C4’s Lego Masters build a minigolf course!

The stars seem to have aligned this week for a combination of two of our favourite things: minigolf and Lego. Three unrelated events involving minigolf and Lego have made us wonder why the world has waited so long to realise that it’s a perfect combination!

1. We posted a photo of a minigolf hole we’ve made out of Megabricks. These are not Lego but fit together in a similar way to build structures. Megabricks are giant plastic blocks – like breeze blocks – that are colourful, fun, strong and can build almost anything. Because we’re Putterfingers, we naturally built a few minigolf holes. Here’s one of them.

Megabricks lego crazy golf hole

Looks great, doesn’t it? When we posted it online, the reaction was ‘Wow, that’s new!’ We haven’t put Megabricks minigolf on our site yet, but get in touch with us if you are interested in hiring or buying a blocky and colourful minigolf set that’s really different!

2. On Channel 4’s Lego Masters last night, one of the challenges was to build a crazy golf course out of Lego. With our Megabricks it doesn’t take long because each brick is big. But with little Lego bricks it must have taken them ages. They had to make moving obstacles with motorised parts, and the hole had to be playable. Quite a challenge.

If you don’t know what Lego Masters is, it’s a show with a similar format to MasteChef and others where contestants compete to produce the best creation for a panel of judges in a limited time. The fact that they chose minigolf as a challenge for the builders goes to show how popular minigolf is at the moment!

The show will be on Channel 4 On Demand for 60 days after this post’s publication.

3. LegoLand Florida are building a minigolf course! The blocky U.S. attraction has filed plans for a 10,000 square foot minigolf area as part of its expansion to include areas dedicated to the Lego Movie franchise.

Lego Land Florida to build minigolf course

It seems the world has gone Lego minigolf mad, just after Putterfingers had the idea of tinkering with plastic bricks to make minigolf holes and published photos on social media. Maybe – just maybe – somebody at C4 and LegoLand Florida was watching!

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Celebrity Antiques Road Trip features minigolf!

‘Big Top Ted’ McIver shows his passion for minigolf on BBC2

Some excellent minigolf footage has appeared on Celebrity Antiques Road Trip on BBC2! In Episode 1 of Season 8, Denise Van Outen and Tim Medhurst find themselves hunting for antiques in Margate, then they swing by Strokes Adventure Golf. There they meet none other than 3-time British Open champ John ‘Big Top Ted’ McIver! It’s great to see him chatting away genially with the celebs. McIver is a bit of a celeb himself in the minigolf world, and a very nice bloke to boot.

Van Outen and Medhurst trundle up in their convertible Morris Minor and hit the course to find Ted, whom they quiz about the history of minigolf. He is more than happy to oblige and launches into a potted history of the sport – a putted history really – that touches on several of the landmark eras and places in the development of our beloved game.

Big Top Ted mentions the Himalayas course at St Andrews, site of the Ladies’ Putting Club, which was a precursor to minigolf. The narrator then describes Golfstacle, the first mini golf set you could buy, before going across the pond to address the minigolf explosion over there. Ted then talks about some of the crazier things to be found on mini golf courses during its early heyday, including trained bears and monkeys.

This is high quality footage of minigolf on the Beeb, and we’re delighted to see it. Big Top Ted’s enthusiasm is obvious and he comes across really well. Here’s the clip.

It’s a bit of a shame we didn’t get to see three-time British champion McIver demonstrate his putting technique, but it was probably hard to concentrate with TV cameras there and celebs yacking in his face. Still, it’s another great bit of minigolf footage that we just had to share with our blog readers!

Minigolf hire in the UK: Putterfingers.co.uk 

Putterfingers phone: 08450 570321

Email Putterfingers for minigolf hire information

What kind of events is minigolf best for?

Planning an event and looking for guest entertainment? Minigolf is the go-to choice of event planners around the UK in 2018. Minigolf covers all the bases because all ages can play it and it’s a simple game that takes seconds to grasp. But it has that ‘one more go’ factor that keeps guests entertained. Minigolf is great for all the following types of events.

Corporate events

events where minigolf is a good hire choice

Anniversary parties, awards ceremonies, fun days, team building days, breakout activities, recruitment … playing a round of minigolf breaks the ice, shows people’s competitive spirit, reveals a bit about character and just allows people to enjoy themselves. HR departments and corporate event planners around the UK have hired flexible Putterfingers minigolf packages to suit the space they have available and the type of event they are organising.

Marketing events

Minigolf corporate events
A little goes a long way for engaging people at trade shows

 

Product launches, promotions, trade shows, awareness campaigns … any business event where the aim is to engage people, we’ve got an option to suit. From single putting lanes at trade shows to fully-branded 9-hole courses at shopping centres, a branded minigolf course gets people into your product or service while they have fun putting. Google are currently touring the USA with a branded minigolf course to promote their product Google Home, so that tells you something about how top marketing minds see the value of minigolf in creating public engagement. It can work for your company, too.

Fundraising events

Events minigolf hire
A branded minigolf course for Guide Dogs in use at an expo

Charities and causes can use minigolf to raise awareness and funds. We have helped to organise numerous sponsored minigolf-a-thons, putting challenges and tournaments. We can brand a course to help project the right image and can help to organise the event if necessary. Recently we’ve done this for Guide Dogs, Age Concern and several other charities.

Weddings

Wedding minigolf

We do so many weddings we have lost count! Minigolf is perfect for wedding receptions because all ages can play it. We can work directly with the wedding venue to take pressure off the bride and groom and family. Delivery and collection is all done by us, and if the wedding is not too far away from us we’ll set up and pack away the course for you as well. The courses work indoors or outdoors. Talk to us for details!

School fun days

School fun days minigolf events

Minigolf is great for kids because it teaches hand-eye coordination and fair play. It’s a popular addition to school fun days and sports halls. A purchase option is available for schools who wish to use a minigolf course regularly. The modular tiles mean the whole course stores away in a small footprint for the next use.

Pubs & Hotels

Putterfingers 9 hole Crazy Golf set up

Particularly in the Summer months, a minigolf course can be a profitable addition to a pub or hotel because it helps to pull in the punters and give them something enjoyable to do while they quaff your ale. They might even work up more of a thirst as well! Hire a course for a weekend event or buy a course to use on a long term basis. Pub & hotel owners can lay out a course and charge to play or just have it there for customers to use. Minigolf tournaments and leagues are a good way to get the most out of your minigolf course because they appeal to people’s competitive instincts and keep them coming back.

Parties

crazy golf events

These folks really went for it and had a golf-themed party with the minigolf course as the centrepiece. Whatever party you are throwing – birthday, office, seasonal, housewarming or for no particular reason other than to have fun – minigolf helps to break the ice and get people laughing.

Hire or buy – it’s your choice. Here’s how to start the ball rolling!

Get in touch with Putterfingers

08450 570321

office@connectedshopping.com

Putterfingers.co.uk

Footpool: coming soon to Putterfingers!

Let’s have a little sing-song to the tune of ‘Football’s Coming Home’ …

footpool

Why the daft song? Because THIS is coming soon to Putterfingers: [Update 09 May 2018: it’s here!]

footpool hire

Yes, it’s footpool – the blend of soccer and pool that is taking the nation by storm. And it’s available very soon from Putterfingers. Our version has ‘spots and stripes’ balls, just like the pool played in pubs. But the difference is, this pool table is 14 feet long and you play with your feet. There’s no learning curve at all to get playing, but it takes a bit of skill to build a break and pot the black.

The playing surface is ‘grippy’ and non-slip for safety, and the balls are low-bounce futsal balls designed to stay in play on this table. All the physics of pool are there – bounce and spin work like they do on a pool table. But you won’t need any chalk and there’s no offside rule. Everybody reckons they’ve got a bit of footy skill, which makes this game a compulsive winner at events, weddings and parties because pretty much everyone wants to have a go as soon as they see it.

A typical game is fairly short, which means guests don’t spend too long waiting for their turn. The cushions are wide enough to stand on to take a shot when the ball is tight against them, which we think is a good feature.

We deliver a table to you and set it up, so all you need to do is hire it, tell us the date, and let your guests have fun playing footpool!

We reckon it’s nearly as much fun as minigolf, which coming from us is really saying something.

footpool
Probably the least age-specific game there is.

 

footpool wedding hire
Footpool is an easy way to add extra fun to a wedding party.

We’ve already got the equipment and we’re going to add it to our website soon – but footpool is available to hire now! Call us for all the details if you are planning an event or wedding party (indoors or outdoors). 08450 570321

Or request footpool hire details from us at office@connectedshopping.com

Summer event minigolf hire – guaranTEED fun!

Another Summer is nearly here (don’t laugh, it is on its way despite widespread belief to the contrary). For that quintessentially British Summer guest entertainment event, the garden party, what can a host add to the Pimm’s and cucumber sandwiches to make it a memorable day? Some kind of lawn game is a good idea – they are sociable, fun, and just competitive enough to reveal a bit about your guests’ characters, or reinforce what you already knew about them, which is all good for a bit of sun-drenched gossip around the barbecue.

Summer crazy golf hire UK

But you don’t want your guests to work up too much of a sweat, otherwise they’ll get through all the Pimm’s in no time and someone will have to be dispatched to the shops for more. So what’s the perfect genteel game that guests of all ages and fitness levels can enjoy playing without too much physical effort?

We were stumped for a while by this question, then after a long and arduous brainstorming session it finally hit us. How about some smaller version of golf? It could be played in any size of garden, with a series of challenging holes that could be laid out in a variety of patterns. Guests could compete round the course, which could be 3, 9 or 18 holes, whilst never straying far from the drinks table. Brilliant! We had nailed it. The perfect formula for Summer garden party entertainment.

We’re Putterfingers, we’ve been doing this for ten years, and we’ve helped turn lots of garden parties into super fun events with our minigolf hire service. We’ll deliver and collect, and even set it up for you if you aren’t too far away from our base in Norfolk. The astro grass putting surface has lots of little holes in it under the grassy surface, so it drains when it rains. Summer showers are not a show-stopper and play can resume immediately after a soaking. No putting in puddles!

We provide everything needed for a game of minigolf: Astro grass tiles that dovetail together to form the putting surface, foam bumpers that go round the edges to keep the ball in play, putters (duh!), balls, obstacles, putting cups, hole markers, scorecards and pencils.

Planning a Summer event? Get in touch NOW for availability and hire details!

08450 570321

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Is the minigolf pub crawl the next big thing in leisure?

minigolf pub

Minigolf boosts business in pubs, bars & hotels

A recent article from the Daily Mail Group was titled ‘How Crazy golf has ousted fashion at shopping centres: Leisure replaces retail in the fight back against online shopping‘. If you want to read it, we’ll wait. But basically it goes on about how leisure brands ‘like’ minigolf (there’s nothing else like minigolf!) are the new in thing in retail. As regular readers of this blog will know, crazy golf emporia are springing up in city centres at an impressive rate and raking in money as the nation goes minigolf loopy.

This supports what we already know: minigolf is a proven formula for making money. The public loves it and it ties in well with food and drink. For years we’ve been hiring our minigolf courses to pubs and hotels to help them pull in custom and sell more of their stock-in-trade. If you run a pub or hotel and would like to give your customers some extra fun, here’s how to hire or buy a minigolf course from us. But we’ve just stumbled across an idea from the USA we think is even more brilliant, that could work well over here. Here it is … drum roll … the minigolf pub crawl!

Over there they call them ‘Barstool Opens’. Here’s an example from an excited local paper that gives playing tips for each of the 17 bars and restaurants hosting a hole. Why there weren’t 18 we don’t know; maybe one of them pulled out at the last minute. Or maybe the town only has 17 bars and restaurants. But if you had a beer at the first 17 minigolf joints, you’d be past caring anyway.

minigolf pub crawl

One hole per watering hole

We reckon it’s a great idea. The pubs and bars in a town or neighbourhood can agree to host one hole each – one hole per watering hole, so to speak. With enough publicity, they will all get more business. The cost of hiring or buying a minigolf course can be split between the establishments, making the cost to each venue very low. If single pubs, bars and hotels can afford to hire or buy (and they do, often hiring for short one-off events and buying for the longer term or for regular events), then it is more than affordable to a group of them who are pooling their resources. Putterfingers provide everything needed for a minigolf pub crawl: 18 holes with obstacles, putters, balls, scorecards and pencils.

 crazy golf pub crawl

If a minigolf pub crawl sounds like something you’d like to be involved inn (pun intended), give us a call on 08450 570321 and we’ll give you the lowdown on how to light up the pub trade in your area. Buy your customers a round – of minigolf!

Crazy golf hire for pubs and hotels

 

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.

 

 

Super high-tech crazy golf coming to West London!

high-tech crazy golf
It makes us think of this

Computers inside balls? Minigolf meets Star Wars

high-tech crazy golf London
Putting with one of those would be interesting

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.

“Our world first Trackaball© technology has enabled us to take mini-golf and transform it into something completely revolutionary,” gushed Bounce CEO Adam Breeden. Puttshack’s website says there will be four nine-hole courses, each one a rich immersive experience inspired by both arcade and fairground games. Current pricing puts an adult game at £12 and £8 for under-12s.

high-tech crazy golf london
A few concept drawings have been released

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!

Putterfingers.co.uk

Top 5 benefits of minigolf for kids & family

Benefits of minigolf, healthy crazy golf
It’s a learning curve

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!

View our minigolf hire packages

Minigolf hire
All ages can participate!

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.