Jingle Balls: Winter minigolf action around England and Wales

A bit like caster sugar on a warm mince pie, here is a light sprinkling of places to go for some winter minigolf action this festive season. What’s on offer below should be a treat if you’re not too far from one of the venues. And don’t forget you can always stage your own minigolf event by hiring one of our portable modular minigolf courses – the top choice of private party and corporate events organisers: www.putterfingers.co.uk

In Edinburgh on the 10th and 11th of December, there’s minigolf and gourmet burgers, live music and lots of beer and cider at the Street Food Putter Club. Following its success at the Glue Factory in Glasgow, Street Food Putter Club will be at Edinburgh’s Biscuit Factory over that weekend.

street food putter club burgers
Yum

Also on the 10th and 11th of December, down on the Isle of Wight, there’ll be a winter minigolf tournament at Rylstone Tea Gardens and Crazy Golf, Shanklin.

Shanklin minigolf

http://englandevents.co.uk/shanklin-christmas-market-2016/866871

Bath on Ice is back until the 3rd of January, with glow in the dark mini golf and ice skating. Try not to confuse the two things. Minigolf on ice is a recipe for frustration.

Bath glow in the dark minigolf

Mr Mulligan’s Adventure Golf have venues in Castleford, Milton Keynes, Sidcup, Nottingham, Stevenage and Woking. Here are some festive events at Mr Mulligan’s for little ones and grown ups.

Plonk Golf, a popular purveyor of minigolf experiences in London, will be offering a variety of winter minigolf experiences including a new course opening alongside the Walthamstow Winter Feast and Beer Festival. It’s worth staying on top of exactly what they are up to by checking their site often and seeing what’s on when you plan to have your frosty festive minigolf fun.

Plonk Golf London

http://plonkgolf.co.uk/

For company Christmas morale-boosting events in Cardiff, you could do a lot worse than booking Treetop Adventure Golf. They might have a few slots left for corporate minigolf fun.

Treetop Adventure Golf Cardiff

http://www.adventuregolf.com/Treetop_Christmas_Party_Packages.pdf

Over Peckham way, don’t forget to check out the Peckham Feastival with minigolf provided by Birdies.

Birdies crazy golf Peckham Feastival

Enjoy the festive season, get your wooly hat on and see if you can get in some minigolf action.

And remember to hire your own minigolf equipment from www.putterfingers.co.uk!

Swinging London: Office minigolf

Office minigolf is one of the hottest office party hires in London. One of our recent customers, communications agency Hive Health Group, have been kind enough to send us some photos of their Putterfingers minigolf course in place at their offices in Piccadilly, London.

‘Our event went really well and everyone had a great time playing mini golf in the office,’ said Prateek Shah, Finance Manager. He didn’t mention who was responsible for putting a cow on the course though, but we think it’s an imaginative addition!

Office minigolf hire London

Minigolf is the perfect entertainment to hire for an office party because it brings people together who might not normally interact, and colleages learn something about each other as it soon becomes clear who is the most competitive – if it wasn’t already!

Hire office minigolf in London

Staff can improvise by adding extra items like pot plants to the courses – or raising a corner of a hole, as seen in the photo above, to make it even more challenging. Office minigolf allows staff to relax and socialise whilst remaining competitive.

Harking back to 2015 and an office minigolf hire to Next15, another communications agency, these were some comments we received from them:

‘Putterfingers have been a great company to do business with, everything was very quick and simple all the communication was very clear and if I had any questions I knew I would get a quick response back.

This is the 2nd time we have used Putterfingers and it won’t be the last. The mini golf idea is fantastic and it really creates a wonderful atmosphere around the office.’

Putterfingers have also supplied mingolf courses to Facebook, Criteo and other leading firms.

To enquire about minigolf for your office party or social event, email office@connectedshopping.com or call 08450 570 321. Check out the hire options here!

British Open tees off this weekend in Hastings

If you want to watch the UK’s best minigolfers in action, the place to be on the weekend of September 17-18 is Hastings Adventure Golf. It’s the British Open! As it’s the final major BMGA stroke play tournament of the year, it’s your last chance to see these superb players under big tournament pressure.

Everyone will be trying to knock Michael Smith off his perch, which is a big ask seeing as he’s three-time World Champion and British number one. The two-day, nine-round event will be held on the Pirate Course which comes with cannon fire and explosions. What that does to the players’ nerves we can only imagine. The organisers might turn the bangs off during the Open, but we’re not sure.

