The UK’s minigolf trade supplier

Not only do we hire out and sell the full range of minigolf equipment, but we also provide the minigolf gear for permanent minigolf courses around the UK. We’ve helped countless new courses get kitted up with the best putters, golf balls, holes, obstacles, flags, cones and scorecards to keep their business buzzing.

Course owners and other people in the minigolf trade can sign up for a trade account on our website. This gets you discounts and VAT-free pricing for bulk purchases. Sole traders and limited companies can use us as their trade supplier and get the best rates in the business, all delivered with our legendary customer service!

So, are your putters getting a bit dog-eared, or have you had a few get lost or damaged? Refresh your stock with one of our great value putter bundles. Getting low on balls? Grab one of our minigolf ball bundles and it’ll keep you going for ages. We’ll also make custom scorecards specially for your minigolf business.

Sign up for a trade account with Putterfingers

Covid safety measures

With a sport as social as minigolf, here at Putterfingers Towers we have extra work on at the moment to disinfect all crazy golf equipment before we send it out. Each putter, ball, and obstacle is wiped down with alcohol-based disinfectant. At mini golf, crazy golf and adventure golf centres, staff will also be working hard to maintain the safety and hygiene of players on their courses, whether indoors or out. At Putterfingers we now offer branded hand sanitiser stations to kit out your venue for the foreseeable future. Our hand sanitiser stations can include your logo and branding, and are available in a range of sizes. 

A quick tip for safety: players should only handle their own ball and their own putter.

We recommend staying at least two putter lengths apart at all times. This inevitably leads to people sparring with putters while shouting things like ‘en garde!’ and ‘Avast, ye blaggard!’. It’s an added benefit that helps people to practice social distancing while pretending to be pirates. Minigolf is even more fun now!

Putterfingers Crazy Golf Equipment brochure

If you are looking to restock your course, why not take a look at our 2021 Brochure of Crazy Golf Equipment?

Putterfingers Crazy Golf Equipment Brochure
Putterfingers 2021 Crazy Golf Equipment Brochure

Sign up for a Putterfingers trade account

Minigolf Tournaments Calendar 2021

Minigolf tournaments 2021
Putterfingers Managing Director Richard competing at the British Open in 2008

Minigolf tournaments can be nail-bitingly good to watch. When the leaders are separated by a single point going into the final few holes, it’s as dramatic a situation as the back nine at Augusta on the final day of The Masters. Players take the game extremely seriously, and have everything to play for in terms of the lasting glory of a tournament win. Cash prizes are far more modest than in ‘big golf’, but that’s not the point.

Top-level minigolf has its own traditions and folklore. In the USA they play at North Myrtle Beach every year for the right to wear the coveted green windbreaker – a nod to golf’s famous green jacket. And at the British Minigolf Masters, played just off the A20 Sidcup bypass, the winner gets a tweed jacket bought at a charity shop in Southend.

The minigolf world has a healthy level of self-mockery that is far more endearing than the millionaire tantrum-throwers of professional golf.

The skill levels are off the scale at the top of minigolf. Leading up to tournaments, practice regimes can be as intense as those of PGA players. The only difference is that when the tournament is over, Minigolf players generally have to go back to their day jobs.

The home of major British minigolf tournaments
The hallowed turf of Hastings Adventure Golf, where dreams are made and broken

Fancy seeing some of the top minigolf players in action, or even have a go yourself? We’ve got details of UK tournaments coming up in 2021. These are correct at the time of writing and we expect that many will go ahead, but check the BMGA website nearer the time to make sure.

May 2021

Midlands Open

29th May

Four Ashes Golf Centre, Dorridge

Event info

June 2021

Cardiff Open

26th June

Tee Rex Adventure Golf, Cardiff

Event info

July 2021

Worthing Open

10th July

Splash Point Mini Golf, Worthing

More info nearer the time

August 2021

Cambridgeshire and Essex Open

7th August

Dunton Hills Golf Course, Brentwood

More info nearer the time

BMGA Matchplay Doubles

8th August

Dunton Hills Golf Course, Brentwood

More info nearer the time

Sussex Wasps Open

29th August

Peterborough Minigolf

Event info

September 2021

World Crazy Golf Championships

10th-12th September

Hastings Adventure Golf

Event info

BMGA British Open

25th-26th September

Hastings Adventure Golf

Event info

October 2021

BMGA Club Championships

3rd October

Aces Minigolf, Gloucester

More info nearer the time

BMGA British Championships

16th-17th October

Strokes Adventure Golf, Margate

More info nearer the time

British Adventure Golf Masters

31st October

Mr Mulligan’s, Sidcup

More info nearer the time

November 2021

Cornwall Open

21st November

Woodland Adventure Golf, Saltash

More info nearer the time

All information thanks to the British Minigolf Association on the 23rd of April, 2021. Keep checking their events page for updates as the year progresses.

