Sunday, May 01, 2016

London Design Festival Crazy Golf course in Trafalgar Square

Visionary Crazy Golf course heading to London's Trafalgar Square.

London's burgeoning Crazy Golf scene is hoping to expand further with a Visionary Crazy Golf course set to takeover Trafalgar Square later this year. It'll be futuristic, functional, fun and free for the public to play from the 16th to the 22nd September during the London Design Festival 2016.

The iconic Nelson's Column with a concept design by Atelier Bow-Wow - this hole reminds us of a couple of net and hoop based holes we've played while competing for the GB team in Finland and Sweden

For years there's been a bit of a dearth of places to play Crazy Golf in London - although we've managed to search out, find and play a great many of them - so it's marvellous to see Mini Golf undergoing something of a renaissance in the capital with some great new indoor, outdoor and rooftop miniature golf layouts opening this summer.

We've seen - and been pestered by - a lot of seagull's on our Crazy Golf travels, but we've not played through anything like the Pigeon hole designed by Ordinary Architecture!

Paul Smith, is the curator and ambassador for the project. Other design teams include the late Zaha Hadid, Tom Dixon and Mark Wallinger as well as Camille Walala, Ordinary Architecture, HAT Projects with Tim Hunkin, NEON, and Atelier Bow-Wow.

Camille Walala’s Visionary Crazy Golf installation brings the kaleidoscopic colour of her signature designs to a dynamic 3D landscape

The team at the London Design Festival say that "Each will create a miniature pavilion that makes an entertaining, playable statement about the future of architecture, filling the square with Pop Art colours and inventive forms that will amuse and inspire both adults and children alike." Looking at some of the early designs and sketches it looks like it'll be a truly one of a kind course to see and play!

Zaha Hadid has designed an undulating course with two levels that traces the shadow of Nelson’s Column

The Visionary Crazy Golf course needs £120,000 to become a reality and the Kickstarter campaign is well underway with over 300 backers and almost £15,000 pledged at the time of writing.

The NEON Kinetic City hole - that will take some playing!

During the planning stages for Visionary Golf I was pleased to be asked for my involvement and I can't wait to play the course when it opens in September. If you're lucky/rich/foolish enough you can receive the auspicious 'reward' of playing a round with me at 6pm on the very first day the course is open!

Check out the Visionary Crazy Golf course Kickstarter page to see how you can play a round with me!

You'll also get your name on the Visionary Golf course Wall of Fame webpage. Find out about all the rewards for supporting the campaign on the Visionary Crazy Golf course Kickstarter page. I love the Wall of Fame idea - when I won the Putt Park Invitational Miniature Golf tournament in Las Vegas I received a place on their Wall of Fame and it gives you a very nice feeling indeed.

A fine minigolf victory at the Putt Park in Las Vegas back in 2011

There are some brilliant rewards for backers of the course and they range from just £5 - for a 'virtual hole in one and your name on the Wall of Fame' up to £5,000 for a chance to meet Paul Smith and receive a tour of his studio.

Paul Smith's design for the first hole

The campaign closes on June 6th so check out the Visionary Crazy Golf Kickstarter page before then.

I like the look of this LOUD musical hole by Tom Dixon

It's great to see Tim Hunkin involved in the Visionary Crazy Golf course design - he's the madcap character behind the alternative amusement arcade 'The Under the Pier Show' on Southwold Pier in Suffolk and 'Novelty Automation' in Holborn.

Hat Projects and Tim Hunkin explore functionality and lifecycle in Downfall

Having a game on one of Tim Hunkin's crazy contraptions at Novelty Automation

First staged in 2003, the London Design Festival is one of the world's most important annual design events. The Festival programme is made up of over 400 events and exhibitions staged by hundreds of Partner organisations across the design spectrum and from around the world.

In 2013 we had a walk up, down and around the 'Endless Stair' that was part of the London Design Festival and designed by dRMM Architects, 2013, supported by the American Hardwood Export Council

A very enjoyable piece of design

On our travels to over 670 courses around the world we've played some interesting courses, including some designed for art shows, exhibitions and as playable sculptures.

We've played art-based minigolf at the one-day only M!MS Mini Golf course in BedfordCrazee Golf at the TinType Gallery in London, the Bompas & Parr food architecture course on the roof of Selfridges and Putt Putt #2 by TURF Projects in Croydon. We've also not played art courses in Clerkenwell and Folkestone, where the remnants of the old Arnold Palmer Crazy Golf course were used to create a series of beach huts!

Putt Putt #2 by TURF Projects was a temporary art installation minigolf course in Croydon

Miniature Golf certainly lends itself to art events as the options for design are almost limitless. There are so many weird and wonderful layouts around the world as well as new courses opening all the time, so who knows what unique and bizarre themes we'll see and play next!

The '18 Holes' Crazy Golf art installation by Richard Wilson in Folkestone

Last year our friends over at A Couple of Putts created an art-installation course called Sparkle City Mini Putt in Spartanburg, South Carolina. While the team at The Putting Penguin have seen and reviewed a number of art-courses over the years. Last summer my friend and crazy golf rival Gareth Holmes visited "The BEST Mini Golf Course in Venice" at artist's Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf - That course is now open in Nottingham!

For more information on the Visionary Golf project check out the London Design Festival website. You can also follow and use the hashtags #VisionaryGolf and #LDF16 on Twitter, and you can back the campaign and course on the Visionary Crazy Golf Kickstarter page.

- London Design Festival website
- Visionary Crazy Golf Kickstarter page

Related blog posts:
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour
- Art
- Kickstarter

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1 comment:

Richard Gottfried said...

It was sad to hear that the London Design Festival's Visionary Golf project failed to reach it's target funding amount via the Kickstarter campaign. It had a good crack though (492 backers pledged over £23,000) and also generated some great publicity for miniature golf.

It was very nice to be a part of the LDF's campaign and it would of been brilliant to have played the course. The design concepts looked marvellous.

I'm looking forward to being involved in future projects and playing more art-based minigolf courses too.