Saturday, December 21, 2013

Visiting the new Crazy Golf course at Verulamium Park in St Albans

Miniature Golf course visit number 543 on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour.

On a very rainy Saturday afternoon Emily and I made the latest course visit on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour as we visited the Crazy Golf course in Verulamium Park, St Albans.

The park was the location for the 17th course ever played on the Tour, way back in April 2007. I also revisited in November 2010 and noticed a couple of changes to the Minigolf.

Since that last visit the old course has been replaced by a new course. The new layout is still a 9-hole course and of the same fibreglass construction, but each of the holes is in the shape of a letter in the words "Crazy Golf".

Unfortunately that great Minigolf character 'Humpty' is now missing from the course :-(

The Verulamium Park Crazy Golf was the first we've been to that uses this particular layout. Although down the road in nearby Hemel Hempstead there is a Minigolf course at Gadebridge Park where each of the holes is in the shape of its number!

Related blog posts:


Indoor Minigolf, Crazy Golf and Adventure Golf courses

Details of indoor Miniature Golf courses we’ve found on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour.

Indoor Crazy Golf at the Quest for Golf Krazy Golf at Westfield Shopping Centre in Dudley
At Quest for Golf in Dudley

With the British weather getting rather wintry I thought it’d be good to put together a blog post about the indoor Miniature Golf courses Emily and I have found on our travels.

Brean's indoor Crazy Golf at the Leisure Dome Amusement Arcade
Richard at Brean's indoor Crazy Golf at the Leisure Dome Amusement Arcade

The great thing is most are open 364 days of the year whatever the weather.

Minigolfer Richard Gottfried playing in a League Match at Adventure Island Mini Golf at Star City, Birmingham
Richard playing in a League Match at Adventure Island Mini Golf at Star City, Birmingham

Putting in the Brewmaster's Open Tournament at the Camden Town Brewery in London
Putting in the Brewmaster's Open Tournament at the Camden Town Brewery in London

Richard Gottfried playing on the Search for Atlantis indoor Mini Golf course at Castleford's Xscape centre
Richard on the Search for Atlantis indoor Mini Golf course at Castleford's Xscape centre

Richard Gottfried plays the indoor Adventure Golf course at the Fairworld Amusement Arcade in Cleethorpes
Richard plays the indoor Adventure Golf course at the Fairworld Amusement Arcade in Cleethorpes

Richard Gottfried playing the Minigolf course at Alexandra Palace, London
Richard playing the Minigolf course at Alexandra Palace, London

Emily Gottfried putting at the King Putt indoor Mini Golf in Henderson Las Vegas
Emily putting at the King Putt indoor Mini Golf in Henderson Las Vegas

Here’s a list of those we’ve played on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour:
317. Quest for Golf Krazy Golf at Quest Merry Hill
327 Whitby (Pleasure Island Amusement Arcade) - Indoor Pirate Adventure Golf course
330 Nottingham (The Cornerhouse) - The Lost City Adventure Golf - The Temple Trail
331 Nottingham (The Cornerhouse) - The Lost City Adventure Golf - Sacred Skull Pass
346 Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - KISS by Monster Mini Golf
347 Shoreditch, London (Swingers Crazy Golf by the Institute of Competitive Socialising) - indoor Crazy Golf
355 Swindon (The Golfing Hole) - Indoor Adventure Golf
359 Castleford (Volcano Falls Adventure Golf at Xscape) - T Rex Trail Adventure Golf course
360 London (Efes Snooker Club, Dalston) - Plonk Golf
384 (666) Bridlington (Esplanade) - Treasure Island Adventure Golf and Pirate Ghost Walk
386 (668) Whitby (Pleasure Island Amusement Arcade) - Indoor Pirate Adventure Golf course - first visited in March 2014 (see 327). Since then the layout has changed significantly and now includes new holes and a reversal of many of the holes
390 (672) London (Waterloo) - Birdies Crazy Golf Club
391 (674) Sheffield (Valley Centertainment) - Paradise Island Adventure Golf, Cinnamon Cove course
392 (676) Brixton, London (Plonk Golf) - Crazy Golf at the Duke of Edinburgh pub beer garden

