’t need to worry about the logistics of delivering, setting up taking down and taking away the minigolf course.
If you run a pub, hotel or catering establishment, what better way to get more punters in than to give them a fun game to play? You can hire a course for one-off or annual events and promotions, or buy one to use whenever you like. How about organising a minigolf league? It makes a change from darts, pool, skittles and quizzes, and your place could become the talk of your locality.
Back in June 2016 we supplied and set up a Supersize office crazy golf course at the London head office of Internet marketing company Criteo. The course was set up at their Bloomsbury offices for a social function. This year they called us again asking for a repeat performance, with ‘something a little different this time’. Happy to oblige, we created a set of special putting obstacles for Criteo’s party which depict London icons: a red bus, a red phone box, a black taxi and Tower Bridge.
We also got creative with the hole layouts to make them pretty challenging, but not ridiculously challenging, so that guests could still have fun. Maybe our photography skills are not the greatest – our photographer here got his own shadow in the frame – but it doesn’t matter, because the emphasis was on providing Criteo with the best office crazy golf experience we could. Actually the hole in the foreground is pretty fiendish, come to think of it. If you can hit a 3 on that you’re doing well, unless you go airborne to get over the foam bumpers. A well-placed book or coaster might help there!
Once again Ruby Cassin-Davies, Workplace Experience Office Manager for Criteo, was delighted with the crazy golf and she really appreciated the bespoke obstacles of London icons.
The good weather was a bonus, and with a rooftop terrace just outside it must have been a great party. Incidentally, Putterfingers astro grass interlocking floor mats are UV-treated to protect them from strong sunlight so they won’t lose their colour. So the course could equally well have been outside on the terrace. On the flipside, if it rains then the tiles will drain quickly thanks to the hundreds of little holes they have. There is never any standing water on the putting surface, so play can go on straight after a shower.
Planning an office party? Get in touch to find out our prices and hire options today!
After graduating from college a young man from Denver, Colorado has embarked on a trip across all 50 states to visit and review crazy golf courses. A minigolf fan since childhood, Dan Caprera, 23, has trekked around the States putting and fulfilling his passion for travel. He’s still out there, and is documenting his exploits on a blog, with funny and action-packed posts on each minigolf course he visits and plays.
You could say he’s an American version of our home grown hero, ‘putter nutter’ Richard Gottfried, whose similar passion has led to his visiting hundreds of minigolf courses in the UK and Ireland. His blog The Ham and Egger Files can be found here.
But Caprera has a fellow countryman of equal or even greater minigolf fame: Pat Sheridan aka The Putting Penguin. Pat has been reviewing minigolf courses since 2001 and also happens to be Editor in Chief of Minigolfnews.com. The impressive array of courses he has reviewed can be found on this Google Map.
At the moment Caprera is somewhere in Canada on his way to Anchorage, Alaska. So he seems to have reached the edge of the United States and just kept on going. Maybe he’ll putt his way right over the Arctic Circle and end up in Russia. We don’t know much about the minigolf scene in Russia, but if Caprera did find himself there, he’d blog about it. We wish him all the very best of luck, fun and adventure on his crazy golf tour.
Minigolf courses and clubs everywhere buy their putting equipment from the Putterfingers, the Minigolf Masters: putters, balls, obstacles, cups, and extras like scorecards and marker flags. We also hire out complete minigolf packages for parties, weddings, corporate events and charity fundraising. Browse our range of equipment here and our range of complete packages here.
We’d like to take this opportunity to say that we in no way recommend annoying large aquatic reptiles with sporting equipment. Especially not ours, as we like it to be returned to us in good condition. Preferably not chomped through by an enraged hellbeast from a Brazilian swamp.
Thank you, and remember we’re always here for all your putting needs.
We were pretty excited when we got the call from Facebook. What would their offices be like? Would we meet Mark Zuckerberg? We didn’t, but we just missed Bill Gates – honestly! The Microsoft legend and philanthropist had dropped in just before we got there. Cue starstruck squeals from us.
Facebook asked for a 9-hole course to grace an internal event. We dispatched James and Richard to central London to set it up. The first obstacle (pun intended) they encountered was the tight security, as you would imagine at the world’s biggest social media firm. (We can’t disclose the details, because then we’d have to kill you). Moving on, one floor of Facebook’s London offices became The Crazy Golf Clubhouse for the day, complete with signage and Facebook-branded scorecards.
