A blog about all things mini golf, crazy golf and adventure golf. Brought to you by 'Putterfingers' the minigolf experts!
Crazy Golf / Mini Golf
Our golf courses are perfect for leisure golf activities in a range of locations – at home, in the office, at a fete, on an exhibition stand, at a marketing event, childrens parties, Charity events or in pubs and hotels.
Putterfingers’ long-time friend and mini golf supremo Richard Gottfried has been busy. This is nothing new. He is, after all, half of the couple who regularly hit the news with their project to play every single crazy golf course in the country. With wife Emily he has played hundreds of minigolf courses and tirelessly blogged about them ever since 2006. As new courses pop up the Gottfrieds feel compelled to visit and play them, so their task is never done. The current tally is hovering around the 1,000 mark. Read about the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour here!
Richard is a marketing expert whose publications include The Minigolfer’s Guide to Marketing, a unique book that blends marketing and minigolf. It applies marketing techniques to minigolf and vice versa and is a must-read for anyone with an interest in the two subjects. He operates as a consultant in minigolf marketing by applying his deep knowledge of aspects of minigolf including course operators, pop-ups, competitions, equipment, national associations, international federations, clubs, suppliers, designers, builders and technology providers.
Among Richard’s latest efforts to promote mini golf is an article in the Interfun Expo Guide for UK Operators (page 13) which provides tips on how best to treat and communicate with customers in the light of COVID-19. With people emerging from government restrictions, he predicts a big uptick in demand for leisure activities like mini golf, even going so far as to say that demand will outstrip supply for a while. He encourages operators to go the extra mile to make customers feel welcome and secure upon their return to the mini golf course and to add as much warmth, goodwill and credibility as possible.
One example of how to achieve this is Cornwall Football Golf – admittedly not a crazy golf venue but operating along very similar lines. They have chosen Putterfingers to supply some additional signage to communicate with customers and make them feel welcome and cared for. Here are the boards they chose – call Putterfingers if you would like to discuss something similar to brighten up your mini golf course.
In the meantime, we wish Richard and Emily Gottfried all the best in their quest for minigolf completeness and we are cheering them on all the way!
You may be looking ahead to getting out and about a bit more and if you want to make up for lost time on the minigolf course. Here are our top tips for finding courses near you and making the most of a crazy golfing road-trip. These come courtesy of minigolf supremo and tireless crazy golf course finder Richard Gottfried. See the link at the bottom of this post to visit his amazing minigolf blog chronicling nearly a THOUSAND crazy golf course visits!
Start at home
Before your trip it’s a wise manoeuvre to map out all of the courses at your final destination. There are a number of ways to find out the best places to play.
Google is your friend
Get online and search your target location for courses to play. Remember though that not all courses will have a website or online presence so we will often search on Google Maps and Street View to find hidden places to play.
Are you keen to play all flavours of miniature golf, are you only looking to play newer adventure golf layouts, or do you prefer traditional seaside crazy golf? You’ll want to input the right keywords to get the best results. Sometimes ‘minigolf’ is used to mean Pitch & Putt courses or Putting Greens. If they’re not your cup of tea then you’ll need to be more specific if you’re looking for pirates, dinosaurs or jungle-themes.
You can also check out our blog and social media to keep up-to-date with new course openings and tips on where to play.
A classic way to plan
As mentioned, not all courses have an online presence, or if they do, it might not always appear high-up in the pages of online search results so don’t forget a classic way to plan your UK getaway is to request a brochure from a resort or town’s local tourist information centre. A lot of the courses we’ve found are those listed on maps of seasides.
Getting there is half the fun right?
Your end point may be one of those minigolfing hot-spots such as Skegness, Hastings, Great Yarmouth, Cleethorpes, Scarborough or Blackpool but there is a very good chance that you’ll be passing by any number of the new breed of inland courses en route. Why not plan a couple of stops on the way…?
Staying the course
Some hotels are home to crazy golf and putting courses and if you’re keen to maximise your playing time then this might be an option for you.
Most holiday camps and caravan parks – and some camp sites – are also home to a minigolf course. These are sometimes only open to people staying at the site, but we have found some excellent courses that are open to day guests and the public.
You may also find that there are minigolf courses in pay-to-enter attractions in the area you are staying on holiday. Farm parks, model villages, zoos, maize mazes and other places can often be the location of a course.
Late night games
The days of courses closing when the sun goes down are gone and a number of courses now have floodlights installed to allow play to go on long into the night.
There are also a lot more indoor options now compared to when our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour began in 2006. Back then there were just two indoor courses in the whole of the UK. There are now more than 100 indoor venues to play. A real bonus if the British summer weather doesn’t quite deliver.
If you play any fun or quirky courses be sure to let us know about them!
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.
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.
We’re best known for our crazy golf hire service which provides entertainment at all kinds of events and is the perfect socially distanced game (see our post about socially distanced mini golf here). But what some don’t know is that you can also BUY minigolf sets from us to own for ever. Today we’ll look at some of the smaller and more economical options for owning a set of Putterfingers equipment and using it at home.
We already offered one or two small sets for indoors and for children, but thought we’d expand our range of home sets to serve the rise in demand we’ve seen in 2020. These are all products for purchase from our website – delivery included for orders over £100. A chance to own a bit of mini golf magic at home that you can bring out again and again! So here are our Home Minigolf Sets. One of these could be winging its way to you today!
If you like tricky obstacles then this set is great value. It contains a whopping 13 My Minigolf obstacles: Four Warm Up putting cups, two Daytona curves and one of each of the other My Minigolf obstacles (Acapulco, Maze, Volcano, Bridge, Tower, Wave, and Loop the Loop 360). The putting options are endless with this set. Try the Bridge just after the Loop the Loop. Can you hit the ball just right to get it through both obstacles and into the cup? That’s a tricky one. In fact, they are all tricky. That’s the idea! So putt your heart out with this full obstacle set. It comes with putter, balls, scorecards and nylon carry bag to pack it all away in.
This family set has everything for two adults and two juniors to enjoy minigolf at home. It comes in a nylon carry bag for easy storage. You get 13 My Minigolf obstacles, a putting cup, 6 low bounce balls, 2 adult putters, 2 junior putters and a pack of scorecards. This set can be laid out on almost any reasonably smooth surface: carpet, wooden or laminated floors, grass or tarmac. Portable minigolf to own for ever, and great bang for your buck!
Our biggest home set to buy, this is a full size boredom-buster for all the family. This set includes 6 sq m of our astro grass putting surface and side bumpers that can be assembled in a variety of ways to fit your room or garden. Flexibility is the name of the game here. With 3-hole, 2-hole and 1 (big) hole configurations and 5 different obstacles each presenting a unique challenge, there’s enough here to keep up the variety and manage difficulty levels to suit putters both big and small.
Our starter kit for home minigolf, this contains enough to set up a challenging single-hole course indoors or outdoors. 3 obstacles including the Loop the Loop 360 that you have to hit with just the right amount of power to get a hole in one! Explore physics with your kids or hone your own putting skills. Works on any flat surface inside the home or out in the garden.
Perhaps all you need is a single hole to practice golf putting, or a basic setup for the kids. Try one of our Home Starter Kits for as little as £29.99. It’s enough to get you putting, and if you feel the need for a little more challenge after a while, it’s simple to add obstacles and other accessories. Just browse our site to find what you need and create a pick & mix mini golf set for your home!
This National Miniature Golf Day we have had the pleasure of catching up with Puttstars, Golf Operations Manager, Andy Johnson.
Andy and the Puttstars team at Hollywood Bowl Group, have had the challenge of not only navigating their business around the Covid-19 safety measures, but also the opening of 2 new Puttstars venues, in the midst a Pandemic. No mean feat!
Andy shares the experience at Puttstars and their plans for the future.
You have successfully managed to launch new Puttstars venues during the Pandemic, how has this gone?
“It was a challenge, given that we usually ensure all our team are given some time training with an experienced team member, obviously this was very limited due to the restrictions we faced, however, I have been pleased with the teams and how they have handled the opening weeks. On top of this, the teams have had to operate in an environment where hand sanitising, and face masks are the norm, meaning that extra operational pressures have been put onto the teams.”
What piece of technology could you have not lived without at Puttstars?
“CRM, it’s really important to use to get to know and understand our customers, not only can we then offer them products that are desirable for them, it helps us to communicate with our customer base when required, and to push offers when trading conditions are tough.”
Has Covid-19 brought any positive changes to the business?
Where do you see the role of mini-golf in the competitive socialising market moving forward?
“I believe that as people move towards more experience-based leisure time, mini-golf is well placed to offer this to a range of different customers groups, whether they are families or students. For us offering the playing experience on the courses alongside a fully licensed bar, with diner and amusements makes us a great place for people to socialise and spend time with their friends and family.”
As a customer, what you can expect from a visit to Puttstars at present?
“A memorable experience for the right reasons hopefully, we set out trying to design holes which offer intrigue and interest and are fun for everyone to play, we have tried to create an environment where everyone is welcome and can enjoy the space, we also believe that our offering is incredibly good value for money.”
What is your best score playing Puttstars Mini Golf?
“7800, which I scored on only my 3rd round, I have been unable to better this since, much to my annoyance, and despite lots of attempts.”
What is your favourite mini golf hole at the venues?
“I don’t have one favourite, we have 27 holes within each centre that are bespoke to us and can’t be found anywhere else in the world, we spent a lot of time working with our course designers to make the playing experience a unique one.”
What do Christmas parties at Puttstars look like this year?
“I think that’s partially a question for the government, depending on what the rules are on group gatherings, without COVID we would be offering a package that contained golf, food and drink with trophies for the winners among other things, however, I think that restrictions this year will limit us. That said we will still be offering great value deals whatever the restrictions, check out our website for the latest information.”
What does the future hold for Puttstars?
“Our early trading has been very positive even launching in these unusual times, so we are confident that we can continue on our proposed path to open future sites and keep expanding our brand. Keep an eye out near you for a new Puttstars opening soon.”
Thanks to Andy for taking the time to give us an update.
At Putterfingers, we supply a whole range of mini golf equipment both to trade and for home use. Check out our website for portable crazy golf courses to hire or buy, for putters, balls, obstacles and more.
Like so many businesses in 2020, Putterfingers have been forced to sit down and think about how we can continue to serve our customers in a COVID-safe way. So here are our thoughts (and actions) on the matter.
Mini golf… ideal for social distancing
Firstly, we’re happy to report that mini golf has some built-in social distancing features that tend to keep players 2 or more metres apart.
It’s a one-player-at-a-time sport. Each player takes their place in turn at the tee-off mat and plays their ball for what they fondly hope will be a hole in one. They then move forward to either pick up their ball out of the cup or play another shot. Meanwhile, other players should be standing well off the putting green and well distanced from the active player so as not to distract their opponent from their shot(s). This worked well before COVID, and it continues to work well with COVID about.
Modular crazy golf course
Our courses are modular, and holes can be set up as far apart as the organisers wish. So hole 1 can be many metres away from hole 2 and so on, space permitting. This means the course layout can be done in ways that minimise any risk of accidental cross-contamination from players straying too close to one another.
Players can go around the course either alone or in their social bubble group, and enjoy the same participation, enjoyment, competitiveness and scoring that they would in pre-COVID times.
Sanitising mini-golf equipment
Players usually only handle their own ball, even in normal times, and tend to keep hold of the same putter. So the risk of cross-infection from balls and putters is low. We can provide extra putters and balls for your event if required.
If players can agree to stick more firmly to these rules during these difficult times, then the risk is reduced further. Children should be encouraged to follow these rules where that is practical.
Nevertheless, COVID is always a worry. So we are providing paper towels and sanitiser to customers who request them, to allow balls, putters, obstacles and cups to be sanitised during each round. Also available as part of the hire, are freestanding hand sanitiser stations. The hand sanitiser stations can be branded with your own logo or personalised with your own messaging.
As for the equipment coming from our warehouse, it’s worth noting that all our hire equipment remains boxed for at least 24 hours prior to delivery, and often longer. 24 hours is approximately how long coronavirus can survive on cardboard. Before we box the equipment, we sanitise balls, putters, obstacles and putting cups with alcohol-based sanitiser and thoroughly clean the astro grass tiles that form the playing surface.
We are applying the same anti-COVID measures to all our hire equipment. A footpool table hire from us, for example, will come with pre-sanitised futsal balls and a thoroughly cleaned playing surface.
So, we’re doing everything we can to make our hire equipment COVID-safe. We want you to enjoy yourselves and have good clean fun!
Minigolf is a great way to relax and forget about the state of the world at the moment.
Mini-golf hire for your event
If you would like to hire our portable, modular mini-golf courses for your event then please get in touch with the team:
This week we have seen the re-opening of ‘big’ golf courses across the UK following lockdown. Mini golf courses have yet to open their doors. Latest Government advice this week has suggested that leisure facilities, such as our mini-golf courses, may begin to re-open from 4th July. Depending on the all-important R-number at this time.
What preparations can crazy golf courses be making?
Social distancing is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Whilst this may be easier for ‘big’ golf courses to adhere to, mini-golf courses, are just that – mini.
Mini golf courses will need to follow the same example of retail and limit the number of players entering the facilities. The players will need to keep to the 2m rule and possibly only play with members of the same household initially.
Ticketing will offer the best solution for this. Whether than be through a website function or a socially distanced queue on the seafront.
“Wash your hands”…. This has been the Government’s mantra since earlier this year. Maintaining good levels of hygiene is one of the key ways we can all contribute to stopping the spread of the Coronavirus. Crazy golf courses, like all leisure facilities, will be required to provide handwashing facilities for visitors on their premises. For some, venues this may be easier than done.
Hand washing is deemed preferable, however, the practicalities of offering soap and fresh water at the entrance may make this tricky. The next best alternative will be to provide hand sanitising facilities and to make it clear to customers that this is a requirement on entering the venue.
Cleaning of equipment between players will also be a necessity. Staff will need to be able to make time for wiping down the putters and balls between groups and ensuring that equipment remains within the same group during play.
At the moment it’s a case of watch and wait to see how the next phases of lockdown pan out. It is clear however that leisure will look very different from what we have been used to.
Britain is renowned for its stoic public, we have managed so far and we will continue to!
At Putterfingers we are taking every precaution we can. Our deliveries will continue to adhere to social distancing and we will continue to thoroughly sanitise our equipment after every hire.
Our sister brand, Photo Cutouts, have been busy working on a new product – freestanding, portable hand sanitising stations. They are fully customisable with your own branding and available in different sizes for hire and to purchase. A hand sanitising station could offer mini-golf venues with the ideal solution for maintaining customer hygiene on re-opening and beyond.
Get in touch:
Get in touch with the Putterfingers team to talk about customised hand sanitiser stations and stock of all your mini-golf course supplies.
It’s Valentines Day and love is in the air. Whether you buy into the cheese-fest that is Valentine’s or reluctant to indulge in romance, there is no getting away from the expectation to do something to mark the occasion.
For those of you taking out a date this weekend, you might be looking for something to do that on the face of it, is less of the cheesy romance and more chilled out and a good laugh.
That’s where crazy golf comes in!
Why crazy golf for date-night?
1. Relaxed and informal
At crazy golf venues, there won’t be a candle in sight. There is less emphasis on Valentine’s romance and more focus on enjoying each other’s company. You’ll be moving around rather than awkwardly sat at a dinner table, trying to watch your P’s & Q’s.
2. It’s a good laugh
Crazy golf courses are not designed to be easy to complete. Whilst there might be some pros for the majority of us it’s one of those activities where we are all on a level pegging… to begin with at least. You can’t be afraid to look silly with crazy golf – it’s a great way to get people to let their guard down.
3. There are crazy golf venues everywhere!
With so many courses opening up left, right and centre in the UK you are bound to find a course local to you. Gone are the days of crazy golf being solely a seaside pastime, the high streets of our towns and cities are awash with leisure venues. Check out Ghetto Golf, Junkyard Golf, Plonk Golf, Mr Mulligans, to name a few, and find a great venue local to you.
4. Bring out your competitive side
Many a relationship has hit the rocks over a competitive game. We all have that one person in our life who we can’t play monopoly with without crossed words. Test the water with your latest beau over a round of crazy golf, nothing like a bit of healthy competition to bring out someone’s true colours!
5. Less risky than axe-throwing
If you’ve not been as romantic as expected, or have hogged all the duvet, then crazy golf should be the perfect activity for making amends. There’s a wealth of options for a bit of competitive socialising – but axe throwing might not be the best choice if you are starting out on the back foot!
Mental Health has been at the forefront of social media and the press this week. #ChildrensMentalHealthWeek has focussed our attention on supporting young people to manage their mental health, and #TimeToTalkDay has helped encourage people to talk about mental health and reduce stigma.
At Putterfingers, we are big advocates of the role mini golf can play in improving the mental health of players. We have blogged previously about how crazy golf can reduce stress levels, an issue closely linked to mental health. But there are ways that mini golf can be beneficial on mental health as a whole.
The New Economics Foundation developed ‘The Five Ways to Wellbeing’, a set of mental health messages, which when practised, improves the mental health and wellbeing of the whole population. Mental health charity, Mind, have clearly outlined ‘The Five Ways to Wellbeing’ concept and here is how we strongly believe that mini golf can fit into this framework.
5 Ways to Wellbeing
Social relationships are important for maintaining a healthy mind. Mini golf can offer a social activity that brings people together in a relaxed and informal environment. As a sport that is played as an individual rather than in a team, participants can be social as much or as little as they wish, whilst still connecting with others.
The beauty of mini golf is that it is a challenge for everyone – there is no right or wrong way to do it. Overcoming obstacles, quite literally (!), brings people together, which is why it is so often used for team building activities.
“Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups.” (Mind.org)
You don’t need to hit the gym or break a sweat to enjoy a bit of physical activity. Mini golf is a slower-paced activity that is suitable for anyone, regardless of age or physical fitness. Walking has a huge benefit to mental and physical health, walking around a miniature golf course gives a purpose and more enjoyment to that walk.
Putting, whether in ‘Big’ golf, pitch and putt, adventure golf or crazy golf, certainly uses the muscles on our arms. But engaging with your core muscles will help you to control the club according to Tom Watson’s article “Putt With Your Gut”.
Living in the moment, or being aware of the present, is the third concept of the 5 Ways to Wellbeing. Taking a moment to enjoy the environment around you is something that all of us leading busy lives can benefit from remembering.
Crazy golf has traditionally been a seaside pastime and you will often still find a course at coastal resorts. If you do take the time to visit one of these courses by the sea, take the time to notice your surroundings, the sea breeze, the seagulls, perhaps if the sound of the waves if you are lucky.
Many parks are also home to a miniature golf course or pitch and putt. So, a great opportunity to get back to nature and take some time for yourself.
According to Mind, learning a new skill can enhance with self-esteem. It also encourages more social interaction, which as humans is one our basic needs. Improved self-worth is an important factor for maintaining good mental health.
Mini golf could be that new skill you are looking for. It is such an accessible activity that literally anyone can get involved. It is fun to try and overcome the obstacles of the course, there are a few individuals who have mastered the tricks (Richard & Emily Gottfried, Marc Chapman!), but for the majority of us success is based on problem-solving and a little bit of luck. Who knows, you could be the next Minigolf Champion!
People who engage in activities to help others are “more likely to rate themselves as happy” (Mind.org).
Getting involved with a cause or community group and help your feeling of belonging and to support other elements of the 5 Ways to Wellbeing such as connecting with others.
As mini golf is an activity for all, yet still competitive, it is a great contender for fundraising activities. It’s been a staple of fundraising in the USA for a long time and is beginning to get some traction over here. It’s a fun, social activity that offers ample opportunity for charity branding to promote the cause and raise awareness and money.
Read some of our blogs on Mini Golf for Fundraising and see how charities such as Global Media & Entertainment’s ‘Make Some Noise’ charity has used Putterfingers mini golf for their charity day.
Don’t just take our word for it, The British Medical Journal blogged back in 2018, how shorter play versions of ‘big’ golf, such as pitch and putt, adventure golf, crazy golf or miniature golf, is an appealing introduction to the wider benefits of golf on mental, and physical health.
If you are planning a wellbeing event for your company, school, university or local community, then why not book mini golf as part of the event activities. We offer a variety of size courses which are available to hire or buy. There are options to brand the courses and obstacles with your logo and hashtags.
The installation of a crazy golf course in Rochester Cathedral has caused quite a stir to say the least. But love it or loathe it, it does highlight the accessibility of the mini-golf as an activity.
Rochester Cathedral crazy golf
The Archbishop of Canterbury recently commented that cathedrals should be a place to have fun. So organisers of the Rochester Cathedral event aimed to do just that. As congregation numbers were in decline, they also wanted to attract a younger crowd.
So why did the organisers choose mini-golf to achieve this?
Crazy golf is great for novices – you don’t need any prior ability, you can literally pick up a putter and off you go
It is fun – navigating your way through a series of obstacles, whether they be bridges, tunnels, spirals or a laughing clown’s mouth – players are bound to enjoy themselves in their mission to succeed.
Brings people together – minigolf is an activity that can be enjoyed by all the family, whether aged 8 or 80, with no fitness levels or prior ability required – it is a sport that everyone can get involved in.
Developing social skills – kids will learn sportsmanship and fair play on the minigolf course. It is also a good lesson in self-control and perseverance to get a result.
Educational benefits – Hand-eye coordination is required for a good putt. Kids can develop it while having a fun time.
With such great benefits to the game, you can see why it would be chosen by event organisers as an activity with mass appeal. Rochester Cathedral has been busy since the course opened, so whether you feel the setting is right, crazy golf has certainly drawn in the crowds and has got people talking.
The increasing popularity of crazy golf
As experts in the portable crazy golf hire industry, we have worked on a wide range of events. The activity is hired to entertain a broad spectrum of guests/visitors from kids at school fetes, family entertainment in town centres to businesspeople at corporate events, trade shows and exhibitions.
Within UK towns and cities, leisure facilities are expanding to meet with public demand to be entertained and crazy golf venues are opening up everywhere.
We asked World Crazy Golf Champion, Marc Chapman for his opinion on the UK minigolf craze: “I think people are increasingly looking for cheaper and nearer family entertainment and experiences. Things that are easily accessible [no barriers or fear factor of playing] and don’t take too long to do [around an hour or so]. If there is food and drink nearby that also is a big pull factor. The rise of the stay-cation due to the current political climate is certainly having an influence too.”
With more crazy golf venues opening every week, it would seem the sport is set to rise. Keep an eye on our social media for information on new courses opening across the UK.
Get in touch
If you would like to hire or purchase a Putterfingers mini golf course for your event then give us a call and we’ll talk through the course size options and different obstacles. Call us on 01284 848 330 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org