Lining up a shot on the very tricky Lucky Last Hole at the Paradise Island Adventure Golf course in Sheffield

Emily Gottfried at the Golden Isle Indoor Adventure Golf course in Blackpool
Emily at the Golden Isle Indoor Adventure Golf course in Blackpool

There are also indoor Minigolf courses at The Corner House in Nottingham, the Paradise Island Adventure Golf courses at Valley Centertainment in Livingston and Cheshire Oaks that we hope to play in the future. And for Christmas 2013 the Mini Golf and Games course is set-up at Peterborough's Queensgate Shopping Centre.

Minigolfer Richard Gottfried - the 2012 Chrizy Golf Champion in Manchester
The 2012 Chrizy Golf Champion

Some of the indoor minigolf courses we've played were only temporary or pop-up courses, while sadly a few of the other indoor courses have closed. Check out the posts below for details:
- In November 2012 and November 2013 I played the UrbanCrazy Minigolf course layouts at the London Golf Show at Earl's Court.
- At the London Golf Show in 2013 I also played the new puttup indoor Golf Putting game and UrbanCrazy's PongCrazy gourmet Table Tennis game
- In December 2012 I won the Chrizy Golf Masters Minigolf tournament played on the temporary course layout in Manchester.
London (London Golf Show at Earls Court) - UrbanCrazy "Signature Course" - 6-hole Portable Crazy Golf. Also played the new PongCrazy table tennis mini-golf game!
London (London Golf Show at Earls Court) - puttup indoor putting game - 3-hole layout
Portaputt - Llanwrtyd Wells
Shoreditch, London (Swingers Crazy Golf by the Institute of Competitive Socialising) - indoor Crazy Golf
London - an UrbanCrazy minigolf hole at a wedding aboard the HMS President on the River Thames
- Skegness (Lost World Adventure Park) - Indoor Jungle 3D Mini Golf - Closed down and abandoned
- Hatfield (Galleria Outlet Shopping Centre) - Indoor Pirate Mini Golf - Course closed at 6pm (last ticket at 5.30pm)
Sheffield (Valley Centertainment) - Paradise Island Adventure Golf, Shell Bay course - didn't have time to play this time

Minigolfer Richard Gottfried playing the UrbanCrazy Minigolf course at the 2012 London Golf Show
Playing the UrbanCrazy Minigolf course at the 2012 London Golf Show

And for hardy types, many of the UK’s outdoor Minigolf courses are also open throughout the year.

Do let us know if you find any other indoor Minigolf courses!

Related Blog Post:

Give the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour a Like on Facebook, watch our YouTube channel and follow Richard and Emily on Twitter. You can also now sign-up to receive our miniature golf newsletter.

Monday, December 16, 2013

“Mr October” on a Minigolf Calendar!

Featuring on the 2014 Fun-Sports & 3D ‘All Around Minigolf’ calendar.

The 2014 3D & Fun-Sports 'All Around Minigolf Calendar'

The team at Minigolf businesses Fun-Sports and 3D have created a 2014 Wall Calendar featuring images from ‘All Around Minigolf’ and I’m Mr October!

Mr October (Herr Oktober) in the 3D & Fun-Sports 2014 Minigolf Calendar

The photo was taken by international Minigolfer Willi Hettrich from Germany at the 2012 BMGA British Open tournament held at Strokes Adventure Golf in Margate, Kent.

There are some great images from the world of miniature golf in the calendar featuring a range of courses, equipment, players, championship events and action.

The calendar will be hanging up in the Gottfried household throughout next year and is definitely a future exhibit in the Crazy Golf Museum


Friday, December 13, 2013

Report from the Minigolfer’s Annual Christmas Shenanigans ‘Do’ in London

Emily ‘Lemony Lems’ Gottfried wins the World Boules Le Noël Champignon title.

On Thursday 12th December 2013 a group of Minigolfers met for the traditional Christmas ‘Do’ in London.

In previous years the festive shenanigans have seen the athletes competing in Minigolf, Darts, Golf Simulation and Putting. This year’s tournament would be in the fine French sport of Pétanque.

The eight competitors met at the excellent Knights Templar Wetherspoon pub on Chancery Lane (itself the host venue to the 2012 International Rock Paper Scissors Championships and the 2011 Sportingbet UK Rock Paper Scissors Championships), a venue ideally located as it was next door but one to the location of the Boules Piste at Baranis.

However, prior to the Pétanque action dinner was on the cards and so the group headed on a twenty minute amble to Clerkenwell for a slap-up Vietnamese meal at the excellent Pho Cafe. A great restaurant with excellent service, very tasty food, lots of gluten free options and big portions.

The Shenanigan gang in their best bib and tucker at Pho

With a short trip to Cambridgeshire (by visiting Ye Olde Mitre Tavern in Hatton Garden) on the way back to Baranis the players were ready to play some Boules.

Drinking an Absinthe Cocktail was perhaps not the best idea for Squire who crashed out in round one. The Cocktails seemed to do the trick for Jon though as he didn't lose until the final

With a few late withdrawals from the tournament, and the potential attendance of Mr Christmas himself Brad ‘The Fist’ Shepherd, the draw-master Trevor ‘Trevino Smeeth’ Robertson set about with the draw for the quarter-finals of the “World Boules Le Noël Champignonship”.

The night's losers

The first match saw Jon ‘The Stance’ Angel play Trevor ‘Cheddar’ Robertson in a first to three-points contest. A closely fought affair saw Trevor stay true to form and become the first player eliminated from the tournament as John won 3-2.

Trevino bouleing at the 'Le Jacque'

The second contest saw Keith ‘Doc’ Kellard whitewashed by Martin ‘Smashing’ Robertson 3-0. This freed up Keith to take up refereeing duties for the rest of the evening.

Keith Kellard got whitewashed in the Petanque, but at least gets a photo of him in action in this blog post

Match three saw Emily ‘Lems’ Gottfried destroy Alan ‘Not so Stormin’ Norman 4-0 in the biggest win of the quarter finals.

The final match of the opening round saw shenanigan organiser ‘Squire’ Richard Gottfried drawn to play Chris ‘Stretch’ Jones. In a match that went to the wire a loose boule by Gottfried allowed Stretch to pick up a total of four points to Squire’s two and move into the semi-finals.

Squire Petanqueing

Semi-final one saw Jonathon Angle against Martin Robertson in a first to four-point match. With Martin looking to smash Angel into the gravel of the Piste by taking a three-one lead some amazing Pétanqueing by Jon saw him score three-points in one end to take the win 4-3.

The second semi-final was a short match indeed as Emily battled Chris. In the second end Lemony scored three points to take the win 4-0.

The dusty shoed referees make a decision

So, the La Grande Final was to be a battle between the two shortest competitors, with Jon 'Johnny Foreigner' Angel to play Madame Lemony in a first to six-points contest.

With Monsieur Angel qualifying for the final first he had the honour of throwing first. The match was so close it was impossible to predict who would win and with the score level at four apiece an impromptu one-throw of Rock Paper Scissors was needed to see who would throw first in the next end. Angel won with a throw of scissors to Gottfried’s paper and so the match built to its conclusion.

In the final end of the tournament Madame Lemony threw some cracking shots and took the win and overall tournament victory with a 6-4 scoreline.

Lemony receives the Tiara, earrings and a big kiss off of Chris Jones! Ooh la la

Having won the big night out Emily was the unfortunate recipient of the prize – that had been specifically procured with what was thought to be Brad’s inevitable victory in mind.

The losing finalist John Angle

And so, another year’s Christmas ‘do’ drawing close the players began to concoct ideas of how to topple Lems from her lofty perch atop the world of crazy Minigolfer’s side-tournaments. With one potential option being some Ping Pong.

A beret wearing Emily - winner of the Grand Final of Boules

But the night wasn’t yet over, as there was time left on the Piste the Repechage competition could begin!

Each of the losing seven players could earn the chance for a shot at glory by winning “La Conférence".

In match one of The Plate bracket first round loser ‘Pernod’ Ricard Gottfried defeated Keith ‘Red Hot Chilli Pepper’ Kellard 1-0.

Alan ‘The Shark’ Norman beat Trevino Smeethino 1-0 in the other Plate semi-final to set-up a final match with the Squire. In the thrilling end of play Norman stormed to victory 1-0.

In The Shield competition between the two losing semi-finalists Chris ‘Red Wine’ Jones beat Martin ‘Smashing’ Robertson 1-0 to progress to La Conférence final.

The best of the worst title final was won in fine fashion by Alain who was able to pick up a 1-0 win against ‘Ooh la la’ Chris Jones.

As the official languages of sport are English and French please see below for a hastily translated version of the above report en Français.

Rapport annuel de la malice de Noël Do de la Minigolfer à Londres

Emily ‘Lemony Lems’ Gottfried remporte le titre Mondial de Pétanque Le Noël Champignon.

Le Jeudi 12 Décembre 2013, un groupe de Minigolfers s'est réuni pour la traditionnelle 'Do' Noël à Londres.

Dans les années précédentes, les manigances de fête ont vu les athlètes dans Minigolf, fléchettes , simulation de golf et putting. Le tournoi de cette année serait de l'amende sport français de pétanque.

Les huit concurrents réunis au pub excellents Templiers Wetherspoon sur Chancery Lane (lui-même le lieu d'accueil pour les Rock Paper Scissors Championnats Internationaux de 2012 et les Sportingbet Royaume-Uni Rock Paper Scissors Championnats 2011), un lieu idéalement situé car il était à côté mais à l'emplacement de la pétanque Piste à Baranis.

Toutefois , avant l'action dîner Pétanque était sur les cartes et si le groupe dirigé sur vingt minutes amble à Clerkenwell pour un repas vietnamien slap-up à l'excellent Pho Café. Un grand restaurant avec un excellent service, très savoureux, beaucoup de plats sans gluten et de grandes portions.

Le gang tromperie dans leur meilleur dossard et tucker à Pho

Avec un court voyage à Cambridgeshire (en visitant Ye Olde Mitre Tavern à Hatton Garden) sur le chemin du retour à Baranis les joueurs étaient prêts à jouer quelques boules.

Boire un cocktail d'absinthe était peut-être pas la meilleure idée pour Squire qui s'est écrasé au premier tour. Les Cocktails semblaient faire l'affaire pour Jon même si, comme il n'a pas perdu jusqu'à la finale

Avec quelques retraits fin du tournoi , et la présence potentielle de M. Noël lui-même Brad "Le Poing" Shepherd, le tirage au sort maître Trevor ' Trevino Smeeth ' Robertson mis sur le tirage au sort des quarts de finale de la "World pétanque Le Noël Champignonship".

Les perdants de la nuit

Le premier match a vu Jon 'Le Stance' Angel jouer le ‘Cheddar’ Robertson Trevor dans un premier concours de trois points. Une affaire très serrée vu Trevor rester fidèle à former et devenir le premier joueur éliminé du tournoi que John a gagné 3-2.

Trevino bouleing au 'Le Jacque'

Le deuxième concours a vu Keith 'Doc' Kellard blanchi par Martin ‘Smashing' Robertson 3-0. Cette libéré Keith pour assumer des fonctions d'arbitrage pour le reste de la soirée.

Keith Kellard s'est blanchie à la chaux dans la pétanque, mais au moins reçoit une photo de lui en action dans ce blog

Match à trois a vu Emily ‘Lems’ Gottfried détruire Alan 'Pas si Stormin’ Norman 4-0 dans la plus grande victoire des quarts de finale.

Le dernier match de la manche d'ouverture a vu la tromperie organisateur ‘Squire’ Richard Gottfried tiré à jouer Chris 'Stretch' Jones. Dans un match qui est allé au fil d'un terrain de pétanque en vrac par Gottfried autorisés extensible pour ramasser un total de quatre points à Squire deux et de passer en demi-finale.

Squire Pétanqueing

Une demi-finale a vu Jonathon Angle contre Martin Robertson dans un premier à quatre points correspondance. Avec Martin cherche à briser ange dans le gravier de la piste en prenant un trois-un conduit certains Pétanqueing étonnant par Jon a vu marquer trois points dans une fin pour remporter la victoire 4-3.

La deuxième demi-finale était un match court en effet que Emily a lutté contre Chris. Dans la seconde extrémité Lemony a marqué trois points pour prendre la victoire 4-0.

Les arbitres ferrés poussiéreux prendre une décision

Donc, La Grande finale devait être une bataille entre les deux concurrents les plus courtes , avec Johnny Foreigner Angel Jon jouer madame Lemony dans un premier concours de six points.

Avec Monsieur Ange qualification pour la finale d'abord, il a eu l'honneur de lancer en premier. Le match était si proche qu'il était impossible de prédire qui va gagner et avec le niveau de partition à quatre chacun un impromptu d'un coup de Rock Paper Scissors est nécessaire pour voir qui jettent la première fois dans la fin prochaine. Ange a gagné avec un coup de ciseaux à papier de Gottfried et si le match a construit à sa conclusion.

En fin de finale du tournoi Mme Lemony jeté quelques coups de craquage et a remporté la victoire et la victoire finale de tournoi avec un score de 6-4.

Lemony reçoit le diadème, boucles d'oreilles et un gros bisou hors de Chris Jones! Ooh la la

Après avoir remporté le grand soir Emily a été la malheureuse récipiendaire du prix – qui avait été spécifiquement acquis avec ce qui a été pensé pour être la victoire inévitable de Brad à l'esprit.

Un béret portant Emily - vainqueur de la Grande Finale de Pétanque

Et oui, Noël une autre année 'ne' se rapprochant les joueurs ont commencé à concocter des idées sur la façon de renverser Lems de son perchoir au sommet du monde de side- tournois de fou Minigolfer. Avec une option de potentiel étant certains de ping-pong.

Mais la nuit n'était pas encore terminée , car il y avait de temps sur la piste de la concurrence repêchage pourrait commencer !

Chacun des sept joueurs perdants pourraient gagner la chance pour un coup à la gloire en remportant "La Conférence".

En correspondre à un des Support de plaque premier perdant tour de Pernod Ricard Gottfried défait Keith 'Red Hot Chilli Pepper' Kellard 1-0.

Alan ‘The Shark’ Norman battu Trevino Smeethino 1-0 dans la plaque autre demi-finale à mettre en place un dernier match avec le Squire. En fin palpitante du jeu Norman a pris d'assaut à la victoire 1-0.

Dans La compétition Shield entre les deux demi-finalistes perdants Jones Chris 'Vin Rouge' a battu Martin ' Smashing ' Robertson 1-0 pour passer à la Conférence finale.

Le meilleur du pire titre final a été remporté de belle façon par Alain qui était capable de ramasser une victoire de 1-0 contre les ‘Ooh la la’ Chris Jones.


Crazy Golfers Christmas Do/Shenanigans Hall of Fame
2013 – Emily ‘Lemony’ Gottfried – World Boules Le Noël Champignonship
2012 – Brad ‘The Fist’ Shepherd – Riverclose Worlds UnProfessional Minigolfer's Darts Championship
2011 – Brad ‘The Fist’ Shepherd – Rivernear Worlds Professional Crazy Golfers Darts Championships
2010 – Brad ‘The Fist’ Shepherd – Christmas Minigolf 9-Hole Putting Green Sudden Death Challenge
2010 – Keith Kellard & Jon Angel (Team KJ Choice) – Sim BIG Golf Par-3's of the World Doubles Challenge
2009 – Brad ‘The Fist’ Shepherd – Christmas-themed Crazy Golf at Devonshire Square
Before Records Began – Lionel ‘The Spoon’ Bender – Crazy Golf Contest

- The Knights Templar
- Pho Cafe
- Baranis
- English Pétanque Association

Related blog posts:
- The Minigolfer’s Annual Christmas Darts ‘Do’ 2012 in London
- Crazy Golfers Christmas 'Do' in London 2011 - Darts Tournament at Rileys Victoria!
- The Minigolfers Christmas 'Do' 2010
- 2009 Christmas Crazy Golf Challenge at Devonshire Square
- PetanquePétanque
- Boules
- Rock Paper Scissors

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Living in Parts Unknown

Who's nabbed the 'Welcome to Luton' sign?

While walking down the Dunstable Road heading back into Luton this evening I noticed that the 'Welcome to Luton' bit of the Town Limits sign was missing!?

Where's the bit of the sign that says 'Welcome to Luton' gone?

I really do now live in Parts Unknown!

Christmas Crazy Golf in Peterborough

Christmas-themed Minigolf course at the Queensgate Shopping Centre in Peterborough for the festive season.

Yesterday I heard that the Mini Golf and Games 9-hole Miniature Golf course has been set-up in the Queensgate Shopping Centre in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.

A great idea to give shoppers a fun break while out Christmas shopping, and especially for those people (like me) who would prefer to be doing anything but Christmas shopping while their partner carries on with the spending!

Photo of the Mini Golf course at the Queensgate Shopping Centre in Peterborough for Christmas 2013. Photo by Mini Golf and Games
The 9-hole Christmas Crazy Golf course set-up at the Queensgate Shopping Centre in Peterborough. Photo by Mini Golf and Games

I played the course towards the end of the summer when it was set-up in Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire. It’s a very good layout and operated by the friendly team at Mini Golf and Games. Check out the links below for further details.


Related blog posts:

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Christmas by easyJet - Luton's Christmas Lights Switch On

Luton's festive lights switched on by actor Leslie Grantham and sponsored by easyJet.

Luton Christmas Lights
Not the whole of Luton's Christmas Lights for 2013

On Saturday 7th December the 2013 Christmas Lights Switch On took place in Luton.

The guest celebrity switcher-onner at this year's Lighting Up Luton event was Leslie 'Dirty Den' Grantham, who is currently in the pantomime Dick Whittington 'over the border' at the Grove Theatre in Dunstable.

Luton Christmas Lights
Leslie Grantham next to the big plunger before the lights went on

Earlier this year there had been talks of the town having no Christmas lights in 2013 due to the budget cuts affecting Luton Borough Council. However, Luton-based easyJet, and a number of other sponsors involved in the Love Luton campaign, stepped in to save them.

Here's a video of the practice countdown, led by Leslie Grantham.

As well as the stars of the Dick Whittington, the characters from the Luton Library Theatre panto of Beauty and the Beast were in attendance at the event at Luton Town Hall*, along with the team from Heart Four Counties radio.

Luton Christmas Lights
Luton's Christmas Tree all lit up

A nice touch were the 'Christmas by easyJet' hats. Very cheesy, but good fun.

Luton Christmas Lights
The pointiest Christmas hat in Luton yesterday evening at quarter past five

Personally I would've liked it if ALL of the lights had been lit up in easyJet's distinctive orange branding!

Luton Christmas Lights
Some of the Christmas lights along George Street in Luton


* Luton Town Hall is a wonderful Art Deco building in the centre of town and it has a very interesting history indeed.

Luton Christmas Lights
Luton's second Town Hall, built after the first one was burned down in a Peace Day Riot!