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.
|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.
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!
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!
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!
|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.
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.
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!
|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!
|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.
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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