Facebook went for our Fun Size Course. It was perfect for a room of this size. This is our standard 9 hole portable golf course (as the name suggests)!
The package consists of:
27 x 1msq astro grass tiles
Foam edge bumpers
Assorted obstacle pieces
9 rubber headed putters
9 low bounce balls
Scorecards, clipboards and pencils
Number cones 1-9
The courses can be hired as they are, or branded with company logos and other insignia by prior arrangement with us. All courses are also available for purchase, either to create a more permanent fixture or to store and use when the occasion demands – the equipment is fully portable and easy to set up. Our Supersize course is also a 9-holer but with more tiles to create an expanded putting surface. We also supply all the equipment you need: putters, balls, obstacles, flags – you name it! Browse our store to see what else we offer.
A minigolf course. What do you think of? Windmills, dolphins, loops – the usual obstacles? Well here’s something different. Doug Fishbone is an American artist living and working in London. He has exhibited his work at Tate Britain and created such politically-charged installations as 30,000 Bananas In Trafalgar Square (the bananas were given away to passersby when the exhibition had finished). His minigolf installation, titled Leisure Land Golf, invites nine guest artists – one making each hole – to respond to ‘The Leisure Principle’, where consumer satisfaction is prioritised at all costs. The familiar, cosy world of minigolf is juxtaposed with some hard-hitting political art. The artists include Turner Prize nominee, Yinka Shonibare MBE, John Akomfrah OBE, Hetain Patel, Yara El-Sherbini, Ellie Harrison, Candice Jacobs, Lindsay Seers, Eyal Weizman, Reactor and Doug Fishbone himself.
The artist-designed minigolf course was first shown at the Venice Bienale 2015, and will be available to play on in from April 2016 in the Main Gallery of the New Art Exchange, Nottingham.
The exhibition will transform the Gallery into a playful environment that takes visitors on an amusing and thought-provoking journey. The work invites them to ponder some of the pressing issues of our times while honing their putting skills. There’s very little not to like there from a minigolf perspective.
From the team at Putterfingers, here’s a recap on the best bits of 2015.
Strating off with January, we saw a return to Hallam Union for their annual January ‘Health and Wellness’ activity with the students. A great way to network and settle into University!
February was our first time exhibiting at the INPAS trade show in Wood Green, where we met many great contacts in the leisure and events industry. Many thanks to Peter Grand and his team for making us feel so welcome!
March saw Hever Castle hire a one hole Challenge Putt for a Putting Contest as part of a business festival. The local festival aimed to attract new visitors and members to the Hever Castle Golf Club.
In April we worked with Jackson’s Square to support the Guide Dogs charity and local sports providers in the shopping centre in Bishops Stortford. Luckily the dog hairs are easily removed from our portable course as young Elsa enjoyed the astro grass as a spot to rest!
May saw a return to the offices of Next15 Communications in Hammersmith. The quirky additions to the golf course by the client, always make the photographs sent a pleasure to view!
In June, Zurich contacted us for a bespoke branded golf course for their Zurich internal Golf Open and we supplied a Bitesize Course with branded tiles and obstacles to match their colour theme.
In July the team at Decathlon Bolton utilised our equipment for their annual event to try out new sports. They always say how both the staff and customers enjoy putting a round of 9 holes while in store!
August saw our portable golf equipment travel to Edinburgh for the Signature Pubs group. Here the Huxley Pub ran their very Pub Open. A perfect display of sinking (beers) and putting (golf)!
September was the start of our wedding fair exhibits, beginning in our hometown of Bury St Edmunds at the Take My Hand Wedding Fair. Always a great place to meet new brides to be to discuss the benefits of how crazy golf can be a fun addition to their celebrations.
October saw the students at the University of Hertfordshire enjoying a few rounds of crazy golf as part of their Fresher activities.
In November we revisited another returning client for Putterfingers at the offices of GAM, based in St James’, London for their annual mini golf tournament. Here’s their feedback:
The delivery and collection went smoothly and the packing and instructions were straightforward. Thank you for all your help, a lot of people have remarked on how great the course was. It really looked the business! I’ll be sure to contact you if we decide to do this event again next year.
In December, we were invited to set up our portable crazy golf course at Body and Soul for an event for the whole team to enjoy ahead of the festive break. This was a room full to the brim of portable crazy golf equipment!
It has been a fun an varied year for us here at Putterfingers.
There are always ways to add our portable mini golf course to your event.