Thursday, August 30, 2012

Minigolf Report – Richard Gottfried wins the Crazy Golf with Bompas & Parr Championship Final

Second Crazy Golf competition victory for Gottfried on the rooftop of Selfridges in London.

On Wednesday 29th August Luton Minigolfer Richard Gottfried won the ‘Crazy Golf with Bompas & Parr Championship Final’ on the 9-hole rooftop Crazy Golf course at Selfridges Department Store in London.

Richard Gottfried with the BIG Minigolf trophy he received for winning the Crazy Golf with Bompas & Parr Championship Final

Having previously won the Crazy Golf with Bompas & Parr June Championship play-off title he was invited to compete in the final against the other monthly winner, the course record holder and wildcard players.

The grand final consisted of a two-round, 18-hole contest with nine other competitors on the Par-19 course. Scoring rounds of 14 and 17 for a total of 31(-7) Richard was eight shots ahead of the runner-up Mark Harris.

Richard Gottfried playing hole 7 of the Bompas & Parr Crazy Golf course at Selfridges London

Richard said “It’s absolutely brilliant to win the Crazy Golf with Bompas & Parr Championship Final and the massive minigolf trophy to go with my June play-off victory. The British summer wasn’t too kind to us on the day and the rainy weather before we teed-off made it feel more like an autumnal competition, but that didn’t dampen the mood and it was a fun contest. Well done to Bompas & Parr for creating a great Crazy Golf course that has been a lot of fun to play over the summer.”

Emily Gottfried competed in the championship as a wildcard entrant, scoring rounds of 21 and 19 to tie for third-place with Mitcham’s Alan Norman after both players scored a total of 40(+2).

Emily Gottfried, Richard Gottfried and Alan 'Stormin' Norman at Bompas & Parr's Crazy Golf course

Back in the 1930’s Selfridges’ roof was home to one of the UK’s first Minigolf courses and the Bompas & Parr Crazy Golf course opened at the end of May for The Big Rooftop Tea & Golf Party. The course has been installed on the roof of Selfridges as part of the Big British Bang celebration taking place during the summer of 2012.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Finger Jousting in Llanyrafon, Cwmbran, Wales

Results of the Finger Jousting match between Squire Richard of Surleigh and Jas 'The Polish Hammer' Kukiela.

Following our few days spent at the World Alternative Games 2012 in Llanwrtyd Wells where Jas Kukielka and I become the World Egg Throwing Champions and we ran the International Finger Jousting Tournament we headed to Llanyrafon in Cwmbran for the weekend and spent some time at the town’s Boating Lake.

Jas, aka The Polish Hammer, had been too injured to compete in last Friday’s Finger Jousting event, however once I spotted the ideal arena for a Finger Jousting Championships he made a miraculous recovery and so we had a Quick Play Rules match in the Llanyrafon Amphitheatre!

Squire Richard of Surleigh faces off against Jas 'The Polish Hammer' Kukielka at the Llanyrafon Finger Jousting Arena in Cwmbran, Wales

The match was played to one-point, with the first combatant to strike a prod or poke on his opponent declared the winner. Jas, well known for his Finger Jousting prowess on the international circuit (especially by the Dutch), started strongly, but fatigue and his minor middle finger injury that had hindered his attempt to win the World Alternative Games Finger Jousting title meant that I managed to pick up the win after a hard fought bout!

Squire Richard of Surleigh tries to get the upper hand on Jas 'The Polish Hammer' Kukielka at the Llanyrafon Finger Jousting Arena in Cwmbran, Wales

The victory meant that my Finger Jousting Winning Streak has now been extended to 87 matches!

The Finger Jousting battle between Squire Richard of Surleigh and Jas 'The Polish Hammer' Kukielka used the full space of the Llanyrafon Finger Jousting Arena in Cwmbran, Wales

My career Win-Loss record now stands at 118 wins from 130 contests, with 109 wins from 116 matches since I became an official member of the World Finger Jousting Federation in 2006.
Related Blog Posts:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Becoming a World Champion in Egg Throwing!

Jas Kukielka and I won the World Egg Throwing Championships at the World Alternative Games 2012!

On Friday 24th August I competed in the World Alternative Games 2012. The festival of sport is taking place in Britain’s Smallest Town – Llanwrtyd Wells in Wales – and there are over 50 different weird and wacky, odd and obscure sports taking place during the two weeks between the 17th August and the 2nd September. I was in town to run the first-ever Finger Jousting Championship on UK soil and ended up winning the World Egg Throwing Championships alongside my teammate Jas Kukielka!

Throwing an egg to Jas Kukielka

On the Friday morning we were at the Ysgol Dolafon in the town watching the action from the World Alternative Games Egg Throwing Championships and decided to give it a go. The best ‘throw and catch’ of an egg had been measured at 20 metres and that had been by the first pair! None of the other groups had got close to the mark.

Egg Throwing can be a messy sport!

The sport involves one player as the Egg Thrower and one as the Egg Catcher. Each pair chose two raw eggs and throw/toss/lob the egg to their partner. The Thrower always remains at one end, with the Catcher moving further back after each successful catch.

The World Alternative Games Egg Throwing tournament was a truly international affair with 19 teams taking part with players from Wales, England, France, the Republic of Ireland, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands competing!

First of all Jas teamed with his son Seve Kukielka for their attempts. The pair were certainly strong contenders and until the first egg smashed onto Seve’s head after he took a tumble over a traffic cone that marked out the perimeter of the playing area. The next egg throws took the team to the 20 metre mark, but they were unable to break the record and just ended with a broken egg to see them tie for the lead.

The World Championship winning egg!

Next up Jas and I teamed up, this time Jas was the Catcher, with me as the Thrower. Fuelled by a great Gluten Free breakfast from the Bryncelyn Guesthouse and the Nakd bars provided by one of the World Alternative Games sponsors I stepped up to make my first throw. It was successful and Jas and I were underway! Drawing on my years of Dodgeball throwing experience, along with my ‘skills’ in Bun Throwing & Christmas Tree Throwing (!) we managed to reach the 15 metre mark with no trouble before our first breakage. With the crowd egging us on, we too reached the 20 metre mark before our second egg cracked.

Seve Kukielka takes a tumble and ends up with egg on his head

We had to wait until the other teams in the competition had finished their throws to see if there would be a play-off, and as no other pair managed to break the 20 metre barrier there would indeed be a three-way one-egg-a-pair chuck-off! To decide who played first the referee administered a coin toss, which Jas and Seve’s team won. Me and Jas’ team were second so the other pair of players were ‘put in to bat first’.

"Spot the Egg" - throwing to Jas in the play-off for the Gold Medal!

They stepped-up and ended up with egg on their face as the egg they had picked broke on impact with the catcher. Jas and I were successful in our attempt, as was the Jas and Seve team, so we were sure of a Gold or Silver medal (with Jas guaranteed one of each!). The team of Jas and Seve were unlucky in their next attempt as the egg broke, which meant that all Jas needed to do was catch the egg I threw and we were the Gold Medallists and World Champions. We were successful and the crowd went wild!!!

Seve attempts a catch from Jas

After we’d been presented our medals (Jas being laden with his Gold, Silver and two Corinthian Medals!) we were congratulated by the other players and got straight to texting our friends and families about the news. We received loads of congratulations messages and some cracking eggy puns in the replies. Our Midlands Minigolf Club teammate Jam Trubridge asked if Royal Mail would be painting a Postbox Gold in honour of our World Championship victory? 

The Gold Medal winning team and the Silver Medallists - from l-r Jas 'Jasain Bolt' Kukielka, Richard Gottfried (with Egg), Seve Kukielka

Back in 2006 when I started blogging about different sports and games I never realised that six years later I’d be a World Champ! With the title of my blog ‘The Ham & Egger Files’ the suggestion was made that a ‘Ham Throwing’ World Championship needs to be created too! Would it be packet, or sliced ham that would be used though? Or on the bone!

Llanwrtyd Wells is renowned for its long history of crazy and alternative games!

The Egg Throwing and our two days in Llanwrtyd were great fun. The town really is the world’s capital city for alternative sports and games. I’m really looking forward to the 2014 World Alternative Games and the defence of our World Egg Throwing Title!

Llanwrtyd Wells was a great place to visit, with some great pubs, including the Stonecroft Inn, and a very nice restaurant at the Lasswade Country House. We also spent some time in the bar at the Neuadd Arms Hotel and found out it was the headquarters of the Monster Raving Loony Party!

Photos from the visit to the World Alternative Games 2012.

The World Alternative Games shop!

Llanwrtyd is pronounced "Lanurted" - I still struggled to say it

Me and Jas at the Neuadd Arms Hotel - Headquarters of the Monster Raving Loony Party!

The World Alternative Games has a Sosban of spring water running through the town and the fountain on the square will flow with water for the duration of the two weeks whilst the Games are being held

The sign above the bar at the Neuadd Arms Hotel

The World Alternative Games will take place during from 17th August to 2nd September 2012. At a time when the world’s eyes are on Britain and the sporting world, the World Alternative Games will capture the public’s imagination and the media spotlight to promote unrecognized sports and their participants. These unsung ambassadors of sport will have a world stage on which to showcase their talents and an opportunity to prove their dedication to these truly alternative sports. This World Alternative Games will promote a ‘Corinthian Spirit’ where taking part is more important than winning and where self achievement is recognised and applauded. For further information about the World Alternative Games 2012 please visit the event website.


Related Blog Posts:

Monday, August 27, 2012

Today I was a ‘Paralympic Flame Assistant’ in Luton!

What a brilliant Bank Holiday Monday it’s been as I spent today at the brand new Inspire Sports Centre in Luton as a ‘Paralympic Flame Assistant’!

Our team of four Team Beds & Luton 'Sport Makers' were responsible for looking after the Flame once it arrived from its overnight stay with Bedfordshire’s Fire and Rescure Service following the Flame Celebration events in Dunstable and Bedford yesterday.

The Paralympic Flame burning brightly in Luton!

It was a great event with hundreds of people attending and getting a chance to see the Paralympic Flame and hold the Paralympic Lamp before it made its way to Stoke Mandeville for tomorrow’s Paralympic Torch Relay event at the home of the Paralympic Games.

Taking good care of the Paralympic Flame while it was in Luton - luckily it didn't go out on my watch!

The Paralympic Flame arrived with Bedfordshire’s Fire and Rescue Service and was handed to Mick Dillon, the Paralympic Ambassador for Beds and Luton and Chief Executive of the Disability Resource Centre. My Sport Maker colleague Lewis and I were asked to accompany the procession in front of our fellow Lutonians. You can see the Paralympic Flame make its entrance on BBC Look East!

The Paralympic Flame arrives in Luton!

There were a number of activities, tours and displays going on at the Inspire Centre, including a Diving display from members of both the Luton and Leeds Diving Clubs. Jamaica’s first male Diver Yona Knight-Wisdom, a Rio 2016 Olympic hopeful, was also in attendance and performed a series of amazing dives.

Two of the Diving Team members perform a synchronized dive!

Jamaica's Number One Diver performs a Dive at the brand new Inspire Sports Centre in Luton

The Paralympic Flame had been collected from London by Mick Dillon on Friday 24th August and brought back to the Disability Resource Centre in Dunstable for a number of events, including the Paralympic Flame Festival at the centre on Sunday 26th. Once the four Paralympic Flames have been united at the Stoke Mandeville event a 24-hour Paralympic Torch Relay will take the Flame to London for the opening of the 2012 Paralympic Games on Wednesday 29th August!

It was a great honour to be a part of the Paralympic Flame Celebration event in Luton and I can’t wait to watch the Paralympic Games on TV and in person.

Good luck to the ParalympicsGB team and all the athletes competing.

Sport Makers is an Olympic Legacy programme aimed at making sport happen all over the UK. As a volunteer Sport Maker I have been involved in organising and promoting sports around the country. The Sport Makers programme is well worth signing up to and the Sport Makers workshop is very inspirational.

Crazy Golf and Mini Golf Putting in Llandrindod Wells, Wales

Two more unplayed Miniature Golf courses on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour.

On our way to the 2012 World Alternative Games in Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales Emily and I stopped off in Llandrindod Wells on the 23rd August 2012. We’d seen online that there was a Crazy Golf course and an 18-hole Putting Course at Princes Avenue near Llandrindod Lake.

Unfortunately when we arrived at around 5pm they were closed.

Crazy Golf in Llandrindod Wells, Wales

The 9-hole Crazy Golf course looked interesting and in good condition.

Crazy Golf in Llandrindod Wells, Wales

Crazy Golf in Llandrindod Wells, Wales

The Putting course didn’t look like it had been marked out and cut in for the 2012 season.

Mini Golf in Llandrindod Wells, Wales

Llandrindod Lake is close to the course and has a very large sculpture of a Welsh Dragon in the middle of it!

Welsh Dragon in the lake at Llandrindod Wells, Wales


‘Mini golf’ at the Paralympic Flame Festival hosted by The Disability Resource Centre in Dunstable

This weekend has seen the Paralympic Flame travel around Bedfordshire before it is joined with others at Stoke Mandeville to create the London 2012 Paralympic Flame. On Sunday 27th August 2012 a Paralympic Flame Festival was held at The Disability Resource Centre in Dunstable.

