Friday, November 25, 2011

Minigolf at Watford TopGolf - Major Course Improvements & Match vs. 'Rowdy' Russell Fenner

On Wednesday 23rd November 2011 I met up with old Dodgeball UK adversary 'Rowdy' Russell Fenner for a long-awaited rematch at the 18-hole Adventure Golf course at Watford TopGolf.

I've been visiting the course at TopGolf Watford since the 2nd of December 2006, when the course became the 8th ever played on me and Emily's Crazy World of Minigolf Tour. On this latest visit the first thing I noticed (after seeing the price increase to £6 a round) was the amount of changes and improvements that had been made to the course!

Photo of the Adventure Golf course at TopGolf in Watford
Photo: The 'Rocky Pines' Canoe beside the 2-hole practice Putting area

The last time I played there was in March this year, when the course had had some extra changes made to it. At the time it wasn't in the best condition (the 18th hole being particularly horrible, especially when compared to how it used to be - a well placed shot between two rocks would reward you with a hole-in-one more often than not. See here for a photo of how it looked during the changes in July 2010). However, the new modifications have made the course the most playable it has been since our first visits back in 2006, 2007 & 2008!

As well as new obstacles, the felt has been completely relaid so there are no patches or tears. Each hole has also had a sign put up and they all now carry names.

Photo: Hole 1 "Canoe Canyon"

In July 2010 I played the Watford Adventure Golf course three times and on each visit the course was different! The first of those visits on the 7th saw the course a little worn in places, but quite playable. On my visit on the 13th a lot of pieces of felt were missing!? Most noticeably on the tee-off areas! Instead of felt the area was bare concrete. On my visit on the 22nd the finishing touches had been made to the 'refurb', with new patches of felt over worn areas, aling with new tee-off areas of felt (which play incredibly slowly). But the course was in a sorry state and not much fun compared to how it had been.

So I was very pleased to see the improvements, both in the general look of the course and in the playability of it. Some new bunkers have been added, tricky rock obstacles put in place, and some of the holes have been extended and/or widened. To play the course now is very different indeed compared to 2010 and earlier this year.

Photo: Hole 2 "Ramp Rage"

Photo: A stone circle

Photo: The addition of two parallel planks add a new way to play your shots on this hole

Photo: Hole 7 "Pine Pass" has had an interesting change made to it. It used to be a great hole-in-one opportunity, however the rocks have been changed to block the path to the hole! A bit of practice and a nicely weighted shot could see Aces still drop, but it's not as easy as it used to be

Photo: Hole 13 "Cross Paths" has also been significantly changed with the addition of a third route to the hole. My shot made it to the smaller of the two entry points to the tunnel, but was slightly too strong a shot and lipped out when it reached the hole

Photo: 'Rowdy' Russell Fenner goes fishing for his ball on Hole 14

Photo: The bridge on Hole 14 as it is now. Link to how it was in 2010

Photo: The dogleg left Hole 15 has also been changed to now include a ramp & tunnel in the corner. Using a very bouncy standard course (golf) ball meant that the shot into it was not ideal. However, using a good specialist minigolf deadball may see a better result

Photo: A view of the exit ramp on Hole 15

Photo: Hole 18 "Pipe Dream"

Photo: Hole 18 "Pipe Dream" - the central obstacle

Photo of the Adventure Golf course at TopGolf in Watford
Photo: Hole 18 "Pipe Dream" - the last hole and ball collector

Photo: Hole 18 "Pipe Dream" - a view of the exit ramp from the main obstacle

In our match-up I scored a 44(+8) including holes-in-one on the 5th and 9th holes. 'Rowdy' Russell had a poor round though and scored a disappointing 55(+19), far worse than he normally plays as he usually gives me a good run for my money!

As the course is in such fine shape and with the many improvements made to it I think it's in good enough condition to once again host a British Minigolf Association Tour competition - it was the location for the London Invitational Tournament won by Brad 'The Fist' Shepherd in August 2008.

The Watford TopGolf Game Centre is located at Bushey Mill Lane, Watford Herts, WD24 7AB and is very easy to find if you follow the many Brown Signs it has had put up in the surrounding area.

Photo: Just one of the many Brown Tourist Signs pointing potential visitors TopGolf's way

In order for 'Rowdy' Russell to attempt to gain a measure of revenge for his minigolf defeat we decided to have a game of Pool.

I broke.

And with my shot managed to pot the black in the middle left hand pocket. As well as potting a red in the top right hand corner pocket.

So 'Rowdy' left with a 'win'.

After our dismal performances in the UK RPS Championships last month we decided against having a Rock Paper Scissors contest to confirm an overall winner of the evening's activity and chose to call it a draw.

TopGolf Watford can be found on facebook and twitter. TopGolf Watford Adventure Golf details online.

Previous Blog Posts About Visits to Watford TopGolf:
- 17/03/11 - Adventure Golf at Watford TopGolf - 16th March 2011
- 09/12/10 - Adventure Golf at Watford TopGolf - change to Hole 18
- 01/08/10 - Changes to the felt and mats at Watford TopGolf
- 05/02/10 - Minigolf Challenge Matches at Watford TopGolf (& course visit updates)
- 30/10/09 - Adventure Golf at Watford TopGolf
- 21/12/08 - Results of the Third Annual Watford Classic
- 04/02/08 - WHAT

Link to more information, photos and videos of other course visits on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour.

No comments: