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.

 

New mini golf course in Manchester!

It’s going to be a Summer of Sport in Spinningfields, Manchester, and mini golf is set to be a big feature of it! Brand new sports bar The Club House has opened a 9-hole mini golf course set to last through the Summer (it will close in May or August, depending on whom you ask. Just get down there and play while you can!), with each hole sponsored by one of Spinningfields’ businesses. If it’s true, we can’t wait to see the hole sponsored by Greggs where ‘players will aim to guide their Scotch Egg around an assemblage of lava-hot sausage rolls, burnt pizza and icky sticky yumyums’ (manchesterconfidential.co.uk).

Mini golf, crazy golf, new course, spinningfields, manchester
Each hole is themed to a sponsor at Spinningfields. This one is sponsored by Tattu
clubhouse.event.banner_large
Grab your putter, balls and scorecards from The Club House sports bar

The course, called Tee Party, is spread out across the estate, allowing players to explore numerous shopping opportunities as they proceed from one hole to the next. The course fee is £3 with a £5 deposit. You give them a fiver and they give you two pounds back when you hand in your ball and putter. Balls, putters and score cards are distributed at The Club House sports bar.

Here’s an article from Manchester Evening News on the 17th of April.

Not planning on being in Manchester this Summer? Here’s a good place to find a mini golf course near you. It’s probably the most comprehensive list of mini golf courses in the UK. We’re not quite sure when it was last updated, but you can always find out more when you spot a course on the list that’s near you and would like to play it. Who knows – if you really get into playing different mini golf courses around the UK you might even get close to Richard Gottfried’s total of 672 and counting! (That’s why he’s known affectionately as ‘The Putter Nutter’).

Here’s the UK mini golf course list: http://www.miniaturegolfer.com/eng_courses.html

Minigolf meets art in Nottingham

minigolf, crazy golf, leisure land golf

A minigolf course. What do you think of? Windmills, dolphins, loops – the usual obstacles? Well here’s something different. Doug Fishbone is an American artist living and working in London. He has exhibited his work at Tate Britain and created such politically-charged installations as 30,000 Bananas In Trafalgar Square (the bananas were given away to passersby when the exhibition had finished). His minigolf installation, titled Leisure Land Golf, invites nine guest artists – one making each hole – to respond to ‘The Leisure Principle’, where consumer satisfaction is prioritised at all costs. The familiar, cosy world of minigolf is juxtaposed with some hard-hitting political art. The artists include Turner Prize nominee, Yinka Shonibare MBE, John Akomfrah OBE, Hetain Patel, Yara El-Sherbini, Ellie Harrison, Candice Jacobs, Lindsay Seers, Eyal Weizman, Reactor and Doug Fishbone himself.

The artist-designed minigolf course was first shown at the Venice Bienale 2015, and will be available to play on in from April 2016 in the Main Gallery of the New Art Exchange, Nottingham.

Costa Concordia, minigolf, crazy golf, novelty golf, art
Fishbone says, ‘The Costa Concordia embodies the contradictions of capitalism – class divisions and reckless leadership, indifference to its workers, disregard of the environment, the hidden price tag for a few days of fun in the sun.’

 

minigolf, crazy golf, Leisure Land Golf, Doug Fishbone
Three of the holes at the Venice exhibition. Great Britain is entitled ‘Life Raft’, offering safe haven to immigrant golf balls, and a mushroom cloud of footballs by Yinka Shonibare highlights how soccer and economics can collide.

The exhibition will transform the Gallery into a playful environment that takes visitors on an amusing and thought-provoking journey. The work invites them to ponder some of the pressing issues of our times while honing their putting skills. There’s very little not to like there from a minigolf perspective.

Guardian article on the exhibition

Exhibition link at the New Art Exchange

Introduction to FootGolf

The two football mad males in my household visited Stonham Barns Golf Centre a few weeks back to try out FootGolf.

Stonham Barns FootGolf Course
FootGolf at Stonham Barns

Having a husband that has played off a handicap in the late teens in his youth, he was keen to give this new pursuit a go. FootGolf is proving a great way to maximise revenues for golf courses across the country. Offering both FootGolf and normal golf, clubs are re-inventing themselves as FootGolf Courses too.  You can even play tournaments at this course.

I do think the Size 5 regulation football is a big ask for kids under 12. At a professional level, boys of 10 would use a Size 4 which is smaller and weighs slightly less and is more age appropriate (according to my son!).  If this was a putter you would use the length best suited to your height / frame – just saying!!

However, the competition was great as expected and my 10 year old son managed to score under par on hole 8 much to his Dad’s annoyance, but he soon got one back on the 11th!  A good round by both I think!

FootGolf results from Stonham Barns
Scorecard from our introduction to FootGolf
FootGolf at Stonham Barns
The journey to the hole at at FootGolf
At the FootGolf Hole
The holes are a good size for putting into at FootGolf

For some pointers on how best to play, FootGolf Romford have some useful tips on their Facebook page.  We like this tip best:

Toe-Poking: the trusty toe-poke allows players to control the speed of the football better but accuracy often suffers. The best way to toe poke is to stand directly over the ball, read the putt and adjust your direction before pulling your foot back and kicking the football with the big toe part of the boot. A cm off to the left or right of the centre of the football and you’re likely to end up a good bit off target.

We will definitely be back again and this time I am playing around on the Mini Golf Course.  I have heard there are some shops too!

9 hole Mini Golf Course
Mini Golf Course at Stonham Barns, Suffolk

‘Putting Edge Rope Course’ our new portable mini golf course

We often get requests for a more budget style portable mini golf course for local facilities, especially where younger audiences are looking to be introduced to golf as a game or whereby space and budget get in the way!