Need a putter or some minigolf practice gear for the garden? We stock everything you need. See the Putterfingers website

Start a mini golf hire business!

start a crazy golf business

Introducing the mini golf Business in a Box

We are now providing a mini golf hire ‘Business in a Box’ that constitutes a starter pack for anyone who wants to start a business in the events and entertainment industry, and includes all the equipment needed to start hiring out mini golf for fun and profit.

A great working environment

As well as being highly profitable, mini golf hire is a great business to be in. Customers are excited because they are planning an event. Everybody is enjoying themselves. We get a lot of satisfaction out of providing a fun activity for families, companies, charities, weddings, marketing events, conferences and exhibitions, pubs and hotels, and corporate events.

People will always need entertainment, which is what makes mini golf hire a profitable business. We have been doing it for over ten years and we’ve watched our customer base and profits soar. All we have done is run the business sensibly, put together effective packages by doing more of what works best, and been nice to people. There’s nothing stopping other entrepreneurs from doing the same. In fact, we want you to.

Low startup costs

Starting a permanent, fixed-in-one-place mini golf course is only for those with deep pockets. The costs for a land lease, landscaping, buildings, insurance, point of sale systems, signage and facilities can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds – before even paying for the actual mini golf equipment and course layouts.

To avoid these high startup costs, mini golf hire is the way to go. Our equipment can be laid out virtually anywhere, indoors and outdoors. It’s modular, so you fit it together to suit each particular venue. It can be anything from one single hole to 18 holes. And it is easily transportable. A complete kit from us fits into an average family car. What you get with our Business in a Box is a package of equipment that can be taken anywhere and set up in under half an hour, with very low overhead costs.

Crazy golf business
This is a complete course going out for hire in the back of a family car.

What’s in it for us (Putterfingers)?

Good question. Why would we want to help others succeed? Won’t that take business away from us?

The truth is, we’re already working flat out. Others can reach events in their local areas that we can’t get to. We are also a trade supplier of mini golf equipment. You buy the equipment from us, and we can supply you with consumables like balls, putters and scorecards over the long term, as well as sell you more equipment as your business grows. We can also provide services like website design and marketing advice to help you get noticed. So we get to make sales.

Crazy golf fun
Fun for weddings, corporate events, parties, charity fundraising, pubs and hotels

In case you’re wondering, this is not a franchise. Any equipment packages bought from us are yours to keep and there are no ongoing fees or profit-sharing of any kind. You get to keep one hundred percent of the proceeds from your mini golf hires – we just provide you with our tried and tested equipment bundles. You can trade under your own name and you don’t need to use our name or branding at all. In fact, we’ll add your name and branding to the equipment we sell you, on the tee-off mats, putting cups, scorecards, foam edge bumpers and elsewhere.

Mini golf hire business
A typical layout at a corporate event

The equipment bundles in our Business in a Box are composed of the same equipment you can see for hire and sale on our website. As part of the package, we invite you to our premises in Norfolk for a day or two to show you the equipment and give you guidance on event types, how to run them and how to get your business known in your area. We can also help you with a website and marketing if you don’t have your own.

Interested? The packages start at £4,000. We want you to succeed, so we’ll be available to talk to throughout the lifetime of your business. Give us a call on 01842 337 100 or use our contact form.

In the spotlight: Putterfingers catch-up with Puttstars

This National Miniature Golf Day we have had the pleasure of catching up with Puttstars, Golf Operations Manager, Andy Johnson.

Puttstars-mini golf
Copyright: Puttstars

Andy and the Puttstars team at Hollywood Bowl Group, have had the challenge of not only navigating their business around the Covid-19 safety measures, but also the opening of 2 new Puttstars venues, in the midst a Pandemic. No mean feat!

Andy shares the experience at Puttstars and their plans for the future.

You have successfully managed to launch new Puttstars venues during the Pandemic, how has this gone?

“It was a challenge, given that we usually ensure all our team are given some time training with an experienced team member, obviously this was very limited due to the restrictions we faced, however, I have been pleased with the teams and how they have handled the opening weeks. On top of this, the teams have had to operate in an environment where hand sanitising, and face masks are the norm, meaning that extra operational pressures have been put onto the teams.”

What piece of technology could you have not lived without at Puttstars?

“CRM, it’s really important to use to get to know and understand our customers, not only can we then offer them products that are desirable for them, it helps us to communicate with our customer base when required, and to push offers when trading conditions are tough.”

Has Covid-19 brought any positive changes to the business?

“NO!”

Where do you see the role of mini-golf in the competitive socialising market moving forward?

“I believe that as people move towards more experience-based leisure time, mini-golf is well placed to offer this to a range of different customers groups, whether they are families or students. For us offering the playing experience on the courses alongside a fully licensed bar, with diner and amusements makes us a great place for people to socialise and spend time with their friends and family.”

As a customer, what you can expect from a visit to Puttstars at present?

Puttstars_mini golf
Copyright: Puttstars

“A memorable experience for the right reasons hopefully, we set out trying to design holes which offer intrigue and interest and are fun for everyone to play, we have tried to create an environment where everyone is welcome and can enjoy the space, we also believe that our offering is incredibly good value for money.”

What is your best score playing Puttstars Mini Golf?

“7800, which I scored on only my 3rd round, I have been unable to better this since, much to my annoyance, and despite lots of attempts.”

What is your favourite mini golf hole at the venues?

“I don’t have one favourite, we have 27 holes within each centre that are bespoke to us and can’t be found anywhere else in the world, we spent a lot of time working with our course designers to make the playing experience a unique one.”

What do Christmas parties at Puttstars look like this year?

“I think that’s partially a question for the government, depending on what the rules are on group gatherings, without COVID we would be offering a package that contained golf, food and drink with trophies for the winners among other things, however, I think that restrictions this year will limit us. That said we will still be offering great value deals whatever the restrictions, check out our website for the latest information.”

What does the future hold for Puttstars?

“Our early trading has been very positive even launching in these unusual times, so we are confident that we can continue on our proposed path to open future sites and keep expanding our brand. Keep an eye out near you for a new Puttstars opening soon.”

Thanks to Andy for taking the time to give us an update.

About Putterfingers

At Putterfingers, we supply a whole range of mini golf equipment both to trade and for home use. Check out our website for portable crazy golf courses to hire or buy, for putters, balls, obstacles and more.

 

Welcoming back the crazy-golfers

This week we have seen the re-opening of ‘big’ golf courses across the UK following lockdown. Mini golf courses have yet to open their doors. Latest Government advice this week has suggested that leisure facilities, such as our mini-golf courses, may begin to re-open from 4th July. Depending on the all-important R-number at this time.

What preparations can crazy golf courses be making?

Social distancing

Social distancing is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Whilst this may be easier for ‘big’ golf courses to adhere to, mini-golf courses, are just that – mini.

Mini golf courses will need to follow the same example of retail and limit the number of players entering the facilities. The players will need to keep to the 2m rule and possibly only play with members of the same household initially.

Ticketing will offer the best solution for this. Whether than be through a website function or a socially distanced queue on the seafront.

HygieneHygiene for customers_sanitiser stations

“Wash your hands”…. This has been the Government’s mantra since earlier this year. Maintaining good levels of hygiene is one of the key ways we can all contribute to stopping the spread of the Coronavirus. Crazy golf courses, like all leisure facilities, will be required to provide handwashing facilities for visitors on their premises. For some, venues this may be easier than done.

Hand washing is deemed preferable, however, the practicalities of offering soap and fresh water at the entrance may make this tricky. The next best alternative will be to provide hand sanitising facilities and to make it clear to customers that this is a requirement on entering the venue.

Cleaning of equipment between players will also be a necessity. Staff will need to be able to make time for wiping Bundle_junior_puttersdown the putters and balls between groups and ensuring that equipment remains within the same group during play.

At the moment it’s a case of watch and wait to see how the next phases of lockdown pan out. It is clear however that leisure will look very different from what we have been used to.

Britain is renowned for its stoic public, we have managed so far and we will continue to!

At Putterfingers we are taking every precaution we can. Our deliveries will continue to adhere to social distancing and we will continue to thoroughly sanitise our equipment after every hire.

Hand Sanitiser Stations

Hand Sanitiser Station_1 dispenser

Our sister brand, Photo Cutouts, have been busy working on a new product – freestanding, portable hand sanitising stations. They are fully customisable with your own branding and available in different sizes for hire and to purchase. A hand sanitising station could offer mini-golf venues with the ideal solution for maintaining customer hygiene on re-opening and beyond.

Get in touch:

Get in touch with the Putterfingers team to talk about customised hand sanitiser stations and stock of all your mini-golf course supplies.

Tel no: 01284 848330

email: office@connectedshopping.com

Putt away for your first date nerves

It’s Valentines Day and love is in the air. Whether you buy into the cheese-fest that is Valentine’s or reluctant to indulge in romance, there is no getting away from the expectation to do something to mark the occasion.

For those of you taking out a date this weekend, you might be looking for something to do that on the face of it, is less of the cheesy romance and more chilled out and a good laugh.

That’s where crazy golf comes in!

Why crazy golf for date-night?

Sarasota-Golf-Valentines-ball

1. Relaxed and informal

At crazy golf venues, there won’t be a candle in sight. There is less emphasis on Valentine’s romance and more focus on enjoying each other’s company. You’ll be moving around rather than awkwardly sat at a dinner table, trying to watch your P’s & Q’s.

 

 

Crazy golf fun2. It’s a good laugh

Crazy golf courses are not designed to be easy to complete. Whilst there might be some pros for the majority of us it’s one of those activities where we are all on a level pegging… to begin with at least. You can’t be afraid to look silly with crazy golf – it’s a great way to get people to let their guard down.

 

3. There are crazy golf venues everywhere!

With so many courses opening up left, right and centre in the UK you are bound to find a course local to you. Gone are the days of crazy golf being solely a seaside pastime, the high streets of our towns and cities are awash with leisure venues. Check out Ghetto Golf, Junkyard Golf, Plonk Golf, Mr Mulligans, to name a few, and find a great venue local to you.

Competitive crazy golf4. Bring out your competitive side

Many a relationship has hit the rocks over a competitive game. We all have that one person in our life who we can’t play monopoly with without crossed words. Test the water with your latest beau over a round of crazy golf, nothing like a bit of healthy competition to bring out someone’s true colours!

 

Axe throwing for beginners ©Channel Super Fun
Axe throwing for beginners ©Channel Super Fun

5. Less risky than axe-throwing

If you’ve not been as romantic as expected, or have hogged all the duvet, then crazy golf should be the perfect activity for making amends. There’s a wealth of options for a bit of competitive socialising – but axe throwing might not be the best choice if you are starting out on the back foot!

 

So how will you be celebrating Valentines Day?

If you are popping the question, don’t forget to come back to us for your wedding mini golf hire!

Benefits of mini golf on mental health

Mental Health has been at the forefront of social media and the press this week. #ChildrensMentalHealthWeek has focussed our attention on supporting young people to manage their mental health, and #TimeToTalkDay has helped encourage people to talk about mental health and reduce stigma.

At Putterfingers, we are big advocates of the role mini golf can play in improving the mental health of players. We have blogged previously about how crazy golf can reduce stress levels, an issue closely linked to mental health. But there are ways that mini golf can be beneficial on mental health as a whole.

The New Economics Foundation developed ‘The Five Ways to Wellbeing’, a set of mental health messages, which when practised, improves the mental health and wellbeing of the whole population. Mental health charity, Mind, have clearly outlined ‘The Five Ways to Wellbeing’ concept and here is how we strongly believe that mini golf can fit into this framework.

5 Ways to Wellbeing

Connect

Social relationships are important for maintaining a healthy mind. Mini golf can offer a social activity that brings people together in a relaxed and informal environment. As a sport that is played as an individual rather than in a team, participants can be social as much or as little as they wish, whilst still connecting with others.
The beauty of mini golf is that it is a challenge for everyone – there is no right or wrong way to do it. Overcoming obstacles, quite literally (!), brings people together, which is why it is so often used for team building activities.

