How much do you know about mini golf? (Quiz)

Crazy golf quiz

This week we came across a nice little quiz on clickondetroit.com that tested our knowledge of minigolf’s history and organisations. We got 9 out of 10 but we blog about this all the time so maybe it wasn’t fair. Why not head over to take the quiz and come back for a walk through the 10 questions? Here’s the original quiz.

How did you do? Tell us on Twitter. If you got 10/10, read no further. You are awesome. Go forth and play crazy golf. 9/10 and under, read on (or go forth and play crazy golf – the weather is great today!)

  1. In the Macaulay Culkin/Ted Danson film Getting Even With Dad, what is the prize if Danson’s character wins? Why, the location of the stolen coins, of course. Here’s a grainy clip from the film.
  2. The World Minigolf Federation is headquartered in which city? Why, Gothenburg, of course.
  3. In 2008, David Pfefferle entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the most mini golf holes played in 24 hours. How many did he play? An astonishing 4,729. That’s a rate of play of 3.28 holes per minute! Pfefferle walked 55 miles in his 24 hour marathon in Ohio and raised £6,000 for charity.
  4. The WMF has how many registered members? We picked 40,000 which turned out to be right. One possible answer was 1,000,000. Maybe one day there will be that many.
  5. The US has 2 organisations that hold national tournaments: true or false? True! They are the Professional Putters Association and the US Pro Mini-Golf Association.
  6. By the late 1920s, there were 150 rooftop minigolf courses in this city. Easy: New York. When Thomas McCulloch Fairbairn invented a playing surface specially for mini golf – a mixture of cottonseed hulls, said, oil and dye – it became possible to apply a puttable surface almost anywhere. Smooth when trodden down, good for putting and colourful, the new surface was enthusiastically applied to rooftops across the city during the crazy golf boom of the 1920s.
  7. Which former Beatle played mini golf in the 1973 film That’ll Be The Day? It was of course Ringo Starr (To our eternal shame this is the one we got wrong! We thought it was George Harrison for some reason.) And here’s proof (see below): Ringo and David Essex mooching around next to the crazy golf course in a clip from the film.
  8. The first documented minigolf competition took place in 1930 at which location? Why, Chattanooga, Tennessee of course. It was at Garnet Carter’s Fairyland Inn on Lookout Mountain and was the foundation for his 1920s Tom Thumb Golf empire.
  9. In the 2017 world player rankings, every female and male player ranked in their respective top-50 lists was from this continent.  Why, Europe of course. Here are the 2017 rankings.
  10. True or false: Joseph and Robert Taylor of Binghamton, New York are credited for building the first set of minigolf courses with obstacles. It’s … true. The brothers were responsible for introducing the windmill to miniature golf. Before their castles, wishing wells and windmills, mini golf courses had banks, curves and hillocks, but not these kitschy objects.

Interestingly, somebody has tracked down the course used in the film and as far as we know it is still there (correct us if that’s wrong.)

If you got 8 or more right, you are a minigolf anorak and can be proud.

9 or 10 … we are not worthy.

6 or 7 … Not quite an anorak. More of a kagoule.

Less than 5 … have you been paying attention at all? If it’s because you’ve been out putting, we’re fine with that.

 

 

Minigolf tops granddad Lionel’s bucket list

A heartwarming minigolf tale

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!

crazy golf bucket list
Lionel lines up a putt on his birthday surprise course with family members

 

Crazy golf granddad minigolf surprise
The whole family joined in!

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!

 

Why are abandoned minigolf courses so creepy?

Look on my minigolf course, ye mighty, and despair!

The whole idea of adventure golf is to get ‘lost’ in a far-away world that takes you away from your mundane existence. So when the courses themselves get lost, i.e. abandoned, there is a very special feel to them as the observer becomes doubly lost. Walking among the gaudy, peeling obstacles, the ghostly laughter of players from the course’s sunlit heyday can almost be heard. It speaks directly to the soul about how brief our enjoyment is, and leaves us with a profound sense of  … something or other.

Creepy abandoned minigolf courses
This YouTube video gives some examples of creepy abandoned minigolf courses.

Why are abandoned minigolf courses so creepy? It’s hard to put your finger on it really. Philosophers and writers have tried to pin down our fascination with decay for a long time. Nietzsche had a stab at it with his musings on cultural decadence in Twilight of the Gods, and in the books The Aesthetics of Decay and The Memory of Place: the Phenomenology of the Uncanny, Dylan Trigg explores the thrill of decay in chapters with titles like An Uncanny Memory, An Impossible Nostalgia, Dark Night of the Soul and The Post-Industrial Sublime. Going back a bit further, the Romantic poets nurtured a love for the wild and abandoned. The most famous example is probably Shelley’s Ozymandias, a tale of hubris and destruction featuring the crumbling statue of a once-great king lying in a desert.

