Thursday, December 31, 2015

Mini Golf dates for your 2016 diary

Details of minigolf events and competitions for the year ahead.

Minigolf is 149 years old in 2016, while the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour turns ten

2016 is going to be a BIG year in minigolf. Check out the details below for the landmarks and milestones, anniversaries, days, and other key dates.


Anniversaries in 2016
There are some very interesting key dates being celebrated in 2016:
  • The first minigolf course in the USA opened in 1916. It was called 'Thistle Dhu' and located in Pinehurst, NC.
  • Putting will return to the Olympic Games at Rio 2016 after a break of 112 years, albeit as part of the big Golf tournament. A Miniature Golf contest was held as part the 1904 St Louis Games!
  • Crazy Golf is 90 years old in 2016! The very first course opened on South Parade in Skegness, Lincolnshire, England. There's still a course on the same spot - we managed to play it in 2015.
A visit to England's first-ever Crazy Golf course on National Miniature Golf Day 2015
  • 1926 also saw the first artificial miniature golf course open in the USA, with the 'Tom Thumb' miniature golf course opening near Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, TN.
  • Friday 30th September 2016 will mark the tenth anniversary of the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour. To date we've visited 672 mini, crazy, putting and adventure golf courses.
  • Minigolf course reviewers at The Putting Penguin celebrate their 15th year in 2016, while fellow minigolf bloggers A Couple of Putts reach their fourth year.
  • Miniature Golf will be 149 years old! The world's first Grass Putting course was set-up at St Andrews, Scotland in 1867. The Himalayas is still there now and is a real pleasure to play.


Recurring minigolf 'days'
Each year there are two quasi-official days to celebrate the game:
  • National Miniature Golf Day takes place on the second Saturday in May and in 2016 will be on Saturday 14th May.
  • Miniature Golf Day is always on the 21st of September, which falls on a Wednesday in 2016.
Emily playing a round at Putt in the Park in Battersea Park, London on Miniature Golf Day 2015

Minigolf Tag (day) has been celebrated in Austria since 2010. Keep an eye on the Minigolf Tag website for details of the 2016 event.

Every Monday is #MinigolfMonday on Twitter.


Competitions
Hundreds of competitions take place around the world, below are some of the highlights of the 2016 calendar.

UK tournaments
The British Minigolf Association Tour calendar for 2016 has been announced.
  • Sunday 28th February – English Open at the Lost City Adventure Golf course in Nottingham.
  • Sunday 6th March – Planet Hastings Crazy Golf Club Open at the three seafront courses in Hastings.
  • Sunday 10th April – British Masters at Splash Point Mini Golf in Worthing.
Emily playing in the 2015 Splash Point Open tournament at the Splash Point Mini Golf course in Worthing

  • Sunday 24th April – British Club Championships at Strokes Adventure Golf Course in Margate.
  • Friday 6th May – British Championships Pro-Am at Wroxham Barns in Hoveton.
  • Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th May – British Championships at Wroxham Barns in Hoveton.
  • Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th June – World Crazy Golf Championship at the Arnold Palmer Crazy Golf Course in Hastings.
  • Saturday 16th July – Cambridgeshire & Essex Open at the Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre in West Horndon.
  • Sunday 17th July - British Doubles Championship at the Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre in West Horndon.
  • Friday 16th September – Players Championship.
  • Friday 16th September – International Players Championship.
  • Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th September – British Open at the Pirate Course in Hastings.
  • Sunday 16th October – Welsh Open is at the Treetop Adventure Golf Course in Cardiff.
  • Sunday 13th November – Kent Open at the Lost Island Encounter Adventure Golf course in Sidcup.
  • Sunday 4th December – Star City Open at Adventure Island Mini Golf in Birmingham.
  • Season-long – British Matchplay Championship.

There will also be club Open events throughout the year.