Hastings Adventure Golf has just undergone a massive refurbishment as part of a transformation of a rather tired area of the promenade. More info at http://hamandeggerfiles.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/british-minigolf-open-at-hastings-adventure-golf.html

BMGA British Open, hastings adventure golf
The hidden treasure this weekend is a trophy.

We tweeted on September 6 about a new minigolf course at Broad Street Mall, Reading. At the time we didn’t have much info, but now getreading.co.uk have given us a first glimpse inside. It’s a Lost City-themed adventure golf course that looks well made, with Easter Island heads, Cannons, Toucans, treasure chests and Inca carvings dominating it. We reckon it’s well worth a visit – it’s upstairs in the Broad Street Mall.

adventure golf, minigolf, Broad Street Mall, Reading, crazy golf
First glimpse inside the Broad Street Mall adventure golf attraction

Follow us on Twitter for updates like this as they happen!

An interesting video has surfaced showing minigolf’s original heyday in 1930’s America. Apparently it was OK back then to have live bear cubs as obstacles! Miserable bears aside, though, this video is footage of the year when 25,000 minigolf courses were built in the USA as the country went minigolf mad. It was the era when minigolf became industrialised, and when gas pump-operated obstacles were invented. In New York City alone there were 150 rooftop courses to choose from.

As the video suggests, we’ll never see scenes like that again, but minigolf is undergoing its biggest renaissance since that golden decade. The fun just never stops! Book your own minigolf course hire or just grab a few putters and balls from the Putterfingers web store! 

1930s, 1930s minigolf, minigolf vcraze, crazy golf 1930s
In today’s money that adds up to … a lot!

 

New York minigolf, 1930s minigolf
A New York City rooftop course in 1930. How many holes is that?

Junkyard Golf Club to reopen, and more news

Junkyard golf club, manchester, piccadilly, reopening, september 2016
Roll on the first of September!

Just opposite Manchester Piccadilly train station lies Piccadilly Place, where Junkyard Golf is to open again on Thursday, September 1. The folks at Junkyard Golf have been raiding charity shops and eBay for enough junk to make two new nine-hole courses, called Freida and Pablo. Expect new layouts and surprises from this creative crazy golf popup as it returns to Manchester after a successful London Opening. Freida will have a ‘small-town nightclub’ theme where people who’d ‘like being 18 and living in Swindon in 2003’ will find their paradise. Pablo is a polluted jungle strewn with litter and featuring an oil-soaked ocean. More topical than tropical, by the sound of it. Expect junky fun and book early because it’s going to be BUSY!

OPENING TIMES

MON-THURS    4PM – 12AM

FRIDAY            2PM –  12AM

SATURDAY      12PM – 12AM

SUNDAY          12PM – 10PM

minigolf obstacles
Best. Obstacles. Ever.

If you want your own minigolf course, though, there’s no need to go rummaging through skips. We supply ready-made obstacles that you simply plonk down on the ground or on our AstroTurf minigolf tiles, and you’re good to go. Check them out here.

new minigolf course, adventure golf,
He believes minigolf is a dinosaur – is he right?

Over in Southend, there are plans to build a new 18-hole adventure golf course at Garon Park in Eastern Avenue. Planning permission has been applied for, and if approved, construction should start this winter with a view to opening for Easter 2017.

Garon Park Golf Course owner Alan Walker hopes that the adventure golf format will appeal to youngsters and get them interested in golf. It’s a large course, covering two acres, and will take about an hour and a half to play. He believes that adventure golf is the future: ‘We have a good location. The course is right next to our par three course and we hope for natural progression to the par three. It’s to introduce golf to young children and bring everyone in. Crazy golf was a Sixties thing and this is much more interactive and visual, there is much more participation.’

There isn’t any information yet on what the theme will be. Dinosaurs, jungles and pirates are three of the most popular options for new courses. But let’s wait and see first if they get permission to build it.

london crazy golf, london minigolf, swingers crazy golf
These people are so hip it’s a wonder they can get their pelvises through the door.

A view from across the pond reckons that minigolf is the hippest thing to do in London. The Toronto Star lists Swingers, Junkyard Golf Club, and Birdies in Stratford as the most with-it places to hang out in London. It also mentions the defunct Trafalgar Square plan as evidence of how hot minigolf is over here. They’re not wrong, either. Apparently post-Brexit vote, air fares from Canada to London are a lot cheaper, so maybe we can expect our crazy golf clubs and bars to be full of Canadians soon. I’m sure they won’t mind.