Emily and I went along to have a look at the Flame and see what else was going on at the event. There were stalls and games at the Flame Festival and I’d heard that there would be a chance to have a look around the centre and find out about Paralympic Sports. Emily and I had a go at Boccia (a game like Boules/Petanque) which I won :-) We’ve managed to get tickets to see Boccia at the Paralympics and are really looking forward to it.

While queuing to see the Paralympic Flame we spotted on the venue map produced for the event that the Dunstable & District Disabled Sports group would have a ‘Mini golf’ activity!

Me and Emily with the Paralympic Flame and a London 2012 Olympic Torch at The Disability Resource Centre in Dunstable

It was a Pitching/Chipping game, using a good little teeing-up machine. I managed to hit a ‘hole-in-one’ on my fifth and final go!

Pitching with a Putter on the Mini golf game at the Paralympic Flame Festival in Dunstable

It was a great event and a nice warm-up for the London 2012 Paralympic Games!


Related Blog Links:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Golf Apocalypse - a Crazy Golf course at the end of the world?

The 304th Miniature Golf course gets played on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour!

This year has seen some new Minigolf courses opening up in London and on Saturday 11th August we headed to the latest addition to the capital’s Crazy Golf scene - the 'Golf Apocalypse' Mini Golf course at London's Pleasure Gardens, near Pontoon Dock DLR station.

Crazy Golf in London - the Golf Apocalypse
The crazy Minigolfers at the 'Golf Apocalypse' Mini Golf course. From l-r: Gareth Holmes, Richard Gottfried, Emily Gottfried, Dave Lovatt, Alan Norman. The course, much like the sign above, is like something out of Mad Max! Unlike Barter Town the course accepts cash payments to play.

Fellow BMGA Tour Pro Gareth Holmes had texted me with some snaps of the course after he had spotted it when leaving the Excel centre on Friday and with some free time on Saturday we decided to head along and give it a go.

Crazy Golf in London - the Golf Apocalypse
All aboard GA airlines

The course’s designer and owner, Dave Lovatt, was also responsible for the 9-hole Crazy Golf course that staged the Welsh Open Crazy Golf Championships as part of the Newport Big Splash Festival in 2010. Unfortunately we happened to be in Newport a week too early to play that course!

Crazy Golf in London - the Golf Apocalypse
None of us could beat the 'Golf Apocalypse' course record!

We’ve been looking forward to playing his latest layout and it certainly is crazy!

The 9-hole course has all manner of strange Minigolf obstacles and you find yourself playing through the fuselage of a crashed aeroplane, in a pinball machine, on a snooker table and into a volcano!

Crazy Golf in London - the Golf Apocalypse
Emily plays the 3rd hole - a Loop-di-Loop made of a series of tyres!?

Hole 4 is a Pinball machine hole where you have to use the flippers to get the ball in the hole once you've teed-off!

Crazy Golf in London - the Golf Apocalypse
Playing a tee-shot on hole 4 - a hole-in-one is still possible even if the ball misses the hole on the first pass! See video below...

When we arrived at the course Dave showed us a few lines (but not all of them, the cagey player that he is) and we saw he had certainly mastered the course. He told us that the very best score he had shot was an 18. Very impressive considering the bizarre nature and layout of many of the holes. The course Par is listed as 32 with many of the holes par-4 and the last being par-5.

Crazy Golf in London - the Golf Apocalypse
Dave Lovatt shows the Pro players how to play hole 5

In our 9-hole shootout Emily picked up the win with a score of 25. I was second with 26, Gareth was third with 27 and Alan was one shot further back on 28 in our very closely fought match.

Crazy Golf in London - the Golf Apocalypse
Richard tries out his potting skills on the 7th hole of the Golf Apocalypse!

After a short break we headed out for our challenge match against Dave who was itching to play against the Pro players. The ‘Golf Apocalypse’ course rules state that if the ball leaves the course at any time it must be replaced at the point it was hit from (rather than the BMGA rule of replacing it at the point of exit). This rule would prove to be a bit of a game changer when faced with the long 9th hole!

Crazy Golf in London - the Golf Apocalypse
Richard putts through the fuselage of a crashed plane!

With the exception of Emily who scored a 29, we all had better second rounds. I scored a 24 while Gareth scored 25. Dave and Alan tied with a score of 22 and so a sudden-death play-off was required!

Crazy Golf in London - the Golf Apocalypse
Brewery Minigolf Champion Alan 'Stormin' Norman gives Richard's second shot the thumbs-up!

The hole to play the decider on was the 9th and Alan played first, scoring a 6. Dave stepped up and despite hitting the ball out of bounds with his first two shots managed to shoot a ‘par’ score of 5 to win the match.

