Tournament number 3 for Putterfingers.com team

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.

Putterfingers.com's star tournament player
Jon Clarke competing at the World Crazies 2021

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.

Mini golf talent scout

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 singles matchplay and British Championship tournament, Margate

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.

Live results at the BMGA website

Team Putterfingers.com play the World Crazies

World Crazies 2021 Putterfingers.com team
Our rookie team did not disgrace themselves

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.

St Andrews mini 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.

Mini golf hastings obstacle
Is this hole just pure luck? Funny how the more you practice the luckier you get though.

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.

Multiple champion Michael Smith in action at hole 17

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.

Crazy golf tournament
Jon Clarke in action at hole 15 of the World Crazies

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.

Official ball World Crazies
The official ball

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.

How to win at minigolf: tips and techniques

Win win win with these minigolf tips!

How to win at minigolf and crazy golf
“This ball is going in the cup. I will win. I cannot be beaten. You’ll never take me alive, mwahahahaha etc.”

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.

Pick the putter length that fits the player

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.

University of Hertfordshire Welcome Fest Sept 2015 photography by Pete Stevens

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’.

How to win at crazy golf
Don’t let the occasion get to you at tournaments. Play as if you were practicing. Yeah, it’s easier said than done – but it works!

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!

Need some minigolf equipment? Check out our full catalogue. We’re happy to hear from you by email or by phone at 01842 337 100!

Team Putterfingers.com compete at Sussex Wasps Open!

Mini golf tournament
Striding in purposefully … only to stride out again 5 hours later a little older and wiser

Last week we blogged about having formed a pro team and entering tournaments on the mini golf calendar. True to our word, our six team members herded into a minibus last Sunday and descended on Peterborough for the Putterfingers.com Sussex Wasps Open 2021. We were honoured to be attending an event that bore our name and were made to feel most welcome by event organiser Steve Lovell and all the other players.

It was a warmish if overcast day at Dobbies Garden Centre, the course was interesting and varied, the company was good, and all was well with the world. The Putterfingers.com team found the other more experienced players very helpful – not only because they went first to show us the best line to take on each hole, but also thanks to their kindness in explaining one or two obscure rules and giving us tips on stance and shot technique. We felt welcomed by our fellow mini golfers and enjoyed the camaraderie of four rounds with other like-minded people on a Sunday in Cambridgeshire.

See the official results on the BMGA website. As expected our scores were poor because we were novices and this was our first ever competitive mini golf event. We were a million miles or more accurately, ten or twelve shots per round away from your Popes, Lovells and Kukielkas at the top of the scoreboard. As those top players slugged it out for a place in the top three, we slogged it out at the bottom to avoid coming last (That honour went to Sam. It’s all right. He only cried a little bit).

Mini golf BMGA tournament Peterborough
Tension mounts at the play-off for fourth place

The scores really didn’t matter, though. The main takeaway from this, our first mini golf tournament, was a feeling of gratitude to Steve Lovell and Sussex Wasps for organising the event and being so nice about it. It was also great to meet so many avid mini golfers and watch and listen as we learned the ropes. Our toes are now firmly dipped into the world of competitive mini golf and we are hungry for more!

The prize for winning at the Lucky Last Hole (a £50 Putterfingers.com voucher) went to Rhiannon Davison from the Welsh Minigolf Club and she got a giant presentation cheque for her win!

Prize cheque for mini golf tournament winner

Special thanks go to mini golf supremos Richard and Emily Gottfried for treating us to a pre-tournament Zoom call filled with tips and tricks, an introduction to mini golf lore and customs, some sound advice for the mini golf course and much goodwill and encouragement. Thank you Richard and Emily!

Mini golf balls
Richard Gottfried explaining different types of mini golf ball to the Putterfingers team. The halo of mini golf wisdom is clearly visible above his head.

Next weekend Team Putterfingers.com face the World Crazies at Hastings! What could possibly go wrong?

Meanwhile, for all your mini golf equipment, gifts and fun, visit Putterfingers.com!

Team Putterfingers, appearing at a mini golf tournament near you

After a decade and a half of purveying reasonably-priced mini golf equipment to the nation, putterfingers.com are now launching an audacious plan to actually PLAY mini golf, and maybe even get any good at it.

We are excited to announce a bold new era for putterfingers.com – one in which we wield putters in anger as a competitive team!

Putterfingers mini golf team
The team outside Putterfingers.com HQ in leafy Norfolk

Earlier this week this press release announced our intention to field a pro mini golf team on the tournament circuit. The main suspects are putterfingers.com staff Alf, John, Stuart, Richard, Sam and David. In this image, Laura is standing in for Richard who couldn’t make it in time to get the photo taken.

We are already booked into the Sussex Wasps Open in August and having team practice sessions. The aim is not to win but to get better at playing mini golf, have a good time and meet other mini golf addicts. Despite all our experience with selling mini golf equipment, we are not used to playing competitive tournaments. So to be honest our goal is not to come last. If we do, we will have had fun along the way and will only cry a little bit.

We are also sponsoring a prize in this tournament, which has led to the organisers kindly calling the event ‘The Putterfingers.com Sussex Wasps Open V’. We are offering a prize for the Lucky Last hole, with the winner receiving a voucher code to redeem a discount on Putterfingers.com.

Two weeks after the Sussex Wasps Open, we will be facing the best of the best at the World Crazies. Putterfingers.com will field a team of 3 players in the team event on Friday the 10th of September, and a handful of us will carry on as individuals on the Saturday in the Novice Event. This is the World Crazy Golf Championships at Hastings seafront, an event seen as the flagship tournament in the mini golf calendar. and we have never played in a competitive tournament.

NO PRESSURE THEN.

Follow our team’s exploits on this blog as the tournament season progresses. Ideally we will be gallant losers that everyone loves, like Eddie the Eagle.

Wish us luck!

National Miniature Golf Day 2021

National Miniature golf day UK 2021

One of the pleasures of being British is doing things a bit differently from the rest of the world. Miniature Golf Day is celebrated in the USA and everywhere else on the 21st of September. But National Miniature Golf Day happens on the second Saturday in May and is celebrated by minigolf geeks around the British Isles. This year it falls on the 8th of May. To thicken the plot, the second Saturday in May is also celebrated in the USA – but some sources call it National Miniature Golf Day and others call it Miniature Golf Day. Which is great, really. Because there are two opportunities a year to celebrate our fantastic sport!

The 8th of May this year is the day to head down to your nearest mini golf course, grab a putter and take on the challenge of negotiating your ball into the hole via various obstacles in the lowest number of shots you can. To find a course near you, Google ‘adventure golf’, ‘crazy golf’ or ‘mini golf’ in your area. There are all kinds of courses ranging from big, lush theme park-style adventure golf courses featuring pirates, dinosaurs and lost civilisations to smaller, more basic courses both at the seaside and inland.

Mini golf course
That looks tricky

But googling might not show you all the courses near you. The most complete list of mini-golf courses in the British Isles is without a doubt Richard Gottfried’s blog. He and his wife Emily have been playing every course they can find for years, on what they call the Crazy World Of Minigolf Tour. At the time of writing this, they have played a staggering 958 mini-golf courses, some of which are abroad but 919 of which have been in the British Isles. The blog chronicles their adventure by recording each visit. It stretches back years, so not all the courses they have played are still there, but many will be. Best to check it’s still there before heading off to a course you see on their blog! Check out their crazy adventure here.

May is also National Golf Month – meaning ‘big golf’, i.e. golf played over acres of land with a variety of clubs and questionable fashion sense. Putterfingers have just expanded their range of golf training aids for these hardy folk. For gifts for avid golfers or to improve your own game, check them out here.

Also see out list of upcoming crazy golf tournaments in the UK in 2021. At the top level it’s a thrilling spectator sport. See how the pros do it and improve your own game by watching their tactics!

For all your mini golf needs, visit Putterfingers.com

Minigolf Tournaments Calendar 2021

Minigolf tournaments 2021
Putterfingers Managing Director Richard competing at the British Open in 2008

Minigolf tournaments can be nail-bitingly good to watch. When the leaders are separated by a single point going into the final few holes, it’s as dramatic a situation as the back nine at Augusta on the final day of The Masters. Players take the game extremely seriously, and have everything to play for in terms of the lasting glory of a tournament win. Cash prizes are far more modest than in ‘big golf’, but that’s not the point.

