Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Spot the Difference

Spot the Differences between our visits to the Original Crazy Golf course in Skegness.

We've visited the Original Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness, Lincolnshire twice on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour. The first time was in May 2011, followed by a return trip to the seaside resort in May 2015. On both occasions we found the Crazy Golf course that stands on the site of England's first-ever Crazy Golf layout to be closed.

Minigolf explorer Richard Gottfried sat outside the closed Crazy Golf course hut in Skegness in May 2011 and May 2015
Spot the Differences

Check out the posts from our visit in 2011 and 2015 to see how the course has changed in the past few years.

Related blog posts:

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Mini Golf at Lightwater Valley Theme Park

An old Crazy Golf postcard and a new Adventure Golf course.

I recently noticed that the Lightwater Valley Theme Park in North Yorkshire has opened a brand new Jurassic Adventure Golf course ready for the 2015 season.

Our friend Emma lives in nearby Northallerton and visited the theme park last year. She let us know they had a Crazy Golf course there and we'd added it to our places to visit list.

As a fan of all things miniature golf-related I've collected quite a few mini and crazy golf postcards over the years. One of my recent finds was a late 1970's card from Lightwater Valley showing the concrete Crazy Golf course being played.

A postcard showing one of the old Crazy Golf courses at Lightwater Valley Theme Park. The card is postally unused and undated. The reverse shows the text 'LIGHTWATER VALLEY' and the address, along with 'No.7'. There is no date on the card, but with the amount of flares on show it's got to be from the late 1970s
A postcard showing one of the old Crazy Golf courses at Lightwater Valley Theme Park. The card is postally unused and undated. The reverse shows the text 'LIGHTWATER VALLEY' and the address, along with 'No.7'. There is no date on the card, but with the amount of flares on show it's got to be from the late 1970s

We look forward to visiting and playing the new 18-hole course on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour.

More information on the Jurassic Adventure Golf course can be found on the Lightwater Valley website.

Links:
Lightwater Valley website
Lightwater Valley on Twitter
- Lightwater Valley on Facebook

Related blog posts:
- Postcards
- Adventure Golf
- North Yorkshire

Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf

Minigolf blog post about "The BEST Mini Golf Course in Venice".

Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf by EM15 at the Venice Biennale, photos by Gareth & Lurlyn Holmes
Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf in Venice

Running from May to July 2015 Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf is a fully playable art-installation minigolf course in Venice.

Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf by EM15 at the Venice Biennale, photos by Gareth & Lurlyn Holmes
The layout is is described as "The BEST Mini Golf Course in Venice"

While Emily and I won't be able to make it over to play this time, our friends Gareth and Lurlyn Holmes were recently on holiday in Venice and luckily for them they were able to play the course on the trip!

Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf by EM15 at the Venice Biennale, photos by Gareth & Lurlyn Holmes
Crazy Golf controversy with a Costa Concordia hole!

Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf by EM15 at the Venice Biennale, photos by Gareth & Lurlyn Holmes
Lurlyn plays tees-off on hole 4 - John Akomfrah's 'The Turkey Shoot Galactico'
  
Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf by EM15 at the Venice Biennale, photos by Gareth & Lurlyn Holmes
While Gareth is a Pro-Putter it was Lurlyn who came out the winner. by one-point. Gareth informs me that he had been playing while refreshed from a few beers. Here he is playing the 'Pleasure Seekers' hole by Candice Jacobs

Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf by EM15 at the Venice Biennale, photos by Gareth & Lurlyn Holmes
Gareth and Lurlyn both took a dreaded seven on the last hole (Ellie Harrison's 'Life Raft') as they hit their balls into the water

The EM15 project is a collaboration between artist-led organisations and institutions including the Beacon Art Project in Lincolnshire, One Thoresby Street in Nottingham, New Art Exchange in Notting, QUAD in Derby, Nottingham Trent University and The University of Nottingham.

The holes in Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf have been designed by John Akomfrah, Yara El-Sherbini, Doug Fishbone, Ellie Harrison, Candice Jacobs, Hetain Patel, Lindsay Seers, Yinka Shonibare MBE and Eyal Weizman.

So, why was Mini Golf chosen for the art installation? Well, the 56th Venice Biennale called for responses to 'The Leisure Principle' - and what better way to spend your leisure time than putting around a miniature golf course.

The Leisure Principle considers the concept of tourism and trade as a metaphor to explore current global economic complexities through one of the defining principles of leisure - that of consumption - and how this consumption shapes our identity.

EM15 is a collective from the East Midlands region of the UK and aims to inspire a new generation of artists, curators and audiences, as well as representing diverse cultures and perspectives, and creating long-lasting impacts for the arts ecology in the Midlands and throughout the UK. For more information visit the EM15 website.

For more information on Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf and the Venice Biennale check out the links below.