Crazy Golf in London - the Golf Apocalypse
Dave Lovatt tees-off on the very tough 9th hole

The course is unique and very very crazy. It's well worth a play.

After visiting over 500 Miniature Golf courses you might think that we'd seen pretty much everything there is to see on a Crazy Golf course. But the Golf Apocalypse has certainly shown us that there is still much more to be written in the long history of Minigolf!


Related Blog Posts:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Finger Jousting to feature as a sport at the 2012 World Alternative Games!

First-ever UK Finger Jousting Championship to be contested in the World Alternative Games in Wales.

The World Alternative Games have kicked off in the town of Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales with over 50 competitions taking place from the 17th August until the 2nd September! The town may be Britain's smallest, but it's the new world capital of weird, wacky and obscure sports.

The noble sport of Finger Jousting is one of those events and a tournament endorsed by the sport's international governing body, the World Finger Jousting Federation, will be contested on Friday 24th August.

Finger Jousters aged 16 and over can enter for the princely sum of £4 and will be competing for the coveted title of UK Finger Jousting Champion and the prestigious World Alternative Games Gold Medal! All contestants will receive one of the Corinthian Medals from the World Alternative Games organisers. The tournament will see players compete in a knockout tournament with each match consisting of three rounds of Point Play Rules Finger Jousting.

You can find out more about the Finger Jousting event on the World Alternative Games website.

Please visit the World Finger Jousting Federation's website for comprehensive information on the game, rules, terminology and 'history' of the sport. You can also join the WFJF via the online shop.

As the newly installed British Consul(!) to the World Finger Jousting Federation I will not be able to compete in the tournament, but I'll be hoping to have a few Quick Play Finger Jousting Bouts to enhance my Win-Loss record while I'm in Llanwrtyd Wells. There are also Croquet and Bubble Blowing Championships taking place when we're in town so I'll be going for gold in those events.

Video: Match-up between Squire Richard of Surleigh and his arch-rival Sir Myles of Hampshire in a point play rules Finger Jousting contest in March 2007.

I am currently on an undefeated streak of 82 matches, lasting since the 21st December 2006! The last opponent to defeat me was Emily Gottfried in a Quick Play Rules match. I quickly sought revenge and defeated her 7-0 in a Point Play Match that very same day!

My overall Finger Jousting Career Win-Loss Record stands at:
Played - 125
Won - 113
Lost - 9
Tied - 3

Since I became a 'Pro' member of the WFJF I have played 111 matches, winning 104 of them, losing four times and drawing three contests.

Related-Blog Posts:


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Finally Playing the Camden Crazy Golf Course

A Minigolf re-visit - this time with a Putter and Minigolf Balls!

After competing in The Brewmaster's Open at the Camden Town Brewery we still had an appetite for some more Minigolf and as Alan 'Stormin' Norman had brought his kitbag along it meant we were able to play the Crazy Golf course at Clarence Wayon the Castlehaven Estate in Camden, London!

I've been to the course a number of times before and only seen people on it a couple of times.

We decided that in our contest we'd have a Doubles Match between me and Simon 'Practice' Hall - as the Luton Minigolf Club - versus Seth 'Clockwork Orange' Thomas and Alan 'Stormin' Norman - the London Minigolfers.

To decide which team would tee-off first the team captains had a game of Rock Paper Scissors - I won!!!

The Minigolfers and the Minigolf Putter. From l-r Simon 'Practice' Hall, 'Squire' Richard Gottfried, Alan 'Stormin' Norman, Seth 'Clockwork Orange' Thomas

Using Alan's Minigolf Putter and one ball that was accurately 'tested'* on hole one I teed-off and scored a two. Simon stepped up and also scored a two. The Thomas-Norman tandem also scored four as a team to tie the hole.

* the practice involved throwing a Ravensburg Minigolf Ball down the lane of hole one - it went in for an ace!!!

Alan 'Stormin' Norman in action

The London Minigolfers took the lead on hole two, scoring a four, with me and Simon scoring a five. The team went two-up at the fourth hole, before Simon and I won back a hole at the fifth.

Playing the Cannon Hole

With our team needing to win the hole at the eighth to keep the match alive our team scored a five, following Seth's hole-in-one and Alan's two for their team score of three. I actually managed to get the ball in the hole with my tee-shot, unfortunately it wasn't the first shot! See the 'Caption competition' photo below.

Minigolf Caption Contest!

Simon 'Practice' Hall plays a second shot on hole 9

By playing the course it became the 303rd played on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour.

Related Blog Posts: