Hastings Adventure Golf announce £2.4M Pirate Golf Development

Pirate Golf development plan at Hastings Adventure Golf

Outdoor minigolf centre Hastings Adventure Golf have released plans for a new indoor crazy golf course at their complex on Hastings seafront. The idea is to cover the current Pirate Golf course with a brand-new building and leave the Adventure Golf and Crazy Golf courses external. Hastings Adventure Golf say this will offer year-round minigolf family fun, day and night, in all weathers. Hastings Adventure Golf are inviting comments from the public on this project, and initial feedback on social media is mostly positive. The build is entirely funded by Hastings Adventure Golf.

Architect’s illustrations of the new building show an aquarium-like structure covering the Pirate Golf course, joined to a two-storey building housing a café and observation platform / leisure space. The observation platform appears to jut out over the existing Hastings Adventure Golf fish and chip shop. The building covers approximately the area occupied by the current Pirate Course. The architectural style is Modernist, from an era (the 1930s) when designers wanted everything to look like an ocean liner. We think it sits well on Hastings beach because its natural curves are unobtrusive and it echoes other buildings in this style along the south coast, such as Marine Court just along the beach in St Leonards, the Ocean Hotel in Saltdean and the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill. We reckon this architect has done his or her homework to make this new proposed structure fit in.

Pirate Golf Hastings new building plan

“I’d be lying if I said it won’t boost our business,” said Manager Simon Tompkins when we called him about the refurb. “But we’re throwing it out to the community for their comments to see if they agree with our view that it will reduce the seasonality of the mini golf facilities at Hastings, allow the elderly to play all year round, and provide additional catering and viewing opportunities on the seafront.”

Simon also revealed that they have come to know the building design as ‘The Cloud’ or ‘The Wave’, and that the Pirate Golf course will remain largely unchanged inside it, except for a few slight amendments to holes which might be necessary.

In an interview with the Hastings Observer, Simon said: “As a business that is owned by locals, run by locals and employs locally, we have always been incredibly aware of ensuring that anything we do has a maximum positive impact on Hastings first and foremost. This project is a large investment as part of a recovery process that the whole town is working toward and we’re very hopeful that local residents and businesses will support us in this plan to bring an economic boost to the town as well as extra jobs.” 

The Putterfingers.com mini golf team played at Hastings Adventure Golf recently in the World Crazies. Read our post about that here.

If you live locally and want to give your opinion about this proposed development, use the comments form on Hastings Adventure Golf’s website.

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

Special Christmas obstacles for Crazy golf hires!

Special Christmas Obstacles mini golf

Perhaps you think mini golf is more of a summer pastime, to be played at the seaside. In fact, with our hire equipment it can be played all year round because putterfingers.com crazy golf courses work indoors too. It breaks the ice and provides some warm and sociable fun on cold winter days. And wait till your hear about our special Christmas obstacles!

Our Christmas hires are so popular that we have also created a set of cheeky, fun Christmas-themed obstacles to lay out on the course. The multi-talented Snowman, gorgeous Snow Globes and baubly Christmas Trees are the perfect backdrop for a spot of festive putting, and they are a great photo opportunity too. The indoor courses come with low-bounce balls designed to stay on the course.

The Christmas Obstacle collection consists of 5 types:

  • Snowboarding Snowman
  • Skiing Snowman
  • Skating Snowman
  • Christmas Tree x2
  • Snow Globe x2

These unique obstacles are hand made by us and cannot be found anywhere else. You can hire them as add-ons to a mini golf course this Christmas, to give it an extra special festive feel.

Snow globe special christmas obstacles for crazy golf hire

You can hire the whole set or just two or three. It depends on the size of course you are hiring from us and how you want to lay it out.

When you hire a course from us, we ship the equipment on a pallet to the venue or to the address you give us, and it’s a breeze to set up. It typically takes about 30 minutes to lay out the course so that it is ready to play. This makes it easy to hold pop-up Christmas mini golf events.

Our flexible putting system lets you lay out the course to fit the venue. You can build multiple smaller holes dotted around, or a few larger holes. Many variations are possible.

Crazy golf hire christmas

Putterfingers Christmas mini golf courses come in a range of sizes to suit different venues. A course can be the main attraction at your Christmas event or a sideshow, it’s your call. And there’s sure to be a package that suits your entertainment budget as well.

Find out more about Christmas crazy golf hire or enquire about prices to add Christmas obstacles to your hire

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.

Get Freshers Weeks swinging with mini golf

Freshers week mini golf
Freshers Week mini golf at Sheffield Hallam University

If you are involved in planning this year’s Fresher’s Week activities at your university or college, why not consider adding crazy golf to the mix?

Crazy golf is now hugely popular in the UK and competitive socialising is booming in the leisure industry. Many towns and cities popular with students, may even be home to one of the latest crazy golf venues that have been popping from the likes of Junkyard Golf, Plonk Golf, Ghetto GolfSwingers, Mr Mulligans, and a growing number of other chains.

We hire out minigolf courses to universities for open days, freshers weeks, graduation days, parties, fundraising events, Students’ Union activities and sports days. All ages and abilities can play, and the courses are wheelchair friendly too.

UEA Freshers Week crazy golf
Freshers Week mini golf at UEA

Our equipment’s modular design means they can be laid out to fit almost any indoor or outdoor space and can even be laid around or through other things that are going on. The putting surface consists of square astro grass tiles that dovetail together to build a wide variety of shapes, which makes it highly adaptable to any venue.

Mini golf is a great icebreaker at colleges and universities. It can be a fun addition to students’ unions, common rooms, outdoor events, open days, freshers weeks, graduation parties, fundraising events (sponsored mini-golfathons are great for that.). A round of crazy golf is an informal way for students to get to know each other and to add some casual, sociable competition to your institution.

University of Hertfordshire crazy golf freshers week
Freshers Week mini golf at the University of Hertfordshire

We can supply various sizes of course from 4 holes to 9 holes, and the putting surface will not damage floors thanks to its rubberised backing. It can be used outdoors too, anywhere with a reasonably flat surface such as a lawn, plaza or campus path. We supply everything needed: putting surface, side bumpers, putters, balls, score cards and pencils, putting cups, obstacles and hole cones. A complete portable minigolf course can fit into a standard lift shaft, so whichever floor of the students’ union it needs to get to, that shouldn’t be a problem.

Interested in hiring mini golf for a university or college event? Find out more on our Schools and Colleges page.

Par-tee food: our top ten mini golf recipes

As the Summer party season kicks off and outdoor mini golf becomes a thing again, we thought we’d throw out some catering ideas to keep your al fresco mini golf party swinging. Par-tee snacks are necessary on the mini golf course to keep spirits up and just celebrate life generally. Nobody should have to putt on an empty stomach. Don’t let hunger be an obstacle – there are enough of those already. So let’s get stuck in to the Putterfingers Top Ten snack list, by appointment to Her Majesty The Green.

Low Bounce Jelly

Par-tee food low bounce jelly

We sell low bounce jelly practice balls and they are great, but due to consumer protection laws and the Food Standards Agency we wouldn’t recommend eating them. So here is an alternative recipe from BBC Good Food: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/summer-berry-lime-jellies

Banana PARfait

Par-tee food banana parfait

If you put enough bananas in, and maybe a bit of food colouring, this one will match our yellow foam edge bumpers and is just the snack to help you putt out of your skin. It’s naughty but nice and will definitely help to keep your scores down and avoid too many slip-ups. https://www.greatbritishchefs.com/recipes/banana-parfait-recipe

Bread and PUTTER Pudding

Par-tee food bread and butter pudding

The ultimate energy-giver, this classic uses up stale white bread and gives it a custardy, raisiny, nutmeggy, sugary, creamy, cinnamonny coating that raises it to a hole new level. https://www.thespruceeats.com/bread-and-butter-pudding-recipe-435728

Surf ‘n’ Astroturf

par-tee food surf n turf minigolf food

Simply cook this, put it into tortilla shells and cover it in chopped rocket or parsley for that Astro turf look. Big golfers can also enjoy it because it contains LOBster. https://www.dinneratthezoo.com/surf-and-turf-recipe/

The Bogie Hoagie

par-tee food minigolf bogie hoagie

After holing out in one over par, sink your gnashers into one of these to console yourself. This one would be ideal at Sandwich Mini Golf course. https://cookienameddesire.com/how-to-build-the-perfect-hoagie/

Club Sandwich

par-tee food club sandwich mini golf

Instead of a cocktail stick or little wooden skewer to hold together this tower of punning deliciousness, use a golf tee. https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a32714107/club-sandwich-recipe/

Toad in the Hole

par-tee food toad in the hole mini golf

Most people know how to make this classic dish or knows someone who does, so no need for a recipe LINK here. Just make sure to BATTER your opponents into submission.

Tweed Jacket Potato

Par-tee food tweed jacket potato

The traditional prize for the British Adventure Golf Masters is a tweed jacket from a charity shop. Mirroring the even more famous Green Jacket from the ‘big golf’ Masters, it is the most coveted prize in mini golf. Why not have your own prize for the winner: a jacket potato cooked with the skin scored in a criss-cross pattern to make it come out looking like a tweed jacket?

Golf Ball Salad

par-tee food golf ball salad mozzarella

This one looks the part. Mini mozzarella balls drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar with garlic, basil and cherry tomatoes. That will fill a hole. https://thriftyjinxy.com/mozz/

G and Tee

par-tee food g and tee mini golf

Here are ten different ways to make this classic cooling drink to calm your nerves out on the mini golf course. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/10-gin-and-tonics-twist

Got any more suggestions for par-tee food, snacks and drinks? Send them to office@eventstuff.ltd and we’ll share them on social media!

Marketing for minigolf: Richard Gottfried

Marketing for minigolf

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!

Marketing and minigolf Richard Gottfried
Image courtesy of Richard Gottfried

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.

Marketing for minigolf
Image courtesy of Richard Gottfried

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.

