Monday, October 28, 2013

Minigolf Report – Gottfrieds compete in the World Crazy Golf Championships

28th October 2013 
Press Information
For Immediate Release

Minigolf Report – Gottfrieds compete in the World Crazy Golf Championships

Luton Minigolfers Richard and Emily Gottfried competed in the ‘Castle Golf’ World Crazy Golf Championships at the Adventure Golf Complex on Hastings seafront on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th October.

Richard was making his seventh appearance and Emily her fifth in the eleventh-annual ‘Castle Golf’ World Crazy Golf Championships.

The Arnold Palmer Crazy Golf course in Hastings, England
Richard Gottfried plays hole 2 of the Hastings Crazy Golf course during the hole-in-one charity challenge competition

In the 78-player tournament played on the 18-hole Arnold Palmer Crazy Golf course Richard finished in 21st place with Emily in 51st place. The competition was played in tough weather conditions with winds of over 30mph affecting the exposed seafront course.

Richard scored rounds of 45, 37, 35, 41, 44 and 42 for a total of 244 (+28), an average of 40.7 shots per round, and said “I was happy to be making a return to action on the British Minigolf Association Tour and the World Championships after being sidelined with a back injury for much of the season. I was pleased with my play on day two in the very windy conditions, but I let myself down on day one with only one under-par round. As ever the event was fun and certainly interesting with the weather to contend with.”

Emily scored rounds of 45, 43, 39, 45, 41 and 54 for a total of 267 (+51), an average of 44.5 per round, and said “Despite the terrible conditions, and some very poor scoring on my part, I enjoyed the tournament, and wasn’t too disappointed with my 51st place. I’m also really pleased for Olivia to be the first female winner. She played exceptionally well and deserved the victory. I can’t wait to play again next year.”

Richard will be competing at the Kent Open tournament in Sidcup Kent, and the pair will both next be in action at the BMGA British Club Championship at Basingstoke Golf Centre in November. They will be lining up against each other in the tournament as Richard plays for the 2008 National Champions the Midlands Minigolf Club, while Emily is a member of the Cambridgeshire Mini Golf Club.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Bushell's Best Bits – a new book by BBC TV's Mike Bushell

I recently received the book Bushell’s Best Bits as a birthday present from Emily. It’s written by BBC TV sports presenter by Mike Bushell and is a great read, with a view into many odd, obscure and alternative sports and games.

Mike Bushell has taken part in and profiled over 350 different sports and events and a lot of these are covered in the book – with the 2012 World Alternative Games getting a great write-up. Other sports covered include many that I compete in, including Finger Jousting, Crazy Golf, Rock Paper Scissors, Dodgeball.

If you’re looking for a Christmas gift for someone I highly recommend Bushell’s Best Bits – who knows, they may be inspired to try out a new sport, game or recreational activity in 2014!


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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Putt in the Park Minigolf at Wandsworth Park, London

Visit to the new Putt in the Park Miniature Golf course at Wandsworth Park, Putney, London.

Putt in the Park Minigolf Course in Wandsworth Park, London
A view of the Putt in the Park Minigolf course in Wandsworth Park, London

On Friday 18th October I headed to the new 12-hole Putt in the Park Minigolf course at Wandsworth Park in London for a ‘friendly’ round of Crazy Golf against some of my friends and Minigolf rivals Gareth, Alan and Paul.

Putt in the Park Crazy Golf Course in Wandsworth Park, London
Alan playing the long and tricky 10th hole at Wandsworth Park's Putt in the Park Minigolf course

The course was the 538th visited overall on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour, the 323rd played and the 321st course I’ve played since September 2006.

Putt in the Park Mini Golf Course in Wandsworth Park, London
Another course visit on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour

In the Putney Putting Invitational I faced off against BMGA Tour rivals and London Minigolf Club members Alan ‘Stormin’ Norman and Gareth ‘The Owl’ Holmes, and fan of ludicrous photos Paul ‘Flip Flops’ O’Connor.