We can now offer Putting Edge Rope, a portable mini golf course option which offers a rope style border to keep the ball in play along with our popular My Mini Golf obstacle set.  Combined with rubber headed putters, low bounce balls, scorecards, clipboards and pencils we can now offer a 9 hole mini golf course that fits neatly into the back of most domestic vehicles.

All you need is about 30-40sqms of floor space and a flat surface to lay the course on.  There are a number of layouts that can be achieved and an easy way to keep those stray balls within the course boundary!  The weight of the rope means it won’t move or slip and the 8m length allows for a number of hole combinations.

new budget mini golf course from Putterfingers
Putting Edge Rope Mini Golf Course

This is now available for hire and for purchase and be used inside and outdoors.  The Putting Edge ropes can be wound into a number of different shapes to suit the floor layout and creativity level!

Our friends at Bramford Golf Club used the Putting Edge rope course along with our Soft Golf animal pieces for an event at the golf club in the late Summer – here are some shots of the children at their ‘Get into Golf’ Day:

Putting Edge Mini Golf course by Putterfingers
Bramford Golf Open Day – Putting Edge Rope Mini Golf Course
Soft Golf by Putterfingers at Bramford Golf Day
Bramford Golf Open Day with Soft Golf

What better what to brighten up your putting green at a Golf Course?

We already have some bookings for some innovative ideas at University events this Autumn using the Putting Edge rope and our PicturePutt face in the hole boards – more details to follow!

Got an event idea that you would like us to help you bring to life?  Do contact us on  office@connectedshopping.com

Golf Club build mini golf course for local care home

Members of a golf club in north Essex have built a mini golf course for people living at a nearby residential home.

People staying at Care UK’s Silversprings care home in Thorrington will now be able to improve their swing after enthusiasts from nearby Clacton-on-Sea Golf Club designed and laid out a six-hole putting green.

Care home manager, Sally Rushant, said:

“Many of our residents have been keen golfers for many years. When we looked at how we could develop our large grounds, they were very keen on the idea of a mini golf course.

“We were delighted when the team at Clacton-on-Sea Golf Club generously offered to design and build the mini golf course, as well as donating putters and balls.”

The mini golf course was officially opened by golf club captain Bill McGrath and head green keeper Alan Smith last Friday.

“Golf is a passion and we were delighted to be able to help some former golfers keep their hand in, as well as introducing some newcomers to the game,” added Mr McGrath.

Mini golf is a popular attractions for all ages – keen golfers and those setting out in golf.  We hope the residents enjoy the putting challenge!

Source: http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/clacton_golf_club_designs_and_builds_mini_course_for_care_home_1_2884316

School Summer fetes are perfect for 9 holes of golf

We have had a busy spell of school fetes and fayres and what  fabulous weather we have been able to enjoy in the last few weeks – perfect weather for 9 holes of golf!

We used a classroom at a busy summer fete at a school in Cambridgeshire to build our 9 holes of golf and in 35 m2 space it was a transformation!  The children of Year 5 couldn’t believe what we had achieved in a compact space, and crazy golf proved a popular event during the afternoon.

Here are the before and after shots of the classroom:

9 holes of golf Before and After Classroom Shots
Earith Primary School Classroom - Before and After

Here are a few kind words from Catherine Berry, FOES Fete Organiser:

“We hired 9 hole of golf for our school summer fete, which provided something very different for us and was something we had not done before and was suitable for all ages across the school (Ages 4-11).
A huge thank you to Shelley! With inclement weather prior to setting up, the mini golf course had to go into one of the classrooms instead of being out on the playground.  Due to her “can do” attitude she made all 9 holes fit perfectly and the course was thoroughly enjoyed by the children.
It was so popular the Headteacher has already been in touch to book a mini golf course for the children’s special Golden Time Day at the end of the term.”
Here are a few shots of  the gunking of the Headteacher at the end of the fete! Well done Mr Quigley for being such a good sport!
Mr Quigley getting gunked at the end of the fete!
The Headteacher getting gunked at the end of the fete!
We look forward to helping Mr Quigley and the team in the last week of school.
If you have a charity event we can offer mini golf hire with – do let us know!

 

Mini Golf Match Up – have you played yet?

So our twitter feed has been blasted with references to Mini Golf Match Up and newfound Mini Golf players declaring their obsession with this new game:

Twitter feed for @putterfingers Crazy Golf Hire
Mini Golf Match Up Game for Android and IOS

So I decided to take part in some much needed research to see what all the fuss was about!

This Mini Golf Match Up game boasts:

  • Five fun courses with over 70 awesome holes
  • Dozens of crazy obstacles including windmills, dinosaurs, and sharks
  • Play against friends and family all over the world.
Here are some of the tips from game review sites:
  • Scoring a Hole-In-One should be your top priority, as you stand to gain the most points (10,000) for the least amount of strokes. That said, don’t become too obsessed with gems.
  • Of course, you should pick up gems whenever possible, especially the big purple ones that are worth 2,000 points per hole.
  • Each small (yellow) gem you pick up is 100 points. You’ll score 1,000 bonus points for collecting all of these gems on one hole.
  • If you score a Hole-In-One, the game automatically applies a 2x points multiplier on the next hole, which doubles your score.

I earned a celebratory 10,000 points for a hole in one and I am pleased to say I managed a couple of them, and a few albatross’ and birdies along the way.

This You Tube Video gives an insight into the world of crazy golf with a series of course layouts and screen shots from the game.

Mini Golf Match Up Game
Mini Golf Match up Game now available on Android and IOS

All I need now is some buddies to play with……. so we would love to join you in a game!  Are you addicted yet?

Our username is Putterfingers2013 – join us for a round!