Sunday, September 30, 2012

Six Years on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour

Visiting 509 Minigolf courses since the 30th September 2006.

Today marks the sixth anniversary of the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour that began on the 30th September 2006 when we played the Victory Trail course at Treasure Island Adventure Golf in Southsea, Hampshire. Since that first course we’ve visited a further 508 courses and played 306 of them.

Minigolfing at the Dunton Hills Golf centre's Minigolf course

Our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour came about after Emily and I set out to visit every UK seaside. After visiting Southsea we were somewhat hooked on Crazy Golf and discovered the excellent Minigolf resource That website, run by five-time World Crazy Golf Champion Tim 'Ace Man' Davies, has a list of pretty much every course in the world on it! Through we found out there are some 618 courses in England (& Islands), Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We've also since found that this is an ever changing figure as each year some courses are closed down, while new courses open up!

Emily playing the Windmill hole at the Arnold Palmer Crazy Golf course at Waterloo Place in Bognor Regis. This was the 275th course played on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour

Since our coastal travels began in 2006 we've managed to get to 172 seasides, visiting or playing 111 Mini Golf courses while we were beside the sea. We have also widened our travels and have now been to 379 different places in the UK, ranging from big cities to towns, villages and hamlets.

Playing through a BIG minigolf windmill at Selsey's Crazy Golf course
In the last year we’ve played 38 courses and revisited some too. These have included Adventure Golf, Crazy Golf, Swedish Felt Minigolf, Grass Putting, Minigolf, Eternit Miniaturegolf and Miniature Golf courses in England, Scotland and Wales.

Playing hole 2 of the Basingstoke Golf Centre Minigolf course

Minigolf courses come in a variety of types and styles. While some are more conventional 'Putting on a Green Playing Surface' courses, there are others that are a bit more odd, unusual and wacky. In the last year we've Putted amongst beer barrels at the Camden Town Brewery, played through a crashed aeroplane fuselage at the Golf Apocalypse, played at a multi-sport event in Oswestry and played a number of times on a 'London Landmark-themed Crazy Golf course built in cake form(!?)' on the roof of Selfridges London!

The Golf Apocalypse in London (now in Bristol!) - standing outside the crashed aeroplane on the course as the 'passengers' Alan 'Stormin' Norman, Dave Lovatt and Gareth Holmes look on

We've also been to Wonderland in Telford. The 9-hole course there was our 300th course played and 500th visited overall and the layout featured a mixture of felt, concrete and wooden playing surfaces!

Playing hole two of the Wonderland Pirate Adventure Golf in Telford - the 300th course played on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour!

In April 2012 we took a 1,178 mile roadtrip up to the north west of England, a bit of Scotland and back down to Luton from the north east of England. During our trip we visited 49 Minigolf courses and were able to play a 'lucky' 13 of them.

Emily Putting at the Broughty Ferry Crazy Golf course in Scotland

One of the courses we played on this roadtrip was the world's first Minigolf course - The Himalayas at St Andrews Ladies' Putting Club in Scotland. It's a great 18-hole Miniature Golf course and is well worth a visit. There is also a 9-hole course next to it that is equally as testing and tricky.

Playing the 9-hole Miniature Golf course at the Ladies' Putting Club at St Andrews, Scotland

A running theme of our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour has seen us visit a lot of courses that we've found to be unplayable. Nothing has changed in this respect in the last year as we have visited 65 courses that we haven't been able to play!

The Crazy Golf course in Perth's South Inch Park was in a state of semi-dereliction when we visited. Hopefully it will be renovated soon as there is some investment being put into the park and leisure activities
Many of these were on our trip to Scotland and back and quite a few were in Littlehampton.

Miniature Golf courses played on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour since the 1st October 2011
269 Gosport (Stokes Bay) - Solent Springs Adventure Golf
272 Hunston (Chichester Golf Centre) - Swedish Felt B-Run Crazy Golf

Putting through a Dolphin going through a hoop at Chichester Golf Centre
273 Bognor Regis (Hotham Park) - Crazy Golf
275 Bognor Regis (Waterloo Place) - Arnold Palmer Crazy Golf
276 Felpham (Blakes Road) - Putting
278 Bluewater - Pirate Cove - Adventure Golf (Pirate Course) - Note: Built on the site of the Minigolf "Pro Tour Putting" course - see also #80
279 Bluewater - Pirate Cove - Adventure Golf (Smugglers Course) - Note: Built on the site of the Minigolf "Pro Tour Putting" course - see also #80

With a crocodile, or alligator, at Bluewater's new Adventure Golf course
280 Manchester (Birdies Pop Up Golf) - New Business Launch Event - Pop Up Portable Minigolf Course
281 Milton Keynes (Abbey Hill Golf Centre) - Pirate Island Adventure Golf
282 London (Alexandra Palace) - Crazy Golf - See also #155 & #155b
283 Basingstoke (Basingstoke Golf Centre) - Minigolf
284 Basingstoke (Basingstoke Golf Centre) - Putting Course
285 Forton, near Garstang (Zumo Cafe) - Crazy Golf
286 Brockhole - Crazy Golf
287 Ambleside (White Platts Recreation Ground) - Crazy Golf
288 Keswick (Hope Park) - Putting
289 Carlisle (Bitts Park) - Eternit Crazy Golf
290 Perth (Noahs Ark Golf Centre) - Adventure Golf Putting
291 Broughty Ferry, Dundee (Castle Green) - Eternit Crazy Golf
292 St Andrews (The Himalayas - St Andrews Ladies' Putting Club) - Miniature Golf - The world's first Minigolf Course
293 St Andrews (The Himalayas - St Andrews Ladies' Putting Club) - Miniature Golf

At the Himalayas Miniature Golf course in St Andrews - the world's first Minigolf course!

294 Dunfermline - Fife Leisure Park - Adventure Golf Island - Adventure Golf (Pirates Cove Course)
295 Dunfermline - Fife Leisure Park - Adventure Golf Island - Adventure Golf (Treasure Island Course)

Emily at the Adventure Golf Island course at Fife Leisure Park

296 North Berwick (East Links) - Putting Course
297 Seahouses (The Bunker) - Crazy Golf
298 London (Selfridges) - Bompas & Parr Rooftop Crazy Golf
299 West Horndon, near Brentwood (Dunton Hills Golf Course) - Miniature Golf
300 Telford (Wonderland at Telford Town Park) - Crazy Golf - Also the 500th Minigolf Course Visited Overall!
301 Oswestry (Oswestry Games at Oswestry Leisure Centre) - Putterfingers Portable Mini Golf

Putting on the portable Crazy Golf course at the BMGA & Putter Fingers Oswestry Games Minigolf Championships

302 London (Camden Town Brewery - The Brewmaster's Open) - 5-hole Temporary Mini-Golf course

Playing the UrbanCrazy portable Minigolf course at the Brewmaster's Open tournament at the Camden Town Brewery in London

303 London (Clarence Way, Camden) - Crazy Golf
304 London (Golf Apocalypse) - Crazy Golf - Update: September 2012 - course has moved to Bristol
305 Dunstable (The Disability Resource Centre) - Mini golf - supplied by the Dunstable and District Disabled Sports (D.A.D.D.S.) Group
306 London (Tintype Gallery) - Crazee Golf Art Exhibition (and playable hole!)

Many thanks to everyone who has tipped us off about a Minigolf course that we weren't aware of. We've met some great people along the way and made some great friends through playing Minigolf for fun and on the national and international competition circuits of the British Minigolf Association and World Minigolf Sport Federation. Thank you to course owners, builders, managers and staff everywhere for being in a great industry and for their great hospitality and welcome to their Crazy Golfing customers.

If you know of a Minigolf course we should check out do let us know via the comments below. Also, if you have any suggestions on what we could do with the next six years of our lives we'd welcome your comments too.

You can find lists and details of Minigolf, Mini Golf, Crazy Golf, Miniature Golf, Grass Putting and Adventure Golf courses worldwide at the excellent minigolf website

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Report from the Second Knowley Grail Minigolf Tournament

Results and report from the second Knowley Grail Minigolf Competition.
The second edition of the Knowley Grail was contested between thirteen BMGA Tour Pro players following the first day's play of the BMGA British Open at Strokes Adventure Golf in Margate, Kent.
The rules of the Knowley Grail dictate that all players use the same Minigolf ball - a 'Pinky Diver' - and any player scoring a seven is automatically eliminated from the rest of the one-round competition.
With two balls available the group of thirteen split into two groups and commenced play. Defending champion Brad 'The Fist' Shepherd was in group one and along with players including Seth Thomas and Will Donnelly set an early pace rattling in the holes-in-one.

The Knowley Grail of Minigolf
'Squire' Richard Gottfried plays hole three at Strokes Adventure Golf course in Margate, Kent during the second The Knowley Grail minigolf tournament

The first player to be eliminated was 'Oh' Chris Jones who was unable to get the super bouncy ball to stay at the top of the ramp at hole three and so was relegated to a 'plastic garden chair of shame' for the rest of the round.
'Oh' Chris Jones has a rest after being eliminated from the Knowley Grail at hole 3
No other players were eliminated from the tournament until Paul 'Johnson Paul Johnson Don't Call Me Sue Thompson' Johnson scored a seven at the 11th hole - the aptly named "Heartbreak Ridge". The hole would also claim Scott 'Donkey Gringo' Lancley as another victim and both would join 'Oh' Chris Jones on the lawnchairs of shame.
A less than happy Paul 'Johnson etc.' Johnson having been eliminated from the Knowley Grail at hole 11
Scott 'Donkey Gringo' Lancley takes a seat after being knocked out of the Knowley Grail tourney at hole 11
At the end of the 18-hole round there was a tie for first place, with James 'The Rocket' Rutherford and Adam 'AK47' Kelly both scoring rounds of 38(+2). A sudden-death play-off commenced and The Rocket scored a hole-in-one, while AK47 was unable to respond with an Ace, meaning that the new Knowley Grail champion was James Rutherford.
James 'The Rocket' Rutherford looks for an Ace at hole 11 to take the outright win
A reluctant and defeated Brad 'The Fist' Shepherd hands over the Knowley Grail trophy to James 'The Rocket' Rutherford
Results of the second Knowley Grail competition:
1. James Rutherford - 38 - won play-off
2. Adam Kelly - 38
3. Ted McIver - 41
4. Michael Smith - 42
5. Brad Shepherd - 43
5. Will Donnelly - 43
7. Richard Gottfried - 47
8. Seth Thomas - 48
8. Alan Norman - 48
10. Gareth Holmes - 51
DNF Scott Lancley - scored a 7 at hole 11
DNF Paul Johnson - scored a 7 at hole 11
DNF Chris Jones - scored a 7 at hole 3
The Knowley Grail minigolf competition was created by members of the London Minigolf Club following the Midlands Open tournament held at the 12-hole Minigolf course at the Four Ashes Golf Centre in Dorridge, Solihull. The LMGC members had spent the Friday perusing the charity shops of nearby Knowle and found a silver chalice on sale for £2.50. This became the trophy for the Knowley Grail tournaments.
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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bar Billiards and other pub games at the East Kent in Whitstable

Pool, Bar Billiards and Table Football at pubs in Whitstable and Tankerton-on-Sea.
Last Thursday Emily and I visited the lovely seaside town of Whitstable in Kent. Next to our B&B on Oxford Road was the East Kent pub, which advertised itself as having the best beer garden in the town. We didn't get as far as the garden as we spotted a Pool table (with Free Play on a Thursday) and a room with a Bar Billiards table and a very old Table Football!
The East Kent had a pub dog that was keen for customers to play with it, along with a squawking Parrot next to the bar and the Bar Billiards table!
Bar Billiards and Table Football in the Games Room at the East Kent in Whitstable
Our Pool competiton began at The Royal in Tankerton-on-Sea, another nice pub that is worth a visit, and saw me take a 2-nil lead in our first-to-three competition. In the first game at the East Kent Emily took the win to force another game. I won that one to win 3-1.
In our Bar Billards match I was victorious 1,050-nil after Emily wiped out her total of 190 by knocking down the black peg.
The final game in our pub games series was on the brilliant old Table Football machine. The table was in great condition and it was far superior to modern machines. I won the game 6-3 in a match that lasted a good 20 minutes! One of the attempts on goal took about 5 minutes!
The Table Football in the Games Room at the East Kent pub in Whitstable
The East Kent is a great pub. It's nice and friendly with lots to do (there are two dart boards as well) and a good selection of drinks. I could easily spend a day in there.
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Monday, September 24, 2012

An old Putting Course in Westbrook, Margate

Finding another unplayable Miniature Golf course on my travels.
Having completed our sixth and final round of the 2012 BMGA British Open minigolf championship at the 18-hole Strokes Adventure Golf course on Westbrook Promenade in Margate, Kent, my fellow BMGA Tour Pro players John 'Big Al' Moore, Gareth 'Something for the Ladies' Holmes and I went for a wander to the nearest shops to get some food for a picnic in the lovely torrential rain conditions that had hampered the second and final days play of the British Open.
After walking along the seafront we headed up to the main road and crossed a patch of grassland at Westbrook Bowls Club that looked suspiciously like an old Minigolf Putting Course. And it was!

At the old Putting Course at Westbrook Bowls Club
Matt Wood from the excellent Strokes Adventure Golf course confirmed that it used to be a Putting Green and that he used to play there as a kid.
You could still make out some of the raised greens and hillocks on the course.
A shame its not still open. But if you are in Margate then you can always have a round at Strokes.
The course was the 203rd unplayed course on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour and the 509th visit overall!

Minigolf Report – 2012 BMGA Players Championship & BMGA British Open

24th September 2012
Press Information
For Immediate Release

Minigolf Report – 2012 BMGA Players Championship & BMGA British Open

Luton Minigolfer Richard Gottfried competed in three British Minigolf Association minigolf tournaments on Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd September at the 18-hole Strokes Adventure Golf course in Margate, Kent.

Minigolfer Richard Gottfried at the BMGA British Open 2012 at Strokes Adventure Golf in Margate, Kent

On Friday 21st September Richard scored a round of 41(+5) to finish alongside Alex Pragnell and John Moore in a tie for 12th place of 21 players in the BMGA Players Championship. Michael Smith won the title for the second year running in the traditional warm-up tournament to the BMGA British Open.

Minigolfer Richard Gottfried at the BMGA Players Championship 2012 at Strokes Adventure Golf in Margate, Kent

In the two-day BMGA British Open Richard scored rounds of 42, 40, 40, 43, 36 and 42 for a total of 243(+27) to finish 35th of 44 players. The tournament was won by Michael Smith with a score of 187(-29).

Minigolfer Richard Gottfried at the BMGA Players Championship 2012 at Strokes Adventure Golf in Margate, Kent

In the BMGA British Open Team Championship contested amongst Clubs Richard and his two Midlands Minigolf Club teammates Paul Johnson and John Moore finished in 7th place in the contest.

Richard said “I’m fairly disappointed with my play in the British Open as I know I can do a lot better on the course. I didn’t have any total nightmare holes, but just dropped too many shots on some of the easier holes. Strokes Adventure Golf course is one of the best in the UK and a real test, I’ll be back to take on the challenge again next year and hope to hit some much better rounds.”


Tropical Margate

Who would have thought that Banana's grow on trees in Margate?
While in the "tropical" English seaside resort of Margate, Kent for the 2012 BMGA British Open minigolf tournament I spotted a Banana growing on the tree by hole one at the 18-hole Strokes Adventure Golf course!
Greenfingered German Minigolfer, and former BMGA British Open champion, Karsten Hein planted the seeds for its growth back in 2009 and has been helping to cultivate the crop. He was happy to harvest the Banana at the end of practice on Friday.
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Friday, September 21, 2012

Happy Miniature Golf Day 2012!

Wishing everyone all the best on this most wonderful day.

Whatever you call the great game of Miniature Golf and wherever you are in the world I hope you have a brilliant Miniature Golf Day 2012!

As ever, according to the Holiday Insights website, the 21st of September is Miniature Golf Day.

If you're looking for a Minigolf course to play then the list of courses at is a great place to start. Pretty much every course in the world is listed on the site, with more added as they are 'discovered'!

On our travels Emily and I have visited and played a great many courses (and a fair few closed, abandoned and derelict ones) and you can check out those we've been to on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour list.

If you fancy taking up the game 'professionally' and are in the UK then do have a look at the British Minigolf Association - you can join for FREE. Do also check out the BMGA on Facebook and Twitter. There is also a World Minigolf Sport Federation which has member associations all over the world.

If you're in the USA, or looking to visit, then you must check out The Putting Penguin. There are stacks of course reviews of Minigolf courses, along with details of upcoming tournaments.

If you don't get a chance to do anything Minigolf-ey this Miniature Golf Day then don't worry. The next one will be on Saturday 11th May 2013! There is also a Minigolf Tag (Minigolf Day) in Austria each year. It's also in May.
While looking around for Miniature Golf Day related information online I found out about the 'Mini Golf Day and Crab Feast 2012'. It's a charity Minigolf tournament raising funds for The Ed Block Courage Award Foundation and taking place at ParTee Golf in Baltimore, Maryland, USA on Saturday 29th September 2012!

And remember - Miniature Golf Day is ALWAYS on the 21st September, so next year it'll be on a Saturday.
Related Blog Posts:

- National Miniature Golf Day on Wikipedia (within ‘Miniature Golf’ article)
- Miniature Golf Day on the Holiday Insights website
- #MinigolfMonday on Twitter

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Minigolf and Crazy Golf in Essex

Details of Adventure Golf, Crazy Golf and Minigolf courses in Essex.

To date we've visited 24 Minigolf, Crazy Golf, Miniature Golf, Adventure Golf and Putting Courses in Essex on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour, and here's a list of them.

Crazy Golf in Essex - Minigolfing on Clacton Pier!
Minigolfing on Clacton Pier!
The number next to the course denotes the 'visit number' on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour. You can click through from the list below to the webpage on the Ham and Egger Files detailing our visit to the course.

All Minigolf courses played in Essex (as at 25th June 2016)
92 Dovercourt - Swedish Felt - updated post
93 Clacton-on-Sea - Eternit
95 Blake End, near Braintree - Swedish Felt
157 Chelmsford (West Park) - Crazy Golf

Essex minigolf courses visited but not played* (as at 22nd August 2013)
1 Southend-on-Sea (Arnold Palmer Minigolf, West Course) - Derelict Minigolf (Update: 25th April 2009 - now demolished)

* Due to closure, flooding, dereliction or other causes

A Miniature Golf course at the Smallest Pub on the Planet

New Minigolf course installed at The Signal Box Inn, Cleethorpes.

In May 2011 Emily and I went on a tour of the Lincolnshire coast and the first stop off was in Cleethorpes. While we were there we managed to play two courses - a Crazy Golf and an indoor Adventure Golf. We also found a great pub called The Signal Box Inn, which just happened to be the smallest pub on the planet!

The Signal Box Inn - the smallest pub on the planet! Photo by Alan Cowood, Sept 2012

While there we sampled some of the cider and had a great chat with the landlord Alan Cowood. Telling him about our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour and our love of pub games he showed us the 'Games Room' at the pub. Following our visit I sent Alan a 9-hole Miniature Golf course to add to the pub's entertainment options and I've now received photos of the course's installation.

Hole 5 of the Signal Box Inn's Miniature Golf course. Photo by Alan Cowood, Sept 2012
Due to the Minigolf course's portable nature it is able to be moved around the venue and with nine tricky Crazy Golf holes to master will be sure to entertain patrons of the pub.

Hole 6 of the Signal Box Inn's Miniature Golf course. Photo by Alan Cowood, Sept 2012

If you visit The Signal Box Inn and have a game of Miniature Golf do let me know your scores by leaving a comment on this blog post.

The Signal Box Inn is located at Lakeside Station on the Cleethorpes Light Railway and is open 11am to 11pm Tuesday to Sunday.

The very well stocked bar (and Minigolf course just under the shelf on the right) at The Signal Box Inn. Photo by Alan Cowood, Sept 2012

Related Blog Posts:

- The Miniature Book of Miniature Golf by Mike Vago
- Cleethorpes Light Railway

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Allan Cox's Charity Putt Putt World Record Attempt - 570 Minigolf Holes-in-One!

Putt Putt Champion to attempt a Minigolf Hole-in-One World Record in Australia!
On Sunday 16th September 2012 Allan 'The Putter King' Cox will attempt (and no doubt succeed) in a World Record of scoring 570 holes-in-one in Minigolf/Putt Putt Miniature Golf!
The World Record is a fundraiser for Allan's five-year-old nephew Chaise Edenborough who has soft tissue cancer and type-one diabetes. The target is to raise $5000 for the Oncology Department at the Westmead Children's Hospital, Parramatta, near Sydney, Australia.
The World Record Attempt will be played at the Putt Putt Ermington Miniature Golf course in West Ryde, Australia.
All the best to Allan in his attempt. I have no doubt that he'll be able to break the World Record. He is after all a five-team Australian Putt Putt Champion and the reigning Putter King!

To donate to the cause please check out the Chaising Aces Facebook Page.

A new (Gluten Free) shop in Hastings!

The excellent 1066 Cake Stand in Hastings, East Sussex is opening a new shop!

The preview day is today (Saturday 15th September) with the shop opening to the public on Monday 17th September.

The 1066 Cake Stand Shop will sell "cakes, savoury snacks, salad pots, sandwiches, vegan chocolate, local jam & local art..." and also has a seperate Gluten Free Kitchen! Great news.

I'm looking forward to visiting on my next Crazy Golfing trip to Hastings.

The shop can be found at 82 Queens Road, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 1RL.

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