Putt in the Park Mini-Golf Course in Wandsworth Park, London
The competitors line-up at the Putt in the Park Minigolf course at Wandsworth Park in London

The match-up started well for Alan who shot a magnificent hole-in-one on the first hole! His form (luck!) continued through the match and it was clear early on that the rest of us were playing for second/not to be last!

Putt in the Park Miniature Golf Course in Wandsworth Park, London
Alan 'Stormin' Norman plays his first shot and lands an ace on hole one

Paul also managed a hole-in-one on the course, scoring a brilliant ace on the 11th hole (or as I kept calling it - "The 17th").

Putt in the Park Minigolf Course in Wandsworth Park, London
Paul signalling an Ace is in his sights! Like the Babe Ruth of Miniature Golf!

The course looks great and has some very long and winding holes. The water features are both pleasant to look at as well as being integrated as obstacles on some of the holes. Especially on the 7th hole where I found the water twice, and the 9th where Gareth almost helped Alan into the water while he was retrieving his ball while stood on a stepping stone.

Putt in the Park Crazy Golf Course at Wandsworth Park, London
Gareth lends Alan a helping hand

Putt in the Park Crazy Golf Course at Wandsworth Park in London
The unlucky 7th hole for Squire, finding the water twice as Alan looks on

The course has a par of 27, with holes 6, 7 and 8 par-3 and the others par-2. In our contest Alan had a storming 31(+7 on a BMGA par rating), Gareth was runner-up with a score of 36(+12) and I was the bronze medallist on 38(+14). Paul, the novice of the group and a player with a very strong swing, shot a 48(+24).

Putt in the Park Mini Golf Course at Wandsworth Park in London
Gareth holes out on the 12th for an almost ace two

1. Alan ‘Stormin’ Norman = 31(+7)
2. Gareth ‘The Owl’ Holmes = 36(+12)
3. ‘Squire’ Richard Gottfried = 38(+14)
4. Paul ‘Flip Flops’ O’Connor = 48(+24)

Putt in the Park Miniature Golf Course at Wandsworth Park in London
Alan 'Stormin' Norman - Champion Minigolfer

The 12-hole layout opened four months ago and has been a popular attraction in the nice setting of Wandsworth Park. We received a fine welcome by Jack at the course who told us the area used to be a disused Bowling Green. The renovation is a brilliant use of the space and the Putt in the Park course has its own clubhouse with bar and cafe. 

Putt in the Park Mini Golf Course at Wandsworth Park in London
Putt in the Park at Wandsworth Park serves "Putney's Finest Bacon or Sausage Sandwiches" - the clubhouse pavilion also has a bar and we enjoyed an alcholic beverage after our round

There’s plenty of seating too for players to rest between rounds and enjoy a drink and a bite to eat, and a great vantage point for spectators.

Putt in the Park Miniature Golf Course at Wandsworth Park, London
The Putt in the Park Minigolf course is open until dusk 

I look forward to returning for more Minigolf match-ups on the course, and hopefully get close to, or beat the course record of 25 shots!

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Friday, October 18, 2013

A re-visit to the Dinosaur Safari Adventure Golf course in Arkley

Five-player ‘friendly’ Minigolf tournament played at the 18-hole Dinosaur Safari Adventure Golf course in Arkley, Hertfordshire.

On Tuesday 1st of October we headed to Arkley in Hertfordshire (near Elstree & Borehamwood) for an evening round of Minigolf on the 18-hole Dinosaur Safari Adventure Golf course at the A1 Golf Centre.

Lining up to compete in the international affair were:
- Liezl ‘The Big Easy’ Van Zyl (RSA)
- Lucy ‘Whacker’ Wallace (GBR)
-  James 'Big Jim/Lucky Jim/Flukester/Not Amy' Specker (GBR)

Tee-ing off in dry, light and cool weather conditions the round of golf concluded in the dark and with the onset of quite autumnal weather.

Hole one saw each player, apart from Emily, score a two. James 'Big Jim/Lucky Jim/Flukester/Not Amy' Specker earned his nickname on this hole with an incredibly recovery shot to save par after what can only be described as a horrendous tee-shot.

James 'Big Jim/Lucky Jim/Flukester/Not Amy' Specker with a slightly wayward tee-shot on the first hole

Hole two saw South African superstar Putt Putter Liezl ‘The Big Easy’ Van Zyl make her mark on the event with an awesome hole-in-one to take the lead.

Liezl 'The Big Easy' Van Ziel on the way to scoring a great hole-in-one at Arkley

The remaining seven holes of the front-nine saw steady play from most of the player, barring a few threes and a four apiece for Lemony and Lucy ‘Whacker’ Wallace.

Lucy 'Whacker' Wallace steps up to take on the Dinosaur Safari Adventure Golf course

At the half-way stage of the contest the scores were:
- Liezl ‘The Big Easy’ Van Zyl – 19
- ‘Squire’ Richard Gottfried – 20
- James 'Big Jim/Lucky Jim/Flukester/Not Amy' Specker – 21
- Emily ‘Lemony’ Gottfried – 22
- Lucy ‘Whacker’ Wallace – 25

The back-nine started badly for Mr Specker who scored an unfortunate five to put a mild dent in his championship hopes.

Emily 'Lemony' Gottfried in Minigolf action at Dinosaur Safari Adventure Golf in Arkley

It was at the 12th hole that the match got even more exciting. After Squire had scored a two that was almost an ace with a clever and sneaky line to the hole, Emily and Liezl followed-up up by getting ever closer to the hole and Lucy ‘Whacker’ Wallace scored an incredibly hole-in-one to huge delight from her opponents.

An interesting view of the Minigolf contest during play

Attempts to recreate this piece of minigolf magic were unsuccessful, but long will the moment be remembered in the scrapbooks of her opponent’s minds.

With the win available to any with six holes remaining and the dreaded volcano obstacle to face on the penultimate hole it was Squire, The Big Easy and Lemony in with a shot at the title.

Unfortunately for Lemony the wheels would come off at the 17th with a dreadful maximum score of seven. Squire had hit a safe two and Liezl also scored a par. Whacker put away a nice three, while Flukester couldn’t conjure up any of his earlier magic and also carded a seven.

Squire tackles the Volcano 17th hole at Arkley's Adventure Golf course as keen rival, The Big Easy, looks on

With only the final long downhill hole to play the title was being battled for between Great Britain and South Africa. Squire stepped up first and scored a two, with Liezl also shooting a par. All that was left to do was add up the scores to find out who won...

Final results
- ‘Squire’ Richard Gottfried – 20 + 20 = 39(+3)
- Liezl ‘The Big Easy’ Van Zyl – 19 + 23 = 42(+6)
- Emily ‘Lemony’ Gottfried – 22 + 27 = 49(+13)
- James 'Big Jim/Lucky Jim/Flukester/Not Amy' Specker – 21 + 30 = 51(+15)
- Lucy ‘Whacker’ Wallace – 25 + 27 = 52(+16)

The course was in great condition, with some interesting dino-facts dotted around the course. Some of the water hazards are really good too – with most of the field finding the water on the sixth hole!?

The warning/advice on this sign was not heeded on hole six where four out of the five of us went in the drink!

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A1 Golf Centre

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Playing an UrbanCrazy Minigolf Course at Regent's Place in London

Playing the 537th course on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour at Regent's Place in London.

At course #537 on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour

On Tuesday 1st of October I headed along to Regent's Place in London where the team at UrbanCrazy had set-up their Signature Minigolf course between 11am and 1pm.

The free-play event saw visitors to Regent's Place have a go on the tricky 9-hole layout*. When I arrived UrbanCrazy's Richard Linden let me know that the best score had been set at 20!

Last November I'd played the UrbanCrazy Signature Minigolf course when it made its debut at the London Golf Show at Earl's Court. Since then there have been some changes and additions to the course - including the addition of a Casino hole.

Playing the new Casino hole

The visit was the first on the next leg of the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour as the 30th of September had marked the seventh year of our travels around many and varied Miniature Golf courses. The Regent’s Place layout was the 537th Minigolf course visited, 322nd played by either me or Emily, and my 320th course since 2006!

Targeting a hole-in-one on the UrbanCrazy Minigolf course at Regent's Place

For my round on the course I was challenged by UrbanCrazy's Marcin Roszczyk.

Neither Marcin or I could Ace the Brown Sign

In a closely fought match-up I scored a 21(+3) to just defeat him as he shot a 24(+6). My ace on the third may have been the difference maker in the match.

About to drop an Ace on hole 3

Marcin Putts on hole 7 - the course's toughest hole

The late morning and early afternoon of fun and games at Regent's Place also saw the team from Gastro Circus making Mocktails. I enjoyed the Nohito, very refreshing it was after a round of Crazy Golf. I did get some odd looks while drinking it as I made my return journey on the tube!

The course in Regent's Place

Regent's Place is a large mixed use campus in London's West End, you can find out more about what's there and what's on at the Regent's Place website. Earlier this year they held a Bathtub Race event there!!!???

Find RegentsPlace on Facebook

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Another unplayed Minigolf course, but not visited by me

Christopher Gottfried celebrates seven years of the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour by not playing Minigolf in Newquay, Cornwall.

One of the greens at Newquay's 18-hole Mini Golf course

My brother, and founder member of the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour, was recently in Newquay for a surfing holiday and spotted a sign for an 18-hole Mini Golf course.

18-hole Mini Golf just 150 yards away...

He followed it but was unable to play it as the course was closed.

A view of the 18-hole Minigolf course in Newquay

When sending through the photos Christopher commented “Newquay mini golf... Closed! Oh and an exclusive mini golf 'only' portaloo!

The 'exclusive' Minigolf lavvy

One for me and Emily to add to our ‘to play’ list for when we eventually make it to the south west of England for a holiday roadtrip!

18-hole Minigolf and Breakfast Cafe in Newquay

From the photos it appears the course is a felted 'Beton' (or 'Concrete') version of Miniature Golf, more often found in continental Europe than here in the UK.

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My first gluten free Mince Pie of the festive season

Seeing in Christmas a bit too early with a new Gluten Free Mince Pie from Udi’s.

While shopping at our local Tesco last night Emily and I spotted the new range of food from Udi’s Gluten Free. We hadn’t heard of them before and so bought some of the items to give them a try.

The new Udi's Gluten Free Mince Pies - one product in the brand's new range of gluten and wheat free food for Coeliacs

One of the range is Udi’s Rich n’ Fruity Mince Pie and they are the first Gluten and Wheat Free Mince Pies I’ve seen on sale yet.

One of the four Rich n' Fruity Mince Pies

Although it is a bit later than the first Mince Pie of the season I had last year – that was on the 5th of October!

The Udi's Mince Pie is opened up with a pastry fork (my nephew thinks it's hilarious to use a fork to eat dessert)

The Udi’s Mince Pie was rich and fruity and of the more ‘flatter and home-made’ look type of mince pies, rather than the more identikit look. At first glance it didn’t look too full of filling, but it was full of flavour and the icing dusted pastry did hold up well – always a good sign with gluten and wheat free pastry.

I’d recommend them to fellow Coeliacs.

May I take this opportunity to wish all the readers of the Ham & Egger Files a very Merry Christmas.

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Where skateboards (and skater’s shoes) go to die

While in London for a day out on Wednesday Emily and I wandered over the Hungerford Bridge and spotted this odd sight!

The skateboard (and abandoned shoes) graveyard on Hungerford Bridge in London

The bit of the bridge (one of the supporting struts) where the broken skateboards have been thrown is very near to the Southbank LondonSkatepark.

There were an awful lot of abandoned shoes in the ‘graveyard’ too! How many can you spot?

I recently read in the London Evening Standard that the Skatepark will be getting some investment to be redeveloped. A letter writer to the paper had suggested the area be turned into a Crazy golf course – that’d be a nice addition to the area as London has a dearth of permanent Miniature Golfcourses.

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