Mini golf for socialising

Be active

“Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups.” (Mind.org)

You don’t need to hit the gym or break a sweat to enjoy a bit of physical activity. Mini golf is a slower-paced activity that is suitable for anyone, regardless of age or physical fitness. Walking has a huge benefit to mental and physical health, walking around a miniature golf course gives a purpose and more enjoyment to that walk.

Putting, whether in ‘Big’ golf, pitch and putt, adventure golf or crazy golf, certainly uses the muscles on our arms. But engaging with your core muscles will help you to control the club according to Tom Watson’s article “Putt With Your Gut”.

University of Hertfordshire Welcome Fest © Pete Stevens
University of Hertfordshire Welcome Fest © Pete Stevens

Take Notice

Living in the moment, or being aware of the present, is the third concept of the 5 Ways to Wellbeing. Taking a moment to enjoy the environment around you is something that all of us leading busy lives can benefit from remembering.

Crazy golf has traditionally been a seaside pastime and you will often still find a course at coastal resorts. If you do take the time to visit one of these courses by the sea, take the time to notice your surroundings, the sea breeze, the seagulls, perhaps if the sound of the waves if you are lucky.

Many parks are also home to a miniature golf course or pitch and putt. So, a great opportunity to get back to nature and take some time for yourself.

Holbeck Putting Green in Scarborough © Emily Gottfried
Holbeck Putting Green in Scarborough © Emily Gottfried

Learn

According to Mind, learning a new skill can enhance with self-esteem. It also encourages more social interaction, which as humans is one our basic needs. Improved self-worth is an important factor for maintaining good mental health.
Mini golf could be that new skill you are looking for. It is such an accessible activity that literally anyone can get involved. It is fun to try and overcome the obstacles of the course, there are a few individuals who have mastered the tricks (Richard & Emily Gottfried, Marc Chapman!), but for the majority of us success is based on problem-solving and a little bit of luck. Who knows, you could be the next Minigolf Champion!

Red Interactive Mini Golf Winners!

Give

People who engage in activities to help others are “more likely to rate themselves as happy” (Mind.org).

Getting involved with a cause or community group and help your feeling of belonging and to support other elements of the 5 Ways to Wellbeing such as connecting with others.

As mini golf is an activity for all, yet still competitive, it is a great contender for fundraising activities. It’s been a staple of fundraising in the USA for a long time and is beginning to get some traction over here. It’s a fun, social activity that offers ample opportunity for charity branding to promote the cause and raise awareness and money.
Read some of our blogs on Mini Golf for Fundraising and see how charities such as Global Media & Entertainment’s ‘Make Some Noise’ charity has used Putterfingers mini golf for their charity day.

Mini golf for fundraising_Make Some Noise_Kate Garraway
Kate Garraway at Global’s Make Some Noise Charity Day

Don’t just take our word for it, The British Medical Journal blogged back in 2018, how shorter play versions of ‘big’ golf, such as pitch and putt, adventure golf, crazy golf or miniature golf, is an appealing introduction to the wider benefits of golf on mental, and physical health.

If you are planning a wellbeing event for your company, school, university or local community, then why not book mini golf as part of the event activities. We offer a variety of size courses which are available to hire or buy. There are options to brand the courses and obstacles with your logo and hashtags.

Visit our site to view mini golf hire options

Get in touch

Email

Tel: 01842 337 100

Contact form

Experience-led event planning

Experience led events

The Christmas party season used to be a time for drinking to excess, embarrassing yourself in front of colleagues, followed by a kebab and falling asleep on the night bus home. It still is for many, and why not, work hard, play hard and all that. However, the trend in socialising has shifted towards experience-led ways to let their hair down. And the leisure industry has listened. New venues are opening up week after week on our high streets, quenching our thirst for competitive socialising with our peers.

If you are planning an event and looking to create more of an experience, outside of the binge drinking culture, then here are some fun activities that will be Instagrammable, healthy and competitive.