Putterfingers are pretty darn hip too. We have hired minigolf courses to the likes of Facebook, don’t you know. And Tommy Hilfiger. And … well, we could go on but we’re just too cool to bother.

Minigolf turns 100, says America

Minigolf lies about its age

Strange articles have been popping up this week in U.S. newspapers about minigolf ‘turning 100’ this year. This would be news to the Ladies’ Putting Club of St Andrews, formed in 1867. But the U.S. news articles are probably referring to the first standardised, commercial mass-production minigolf courses, of which the first was built in Pinehurst, North Carolina in 1916. The first documented commercial minigolf course in mainland Europe inspired by the American phenomenon was built in Germany in 1926 by a Mr. Schröder, who had visited the USA and observed minigolf courses spreading across the country.

But minigolf goes further back than that. In June 1912 The Illustrated London News featured a minigolf game called Golfstacle, by F.A. Davis of London. Here’s a set auctioned a few years ago at Sotheby’s.

crazy golf set, crazy golf kit, crazy golf game

Our own take on minigolf sets has become pretty popular with the British public. Check out our courses and kits to buy or hire!

Minigolf courses, minigolf course, minigolf set, minigolf kits, putters, golf balls,
This is our Supersize course. We also offer Funsize and Bitesize.

Looking further back to before the U.S. idea of commercialising and franchising minigolf, there was the Ladies’ Putting Club of St Andrews, formed in 1867 so that ladies could practice without taking the club back above their shoulder, which was deemed improper.

Anyway, happy 100th birthday to the fun and colourful American sport that gave us Putt-Putt, Tom Thumb, and ‘rinkie-dink’ courses made with drainpipes and other cheap stuff during the 1930s Depression. They can be credited with kicking off the whole thing by taking it from a casual weekend pursuit to a commercial phenomenon.

Minigolf: The Movie

To celebrate the 100th Birthday of minigolf, a feature film is being made called Through The Windmill. U.S.-centric (World Series, anyone?), it charts the history of American Minigolf and features copious footage of some of the best courses being played. Definitely worth checking out once it’s released later this year. Here’s a video from Producer/Director, Amanda Kulkoski.

Crazy golf croc shocker!

minigolf, crazy golf,
Snapped – the croc after being hauled out of the lake

At Holiday Resort Unity at Brean Sands near Weston-Super-Mare, management received calls from concerned holidaymakers about a crocodile being spotted in a lake at the resort. Staff approached it cautiously and poked it with a stick, only to find that it was made of fibreglass. It turned out that pranksters had snaffled the croc from nearby Brean Leisure Park’s Congo Adventure crazy golf course and put it in the lake during the night.

The rigid reptile has been returned to its rightful place on the crazy golf course and slightly disappointed wildlife crews have now stood down.

Our obstacles are challenging, colourful and ridiculously easy to set out. Take a peek at them here.

U.S. man travels 50 states in search of minigolf

Dan Caprera, minigolf, usa, crazy golf, 50 states
Dan Caprera was last seen heading North towards Alaska with putter in hand.

After graduating from college a young man from Denver, Colorado has embarked on a trip across all 50 states to visit and review crazy golf courses. A minigolf fan since childhood, Dan Caprera, 23, has trekked around the States putting and fulfilling his passion for travel. He’s still out there, and is documenting his exploits on a blog, with funny and action-packed posts on each minigolf course he visits and plays.

You could say he’s an American version of our home grown hero, ‘putter nutter’ Richard Gottfried, whose similar passion has led to his visiting hundreds of minigolf courses in the UK and Ireland. His blog The Ham and Egger Files can be found here.

But Caprera has a fellow countryman of equal or even greater minigolf fame: Pat Sheridan aka The Putting Penguin. Pat has been reviewing minigolf courses since 2001 and also happens to be Editor in Chief of Minigolfnews.com. The impressive array of courses he has reviewed can be found on this Google Map.

At the moment Caprera is somewhere in Canada on his way to Anchorage, Alaska. So he seems to have reached the edge of the United States and just kept on going. Maybe he’ll putt his way right over the Arctic Circle and end up in Russia. We don’t know much about the minigolf scene in Russia, but if Caprera did find himself there, he’d blog about it. We wish him all the very best of luck, fun and adventure on his crazy golf tour.

Minigolf courses and clubs everywhere buy their putting equipment from the Putterfingers, the Minigolf Masters: putters, balls, obstacles, cups, and extras like scorecards and marker flags. We also hire out complete minigolf packages for parties, weddings, corporate events and charity fundraising. Browse our range of equipment here and our range of complete packages here.

Olympic Alligator Club Poke Shocker!

In other news, champ golfer and recent Open winner Henrik Stenson poked an alligator with his club during the Olympics.

We’d like to take this opportunity to say that we in no way recommend annoying large aquatic reptiles with sporting equipment. Especially not ours, as we like it to be returned to us in good condition. Preferably not chomped through by an enraged hellbeast from a Brazilian swamp.

Thank you, and remember we’re always here for all your putting needs.

alligator, golf, stenson, olympics, poke, club
He just had to, for some reason.

 

Watch two men fight pathetically on a golf course (and other news)

[Disclaimer: we do not condone golf-based violence]

A video has emerged of a golf fight: two men trying to bop each other on the nose (and one of them succeeding) on a golf course on Colorado, USA. Apparently incensed at the group behind hitting their ball at them, the instigator starts throwing haymakers – and then receives one in return. This sort of behaviour would never occur in the genteel world of minigolf. We can’t imagine how or why it would. A scoring dispute, perhaps? In any case, we do not condone golf-based violence and our advice is to keep calm and putt. In any case, these two wannabe heavyweights ended up shaking hands.

In other less pugilistic news, Wesley Street in Southport was transformed into a minigolf course last week. It was built to coincide with the Junior Open Golf Championships held at the Royal Birkdale the same week. Funds raised go towards the upkeep of the street, which has 22 independent retailers. Course fees were a very reasonable £2.50 for adults £7.50 for a family of four.

 

street minigolf, street crazy golf
image: otsnews.co.uk

Now the Open is over, the crazy golf course at Royal Troon has been revamped and reopened. It has a new 5-year leaseholder, a new ticket office and a fresh coat of paint. The course has been around for several generations to enjoy and now looks set fair to continue as an attraction.

Troon, crazy golf, troon minigolf
image: dailyrecord.co.uk

A new pirate-themed minigolf course has opened at Promenade Park in Maldon, Essex. Two years in the making, this course looks beautiful and has exploding cannons, sleeping pirates, ship features, crocodiles and a great-looking playing surface. Pirates Bay Adventure Golf should prove a hit with Essex families for the rest of the Summer.

Maldon, pirates bay adventure golf, promenade park
image: essexchronicle.co.uk

The 2016 Youth World Championships take place from August 10-13 in Bischofshofen, Austria. The under-19s tournament will have 74 players from 9 countries competing on two courses. Top contenders for the title appear to be Germany, who won the under-23 tournament earlier in the year.

minigolf, crazy golf, youth championships
Practice at the course before the event

A chance to win crazy golf for six at Junkyard Golf is up for grabs! It’s as simple as sending them an email. Details here.

junkyard golf, crazy golf, minigolf, win competition, family
image: londontheinside.com

London places crying out for minigolf

London, minigolf, crazy golf,
Now THAT’s an obstacle!

Two weeks ago we blogged about where to play minigolf in and around London this Summer. As if in response, Londonist have now speculated about places that should have a minigolf course, but don’t (yet). London being London, the possibilities are endless, but here are Londonist’s suggestions for places they’d like to see a crazy golf course, with our comments.

Hampton Court Palace Maze. Some putting holes can be labyrinthine, but this idea is to have a minigolf course in London’s biggest green maze. Mini-maze putting holes within the big maze? The mind boggles.

Hampton Court, minigolf, crazy golf
Kings and queens used to play minigolf here, you know. Or was it croquet?

The Horniman Museum, famous for its large collection of stuffed animals. It would be a ready-made dinosaur-themed adventure golf park. The exhibits aren’t actual stuffed dinosaurs, but they are suitably odd and creepy. Crazy golf taxidermy, anyone?

taxidermy, minigolf, crazy golf
Night at the Museum – with minigolf

Mail Rail. This is Royal Mail’s underground line dedicated to transporting mail across the capital, running from Paddington to Whitechapel. It’s not on the tube map, but will be opening as an attraction in Spring 2017. It transported mail from 1927 to 2003, and would make an excellent subterranean crazy golf course, but the holes would be very long if the whole system were used – at 6.5 miles, that’s a third of a mile per hole.

minigolf, rail mail, london, crazy golf hire
If there’s no space for minigolf above ground, we must go underground.

Dans le Noir. The restaurant in Farringdon where diners eat in total darkness. It would need a system a bit like that used by blind footballers, with the balls making some kind of noise. And the holes as well. Protective headgear might be an idea too.

restaurant, darkness, london, crazy golf equipment hire
This is the best photo we have of Dans le Noir’s interior.

Sky Garden. Atop the Walkie Talkie at 20 Fenchurch Street, this viewing platform and restaurant complex has plenty of space for crazy golf, and already has some exotic gardens. It’s half way there already.

london, walkie talkie, minigolf, crazy golf
The famous car-melting building would be an ideal spot for a round.

HMS Belfast. The permanently-moored ship on the Thames is a maze of ladders and companionways that would make a perfect crazy golf course. Conveniently, there are also nine decks, so one hole per deck would give an exciting half-round.

HMS Belfast, minigolf equipment hire
It would be good though, wouldn’t it?

Somerset House Fountains. The open, public-participation fountains where hot people cool off in the middle of Summer. Maybe an even better place for crazy golf than Trafalgar Square, which nearly, but not quite, got its own crazy golf makeover this Summer.

Fountain, minigolf, crazy golf hire
Imagine your ball sitting atop a water jet.

Minigolf courses can pop up in the strangest places. They’re also getting more and more popular for office parties and team-building events. One idea is for each team member, or each team, to design a hole with what’s around them in the office. We supply the balls and putters – and the putting surface if necessary – and you have the fun! Give us a call on 0845 057 321 if you have an idea for a minigolf course in an unusual place.

Want to play Mini Golf in your office?

We know that Office Mini Golf is a great idea and we’ve seen that is in the offices of LinkedIn, the rooftop of Google and some of our own clients, past and present who have enjoyed a game of golf in a corporate setting.

One of our recent crazy golf hires was with Next15, a communications group based in Hammersmith who have used our crazy golf course in the past, and this year was for their Staff Appreciation Day.

One of the team from Next15 kindly had a few words to say about our portable mini golf offer:

Putterfingers have been a great company to do business with, everything was very quick and simple all the communication was very clear and if I had any questions I knew I would get a quick response back.

This is the 2nd time we have used Putterfingers and it won’t be the last. The mini golf idea is fantastic and it really creates a wonderful atmosphere around the office. It is so easy to set up and very easy to pack away and the delivery and collection was at the time Putterfingers had specified.

Many thanks to the team at Putterfingers 🙂

Office Mini Golf
Next15 Corporate Office Golf

The team added their own spin of creativity to the course, using elements ofrom their office – books, plant pots and cans!

Why not reward your team with some mini golf in the office?  We have written before about how employers need to help to banish the office boredom and office mini golf is an inclusive activity no matter how good you are at golf!

Putt and Scan mini golf hole in one

We do get some unusual requests and our most recent customisation took mini golf into a scannable world!

When marketing yourself on an a exhibition stand, you are in competition with so many other booths with show pieces, funky gadgets and wacky gizmos to try and attract the attention of the visitors.

Our latest mini golf creation, is not only branded with the company logo for Ziath Ltd but has dual function and is a scannable mini golf hole. Just the one hole, but enough to go on the exhibition roadshow the team have planned.

2D scannable Putting
Ziath’s Putt and Scan – the scannable mini golf putting hole

The main objective was for a lightweight and easily transportable mini golf hole that can be used in a roadshow style activity.  The team are in the world of biobanking visiting many European countries.  For the less scientific amongst  us, a biobank is a large collection of biological or medical data and tissue samples used for research purposes.

The team at Ziath produce scannable sample tubes and datamatrix 2D readers to help decode sample tubes in a library.  So the marrying of scanning and mini golf was born form there. Our putt and scan mini golf hole, enables the visitors to indulge in a fun hole in one with some sweet surprises as a reward for their success.

Their first stop is ESSB in Leipzig, Germany at a conference for the Biopreservation and Biobanking industry.  The team at Ziath wanted an interactive game to engage with the visitors, because let’s be honest some exhibitors can be invisible and it is important to get something that stands out in the crowd!

Water jet cutting method for astro grass
Ziath logo inlaid in astro grass

The branding uses a water jet cutting method, which cuts into the astro grass tile and the branding inlays into the mini golf course matting – much like the work we did with the Guide Dogs last year.

Here is shot of one of our team enjoying a putt off in our break out area – nice shoes Martin!

Branded Mini Golf with a twist
Putt and Scan into a QR Code

Do you have an exhibition that needs a portable and lightweight solution? At only 5kgs and perfect to fit into a domestic vehicle (or in this case as oversized luggage on a plane!), our portable mini golf courses are perfect for the occasion.

You can follow the fun on the Ziath Twitter  account next week.