Friday, April 18, 2014

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton

Playing the game of Pit-Pat at Western Putting Miniature Golf in Littlehampton.

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton

Back in March 2010 I visited the Askoe Wien Wasserpark in Vienna, Austria and while there I saw an intriguing game that was a hybrid of Miniature Golf and Billiards! That game was Pit-Pat.

Pit-Pat in Austria
The Hindernis Billard layout at the Askoe Wien Wasserpark in Vienna, Austria (March 2010)

In April 2012 I managed to visit the UK's only known table*, at the Western Putting Minigolf in Littlehampton, West Sussex. Unfortunately my visit was a little late in the day, and out-of-season, so I didn't manage to play.

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker, Minigolf and Grass Putting Green Course in Littlehampton, West Sussex, England
Western Putting (and Pit-Pat) in Littlehampton (April 2012)

That wasn't the case on our recent visit to the south coast as on Thursday 10th of April Emily and I made it to Western Putting on Banjo Road just before 4pm and were able to have a game of Pit-Pat, aka Crazy Snooker.

And it was brilliant!

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton, West Sussex, England
Cue and carry-case in hand and ready to play Pit-Pat

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton, West Sussex, England
A view of the Pit-Pat course in Littlehampton

The game is a version of the 'Eternit' style of Miniature Golf, most often found in continental Europe, but played on tables and with cues rather than putters.

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton
My favourite table on the layout sees you having to play down table from a tee-off point right next to the hole!

The obstacles are very similar to those found on Mini and Crazy Golf courses and the balls used are like specialist Minigolf-sport balls, rather than standard Golf, or low-bounce, balls.

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton
Emily sets up the skittles on table 1!

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton
And I knock them all down in one go

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton
Emily lines-up a shot on hole 2

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton
Hole / Table 2

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton
Emily plays up a ramp obstacle

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton
Western Putting on Banjo Road in Littlehampton is also home to a Swedish Felt type of Minigolf course and a grass Putting Green

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton
Emily shoots the green ball over a little ramp and onto a bigger one

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton
The Pipe hole - often my nemesis on Eternit Miniature Golf...

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton
...and no different on Pit-Pat as it was my worst hole!

It's a real novelty to be able to play on a course/set-of tables like the Pit-Pat in Littlehampton. You are provided with a little carry case containing four different coloured Pit-Pat balls, with the table legs painted to correspond with the ball you should use for that particular table/hole/lane.

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton
The specialist Pit-Pat balls in their little red carry-case

This is very handy to know as each of the balls has different properties, meaning that some are more bouncy, while others are harder and deader.

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton
The green Pit-Pat ball is a bit of a dead ball

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton
The bouncy yellow Pit-Pat ball

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton
The slightly squidgy purple Pit-Pat ball

Pit-Pat Crazy Snooker in Littlehampton
The Red one

With our experience of playing tournament Minigolf in the British Minigolf Association (BMGA) and World Minigolf Sport Federation (WMF) since 2007 we were already thinking about how different shots could be played on different lanes by mixing the balls up a bit.

In our match-up on the crazy tables Emily and I drew on a score of 55 each. We can't wait for the rematch!

Videos from our visit:

Many of the Miniature Golf courses in Littlehampton are operated by Inspire Leisure. They also operate facilities in nearby Bognor Regis and all of those we've visited have been in great condition and had very friendly and helpful staff on duty.

There is an International Pit-Pat Association that consists of the Baden-Württembergischer Pit-Pat Association (in Germany), the Austrian Pit-Pat Sports Association and the Swiss Pit-Pat Association. The European Pit-Pat Championships taking place Fehring, Austria on the 31st of May and 1st of June this year. Check out the Pit-Pat TV YouTube Channel for videos of the sport.


Related blog posts:

- Playing Pit-Pat (Crazy Snooker) in Littlehampton 1 of 5 (intro)
- Playing Pit-Pat (Crazy Snooker) in Littlehampton 2 of 5 (hole-in-one)
- Playing Pit-Pat (Crazy Snooker) in Littlehampton 3 of 5 (hole-in-two)
- Playing Pit-Pat (Crazy Snooker) in Littlehampton 4 of 5 (two)
- Playing Pit-Pat (Crazy Snooker) in Littlehampton 5 of 5 (hoop)

* While in Skegness, Lincolnshire in May 2011 we saw a sign for 'Crazy Pool', however the 'tables' were long gone when we reached the (derelict) course.

Vozars Gluten Free Cafe Deli Restaurant in Brixton Village Market

A great gluten free meal at Vozars restaurant in Brixton.

Coeliacs are a funny breed. We're easily spotted by our wide-eyed wonder when we find somewhere safe to eat, our scrambling for a camera to photograph the food we are about to eat, and a notepad (or scrap of paper) so we remember what we ate to enable us to blog, tweet, review and let other poor unfortunate Coeliac Disease sufferers know where they can also eat stress and worry-free.

One of the best places I have found in my six-ish years as a Coeliac on a strict gluten and wheat free diet is Vozars in Brixton Village Market where EVERYTHING is gluten and wheat free!

For a Coeliac it really is a great place to dine at, or grab something to take-away, as all of the food is prepared and cooked by very knowledgeable staff, so its safe for Coeliacs (as well as being tasty for 'normal' diners and those on a gluten free diet).

Vozars Gluten Free Cafe Deli Restaurant in Brixton Village Market
Vozars has a great range of cakes and pies to eat-in, or take-away. The WAGfree Black Forest Gateaux (bottom left) is a favourite of mine

The lunch menu has a good range of dishes and there were some specials including a Venison Burger on offer. But I remembered how much I liked the chicken strips on my last visit, so opted for the Chicken strips, rocket and chilli mayo sandwich. I also had the Hand cut chunky chips with Vozars mayo, and of course this was washed down with an obligatory Celia gluten free lager.

Vozars Gluten Free Cafe Deli Restaurant in Brixton Village Market
My big lunch of a Chicken strips, rocket and chilli mayo sandwich; the Hand cut chunky chips with Vozars mayo; and a Celia gluten free lager

The meal was nice and filling, so I didn't have a chance to have a dessert, however tempting the pear and chocolate tart looked.

Since my last visit in October 2013 Vozars restaurant has had a refurbishment and it looks great. There's now a lot more seating space inside and out and is also licensed to sell alcohol - very handy when the restaurant is inspired by Celia Lager.

Vozars Gluten Free Cafe Deli Restaurant in Brixton Village Market
Vozars has had a refurbishment since my last visit in October 2013 and looks great. The food is still as excellent as ever

Check out the Vozars website and Twitter feed and keep up-to-date with Vozars and Celia Lager via Facebook and Twitter for news, events and competitions.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Latest British Minigolf Association Ranking Updates

Ranking updates from the British Minigolf Association following the BMGA British Masters tournament in Worthing.

The British Minigolf Association has updated the ranking lists following the 2014 BMGA British Masters held at the excellent Splash Point Mini Golf course in Denton Gardens, Worthing on Sunday 13th April.

In the latest update of the official BMGA Order of Merit for 2013/14 I have moved up from 11th place of 79 places (135 players) to be ranked as the new British number 7. A total of 137 players are ranked in the list in 84 places.

Richard Gottfried playing hole 13 of the Splash Point Mini Golf course in Worthing during the BMGA British Masters

Following a very strong showing at the BMGA British Masters Emily has also moved up in the BMGA Order of Merit rankings from 34th place to 26th. The move inside the top 32 players in the UK also means she is now a Category 2 player for the first time in her Minigolf career

Emily putting on hole 4 of the Splash Point Mini Golf course in Worthing during the BMGA British Masters Hole-in-One Challenge

You can see the ranking lists, including the BMGA Season Only list, on the British Minigolf Association website.

Bar Billiards in Newcastle, Littlehampton and Worthing

Update from our increasingly erratic Barmy Bar Billiards Trail.

Last summer we had a grand day out in London visiting a number of pubs to play some Bar Billiards, but since then we've not found so many tables to play on our travels. However that's changed in the last month, with visits to Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Littlehampton, and a re-visit to Worthing.

A Bar Billiards table in Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Unfortunately when our friend and fellow minigolfer John 'The Legionnaire' Moore took us to the Hustler Pool & Snooker Club in Newcastle-upon-Tyne we found the table to be out of order. John has previously played the table and hoepfully it'll be back in working order soon.

No Bar Billiards played in Newcastle

The Hustler Pool & Snooker Club was a nice spot for an evening of cue-sports, with plenty of pool and snooker tables on offer at reasonable rates, as well as a number of dartboards. It's well worth a visit.

Quite unexpectedly we fared better on our mini-break to Littlehampton, as on our arrival at the Seaview Hotel (in East Preston) we found there was a Bar Billiards table in the pub!

Playing the very well maintained Bar Billiards table in the pub of the Seaview Hotel in East Preston, near Littlehampton

In our games I won 950 to Emily's 610, followed by a 580 to 300 win.

While in Littlehampton we also spotted that The White Hart pub in the town centre has a table.

The White Hart pub in Littlehampton, West Sussex has plenty on offer to customers, including Bar Billiards

John 'Big Al' Moore scores while Richard shoots

Alongside John 'Johnny Waffles' Moore, Emily and I had a number of games, with the results as follows:
- John beat Emily 960 to 50
- Richard beat John 1,570 to 670
- Richard beat Emily and John 1,090 to 780 to 360

John has also developed a very handy Bar Billiards Scorecard Mobile App which added another dimension to our games!

