What started as an exploration of the minigolf courses in the UK and around the world has exploded into all areas of the weird, wonderful and especially the unique. Sharing the great (and not so great) things we find, learn about and appreciate as we go!
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Minigolf Report – Gottfried 24th in the BMGA English Open in Bristol
For Immediate Release
Minigolf Report – Gottfried 24th in the BMGA English Open in Bristol
Luton Minigolfer Richard Gottfried finished in 24th place in a 34 player field in the British Minigolf Association’s second tournament of the season at the English Open held at the Jungle Rumble Indoor Adventure Golf in Bristol on Sunday 28th February.
The tournament was played over three 18-hole rounds and Birmingham’s Chris Harding picked up his second consecutive win of the season with a 54-hole score of 88(-20). Richard had a three-round total of 113(+5) which included scores of 41(+5), 36(par) and 36(par).
Richard said “After my 8th place finish in the National Open in Birmingham last month I wanted to at least finish in the top ten in Bristol, but it just wasn’t to be. To say I’m disappointed with 24th place is an understatement. I had a dire first round on the Jungle Course, and my two rounds on the Secret Swamp course were only OK. I’ve got some time to practice and work on some areas of my game before the next event, and I’ll be pushing for more top ten finishes and some wins again this season.”
The first editions of the updated 2010 BMGA Tour Ranking Lists will be published this week. Last season Richard finished 8th in the Season-only Rankings, and 16th in the Order of Merit.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
No crazy golf today, so a photo from the archives instead
A course I've still not played - the Crazy Golf course at Guildford Lido. It was closed on my visit in September 2008.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Miniature Golfer Awards 2009 - Ham & Egger Files wins 'Best Blog' Award
You can view all of the award categories and winners at http://www.miniaturegolfer.com/miniaturegolfer_forum_awards.html
Blog post from last year's Miniature Golfer Awards.
News Release - MiniatureGolfer.com 2009 UK Crazy Golf Price Survey
For Immediate Use
MiniatureGolfer.com 2009 UK Crazy Golf Price Survey
MiniatureGolfer.com, in association with the Ham & Egger Files Crazy World of Minigolf Golf blog, has produced the first survey of its kind in order to find the UK’s best value Crazy Golf course.
Details of over 100 Crazy Golf courses countrywide were looked at and the most important factors in deciding the best value were cost and fun!
Information on the normal adult price for a single round on a sample of UK Crazy Golf courses was gathered, excluding special offers and courses within an attraction where a separate entrance fee is applicable. To do a proper comparison, the adult cost of one round was divided by the number of holes, giving a cost per hole. The cost per hole difference between the cheapest and most expensive courses was enormous, ranging from 7 pence to 56 pence.
Tim ‘Ace Man’ Davies webmaster of MiniatureGolfer.com said "As for the best course in the UK you'll have to visit Planet Hastings! Which this year is hosting the British Minigolf Association British Open on the 18th & 19th September."
‘Squire’ Richard Gottfried of the Ham & Egger Files Crazy Golf blog said "The price survey was very interesting to put together. Since September 2006 my wife and I have been on a mission to play all the UK’s minigolf courses and so far we’ve visited 206. We were able to put together a comprehensive price survey for all the countries this year as we did a nine-day Tour of Wales in the summer and the 28 Welsh courses we played account for approximately 80% of all the Minigolf courses in Wales (according to Miniaturegolfer.com) and 93% of the public courses there."
Best value courses by country
It was decided that the best value course in England was at the Four Ashes Golf Centre in Dorridge near Birmingham at £1.50 for 12 holes (13p). This course was also the host venue of the British Minigolf Association British Club Championships in 2005 and 2006. Dorridge narrowly edges out Newcastle (14p) and Cheddar (14p).
And while you're in the Midlands do check out the excellent course in Stratford-upon-Avon and the best value Indoor course in England and the UK, Star City, Birmingham. Both come highly recommended.
Oswestry (Cae Glas Park) – 18-hole Eternit Miniature Golf, is the cheapest course in the UK at only 7p per hole! Sutton Fields came in at £1 for nine holes.
Special mentions should also go to Kingsway Golf Centre in Melbourn, Cambridgeshire, where for £2.20 you can play for as long as you like. And Tea Green Golf at Wandon End near Luton, Bedfordshire where for £2.00 you can get unlimited play with a ball purchase. To our knowledge neither of the courses has met the marathon week-long player with the miner's helmet yet.
Rhylstone Gardens on the Isle of Wight also deserves a mention as it has been around for 50 years!
Perth is the cheapest and the best value course we found north of the border. It’s an outdoor 18-hole course but 9 holes are covered, it has a members club and it's floodlit! It comes in at 17 pence per hole! Also highly recommended is Fife.
As for indoor courses, Scotland has two – in Aberdeen and Glasgow. Aberdeen wins it at 32p a hole but both are well worth a visit. Aberdeen will be hosting the first ever BMGA Scottish Open in May this year.
Is it Rocky Pines Adventure Golf, at the summit of the Great Orme Mountain in Llandudno at 14p per hole? (Which can also lay claim to the honour of being the highest minigolf course in the British Isles!) Or was it Prestatyn?
The honour goes to Prestatyn. A fine example of an Arnold Palmer Putting Course which comes in at 13p per hole, and a chance to win a free game on the lucky nineteenth hole.
Wales has no known indoor courses.
The best value course found was at Carnfunnock at 17p per hole.
Highly recommended is Belfast, which held the BMGA Irish Open in 2006 & 2007.
Northern Ireland has no known indoor courses.
Jersey's Living Legend course has 36-holes and comes in at 35p per hole, and is slightly more expensive than Guernsey's Oatlands at 32p. The Living Legend wins out.
The Channel Islands has no known indoor courses.
Worst value in the UK
Attractions where an entrance fee is payable were excluded.
Woking, at only 9-holes and in poor condition wins this ignominious title. The course does have concessions for locals but you’d have to be a very crazy Crazy Golfer to pay £4 to play the course! It is also the second equal most expensive course in the UK at 44p per hole.
Overall best value Crazy Golf courses in the UK
Outdoor - The Arnold Palmer Putting Course, Prestatyn
Indoor - Aberdeen narrowly beating Star City, Birmingham
http://www.miniaturegolfer.com/ - the number one website for information on all things minigolf, run by five-times World Crazy Golf Champion Tim ‘Ace Man’ Davies
http://www.miniaturegolfer.com/miniaturegolfer%20price%20survey%202009.html - online reference to the survey and links to the courses
http://hamandeggerfiles.blogspot.com/ - Richard & Emily Gottfried’s Crazy World of Minigolf Tour blog, charting their journeys and adventures in miniature golf
http://www.minigolf.org.uk/ - website of the British Minigolf Association (BMGA), the UK governing body for minigolf sport
Sunday, February 14, 2010
From the archives - Coalville Minigolf, Leicestershire (June 2008)
The course in Coalville, Leicestershire was the 54th we visited on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour at that point.
While we were there we held a three-player Irregular Mini Golf Tour competition that saw me, Emily and our friend Daniel Marsh play a two-round (18-hole) match. The first round was a qualifier, with the top two players then facing off against each other in round two.
In round one Emily scored a 28(+10), to me and Daniel's 23(+5).
In the second round Daniel hit a 24(+6), while I scored a 23(+5) again to just sneak the victory with a two-round +10 score of 46!
The next time we're heading north we must pass by the course for another round or two.
Irregular Mini Golf Tour - The Race to Play Near Rye (East Sussex), first 'Qualifier'
Irregular Mini Golf Tour announces The Race to Play Near Rye (East Sussex) parody minigolf tournament
The Irregular Mini Golf Tour today announces it's first unofficial parody tournament - The Race to Play Near Rye (East Sussex).
Details of the event itself are sketchy, as are the rules on qualification!
The first 'Qualifying' round for the tournament took place today at the rooftop 'home' course of the Irregular Mini Golf Tour in Parts Unknown (Luton), and pitted 'Squire' Richard Gottfried (#1) against a mystery partner (#6) on a randomly made and un-mapped 'Minigolf' course.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Latest Irregular Mini Golf Tour Rankings 2009/10 Season
NE New Entry
NL Not Listed yet this Season
Irregular Mini Golf Tour Ranking Points Calculations 2009/2010:
1st place = 100 points
2nd place = 75 points
3rd place = 50 points
Other place = 10 points
Thursday, February 11, 2010
From the archives...Arnold Palmer Starr Gate Crazy Golf in Blackpool (April 2008)
As the Blackpool Pleasure Beach Open minigolf champion the seaside resort will always be special to me. In addition to the excellent Pleasure Beach Adventure Golf course, Blackpool is also home to a number of other Crazy Golf, Minigolf, Miniature Golf and Adventure Golf courses, as well as a Putting Green.
One of these courses is the Arnold Palmer Crazy Golf course at Starr Gate. This 18-hole course was the 45th course we visited on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour back on the 12th April 2008 (while in Blackpool for the 2008 Pleasure Beach Open tournament).
In our Irregular Mini Golf Tour match at Starr Gate, Emily and I both scored 49(+13), but as I had scored most holes-in-one (1!?) I picked up the victory!
The course also featured one of the highest placed giant fake ice cream cones I have seen on my travels - very unique!
Other Crazy Golf and Minigolf photos from our visit to Blackpool in April 2008.
Some of Blackpool's other courses were also visited in September 2009:
- Minigolf Course Visit No. 151 - Blackpool, Golden Isle Indoor Adventure Golf
- Minigolf Course Visit No. 152 - Fleetwood Crazy Golf
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour - Closed course in Blackpool (1) - Gynn Gardens
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour - Closed course in Blackpool (2) - Metropole Hotel
Related blog posts:
- Minigolf, Crazy Golf and Adventure Golf Courses in and around Blackpool
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour - Courses Visited List
Sunday, February 07, 2010
Minigolf Course Played #160 (#206 overall) - Hither Green, Swedish Felt
Today we visited the 206th course on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour, when we played the brand new 18-hole indoor Swedish Felt minigolf course in Hither Green, Lewisham, London.