1. Crazy GolfGood Hotel London_RoofTop_floating hotel

Yes, as mini golf masters, we are biased to big golf’s little brother (or sister). But it is a no-brainer for event planners. The sport is rapidly growing in popularity with crazy golf venues popping up in our towns and cities. It’s great for all ages and abilities so perfect for keeping all guests entertained. If you don’t want to venture out, our portable, modular course can be set up anywhere, providing the ground is flat, so crazy golf can come to you instead.

Footpool Hire_ITFCFanzone_31stAug192. Footpool

Footpool, a wildly popular new fusion of pool and football, is storming the UK! Potting balls with your feet using football skills is an idea anybody can grasp, and there isn’t much of a learning curve which means people of all ages can just jump on and have fun. Footpool is extremely popular at parties, marketing events and product launches, in breakout rooms for employees, at exhibitions and private functions.

Table Tennis Hire

3. Table Tennis

Yup, good old ping pong. First played in Victorian England, it is a true vintage game as well as an Olympic sport. You can have free play on your ping pong table or run a tournament with prizes to keep guests on their toes when they play. It’s especially fun for corporate events, networking, office parties, conferencing and team building events.

Mega Bricks xmas-tree4. Mega Bricks

Challenge party guests to a big build with huge ‘Lego’esque bricks! Guests can go freestyle with the Megabricks or use build a variety of pre-designed objects or turn it into a competition to see who can build something the quickest!

The beauty of experience-led events, is that guests will have fun without feeling like a zombie at work the next day. So give it a try for this year’s Christmas party and see how it is received. With the help of event hire companies there is no shortage of activities to choose from. Many activities are designed for those with little ability and all of which are bound to go down a treat in your social circle.

Get in touch

Interested in hiring one of these activities? Get in touch with Putterfingers and we can discuss your requirements.
Tel: 01284 848330
Email: office@connectedshopping.com

Minigolf for the masses

The installation of a crazy golf course in Rochester Cathedral has caused quite a stir to say the least. But love it or loathe it, it does highlight the accessibility of the mini-golf as an activity.

Rochester Cathedral crazy golf

BBC Rochester Cathedral minigolf
© BBC Rochester Cathedral crazy golf

The Archbishop of Canterbury recently commented that cathedrals should be a place to have fun. So organisers of the Rochester Cathedral event aimed to do just that. As congregation numbers were in decline, they also wanted to attract a younger crowd.

Why minigolf?

So why did the organisers choose mini-golf to achieve this?Kids playing crazy golf

  • Crazy golf is great for novices – you don’t need any prior ability, you can literally pick up a putter and off you go
  • It is fun – navigating your way through a series of obstacles, whether they be bridges, tunnels, spirals or a laughing clown’s mouth – players are bound to enjoy themselves in their mission to succeed.
  • Brings people together – minigolf is an activity that can be enjoyed by all the family, whether aged 8 or 80, with no fitness levels or prior ability required – it is a sport that everyone can get involved in.
  • Developing social skills – kids will learn sportsmanship and fair play on the minigolf course. It is also a good lesson in self-control and perseverance to get a result.
  • Educational benefits – Hand-eye coordination is required for a good putt. Kids can develop it while having a fun time.

With such great benefits to the game, you can see why it would be chosen by event organisers as an activity with mass appeal. Rochester Cathedral has been busy since the course opened, so whether you feel the setting is right, crazy golf has certainly drawn in the crowds and has got people talking.

The increasing popularity of crazy golf

As experts in the portable crazy golf hire industry, we have worked on a wide range of events. The activity is hired to entertain a broad spectrum of guests/visitors from kids at school fetes, family entertainment in town centres to businesspeople at corporate events, trade shows and exhibitions.

Good Hotel London rooftop crazy golf

Within UK towns and cities, leisure facilities are expanding to meet with public demand to be entertained and crazy golf venues are opening up everywhere.

We asked World Crazy Golf Champion, Marc Chapman for his opinion on the UK minigolf craze:
“I think people are increasingly looking for cheaper and nearer family entertainment and experiences. Things that are easily accessible [no barriers or fear factor of playing] and don’t take too long to do [around an hour or so]. If there is food and drink nearby that also is a big pull factor. The rise of the stay-cation due to the current political climate is certainly having an influence too.”

With more crazy golf venues opening every week, it would seem the sport is set to rise. Keep an eye on our social media for information on new courses opening across the UK.

Get in touch

If you would like to hire or purchase a Putterfingers mini golf course for your event then give us a call and we’ll talk through the course size options and different obstacles.
Call us on 01284 848 330
Email: office@connectedshopping.com

 

The crazy world of UK minigolf

Guest Blog by Richard Gottfried.

Crazy Golf is booming and every week news comes in of a new minigolf course opening up somewhere in the UK.

Whereas Crazy Golf was – and to a large extent still is – a traditional seaside and summer holiday game, new minigolf venues are tapping into the public’s demand for new ways to be entertained. And Crazy Golf is a game that most people can easily pick up and play.

Splash Point Mini Golf by Emily Gottfried
Splash Point Mini Golf by Emily Gottfried

The game has changed massively since we first started playing and blogging about it in 2006. Back then there were two indoor courses, in Felixstowe and Great Yarmouth. Now, there are nearly 100 indoor places to play!

Recent new courses include Ghetto Golf in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Championship Mini Golf course at Clarkes Golf Centre in St Helens, Galaxy Quest Adventure Golf in Sunderland and the Mini Golf course at the Palace Fun Centre in Rhyl. There’s also a new indoor Mr Mulligans Adventure Golf centre opening in Basildon this month.

Minigolf is growing as a way to attract people, grab attention and have fun, with pop-up and portable courses increasingly found at exhibitions and corporate events, fetes, weddings and promotional events.

England’s first-ever Crazy Golf course opened in Skegness in 1926 and the seaside resort now boasts ten miniature golf courses on the seafront, including the Atlantis Adventure Golf course which opened this year.

Minigolf has been played in Worthing’s Denton Gardens since July 1924 when two grass Putting courses were created. 95 years later and people are still enjoying the game there, with the 18-hole Splash Point Mini Golf course celebrating ten years of fun with its tricky course full of twists, turns, windmills, loop-di-loops and other obstacles to tackle.

Major inland towns and cities around the UK are finding themselves home to multiple venues, with London, Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle growing as hotbeds of Crazy Golf courses. Places such as Leicester, Derby, Glasgow, Belfast, Nottingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Leeds are also getting in on the action with multiple new places to play opening up this year.

The good news for minigolf fans is there are plenty of places to have some putting fun in the UK.

Glo-Golf at the Riverside Bowl, Andover
Glo-Golf at the Riverside Bowl, Andover by Emily Gottfried

Last month Emily and I made the landmark 900th course visit on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour when we had a round at the North Bay Mini Golf course in Scarborough, North Yorkshire.

When our travels began back in September 2006 there were around 600 courses in the UK. We’ve now been to 862 courses in the British Isles and 39 overseas. The North Bay Crazy Golf course was the 520th we’ve played in the last 13 years as a number of courses we’ve visited have been closed, derelict, flooded or abandoned.

There are now more than 1,000 courses in the UK and as detailed here, an almost never-ending procession of new ones opening their doors. We’ve still got a few traditional Crazy Golf courses to visit, as well as a number of the new Adventure Golf courses and indoor minigolf bars to play.

It’s always really nice to find unique courses and the North Bay Crazy Golf course in Scarborough is that. There are some very good hole-in-one opportunities and a few tricky second putts on the colourful course. What was great to see was that the borders had felt on them that allowed skilful shots to be rewarded.

 Course-900-North-Bay-Crazy-Golf-in-Scarborough-by-RE-Gottfried
Course 900 – North Bay Crazy Golf, Scarborough

Our travels have taken us all over the UK and we love visiting new places, experiencing new things and meeting new people. It’s also interesting when we return to a place some years apart, as was the case with Scarborough. Apart from a brief visit to the North Bay and the one course that was there in 2009 we’d not explored the area.

It was brilliant chatting to the course owners. They’ve got a real passion for the game and have created a fun and challenging layout. They told us that the course record was a 20, but not many players get close to that. I was pleased to hear that as I’d had a round of 24. If the weather hadn’t gotten worse and if the day was longer I would’ve had another round or two to try and beat the record.

Since our 900th course visit our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour has continued to roll and we’re currently at 911 course visits.

Richard Gottfried blogs about minigolf at The Ham and Egger Files. He’s also the Curator of the Crazy Golf Museum and author of The Minigolfer’s Guide to Marketing.