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!


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Lemony said...

Golf Apocalypse was a really good fun course. I really liked hole five, the down-hill.

Rich is right... even after 500 courses its always great to find something totally new!

Richard Gottfried said...

That was the 666th comment posted on The Ham & Egger Files!!!

Kevin Symonds said...

What a massive pity they've picked up and gone off to Bristol!

I was hoping to take my gf there for her birthday at the end of the month.

Richard Gottfried said...

Hello Kevin,

Thanks for the comment.

Shame the London Pleasure gardens went under and forced a move for Golf Apocalypse Crazy Golf. According to the website it's now at College Green in Bristol.

If you're looking for Crazy Golf/Minigolf/Adventure Golf courses in London check out my blog post - "Minigolf and Crazy Golf courses in and around London"

Happy Putting.



Kevin Symonds said...

That must have happened very quickly then!

Oh I'm already massively enjoying looking through the list thank you :)

Caroline Whitt said...

This looks absolutely incredible. I watched the video with the pinball hole, does it count as a hole in one because he only putted once? I assume that the paddles don't count towards your par then? I'll have to gather some of the boys up from and get down to this place, it looks fantastic.

Richard Gottfried said...

No problem at all.



Richard Gottfried said...

Hello Caroline,

Many thanks for your comment. The course is very crazy, it's moved to Bristol now. The course owner Dave is a great chap, do say hello to him from me when you give his course a play.

The Pinball hole and obstacle is bizarre. But yes, if you manage to hit the ball into play with one-shot and then use the paddles to knock it into the hole it counts as an Ace! That was the longest I've taken to score a hole-in-one on a hole lol.

Had a look on the Belmont Lodge Hotel website and saw that you're based in Herefordshire. Have you played at TGS Adventure Golf in Hereford? It was the 194th course we played on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour in 2010. The Minigolf in Symonds Yat West is good too.

All the best and happy Putting.


Richard Gottfried said...

Check out the article "Golf Apocalypse in Bristol" on the Bristol Culture website about the Golf Apocalypse Crazy Golf course that is now located on College Green in Bristol.

I get a mention in the piece too :-)