Creepy abandoned crazy golf courses
The statue of Rameses II, thought to be the inspiration for Ozymandias.

It’s funny how so many adventure golf courses feature Mayan temples, Inca gods, dinosaurs, pirates and jungle themes. And that’s before they are abandoned! It’s almost as if they are foretelling their abandoned creepiness before it has even happened.

This all ties in with the urban exploration craze. Abandoned factories, tunnels and fairgrounds attract slightly weird yet understandable people who want to go on adventures that make the hairs on their necks stand on end. Post-industrialist urban decay is a fertile place for the imagination, so in a sense, those old derelict crazy golf courses just keep on giving.

Here are some links to photos and videos we’ve found on the web that feature abandoned crazy golf courses. If they give you a thrill, you’re probably an urban explorer at heart. Where is your nearest abandoned crazy golf course? Here are some in the UK visited by Richard Gottfried’s The Ham and Egger Files.

Hole In None: 12 Abandoned Miniature Golf Courses

A good slideshow of abandoned crazy golf courses: http://nextimpulsesports.com/2016/06/01/abandoned-mini-golf-courses-are-both-creepy-and-oddly-fascinating

More creepy abandoned minigolf courses: http://www.placesthatwere.com/2015/12/creepy-abandoned-miniature-golf-course.html

And more: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/galleries/The-worlds-eeriest-abandoned-theme-parks/

We would like to stress that out minigolf courses are not creepy. They’re fun! Here’s info about Minigolf course hire in the UK from Putterfingers.

 

 

Perks at work: employees love minigolf

Go beyond doughnuts and be like Google! Offer your staff one of the best perks –  minigolf

An article titled The Power of Perks in Incentives Magazine states that employee performance and business revenue can be significantly boosted by employee wellbeing packages including office games. One company in Australia, it reports, calculated that on every $1 it spent in a 12-month period on perks including a games room, $11 was returned. It’s now a certainty that increasing employee engagement is a ‘hidden pay check’ that can be seen as cutting salary costs dramatically. According to research by Nuffield Health, 87% of finance and HR directors in UK companies with over 1000 employees indicate that health and wellbeing is being discussed at board level and 41% view it as a strategic priority.

Minigolf as an employee perk
Show employees some love, and they’re more likely to love you back

Office minigolf is good for employees’ health and morale. It can be installed in a break room or even in the offices themselves, along corridors and in between desks. Putterfingers courses are designed for ultimate portability, so that they can be put away when not in use on a floor footprint of just 1 x 1.5m – e.g. under the stairs or in a store room. An entire course fits into a standard lift shaft, so no building is minigolf-proof!

Go beyond a weekly box of doughnuts (or bananas, if you’re a healthy-eating company) and give workers a real perk: a game to play in the office that anyone can have a go at whenever they like. In our experience, employees get creative with an office minigolf course, adding their own obstacles and tweaks, rearranging the interlocking floor tiles to create new shapes and challenges, or making up their own game rules. It’s a constant source of fun and creativity, and gives people a reason to talk to each other where without it they might not. So it’s great for teambuilding.

Office games perks teambuilding crazy golf
Having a minigolf course in an office gives employees a chance to let off some steam, be a bit competitive and enjoy a fun ambience.

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, and Putterfingers have hired to Facebook for their staff events. So be like Google. Make your company one of the best to work for.

Putterfingers minigolf 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. They require no power supply and can be taken down in minutes when necessary. We supply everything that is needed: interlocking astro grass floor tiles, putters, balls, obstacles, cups, marker cones, scorecards and pencils. And we’re happy to add branding to the course to improve employee engagement, morale and productivity.

For hire and purchase info, email office@connectedshopping.com or call us today on 08450 570321.

 

Golf mobile games for (very) rainy days

Mobile games for finger-putting this Winter

mobile games golf 2018 minigolf crazygolf

OK, so here we are in 2018, and so far outdoor conditions have been less than ideal for a round of minigolf at your favourite course. Is you putting arm twitching with desire to get out there? Well, maybe you can redirect that twitchy feeling into your finger and have a go at one of the many golf (and minigolf) games available for mobile devices.

Some of you might have got a shiny new ‘fondle slab’ for Christmas – a smartphone or a tablet. What better use for it than to get in a bit of finger-powered putting action?

mobile games, golf games, mobile golf games
Might as well get in character!

We blogged about mobile minigolf games a while back. Since then some new games have hit the Apple and Google Play stores, offering everything from no-frills physics simulation to wild, improbable golfing fantasy lands. This time we’ve broadened it to ‘big golf’ games, because it isn’t real, so what does it matter whether it’s minigolf or golf? It’s just a bit of fun for rainy days.

Here’s a selection of the top 5 mobile games from thegolfnewsnet.com. We’ve played Golf Star and Flick Golf and they are both fantastic in very different ways. Golf Star is as realistic as a mobile golf game can get, with all the factors you would encounter in the real world coming into play except hunger and tired legs. Flick Golf is cartoonish and actually defies physics (you can add spin to the ball while it’s in the air!) but it is fun to play, highly addictive and satisfying if you buy into its game logic.

Hopefully we’ll all be out putting again soon, but in the meantime the less (fool)hardy of you who don’t like force ten gales and hail when putting might like to try out one of these mobile games for a bit of fireside fun.

The 5 best golf games for your mobile phone, iPhone or Android

OR hire a Putterfingers course for indoor events this Winter!

Crazy Snooker chalks up another year

Loopy version of snooker drives players potty

Crazy Snooker, crazy golf, Neil Robertson, Mark Selby, Snooker
It’s crazy golf, on a table

Crazy Snooker was dreamed up by Betway, sponsors of the UK Snooker Championship, as a way of making snooker more appealing to those who find the regular game a bit boring to watch. Maybe the players needed a break from the monotony of potting and snookering for a living as well. Crazy Snooker is a blend of crazy golf and snooker, played on a standard 12-foot table covered in helter skelters, windmills, jumps, ramps, and other minigolf obstacles.

The 2016 Betway Crazy Snooker series of matches was played by snooker’s top stars, including Neil Robertson, Mark Selby, Dennis Taylor and John Parrott. It is something of a leveller among the top players, even though plenty of skill is involved. As Betway say in one of their YouTube videos, ‘Mark Selby and Neil Robertson may have won all there is to win in the sport, but they’ve never faced a challenge like this.’ The 6-hole course is brutal, and can send even the most seasoned snooker player’s ball slithering back towards him off a ramp and failing to get anywhere near its target.

This blog has been a bit slow on the uptake with Crazy Snooker, since it has been around for quite a while now. Encyclopaedic minigolf enthusiast Richard Gottfried played an outdoor table-top version of crazy golf called Pit-Pat in Littlehampton back in 2012. Here’ s a video of him trying it out with his wife Emily.

So perhaps Betway didn’t actually invent the sport, but being entrepreneurial folks, decided to create their own version and popularise it. Anyway, its 2016 season was a success and now it’s back in 2017 for another bout of physics-based action from the greatest players in snooker. Here’s a video of them having an infuriating but good-natured match.

Could snooker go the same way as ‘pyjama cricket’, with variations on the original game gaining popularity due to the audience enjoying it more? Maybe. Look what happpened with golf and crazy golf!

Putterfingers.co.uk 

 

Steph & Dom off of Gogglebox play crazy golf!

 

Steph & Dom play minigolf

Gogglebox stars Steph & Dom, the ‘posh ones’, are known for cracking up viewers with their hilarious banter. The B&B owners enjoy a tipple in front of the camera and have a knack for surreal and funny comments.

They found their way onto Gogglebox after appearing on Channel 4’s Four In A Bed in 2013, which they thought would help to promote their B&B The Salutation in Sandwich, Kent. They played up and enjoyed it so much that they were asked to be on Gogglebox, and the rest is comedy gold.

Post-Gogglebox they are now on a show called Steph & Dom’s One Star To Five Star, in which they visit hotels and B&Bs around the country and offer advice to the owners on how to sprinkle a little magic around the place. It isn’t always the best advice, but Steph & Dom’s offhandness about it all is quite funny in itself.

In Episode 30, aired this week, the funny posh duo had a go at minigolf and were charmingly bad at it, as you’d expect. The minigolf was part of their last day ‘helping’ at Beldon House not far from Scunthorpe. They appear to have visited Oddballs Crazy Golf at Cleethorpes, a course played and reviewed by the ubiquitous Richard Gottfried, who commented on its exceptionally large windmill. We just happened on the episode and managed to grab the minigolf bit on a smartphone camera.

So yeah, they are not exactly world championship material, but they don’t care, do they? And it’s a bit ironic that they are criticised for not providing ‘enough banter’. We think Steph should be called the Archbishop of Banterbury (Are women bishops allowed now?)

One way for hotels and B&Bs to liven up the place a bit for their guests is to have a Putterfingers crazy golf course! Visit our Pubs & Hotels crazy golf page!

Animated short film: Putting purgatory for minigolfer

Funny short film conveys minigolfers’ frustration

crazy golf short film
It’s just not his day.

Films about minigolf are few and far between, if you discount the big hitters like Happy Gilmore. We blogged about minigolf films a while back – check out that post here. More recently, a crowdfunded feature film has emerged called Through The Windmill that premiered at the Savannah Film Festivalbut it has met with mixed reviews. However, we have stumbled across a tiny, two-minute animated short film that brilliantly conveys – and exaggerates – the frustration ordinary minigolfers go through on a daily basis. It was made by a Paris-based collective of film students called Megacomputeur who specialise in animated shorts. In terms of ‘plot’, Play Off somewhat resembles the Mr Bean episode in which Rowan Atkinson gets himself in a pickle at a municipal crazy golf course. The idea of a grown man competing with a child and desperately trying to win is present in both. But rather than ending up on a bus, the animated protagonist’s ball ends up defying the laws of physics as he munches a sandwich at the end, resigned to his fate of never holing out.

putting cup
Our regulation putting cup with hinged side plates

Putterfingers putting cups are a bit more forgiving than the ones in Play Off. One of our most popular ones has hinged side plates that let the ball roll in, but don’t let it roll back out. The protagonist of Play Off would have appreciated these, but he would still have missed somehow because the minigolf gods were just not with him him that day.

Our astro grass putting surface gives a smooth roll and small items like the little stone that frustrates our animated friend will sit beneath the astro grass surface and not impede the ball.

So here’s the short film. How unlucky is this bloke?

www.putterfingers.co.uk 

 

The Eiffel Tower has a minigolf course for a week!

Gallic landmark hosts sky-high putting action

eiffel tower minigolf crazy golf ryder cup 2018

It’s fairly common to see an Eiffel Tower obstacle out on a minigolf course – after all, its inviting arch makes a natural target to putt through. La Tour Eiffel pops up most often on ’round the world’ – type courses featuring famous landmarks. Made out of metal, wood or whatever came to hand, the giraffe-like structure is a pleasing addition to any minigolf course.

So what if we told you that now you can play minigolf ON the Eiffel Tower rather than through a miniature version of it? That’s right, there is now a minigolf course on the viewing platform of the actual Eiffel Tower! In Paris!

It’s all part of the build-up to the 28th of September 2018, the day the next Ryder Cup starts. The big ‘big golf’ event will be held at Le Golf National near Paris, and the organisers have only gone and bagged the city’s most famous landmark for some promotional stunts, including the two team captains hitting golf balls off the tower down the Champ de Mars (what people picnicking down there thought of this has not been reported).

And as part of these events, for the first time ever a minigolf course has been installed on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower. It’s a themed 6-hole ‘tour of Paris’ with players putting past the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe and – guess what – an itty-bitty Eiffel Tower, on their way to the Ryder Cup itself. With the thousands of visitors to the tower each day, it’s bound to generate extra ticket sales for the Ryder Cup.

It’s only there for a week, but we think it’s a great piece of marketing from the Ryder Cup folks. If you’re in Paris this week and are OK with heights, go and have a play!

Here’s a report on this amazing attraction (with photos) from golfshake.com.

eiffel tower mini golf
The minigolf course is up there on the first floor.

Halloween minigolf action around the UK

Putting Pumpkins, it’s Halloween!


halloween crazy golf

Here’s a rundown of ghoulish Halloween minigolf action going on around the UK. It’s half term, so it’s a great time to take the kids out for some scary-ish putting action. A number of adventure golf courses and themed attractions are putting on spooky putting events, so read this and see if there’s one behind you … I mean near you.

October already! But that means half-term and Halloween at the end of the month – and we've got lots of spooky fun…

Posted by Four Ashes Golf Centre on Sunday, October 1, 2017

Four Ashes Golf Centre in Solihull have Spooky Adventure Golf during the half term week, with a free trick or treat tub for each kid and free hot chocolate before 12 pm.

Globalls in Brighton have glow-in-the-dark creepies on their Jurassic course for an extra-spooky UV experience.

Lost World Adventure Golf, Hemsby have made their course super-scary for some petrifying putting.

Halloween minigolf

Tee Rex Golf in Cardiff has been infested by spiders, ghouls and ghosts waiting in the shadows to jump out at you.

Chichester Golf Club have creepy things going on at their adventure golf course, with a halloween fun and pumpkin lighting event from 2 to 6 pm on Friday the 27th.

Codonas Amusement and Theme Park’s in Aberdeen is ghosting … I mean hosting its CarnEvil Haunted Walkthrough on Friday from 6-11pm (This one is for 15 + only).

Halloween minigolf

Forest of Dean Adventure Golf are holding a ‘Putt and Pose’ competition on Saturday 28th from 6-8 pm with a prize for the best Halloween costume (adult and child categories).

Haigh Woodland Park, Wigan have Pumpkin Carving; Flower Cauldron Making; Ice Scream Party; Pig Tail Trail (Sunday); Halloween at Crazy Golf (Sunday).

These are some of the spooky minigolf events that we are aware of here at Putterfingers Plaza. It’s pretty easy to find one near you – try googling ‘Halloween minigolf’, ‘Halloween crazy golf’ or ‘Halloween adventure golf’ along with your locality.

For more Halloween minigolf action in the UK and abroad, check out minigolf supremo Richard Gottfried’s blog posts about Halloween.