Minigolf is a popular theme for artists, so whilst on our travels we've played a few art-installation pop-up crazy golf courses.

In 2012/13 Doug Fishbone and friends created a 9-hole Crazy Golf course called 'Adventure Land' which was playable at music & art festivals and galleries around the UK. Unfortunately we were never able to make it. Although we were at The Arnolfini in Bristol just before the controversial course arrived.

Links:
- EM15 website
- EM15 on Twitter
- EM15 on Facebook
- Venice Biennale / la Biennale di Venezia website
- Venice Biennale / la Biennale di Venezia on Twitter
- Venice Biennale / la Biennale di Venezia on Facebook
Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf

Related blog posts:
- Art
- Gareth Holmes
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour

Photos courtesy of Gareth and Lurlyn Holmes.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Mini Golf Sharks

Catching sight of some Crazy Golf Sharks on our minigolfing travels.

Pirate Mini Golf at the Galleria Shopping Centre in Hatfield
An animatronic shark on the Pirate Mini Golf course in Hatfield

The first 'actual' shark obstacle we found on a minigolf course was at Pendine Bay in Wales on a mammoth road trip in 2009.

The shark hole at the Crazy Golf course in Pendine Sands

Preceding our trip to Pendine Bay we'd visited and played the excellent Strokes Adventure Golf course in Margate. The 16th hole there is called 'Shark's Teeth'.

Strokes Adventure Golf course in Margate
Playing the Shark's Teeth hole during the 2007 Kent Open tournament at Strokes Adventure Golf course

Strokes Adventure Golf course in Margate
Playing the 16th hole at Strokes in 2014

The kiosk of the Pirate Mini Golf at the Galleria in Hatfield has a big bitey shark above the counter!

Pirate Mini Golf at the Galleria Shopping Centre in Hatfield
Kiosk shark

Pirate Mini Golf at the Galleria Shopping Centre in Hatfield
The Great White shark is basking on the minigolf course in Hatfield

I've been to Littlehampton twice. On the second occasion I managed to play the Sharksville Adventure Golf course.

Sharksville Adventure Golf at Harbour Park in Littlehampton
At Sharksville

Sharksville Adventure Golf at Harbour Park in Littlehampton
The shark on the advertising board was a different type of character

Sharksville Adventure Golf at Harbour Park in Littlehampton
The one that didn't get away was a different species of shark too

Look closely at the shark at Sharksville and you'll see he's wearing a bow tie!
Look closely at the shark at Sharksville and you'll see he's wearing a bow tie!

The 231st course we played on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour was the 'Sea Dwellers Crazy Golf' at the Golden Palm Resort in Chapel St Leonards, Lincolnshire. However, none of the holes had a shark on it.

We spotted this shark bin in a seafood shop in Whitstable!
We spotted this shark bin at a seafood shop in Whitstable in 2014

Shelley at Putterfingers also spotted a shark obstacle on a miniature golf course - it was on a Disney TV show called Shake It Up!

On our travels we've seen a lot of crocodiles and alligators lurking on courses too.

If you see any sharks on a minigolf course do let me know!

Related blog posts:
Sharks
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour
- Strokes Adventure Golf in Margate
- Crazy Golf at Pendine Sands
- Sharksville Adventure Golf at Harbour Park in Littlehampton
- Pirate Mini Golf at the Galleria Shopping Centre in Hatfield

Happy National BBQ Week

National BBQ Week is running from the 25th to the 31st of May.

I heard on Twitter that this year is the 19th National BBQ Week. A time to celebrate all things BBQ!

Check out the National BBQ Week website for more information, facts and top tips about barbecuing.

BBQ time!
Have a happy National BBQ Week!

As someone with Coeliac Disease eating safely at barbeques can be a problem. Whenever I go to a BBQ I always take my own disposable BBQ and utensils. If you are cooking gluten free food on a shared grill then use foil to separate your gluten free meat and food from anything containing gluten. Even if the grill has been cleaned thoroughly there may be trace elements of gluten.

Also, check where the gluten free buns are being warmed. Make sure they are kept and heated separately from other bread and buns.

Another thing to remember at BBQs is to check whether any of the soft drinks contain gluten? I remember being caught out by own-brand colas when I was first diagnosed - they contain barley gluten! So always check the labels.

Thankfully I have found more and more products are being made gluten free, only recently I spotted that Asda have a new range of gluten free sausages, hot dogs and toppings.

Gluten free foot long hot dog sausage from Asda
Foot long and gluten free!

But above all else do remember to have fun, eat well and enjoy the sun!

Links:
- National BBQ Week website
- National BBQ Week on Twitter
- National BBQ Week on Facebook

Related blog posts:
- BBQ
- Hot Dog
Gluten Free
Coeliac
My life as a Coeliac in LEGO form

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Mini Golf at Tea Green Golf at Wandon End, Luton

A visit to the new Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club in Wandon End, Luton.

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton
The old Crazy Golf has been upgraded to this bright new Mini Golf 

Tea Green Golf Club in Luton has unveiled its upgraded Mini Golf layout and on Friday I headed up there for a few rounds on the course.

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton
Playing hole 1. The 'classic' ace line has been blocked by two obstacles. There is still a way to get a hole-in-one though. You can see the old version of hole 1 here

Emily and I have been visiting Tea Green Golf since we found out that the club was home to a Crazy Golf course in July 2009. The course was the 111th played on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour. Since that first visit almost six years ago the courses has undergone some changes.

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton
Revisiting the 111th course on our tour

Using the base holes as a foundation for the new miniature golf layout the 9-hole course has been refurbished and freshened up with new borders, obstacles and colours. I'm very pleased to say that the course manager Lester Coles and the team have taken on-board some of my suggestions for updating the course. There are now some nice undulations on the course, bright colours, high quality felt to play on, and of course there's a windmill on one of the holes.

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton
Hole 5 has a windmill obstacle on it. It blocks the straight shot to the hole, but there is a fine angle to make the ace

Lester has also been a minigolf rival of mine since we first played the course in 2011 so he was itching to give me a game - and what a clash it was. Having set the record of 17(-1) on the first official day of the new course Lester bested me in the first two rounds (18 to 19), before we tied on 17. We then played another 18-hole round which saw me force a play-off with an ace at the last hole. The game continued to the 4th extra-hole before I was robbed by a bounce out from my second putt.

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton
A view of the course from the turnaround point. Hole 7 (the blue hole in the photo) used to be hole 9

Over the years we've had many rounds on the course and scored a lot of holes-in-one. Lester and I were both amazed at how tricky it is to ace many of the holes during the round - we did however make some nice shots in some practice play. It'll be very interesting to see if the old course record of 14 (held forevermore by Scott Holmes) will ever be equalled or bettered...

The cost to play the Tea Green Mini Golf course is just £2 and gives you unlimited play on your visit. Great value
The cost to play the course is just £2 and gives you unlimited play on your visit. Great value

Check out the photos of the 9-hole course below.

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Tea Green Golf is a really friendly golf club that welcomes members and non-members alike. The Par-3 Golf course is a great test and they also have a really popular Footgolf course. Plus there's a bar, restaurant and games area (pool and darts). Visit the Tea Green Golf website, and check out the club on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

Links:
- Tea Green Golf
- UrbanCrazy

Related blog posts:
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour
- Tea Green
- Luton

Videos:
A round of Minigolf at Tea Green Golf Course in Luton (July 2009)
- Attempting to play Crazy Golf in the snow at Tea Green Golf, Luton (January 2010)
- Hole in One at Tea Green Golf's Minigolf Course (March 2010)
- A round of Minigolf at Tea Green Golf Luton (May 2010)
- A round of Minigolf at Tea Green Golf for the Putter King Scavenger Hunt (September 2011)
- Minigolf Trick Shot - Blindfolded Hole-in-One for the Putter King Miniature Golf Scavenger Hunt (September 2011)

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Original Crazy Golf in Skegness

A revisit to the Original Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness.

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness
A view of England's first Crazy Golf course location

In May 2011 we visited Skegness as part of a road trip along the Lincolnshire coast. In May 2015 we returned for some more fun and games in the seaside resort.

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness
At the Crazy Golf course on South Parade

When we arrived on the Friday afternoon we had a wander along the seafront to see what had changed with the minigolf courses. Unfortunately the Crazy Golf course on South Parade was once again closed.

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness
Recreating my look of sadness from May 2011

The course is noted as England's first-ever Crazy Golf course. There's a relatively new sign at Grand Parade advertising the course and the date it was established is listed as 1926.

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness
The new sign for the old Crazy Golf course

On our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour we've now visited 598 courses, playing 363 of them. As well as the visit to England's first course, we've played England's first Pitch & Putt (opened in Southsea in 1914) and the world's first Miniature Golf course (the Himalayas in St Andrews was created in 1867).

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness
There has been Crazy Golf on this site since 1926

On the Saturday the course was once again closed, so we played an impromptu Aces Competition on National Miniature Golf Day using an 11-Wood that Chris Jones had just bought in a charity shop. The course became the 363rd played on our tour.

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness
Finally having a play on the course

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness
Chris Jones having a putt on an obstacle that wasn't there in 2011, nor I doubt in 1926

As we were leaving on the Sunday we noticed it was open!

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness
The course was open on the Sunday

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness
People having a round on the course

Check out more photos of the 12-hole course.

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness

Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness

Related blog posts:
Minigolf, Crazy Golf and Adventure Golf Courses on the Lincolnshire Coast