The course opened two weeks ago and as soon as we found out about it we had to give it a go. The one and only previous round of Swedish Felt Minigolf we played was following the Nations Cup tournament in Tampere, Finland, when the Great Britain Team held an Unofficial 'British Swedish Felt Run Championships' (aka 'The Rotten Shark Classic').
In total I played four rounds and Emily played two.
In our first match Emily picked up the win, with a score of 54(+18) to my 60(+24).
In the second match we also played against the course Manager Nick Sandqvist (from Sweden). The scores here were: Nick - 42(+6), Richard - 55(+19), Emily - 64(+28).
I also had a practice round where I scored a 58(+22).
In my fourth and final round versus Nick I scored a 53(+17), with Nick hitting a 41(+5).
The course is the first full size Swedish Felt Minigolf Course that I know of in the UK. We have played quite a few of the smaller Swedish Felt 'B-run' courses on our travels, but only the one full size course in Finland.
Swedish Felt is also interesting to play as it offers options for the level of difficulty for some holes. For instance, some of the gaps between obstacles can be made narrower, while some holes with helpful barriers can be lifted or dropped to determine the hole's difficulty.
I'm looking forward to returning to play more (and improve!).
Videos from our visit.
View other courses visited on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour.
Link to a blog post about other Mini Golf, Crazy Golf and Adventure Golf courses in and around London.
Saturday, February 06, 2010
'Foggy day no gimmes challenge' minigolf competition at Tea Green Golf
'Foggy day no gimmes challenge' minigolf competition at Tea Green Golf
In the fog and cold we played a two-round 18-hole match at Tea Green.
It was absolutely freezing, and with the 'no gimmes' rule in force it made for some very cold hands with three water filled cups on the course!
The 9-hole minigolf course at Tea Green Golf normally offers up a number of Ace opportunities, but between the three of us we managed a paltry 'one' during the whole match!?
In the end it was Scott Holmes who picked up the win with 36(par), with me and Lester Coles tied for second on a dismal 39(+3).
There was some consolation for me in the end, as I won the 2nd/3rd place play-off with my first hole-in-one of the day!
Roll on summer for some more pleasant rounds.
Friday, February 05, 2010
Miniaturegolfer.com 2009 UK Crazy Golf Price Survey
The Miniaturegolfer.com 2009 UK Crazy Golf Price Survey looked at a sample of 119 Miniature Golf/Crazy Golf/Minigolf courses in the UK and came up with details of the 'best value' courses in the UK - taking into account factors including cost and fun!
Details of the survey, which gives details of courses in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands can be found at http://www.miniaturegolfer.com/miniaturegolfer%20price%20survey%202009.html
Preparing for the 2010 Macmillan Cancer Support Annual Bowling Challenge Title Defence!
Videos from our practice games.
Luton gets a seaside Shooting Shack!
So imagine my surprise while tenpin bowling at Namco Station in Luton yesterday when I spotted the games area now included a 'Doc's Interactive Shootout'!
While not my favourite type of Shooting Gallery Game, it wasn't too bad, and it did pay out 49 tickets for my efforts.
The links below have details of some of the other Shooting Shacks I have found on my travels:
Minigolf Challenge Matches at Watford TopGolf (& course visit updates)
In the main competition - the Irregular Mini Golf Tour Dodgeball UK Reunion Minigolf Tournament - the three former Dodgeball UK Team Captains* faced off in an 18-hole battle in the cold and wet weather conditions.
*Dodgeball UK Teams & Captains:
Abingdon Dodgeball Alliance (ADE) - 'Stentorian' Richard Gottfried
Just Might Lose - Emily 'Nine Lives' Gottfried
Welwyn Dodgeball Warriors (WDW) - 'Rowdy' Russell Fenner
At the end of the round we were all tied on a score of 48(+12) which forced a play-off at the 18th hole to decide the winner.
In the play-off 'Rowdy' Russell was first eliminated after hitting a three, and in the second play-off round I scored a two, compared to Emily's three to win the bragging rights!
The players on the podium.
We also played two Putting Green Challenge matches while we were there, with Emily and Russell both on 9(-1) in match one, and with Emily the victor in match two, with another one-under round of 9.
The Adventure Golf course at Watford was the 8th we played on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour way back in December 2006.
We've played there a number of times over the years and the course remains one of the most difficult we've played. It's still a good fun course, and the centre's facilities are good.
TopGolf Watford also has a Putting Course, which until fairly recently was a 9-hole course, but is now only 5-holes. The photos below show the difference.
9-hole Putting Green in 2006.
5-hole Putting Green in 2010.
A hole to nowhere!?
The 4th hole on the 'new' course is also incredibly short.
Details of other Irregular Mini Golf Tour competitions we have played there can be found at the links below:
Photo: Christopher 'One BMGA Tour Event' Gottfried & 'Squire' Richard Gottfried line-up during a round at TopGolf Watford in April 2007.