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!

Putterfingers appear in BBC feature on minigolf

Putterfingers were delighted to be interviewed recently by a top BBC reporter for a feature article about crazy golf which sat on the front page of the BBC News website for over a week. This interest from the Beeb shows how popular minigolf is becoming in the UK and how interest in it as a significant leisure pursuit and competitive sport is growing.Crazy golf_mini golf hire

When the phone rang one day at Putterfingers Towers, our logistics manager Richard Clarke answered it in the usual way: “Good morning, Putterfingers, Richard speaking. How may we surprise and delight you and your guests with an expertly-crafted and professionally delivered bespoke crazy golf solution today?”

Or he might have just said, “Hello, Putterfingers.”

When the voice on the other end announced that it belonged to Kevin Peachey, Personal Finance and Consumer Affairs Reporter at the BBC, and that it wanted to talk to us about the crazy golf business for a feature article, Richard said, “Of course. I am a gold mine of statistics and information on all aspects of the manufacture, hire, sale and installation of miniature golf, crazy golf and other putting-based games in the UK. Please ask me anything you like.”

Or he might have just said, “Um, okay?”

The ensuing twenty minutes saw Mr Peachey draw facts out of Richard’s head via the time-honoured method of asking him questions and listening to the answers. Finally the golden soundbite Mr Peachey was looking for fell from Richard’s lips: “The business of crazy golf has a fair bit of growth left in it.”

This gem of industry insight made it into the final draft of the feature article Crazy Golf just got (a bit) serious, which resides on the national BBC news website.

BBC article_Crazy golf just got seriousIt’s a good read, with profiles of some top British minigolf players, some info about the tournament circuit, equipment used in matches, a few of the rules of competition, a bit of minigolf history, some current leisure trends and mini golf’s place in the leisure market.

We were particularly chuffed that the top BBC journo read through our blog posts as part of his research, and used some of what he found there, particularly the history of mini golf (this and this).
“Anyone tempted to train for potential Olympic glory may want a course at home”, writes Peachey. “A self-assembly “supersize” nine-hole crazy golf course, with assorted obstacles, 18 putters, 18 balls and 1,000 scorecards certainly sounds like the ultimate kidult gift.

funsize-minigolf-course

But it does not come at pocket money prices. It is yours for £3,000.

More affordable, perhaps, is hiring a four-hole course for just over £200.

Selling and renting these courses is Putter Fingers, a business based in Thetford in Norfolk, which bizarrely is an off-shoot of a software company which started selling courses mainly to show off its ability to make websites.

“The business of crazy golf has a fair bit of growth left in it,” says logistics manager Richard Clarke, explaining that putters are the biggest seller.

“Schools, corporate event organisers, couples looking to entertain their guests at a wedding, and birthday entertainers are all regular customers.”

Our business continues to grow along with national interest in minigolf, and we’re really happy to play a part in it.

If you are interested in hiring or buying one of our courses for your event or venue, then please get in touch on 01284 848330 or email office@connectedshopping.com