Top-level minigolf has its own traditions and folklore. In the USA they play at North Myrtle Beach every year for the right to wear the coveted green windbreaker – a nod to golf’s famous green jacket. And at the British Minigolf Masters, played just off the A20 Sidcup bypass, the winner gets a tweed jacket bought at a charity shop in Southend.

The minigolf world has a healthy level of self-mockery that is far more endearing than the millionaire tantrum-throwers of professional golf.

The skill levels are off the scale at the top of minigolf. Leading up to tournaments, practice regimes can be as intense as those of PGA players. The only difference is that when the tournament is over, Minigolf players generally have to go back to their day jobs.

The home of major British minigolf tournaments
The hallowed turf of Hastings Adventure Golf, where dreams are made and broken

Fancy seeing some of the top minigolf players in action, or even have a go yourself? We’ve got details of UK tournaments coming up in 2021. These are correct at the time of writing and we expect that many will go ahead, but check the BMGA website nearer the time to make sure.

May 2021

Midlands Open

29th May

Four Ashes Golf Centre, Dorridge

Event info

June 2021

Cardiff Open

26th June

Tee Rex Adventure Golf, Cardiff

Event info

July 2021

Worthing Open

10th July

Splash Point Mini Golf, Worthing

More info nearer the time

August 2021

Cambridgeshire and Essex Open

7th August

Dunton Hills Golf Course, Brentwood

More info nearer the time

BMGA Matchplay Doubles

8th August

Dunton Hills Golf Course, Brentwood

More info nearer the time

Sussex Wasps Open

29th August

Peterborough Minigolf

Event info

September 2021

World Crazy Golf Championships

10th-12th September

Hastings Adventure Golf

Event info

BMGA British Open

25th-26th September

Hastings Adventure Golf

Event info

October 2021

BMGA Club Championships

3rd October

Aces Minigolf, Gloucester

More info nearer the time

BMGA British Championships

16th-17th October

Strokes Adventure Golf, Margate

More info nearer the time

British Adventure Golf Masters

31st October

Mr Mulligan’s, Sidcup

More info nearer the time

November 2021

Cornwall Open

21st November

Woodland Adventure Golf, Saltash

More info nearer the time

All information thanks to the British Minigolf Association on the 23rd of April, 2021. Keep checking their events page for updates as the year progresses.

Need a putter or some minigolf practice gear for the garden? We stock everything you need. See the Putterfingers website

Plan your 2020 Team Building activities

Taking time out from the daily grind occasionally is a necessity for employee wellbeing. Bringing your team together in a relaxed environment will give people the opportunity to socialise, away from their desks – a proven way to boost productivity.

So why not start the year as you mean to go on and plan in your 2020 team building activities.

Not all businesses can feasibly commit to the time, nor expense, of away days, so another solution is to host an activity within the workplace.

And what better activity to offer than a round of office mini-golf!

Mini golf is perfect for team building activities, it is fun, it is active and requires no prior ability.

Turn your breakout area into a fun crazy golf course

It’s winter, no one wants to venture out in the cold and wet. But getting a break away from the desk is essential for productivity.

Facebook HQ hired our Funsize crazy golf course for that very reason.

Facebook HQ 9 hole Course

The Fun Size Course was perfect for a room of this size. This is our standard 9-hole portable golf course.

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

Short on space?

Our crazy golf course can be set up within the office. Putterfingers mini golf 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.

This is exactly what Worldpay did. They hired a 6-hole course to set up within their office space to celebrate the day that the company joined FIS. The organiser planned this activity in secret so it was a surprise for his employees when they arrived at work the next day. He even got to get some practice in the evening before while setting up. Unfair advantage perhaps?!

Worldpay_FIS office mini golf

Team building across the miles

If your company has multiple offices, it can be tricky to bring employees together in a social setting when locations are miles apart.

One easy and cost-effective solution could be to hire a course for each location and compete via a live-feed scoreboard.

Zone Digital found this worked perfectly for connecting their Bristol and London employees.