International events
World Minigolf Sport Federation (WMF):
  • 25th and 26th June – World Adventure Golf Masters in Prishtina, Kosovo.
  • 14th and 15th May – Youth Nations Cup in Bischofshofen, Austria.
  • 10th to 13th August – Youth World Championships in Bischofshofen, Austria.
The Great Britain 3 team that finished 5th in the 2013 WMF World Adventure Golf Masters tournament

European Minigolf Sport Federation (EMF):
  • 14th and 15th May – Nations Cup in Vizela, Portugal
  • 10th to 13th August – Seniors European Championships in Lahti, Finland.
  • 24th to 27th August – General Class European Championships in Vizela, Portugal.
  • 29th September to 1st October - European Cup for club teams in Neutraubling, Germany.

Asian Minigolf Sport Federation (AMF):
  • 8th to 10th October - Open Asian Championships in Yokohama, Japan.

Contests in North America
USPMGA:
In the USA the USPMGA organises two major events – US Masters and US Open – and a number of local and regional events.
  • October 13-15 – USPMGA Master’s National Championship in North Myrtle Beach, SC.
  • May 14th and 15th – US Open at Putt U Miniature Golf in Center Valley, PA.

PPA:
There are also miniature golf competitions organised in the USA by the PPA. You can find out more about Putt-Putt, the Professional Putters Association, the Amateur Putters Association and the competitions hosted on Putt-Putt miniature golf courses on the PPA website.

Mini-Putt:
In Canada the Mini-Putt tour holds a number of tournaments. Find out more on the Mini-Putt website.

If you know of any other miniature golf contests taking place do let us know via the comments below or via email.

Happy Easter

The first Free From Easter Eggs of the season have made an appearance.

While doing a little bit of a top-up shop on New Year's Eve I spotted that Sainsbury's are very well stocked on Easter Eggs already!

If you're quick you can also pick up a box of gluten free Mince Pies for 70p and Nakd Christmas Pud bars for 25p

Related blog posts:
Gluten Free
Coeliac
Funny things about being a Coeliac

Links:
- Sainsbury's website
- Sainsbury's Free From

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Minigolf in Prishtina, Kosovo - World Adventure Golf Masters

On the 25th and 26th June 2016 the World Adventure Golf Masters will be held in Prishtina, Kosovo - the first major international miniature golf tournament to take place in the country.

You can find out more about the World Minigolf Sport Federation's 2016 calendar of international championships online.

The 2016 WMF World Adventure Golf Masters in Kosovo will be the sixth edition of the tournament.

At the 2011 WMF World Adventure Golf Masters in Hastings, Alan 'Stormin' Norman and I took on Kosovo's first international players in a doubles match. From l-r Arben Alija, Richard Gottfried, Alan Norman, Lavdim Zylfiu
At the 2011 WMF World Adventure Golf Masters in Hastings, Alan 'Stormin' Norman and I took on Kosovo's first international players in a doubles match. From l-r Arben Alija, Richard Gottfried, Alan Norman, Lavdim Zylfiu

Emily and I played in the first staging of the event in 2011, as well as the 2012 and 2013 editions in Hastings. The event has also been held in Sweden.

Prishtina Golf previously hosted the Kosovo Open in 2012.

All the very best to the organisers and hosts of the event. The course looks brilliant. Emily and I have played a few similar layouts and enjoy the long, mostly borderless tricky 'lanes' as they're a real test of putting skill. The course in Prishtina was built by City Golf.

Links:
- World Minigolf Sport Federation (WMF) website
- Kosovo Minigolf Federation (FMGK) website
- Prishtina Golf on Facebook

Like the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour on Facebook, check out our YouTube channel and follow me and Emily on Twitter. You can also sign-up to receive our newsletter.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Adventure Golf at Star City in Birmingham

Replaying the Adventure Island Mini Golf course in Birmingham.


We recently revisited Adventure Island Mini Golf at Star City in Birmingham and found the courses have had some new obstacles added on a few of the holes.

The Hidden Cove Challenge course at Star City

There are also some new additions to the theming on the Hidden Cove Challenge and Lost Hut Trail courses.