Marketing for mini golf
golf course branding banners marketing minigolf

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!

Golf event branding by Putterfingers Print

Putterfingers are now offering a range of large format print products to enhance golf courses. We have the technology and design expertise to print branded photo boards, leader boards, banners and other display media. We’re on a mission to make golf and mini golf venues look more attractive and professional!

golf course branding banners

Face in hole boards

The face in hole boards are colourful, fun, free-standing images featuring characters with the faces cut out and holes for people to put their own face in. They are similar to traditional seaside face in hole boards but brought up to date with modern designs and materials for today’s marketing and branding needs. A branded, golf-themed face in hole board is a photo opportunity for customers to snap and share, with the venue’s brand front and centre. It is good for boosting brand awareness and adding extra fun for customers.

Leader boards

We will soon be offering branded leader boards and winner photo opportunity boards. These ideas will be on our website soon, so keep checking back or give us a call if you like the idea of these engagement-boosting visual features. They are great for your marketing and provide extra fun for your customers.

Golf print media example

One of the first customers we provided branded photo boards to was Cornwall Football Golf. The boards work in exactly the same way for golf, minigolf and adventure golf courses and for Putterfingers minigolf course hires and purchases. So why not order one to create extra visual impact and photo opportunities at your minigolf course?

The image above is the design for a board featuring two football players flanking England’s number 11 player and raising a trophy, with the football golf course in the background. Notice the website address, social media handle and hashtag. These are there so that visitors to tag their photos, which gives Cornwall Football Golf some extra online exposure.

Accompanying that board is a photo stand-in – a branded frame with a large cutout for several people to get into. Again, the idea is to get visitors to share their photos online, which helps to spread the message about the attraction.

Marketing mini golf course print media

Print banners

We also provide large format printed materials such as banners for marketing messages and announcements. These can be fixed to walls or freestanding and moveable. For indoor communications, you could choose a branded and custom-designed roller banner.

Get an edge over competitors

Looking to attract more customers and get better reviews? Add visual appeal with Putterfingers print products, created by the Minigolf Masters!

Boost your visual presence by calling us on 01842 337 100 or using our contact form!

Minigolf magic for corporate fun days

Minigolf for corporate fun days
A recent hire at the offices of Orms Designers & Architects. Being designers and architects, they created their own obstacles!

Experience has shown us that mini golf is always a hit at corporate fun days. It brings people together for networking and team building and can boost morale and productivity. Our mini golf hire courses are modular, which means they can be assembled to fit virtually any space, indoors or outdoors. The equipment is designed to fit into the footprint of a standard lift shaft, so that no matter which floor the event happens on in multi-storey buildings, getting the equipment up and down between floors is as simple as possible.

Crazy golf hire corporate fun days
A breakout area on the roof at WeWork, Momument, London

Minigolf hire is a sure fire success at team building events, annual parties, open days, staff fun days and even training days. It can also be used by management to observe employees in their natural habitat. A Morrisons manager told us:

“We used the mini golf setup with obstacles to set our managers the challenge of finding the shortest solution to get the ball in the hole, thus using the golf as an analogy to overcome obstacles in the workflow processes.”

It has also been shown to help interviewees relax on the recruitment treadmill and show who they really are. As one entrepreneur said:

““Within half an hour of entering the room, interviewees are more relaxed. What they don’t realise is that over a game of mini-golf, they’re giving off who they are as people – we get to know them better than if they were in a stale white room with a desk.” More on that here.

Minigolf can be seen as a microcosm of golf. ‘Big golf’ is famous for being a place where deals are struck and businesspeople have a chance to discover each other’s true characters. With a minigolf hire for a corporate event, you get a similar competitive environment distilled into a smaller area.

Corporate fun days mini golf hire
A few of the corporate customers we have supplied with mini golf hire.

Putterfingers mini golf courses can be fully branded for corporate fun days and other business events. Tee-off mats, edge bumpers and scorecards can all carry a firm’s logo and message. This can make employees feel good about their employer as a source of fun, impresses visitors and looks professional.

Some companies chose to hire a minigolf course for a week for their breakout area, just for staff to enjoy. It helps staff to relax and get to know each other better.

Minigolf breakout room

To hire a minigolf course for a company event like a fun day, even if it’s at (fairly!) short notice, call the Putterfingers team on 01842 337 100, fill in our contact form or send us an email.

Planning a BIG minigolf break

Guest Blog post by Richard Gottfried of The Ham and Egger Files.

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.

Crazy golf courses
Richard Gottfried playing Pirates Landing indoor Adventure Crazy Golf at the Fairworld Amusement Arcade in Cleethorpes 18-05-18 by Emily Gottfried

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.

The journey

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…?

Crazy golf courses Prestatyn
Richard Gottfried playing Crazy Golf in Prestatyn September 2018 by Emily Gottfried

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.

Pay-to-enter

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.

Crazy golf courses Rhyl
Emily Gottfried at the Pirate Island Adventure Golf at Lyons Robin Hood Holiday Camp in Rhyl 230917 by Richard Gottfried

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!