Zone Digital Live Link Bristol Office Open

As we have multiple courses available to hire at any one time, there is no reason this idea couldn’t be scaled up and ran across several offices. Our golf courses can be delivered anywhere in the UK via courier, store away easily and fit in standard lift shafts – we would be hard-pushed to find a venue that cannot be accessed!

Branded courses

Our mini golf 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.
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. So be like Google. Make your company one of the best to work for.

Buy a course to use for all your corporate events

Putterfingers mini golf courses are available to buy as well as hire. You could purchase a course to use for employee socials, for family-fun days and entertaining clients.

Orms-Golf-Open-Families-1

One or two holes can also be easily transported and set-up at trade shows – mini golf makes a great addition to exhibition stands as a fun and engaging activity for delegates.

Exhibition_Golf_Reputation_1

Looking for multiple activities?

If you are planning on running a slightly larger team event and what to mix of activities, then talk to us about….

Table Tennis

Table tennis is great fun for corporate events, networking, office parties, conferencing and team building events.

We supply full-size, competition tables and personalised folding table tennis plus everything you need: balls, bats and nets.
You can have your own unique bespoke Compact Tables with the playing surface professionally printed with photos, logos, or any artwork you want to send us. Use block colours. Put a hashtag on them. The possibilities are endless.

table-tennis-union-jack

Footpool

Footpool is a fusion between football and pool. The pockets are goals in this fusion between pool and football, and the added bonus is there is no offside rule! The rules of 8-ball pool apply: your opponent gets an extra shot if you foul and potting the black after potting all your balls wins the game.

Footpool is available to hire from a few hours to a full day and requires a set-up space of 25sqms.

football-pool

Get in touch

If you are planning an event and are looking for activities to hire, or to buy, then get in touch with the Putterfingers team. We can create a bespoke package to meet your objectives.

Email: office@connectedshopping.com

Tel: 01284 848330

Mini golf feud ends in ‘threat’, expulsion

Tantrums and putter threat on pro minigolf course!

This week’s post was to be part 2 of A Putted History of Minigolf – see part 1 here. But we have a story from New Zealand that we think trumps it and might generate some discussion, so we’ll push that post back to next week.

A recent series of events in New Zealand raises questions about minigolf as a professional sport and how seriously or otherwise it should be taken. A feud between two prominent Kiwi minigolfers escalated into one allegedly threatening the other with his putter, saying “I’ll wrap my putter round your head”. This was apparently the final straw for Minigolf Federation of New Zealand secretary Damo Kissick, who said it followed a string of incidents in which Bobby Hart lost his temper, threw putters, swore and generally spat out his dummy. In the light of this behaviour the player has been asked to leave the federation.

mini golf tantrum

Star national and international player Bobby Hart is known for his no-joking approach to the game and for saying things like “I’m here to compete, not make friends”. Which is kind of fair enough – he takes the game seriously and after all it requires great skill and practice. Interviewed after the incident, he said, “I’m not there to have a joke and a laugh, I’m there to take things seriously and grow competitive putting as a sport here in New Zealand. It’s not a joking matter … I think there’s a future for competitive putting and actually doing it as a job.”

The alleged putter threat came following a long-running disagreement with another player, Murray Cramp, whom Hart accuses of not taking the game seriously enough. Cramp said “It’s essentially a sport for children and their parents to have fun that we’ve turned into something that is well beyond [that] … The last thing you want to do is create a level of intensity where it looks like you’re at the Olympics.”

And yet there have been efforts to get minigolf into the Olympics. We blogged about it back in 2014. The World Minigolf Sport Federation regularly lobbies for it to be included.

All this begs the question: how seriously (or otherwise) should we take minigolf? Is professional minigolf a threat to the fun of the game, or should we have more of it? Can you be professional and have fun at the same time?

minigolf for business meetings and recruitment days

If you have any comments on this, please post them to our Twitter page. But try to keep your toys in the pram.

Here’s the report from Stuff.co.nz where we heard about the Hart/Cramp confrontation.

 

Putt-Putt turns 64 and is still popular

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.

Putt-Putt course 1954

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.

Talk to us about minigolf for your wedding, party or event

Give us a tinkle to discuss your minigolf needs: 08450 570321

Send us an email for a minigolf-based natter