There are a number of Easter Island heads dotted around the Lost Hut Trail course

The patch of 'grass' on the top of the ramp on hole 12 makes the hole even trickier

Hole 3 from hole 2

Hole 2 from hole 3

Hole 5

Hole 8 has some new obstacles on the green

Adventure Island Mini Golf has two 18-hole indoor courses and they were the 57th and 58th courses played on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour back in 2008. We've been back a lot since then - I won the Adventure Island/Heart FM Open competition there, returning for the weekly Monday-night league where I was runner-up to three-times World Champion Chris Harding, and I was the co-course record holder with a score of 28(-8) on the Lost Hut Trail.



Check out the Adventure Island Mini Golf website for opening times, prices and further info.

Part of the Hidden Cove Challenge course

The second hole of the Hidden Cove

You can find the course at the Star City leisure and entertainment complex at Adventure Island Mini Golf, Units 20/21, Star City, Watson Road, Birmingham, B7 5SB.

A nice minigolf welcome mat! The Crazy Golf Museum will need to have one of these!

Related blog posts:
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour
- From the archives...Adventure Island Mini Golf, Star City, Birmingham
- Birmingham

Link:
- Adventure Island Mini Golf website

Videos:
Minigolf Ace Celebration on hole 10
- Minigolf Doubles Match at Adventure Island Mini Golf, Star City - Parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

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

We Sell Xmas Trees

Driving home from work the other evening I had to take a detour through Luton town centre and spotted a sight that brought a smile to my face. I knew I'd have to head back in the daylight to get a snap of me next to it! And so I did.

You can buy Christmas Trees at The Windmill pub on Gypsy Lane in Luton

Looking at my Facebook Year in Review 99.9% of the photos show me next to, on, or inside something ridiculous! Long may it continue.

In a little hut at Brynbuga Castle in Usk

Having a whale of a time in Worthing

On some sort of podium in Nottingham

Celebrating Bedfordshire Day

Another day, another mascot

Related blog posts:
- Airdancer
- Christmas
- Christmas Tree
Wacky Waving Arm-Flailing Inflatable Tube-man

Adventure Golf in Felixstowe, Suffolk

Revisiting the Fantasia Adventure Golf course in Felixstowe.

Fantasia Adventure Golf course in Felixstowe

We were in Felixstowe, Suffolk last weekend and while we didn't manage to have a game of minigolf, we did have our customary look at the Fantasia Adventure Golf course on Sea Road.

Fantasia Adventure Golf course in Felixstowe

Fantasia Adventure Golf course in Felixstowe

The course was the 7th we ever played on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour. That was way back in November 2006. We've visited the seaside and the course loads of times since then, it's always worth a play.

Fantasia Adventure Golf course in Felixstowe

Looking forward to a game there again in the future.

Related blog posts:
Felixstowe
Crazy World of Minigolf Tour

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

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Crazy Golf course opening in Saltburn-by-the-Sea

There's a new minigolf course opening in Saltburn-by-the-Sea in 2016! Great news.

The team at UrbanCrazy are building the 10-hole layout that will be located on Saltburn Promenade in North Yorkshire.

A view of the promenade from the pier in Saltburn-by-the-Sea
We visited Saltburn-by-the-Sea in March 2014. The new Crazy Golf course will be located on a spot on the prom to the right of the famous funicular railway (or to the left if you're looking out to sea)

UrbanCrazy have designed and built many great miniature golf courses and we've managed to play most of them on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour. We're looking forward to a return to Yorkshire and Saltburn for a round or two next year.

Richard Gottfried playing the UrbanCrazy built Miniature Golf course at Charnwood Golf Centre this summer
Playing the UrbanCrazy built Miniature Golf course at Charnwood Golf Centre this summer

We've visited 84 courses this year, including some landmark visits on our tour. We reckon there are around 50 more courses for us to visit - but with new courses opening up who knows when we'll finish!

Emily Gottfried playing the Peterborough Minigolf course this year. Another great design by UrbanCrazy
Emily playing the Peterborough Minigolf course this year. Another great design by UrbanCrazy

Check out the UrbanCrazy website for more info on the business - they hire out portable courses too.

One of UrbanCrazy's temporary Crazy Golf courses was on the foreshore in Bridlington this year. It looked great

Link:
UrbanCrazy

Related blog posts:
UrbanCrazy
Crazy World of Minigolf Tour

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

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Gluten free at Honest Burgers in London

A great meal out at Honest Burgers on Pentonville Road.

Even though I have Coeliac Disease I do enjoy eating foods. While living on a strict gluten free diet can be hard going at times I find that I am able to eat a varied diet, albeit mostly on shop bought and made from scratch meals. Not necessarily a bad thing.

What I do miss, and something that impacts on Emily, is the ability to dine out easily. There are so few places offering gluten free meals that are safe and suitable for people with Coeliac Disease.

That's why until yesterday evening the last time I'd eaten a meal outside of my flat was on the 21st September. Almost three months ago!

I've had Coeliac Disease since 2008 and I'm still adventurous in my eating habits, so it's really disappointing that we've not been able to find anywhere suitable to have a breakfast, lunch or dinner on our travels.

So, it was brilliant that last night I got to go out for a meal with Emily, my brother Christopher and his wife Nina.

The last place I'd dined out was Honest Burgers on Pentonville Road in London when Emily and I had an Oktoberfest Burger for lunch on Miniature Golf Day. And we returned to try the new special burger on the menu - the XMAS BURGER.

Gluten free burger at Honest Burgers in London
A proper Christmas dinner. Don't forget the beer

It was delicious.

And filling.

Especially when you factor in the tasty Rosemary Fries that come with each burger.

Plus the sides we ordered too - coleslaw, salad, two portions of onion rings (they are massive) and a portion of chicken wings. It was a real feast, served by knowledgeable staff in a nice venue and location.

The Christmas Special Burger consists of a beef burger, smoked bacon, deep fried brie (it's breaded in gluten free crumb and poppy seeds and deep fried in clean oil), cranberry sauce and rocket.

Honest Burgers
It was honestly a very tasty burger. I love the theming the team at Honest Burgers add to their specials too

We ordered so much food I had the meat sweats, not helped by the very insulating Christmas jumper I was wearing. In fact I had to strip down to my t-shirt in order to finish the food. It was nice to be full and bloated by excess, rather than the discomfort, pain and illness caused by eating gluten!

The only gripe I have about Honest Burgers is that they charge you an extra £1 to get a gluten free bun. A small price to pay I suppose to ensure that you don't get cross-contaminated, but still a tax of sorts on those afflicted by Coeliac Disease.

Apart from that I cannot wait for my next meal out. Let's hope it's not another three months until I feel safe enough to venture out for some food.

Related blog posts:
- Gluten Free
- Coeliac
- A gluten free meal at Honest Burgers in London

Links:
- Honest Burgers website
- Honest Burgers on Twitter
- Honest Burgers on Facebook

New look from Green's Gluten Free Beer

A gluten free beer update from Green's.

I haven't blogged about gluten free stuff for a little while - it's not been intentional, but life as a busy coeliac hasn't left me with much time of late. And it's not like my Coeliac Disease is going away any time soon so there'll be plenty of time for me to post on one of my favourite subjects.

The prompt for this blog post was the receipt of a box of gluten free beer from Green's! It was a very pleasant surprise. I'm looking forward to drinking them over the Christmas period.

Green's Gluten Free Beer
The Green's range - visit the Green's website for more info on the eight gluten free beers

I've tried the beers before and at the first Herts & Beds Coeliac Food Fayre I attended I enjoyed sampling the wide-range Green's produce. It's always nice to have a choice.

Green's tell me they'll be closed over the Christmas break, but if you're in need of a fix of some more booze over the festive season you can still get hold of bottles at Ocado, Sainsbury's and Pizza Express.

Check out the Green's website for more info. You can buy the full range of Green's gluten free beers in their online shop.

I've blogged about gluten free beer, ale and lager a fair bit before (I am a fan of a tipple) - and a few years ago I got some of Green's beer flavoured mustard! Check out the links below for more gluten free related blog posts.

Links:
- Green's website
- Green's online shop
- Green's on Twitter
- Green's on Facebook

Related blog posts:
- Gluten free
- Coeliac
- Gluten free beer

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Minigolf report - Gottfried’s complete season at Star City

Report from the final event of the minigolf season.

Leagrave Minigolfers Richard and Emily Gottfried teed-off in the final event of the 2015 British Minigolf Association (BMGA) Tour season on Sunday 6th December at the Star City Open competition held at the Adventure Island Mini Golf centre at Star City in Birmingham.

Richard scored a three-round total of 108 (par), having shot rounds 37, 36 and 35 to finish in 16th place in the 34-player field.

Richard Gottfried making a putt at Star City's Adventure Island Mini Golf course in Birmingham
Richard making a putt at Star City

Emily scored a three-round total 113 (+5) after rounds of 36, 38 and 39 to finish in 23rd place overall.

Emily Gottfried in action at Adventure Island Mini Golf in Birmingham
Emily in action at Adventure Island Mini Golf

The Star City Open tournament was played over three 18-hole rounds on the Lost Hut Trail course at the Adventure Island Mini Golf venue, and was won Oxford’s Michael Smith.

With the 2015 season over the pair have completed their ninth-year as BMGA Tour players. Richard finished the year in 17th place of 115 places in the BMGA Official Strokeplay Order of Merit Rankings, with Emily in 32nd position.


Link:

BMGA minigolf rankings for 2015

British Minigolf Association tour ranking lists for the 2015 season.

Details of Richard and Emily Gottfried's rankings in the BMGA Strokeplay Order of Merit for 2014-2015.

Richard Gottfried = 17th
Emily Gottfried = 30th
Of 75 places.

Richard Gottfried = 19th
Emily Gottfried = 36th
Of 77 places.

Update 3: Following the Scottish Open at Adventure Golf Island in Dunfermline, Fife
Richard Gottfried = 19th
Emily Gottfried = 36th
Of 77 places.

Update 4: Following the Splash Point Open at Splash Point Mini Golf in Worthing
Richard Gottfried = 15th
Emily Gottfried = 31st
Of 81 places.

Update 5: Following the Welsh Open at Treetop Adventure Golf in Cardiff
Richard Gottfried = 15th
Emily Gottfried = 31st
Of 92 places.

Update 6: Following the BMGA British Open at Strokes Adventure Golf in Margate
Richard Gottfried = 18th
Emily Gottfried = 34th
Of 92 places.

Update 7: Following the CEMGC Open at Dunton Hills in West Horndon
Richard Gottfried = 16th
Emily Gottfried = 35th
Of 96 places.

Update 8: Following the World Crazy Golf Championships at Hastings Adventure Golf in Hastings
Richard Gottfried = 15th
Emily Gottfried = 32nd
Of 113 places.

Update 9: Following the Kent Open at Lost Island Encounter Adventure Golf in Chiselhurst
Richard Gottfried = 16th
Emily Gottfried = 32nd
Of 115 places.

Update 10: Following the Star City Open at Adventure Island Mini Golf in Birmingham
Richard Gottfried = 17th
Emily Gottfried = 32nd
Of 115 places.

Notes:
- Eight tournaments over a two-year period count towards a player’s total number of ranking points.
- The way the rankings are calculated changed for the 2015 season and an overview of the new system can be found on the BMGA website.

Link:
- British Minigolf Association

Related blog posts:
- Rankings
UK Mini Golf Competitions in 2015
- Richard Gottfried player profile
- Emily Gottfried player profile
- End of minigolf season report for 2014
- End of 2014 minigolf season BMGA rankings