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.
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.
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.
We are now officially living in The Future. With self-driving cars, pizzas delivered by robots and TVs thinner than a polar bear, it’s probably about time to update the sport of minigolf as well as everything else. Puttshack, a new venture to hit London’s White City is March 2018, is doing just that.
Westfield London‘s 20,000 square foot high-tech crazy golf centre is the result of a collaboration between ping pong venue Bounce and global computerised golf phenomenon Topgolf. Topgolf already use in-ball computer technology at their golf driving ranges where players hit their ball at a dartboard-style target. Your microchipped ball sends data back to a digital scoreboard and points are scored for distance and proximity to the centre. Along with food, drinks and other games at Topgolf’s venues, it has proven popular – a new bowling alley for our times.
This leisure concept is being ported over to minigolf for the new venue in West London. Players will see video replays of their shots and will be able to participate in interactive quiz holes and pinball-style challenges. Suitably swish cocktails will be served to ride the wave of the current gin craze, and their executive chef has created a scrummy-looking menu.
We look forward to the high-tech venue opening in March 2018, and time will tell if ‘the most incredible minigolf concept in the world’ is a hit with Londoners.
Meanwhile, if all this technology is all too much for you, we still supply traditional minigolf courses to hire for events, parties, weddings and corporate events! We don’t think the desire for good old minigolf will go away any time soon!
We all know that minigolf is fun, but is it actually good for you? The answer is a resounding ‘Yes!’ Read this brief summary of the benefits of playing minigolf to find out just how good minigolf is for you, your kids and your family.
1. Playing minigolf can burn off 300 calories an hour
That is comparable to an hour’s brisk walk. An adult will burn around 300 calories an hour and it’s good for your kids too, giving them a good cardiovascular workout.
2. Social skills
Kids will learn sportsmanship and fair play on the minigolf course, coupled with following rules and being respectful to others. It is also a good lesson in self-control and perseverance to get a result. Healthy competitiveness is the order of the day out on the minigolf course.
3. Educational benefits
Hand-eye coordination is required for a good putt. Kids can develop it while having a fun time. They can learn the logic of good form and technique: a good stance and a good swing lead to better results.
4. It isn’t Xbox!
Fresh air and free movement in the real physical world takes them away from their mobiles, video games and computers. Minigolf isn’t virtual reality, it IS reality! And fun reality too!
5. Family bonding
Families often don’t get enough time together engaging in fun activities. A trip to the local crazy golf course (or a Putterfingers hire for the garden) as a family can strengthen bonds and allow family members to compete in a fun atmosphere during their leisure time. Funny how in family photos from the minigolf course, everybody is always grinning their heads off.
So there are the top 5 ways minigolf is good for you, your kids and your family. Hire a Putterfingers course for a weekend to find out how much fun it is!
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 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…
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.
What you see in the back of this typical family car is a complete minigolf course: interlocking astro grass tiles, obstacles, putters, balls, putting cups, hole markers, scorepads and pencils. So the lucky owners of this course can take it anywhere they like and set it up in half an hour for a minigolf party, anywhere!
They have bought the course because they want to use it all year round. It goes without saying that if you hire a course, we deliver it to your venue and take it away again afterwards (though you won’t want us to!).
The photo shows the large course. Our medium and small (Funsize and Bitesize) courses are even more compact for easy transportation.
When we came up with the Putterfingers concept, we wanted to create the ultimate portable minigolf system that can be set up anywhere and used in wet or dry, with challenging obstacles and a modular format that can be arranged to fit any space, indoors or outdoors. We also designed it to fit into a standard lift shaft, so that events on the upper floors of buildings can be catered for too. Happily the British public took to it and it has become a popular hire for parties, weddings and fundraising events around the UK. Its portable and modular nature mean it is easy to set up and take down, which makes it ideal to hire for one or two-day events.
Buying a course is an option when it is needed over longer periods or used in multiple locations. For example, we have sold courses to pubs who put them out in their gardens in the Summer and pack them away in the Winter. But a Putterfingers course keeps on giving. Because it is modular, part of it can be set up indoors to keep the putting action going through the Winter. Just one or two holes at strategic locations keeps the putting punters satisfied. So pubs get 5 P’s: Portable Putting Pleasure for Putting Punters … or something.
Whether it’s for a wedding, party, corporate event, party, or just for the pleasure of owning a portable minigolf course, Putterfingers are the minigolf hire masters.
Universities and colleges pull out all the stops in September/October to make Freshers’ Week as fun as possible for their new intake of students. Societies scramble to recruit members, industrial amounts of beer are drunk and everybody gets to know their classmates for the coming year. A big part of the ‘ents’ budget goes on concerts and shows, but the students’ union needs to be a fun place in between these events as well.
We have found over the years that minigolf fits the bill nicely as an icebreaker during Freshers’ Week. It’s fun, colourful and as competitive as you want to make it. Students love to mingle over a round of minigolf, and it can even raise funds for charity at the same time if the students’ union organises a sponsored putt or mini-golfathon. Here are a few snaps from just two of the many Freshers’ Weeks Putterfingers have supplied.
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 need to get to, that shouldn’t be a problem.
The putting surface tiles are square and made from astro grass on a rubberised backing. They interlock together to create a variety of different hole shapes, and this means a course can be built around existing objects and furniture – there’s no need to clear a large space to set it up.
So with Fresher’s Week fast approaching, now’s a good time to order a Putterfingers minigolf course hire to start off the academic year with a bit of fun. We deliver to anywhere on the UK mainland.
As thousands of runners of all ages and abilities head for the start line of the London Marathon this weekend, many will be taking part to raise funds for their chosen charities. You don’t necessarily have to dress as a muppet or a banana to run the marathon for charity, but it does tend to get you more sponsorship!
There’s another type of marathon that really works for fundraising, and isn’t anywhere near as exhausting as running (or staggering) twenty-six and a bit miles. The relatively gentle setting of a nine-hole minigolf course can be a fundraising magnet if you stage the event right. Here’s how to do a mini-golfathon!
Pick your day. You’ll need several weeks or longer to publicise the event, and for participants to raise sponsorship. For a Summer mini golfathon, the time to start planning is now.
Plan the event format. It can be a 24-hour mini-golfathon where total number of holes putted can approach 250. Players sponsored per hole will raise quite a lot if they have the stamina! Make sure drinks and snacks are available for everybody. Alternatively, players can get sponsored for how many holes they putt in an hour, two hours, or another period that fits with your event arrangements.
Secure a venue. It can be indoors or outdoors, as our equipment works just as well either way.
Check with Putterfingers for course hire availability on your planned day. We usually have enough stock to accommodate everyone, but at particularly busy periods such as the Summer months it’s worth calling us to see if we can cater for you.
Get your publicity out there. We can help you on the day with minigolf course branding to promote your cause, but the lion’s share of the donkey work (to use a mixed animal metaphor) is up to you!
Approach local celebrities or public figures such as MPs, mayors and business leaders. Ask them to participate by hitting the first putt, speaking, or engaging in a photo opportunity with the public. Even better if you can do this before the event as well as during it, to raise interest and gain sponsored players. We can provide customised sponsorship forms if you don’t have time and resources to make your own.
Order your personalised scorecards from Putterfingers. It can take us a couple of weeks to get them printed for you.
Do more publicity. You can never do too much!
Ask local companies to sponsor a hole. They get publicity from it, and you get money for your cause. It’s a win-win. We can assist with adding their company branding to hole flags and course edge bumpers.
Arrange delivery and collection of your Putterfingers kit. We supply:
A 9-hole crazy golf course
Plenty of putters and balls
Sponsorship forms, if required
A staff member to assist with organisation on the day (subject to location)
Organiser packs with complete golfathon instructions.
Here’s an example of a mini golfathon staged by the charity Guide Dogs.
There’s plenty happening in the minigolf world as the weather warms up and we all emerge from our winter holes! From now until Octoberish, minigolfers will have the delights of al fresco putting as well as the year-round fun of indoor adventure golf. Hardcore minigolfers will have carried on through the winter regardless, but in terms of numbers out on the courses, Spring and Summer are peak times. Minigolf attractions are gearing up for the increased footfall by reimagining themselves or opening for the first time. Whether indoors or outdoors, minigolf is in full swing. Here are a few of the exciting things going on this Spring.
Birdies at Roof East
Let’s start in the capital, where urban park Roof East in Stratford will be back on the 4th of May with an offering that includes a roller disco, cinema, crazy golf and bowls. The Social, Fun & Games Club is home to Birdies Rooftop Crazy Golf, a popular destination in recent years, with a bar open from noon at weekends and 5pm on weekdays and tickets at £8 for a round of minigolf.
Bents Garden & Home
We’ve been tweeting and facebooking about the exciting new dinosaur adventure golf park at Bents Garden and Home in Glazebury, Cheshire. Now it’s open, and here’s a first look inside with a gallery of photos of the nine-holer and its life-sized moving dinosaurs. Jurassic Cove Adventure Golf is open 10 to 17:30 with the last ball served 30 minutes before closing. Just keep your eyes peeled for large hungry raptors.
Devon’s Jurassic adventure golf park
Another Jurassic-themed adventure golf park has opened its doors down in Devon. We’ve been following the development of the attraction at Seafield Gardens in Seaton as the it was being built on the site of the former putting green, and wish Seaton all the best with its newly completed minigolf landmark. Here’s some local news and info about it.
Crazy golf is part of a plan being touted for the redevelopment of Aldershot’s lido. However, there is quite strong local opposition to the plan as it would see the much-loved lido pool disappear and be replaced with a giant splash pad. We love minigolf, but don’t want to see it built at the expense of any local treasures. We’ll report on any developments in this story.
As always, for all your Spring minigolf needs, whether it be course hire, putters, balls, obstacles, novelty balls, gifts, wedding minigolf hire, or branded courses for events, get in touch with Putterfingers, the minigolf masters.
If you’re given 36 square tiles, how many different combinations can you arrange them in? According to one quick calculation, it’s 7140. We’re not mathematicians, but that’s one answer we have obtained and please correct us if the number should be higher or lower. But one thing we do know is that with Putterfingers astrograss putting surface tiles that interlock to create a smooth and seamless putting green, the number of combinations is … well, a lot.
Our Supersize course has 36 tiles. In theory, you could create one very long putting hole (36 metres or 118 feet!), or a 6 by 6 square with various obstacles and multiple cups to sink the ball into. But you’ll probably want a 9-hole course with greens numbered 1 to 9 if you want your score cards to have a score for a number of separate holes. Let’s look at some of the various shapes that can be made by simply slotting the tiles together.
First, the procedure to create a minigolf hole is simple and consists of four easy steps. The image below shows the four stages:
Lay out the tiles in the desired pattern.
Join the tiles together via the dovetailed interlocks on their edges.
Add foam bumper edges, which attach with velcro.
Add obstacles and a hole.
Obviously a straight hole is the simplest option, but you can create a number of different combinations to make the holes more interesting and challenging. The foam bumpers can also be used as obstacles and for bank shots. Here are a few ideas for holes with 3 or 4 tiles.
It’s possible to get a hole in one on these designs with a bit of practice. But if you want more fiendish holes that are par 2’s or 3’s, you can get more creative and do things like this:
You won’t get 9 holes if you’re using 12 tiles per hole as in the above picture, but you can stage a putting challenge with 3 large and challenging holes similar to these, to see who can hole out with the fewest strokes.
If you hire a course and we set it up for you, we’ll usually set up 9 holes in a variety of shapes with an average of 4 tiles per hole. But with the flexibility our modular system provides, there are so many ways to set up a course that each course will be unique in its layout of tiles, bumpers and obstacles.
If you buy a course, then every time you set it out it can be different!
To find out more about our modular putting system, call 08450 570 321 or email email@example.com