On our recent trip to Nottingham we ran out of time to find and play the Bar Billiards tables that our friend and Minigolf rival Jam Trubridge had told us about, but we're sure to be back at some point for a game or two.

- Bar Billiards-related blog posts on The Ham & Egger Files
- The All England Bar Billiards Association (AEBBA)
- AEBBA map of Bar Billiards tables in the UK
- Bar Billiards Forum

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sharksville Adventure Golf at Harbour Park Littlehampton

Playing the Sharksville Fantasy Golf course in Littlehampton's Harbour Park.

A view of the Sharksville Adventure Golf at Littlehampton's Harbour Park

On Friday 11th of April 2014 Emily and I visited Harbour Park in Littlehampton, West Sussex to play the 9-hole Sharksville Adventure Golf course.

At Sharkville Adventure Golf in Littlehampton

I visited Littlehampton in April 2012 and I managed to NOT play any of the courses in the town as it was out of season and the evening! Luckily on this occasion our visit co-incided with the Easter break which meant the courses along the seafront were open.

Sharksville Adventure Golf sign
Sharksville Adventure Golf is open

The course became the 334th course played on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour since 2006. As I'd previously visited the course, the number we've been to remains at 554.

Sharksville Adventure Golf
Emily holes out on hole one

Playing hole one of the Sharksville Adventure Golf

Emily on hole two

The tricky uphill hole three

Emily on hole four

Emily on hole five

Putting on hole six

Emily on hole seven

Emily on the ninth hole at Sharksville Adventure Golf

The final hole at Sharksville Adventure Golf in Littlehampton

The course is a tricky adventure golf layout and has some nice theming - my favourite bit was the BIG caught shark near to hole 7 that you have to pass on your way out.

The one that didn't get away

In our Minigolf Match Emily beat me by four-shots with a 25 to 29 scoreline.

The course costs 5 tokens to play (with each token 50p on our visit). A reasonable price to pay for a 9-hole course. Check out the Harbour Park website for details of prices, tickets and tokens.

The course was the first miniature golf called 'Fantasy Golf' on our travels - another name to add to our blog post on Types and Variants of Miniature Golf visited and played on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour!

The 129th course we played on our tour was at Pendine Sands in Wales, that course had a big shark's head as an obstacle!


Skate Hockey Air Hockey at Harbour Park in Littlehampton

While in Littlehampton last week we visited Harbour Park, home to the Sharksville Adventure Golf course, and while having a look around the other amusements we spotted a very interesting Air Hockey table - Skate Hockey!

The 'half-pipe' Skate Hockey air hockey table at Littlehampton's Harbour Park

Sadly we didn't have time for a game on this occasion.

I'm sure our fellow minigolfers could get very competitive with the game!

Gluten Free fish and chips at The Fish Factory

Finding gluten free fish and chips on the menu at The Fish Factory in Littlehampton and Worthing.

As I mentioned in my recent interview with Glutenlibre one of the things I really miss being able to easily find as a Coeliac is Fish & Chips.

However, on our recent trip to Littlehampton and Worthing Emily and I were lucky enough to find both towns have a branch of The Fish Factory - two restaurants with an extensive gluten free menu.

Gluten free fish and chips in Littlehampton and Worthing
The food and service at The Fish Factory restaurants in Littlehampton and Worthing get a big thumbs-up from me. Here I am about to tuck into a giant bit of haddock!

My standard question when dining out at new places is what measures they have in place to guard against cross-contamination and it was great to hear that they cook all of the food in separate fryers etc. and that they have a number of regular Coeliac customers.

On our first visit to The Fish Factory in Littlehampton I opted for a starter of The Fish Factory Pâté - it was delicous and the two homemade gluten free rolls were a nice touch. This was followed by the Cod and Chips. The chips were very good indeed.

We dined at the Worthing branch twice on our visit to the town - once for lunch and once for dinner.

The menu is the same throughout the day and the restaurants are open 11am to 11pm.

On our lunchtime visit I had the Skate, with Mash and a Caper Butter sauce. And on our evening visit I opted for the Haddock and Chips, along with a bowl of mushy peas. The meals are also served with gluten free tartare sauce.

Emily had the Dakshin River Catfish and the Plaice Fillet - both of which are also on the gluten free menu.

The Fish Factory also serves Estrella Damm Daura gluten free beer which is great.

We'll definitely be back for more great food next time we're in the area.

Check out my blog post on all of the fish and chips shops and restaurants we've found on our travels, along with Travel Gluten Free and Gluugle for reviews of gluten free places we've been to.


Minigolf Report – 2014 BMGA British Masters in Worthing

14th April 2014
Press Information
For Immediate Release

Minigolf Report – BMGA British Masters in Worthing

Richard Gottfried 5th and Emily Gottfried 11th in national Miniature Golf tournament. 

Luton Minigolfers Richard and Emily Gottfried competed in the BMGA British Masters tournament that took place at the 18-hole Splash Point Mini Golf course at Denton Gardens in Worthing, West Sussex on Sunday 13th April. In the four-round, 72-hole tournament Richard finished in 5th place overall in the 30-player field. Emily finished in 11th place overall, and was the winner in the Category 3 event contested by six players.

Richard and Emily Gottfried receive their medals from the Mayor of Worthing, Bob Smytherman

Richard scored a three-round total of 149(+5) after rounds of 37, 36, 39 and 37. With twelve holes-in-one across the four rounds he won the Category 1 player Aces title.

Splash Point Mini Golf in Worthing
Richard Gottfried playing hole 4 during the Hole-in-One Charity Challenge at the 2014 BMGA British Masters tournament at Splash Point Mini Golf in Worthing

Emily scored a total 168(+24) with rounds of 44, 41, 41 and 42. For the second year in a row Emily had to face a play-off to win Category 3. In the sudden-death play-off Emily defeated Kent’s Adrian Amey at the first extra-hole to take the title.

Splash Point Mini Golf, Worthing
Emily Gottfried in her sudden-death play-off on hole 10 at the BMGA British Masters competition at Splash Point Mini Golf in Worthing 

Richard said "Splash Point Mini Golf is a course that seems to get tougher each and every year, but I relish the chance to visit Worthing and tackle it. I dropped a few more shots this year but was very happy to finish fifth overall, as well as pick up the medal as the Aces Champion. I’m really pleased for Emily too as she improved by one place overall from last year and did really well to retain the Category 3 title.”

Emily said “I’m really happy to finish 11th overall! Splash Point is a really tough course with couple of horror holes for me, so I’m really delighted with this result. I’m also pleased to come first in my Category, despite making it harder for myself by making a few silly mistakes which meant I had to play-off for the title, but it was great victory for me. I’m looking forward to the next event in Margate now, even though that’s another tricky course.” 

The winner of the 2014 BMGA British Masters was Oxford’s Michael Smith with a score of 135(-9) who became a two-time champion. Newcastle’s John Moore, a former champion, was runner-up on 141(-3), with Portugal’s Nuno Cunha third on 144(par) and defending champion, Cambridgeshire’s Adam Kelly, fourth on 146(+2).


Sunday, April 13, 2014

UrbanCrazy at the Manchester Golf Show 2014

The team at UrbanCrazy will be at the Manchester Golf Show this month and visitors will have the chance to play on the company's brand new Serpentine Minigolf Course.

The Manchester Golf Show will be taking place at EventCity from Friday 25th to Sunday 27th April, with doors opening at 10am on the Friday. 

For more details about the show and UrbanCrazy check out the links below:

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Lyle & Scott's Hole-in-One Challenge

Playing the special Minigolf Hole-in-One Challenge at Lyle & Scott's Carnaby Street shop in London.

All this week the clothing brand Lyle & Scott has had a special Hole-in-One Minigolf Challenge set up at the flagship store on Carnaby Street. The layout has been supplied by Urban Crazy.

On my lunch-break yesterday I popped along with fellow Minigolfer Gareth 'Osmosis' Holmes and my old Dodgeball rival 'Rowdy' Russell Fenner as we tried our luck on the tricky challenge that had been set-up as a promotion for The Masters golf tournament.

Adam from Urban Crazy was on-hand at the hole to instruct players about the challenge and we saw him knock in a couple of good holes-in-one.

Urban Crazy's Adam on the Lyle & Scott Hole-in-One Challenge hole on Carnaby Street

Each player was given three attempts to register a hole-in-one and win a prize. Both winners and losers could make use of a discount on the day too for purchases in-store.

Tee-ing up my shot

Gareth Holmes failing to get an Ace as Adam and Russell look on

Small swing and a big miss for 'Rowdy' Russell on the Lyle and Scott challenge

Unfortunately none of us managed to score an Ace - and we won't be sporting a Lyle & Scott polo shirt this weekend. We did see a couple of other players manage the feat though, to a ripple of applause from the crowds in the bustling street.

You can still play the special Hole-in-One Challenge hole this week. Follow Lyle & Scott and the Lyle & Scott Golf Team for more info.

Back in October 2012 Lyle and Scott and The Campaign for Wool created a special Woolly Golf course in Covent Garden for that years Wool Week. That course became the 511th visited and 307th played on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour since 2006.


Related blog posts: