Friday, December 15, 2017

PLONK Golf at the Sidewinder pub in Brighton

There's a new PLONK Golf minigolf course at the Sidewinder pub in Brighton.


PLONK Golf can now be found in Brighton as well as London

The team at PLONK Golf have created a new minigolf course at the Sidewinder pub in Brighton.

The course is the only pub beer garden Crazy Golf course in Brighton and features 9-holes. It's open until 10pm daily.

Check out the PLONK Golf and Sidewinder websites for more info.

PLONK Golf also have minigolf courses in London at venues in Battersea, Brixton, Hackney, Dalston and London Fields. They also recently launched PLONK PUZZLE PUTT - a Crazy Golf Escape Room!

The team are also taking a course on tour around the UK in 2018.

On our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour we've played the Plonk Golf courses at Efes Snooker Club in Dalston and at the Duke of Edinburgh pub in Brixton.

Puttshack indoor minigolf opening in London

New indoor minigolf course opening at Westfield London in March 2018.


Puttshack Minigolf in Westfield London - photo by Puttshack

A new concept in miniature golf is opening its doors at Westfield London next year as Puttshack launches four indoor minigolf courses featuring new technology to show real-time leader-boards, video highlights and interactive holes. The venue will also have a large bar and restaurant.

Puttshack Minigolf in Westfield London - photo by Puttshack

The Puttshack idea is a joint venture between ping pong venue Bounce and TopGolf. Further Puttshack courses are planned to open in the City of London and Lakeside in Essex.

Puttshack Minigolf in Westfield London - photo by Puttshack

Check out the Puttshack website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more info.

Happy Christmas Jumper Day

There was only one choice of festive knit to wear on Save the Children's Christmas Jumper Day this year.

Happy Christmas Jumper Day

On Save the Children's Christmas Jumper Day people all over the UK will be pulling on a seasonal jumper and donating to the great cause.

Check out Save the Children's Christmas Jumper Day website for more info and ways to donate.

Car park fireplace

It's not every day you pull into a hotel car park and find it's got its own fireplace. But that happened to us on our visit to Felixstowe last week!

An outdoor car park fireplace in Felixstowe - the last remnant of the Ordnance Hotel in the seaside resort
An outdoor fireplace. Quite a novelty

An outdoor car park fireplace in Felixstowe - the last remnant of the Ordnance Hotel in the seaside resort
It was a very cold day when we left the seaside town

The Premier Inn on Undercliffe Road West in Felixstowe was built on the site of the Ordnance Hotel - previously the seaside resort's oldest hotel.

An outdoor car park fireplace in Felixstowe - the last remnant of the Ordnance Hotel in the seaside resort
A real fire would've been quite welcome

Related blog posts:
- Felixstowe
- Abandoned
- Derelict
- Car park
- Hotel

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Mr Mulligan's Space Golf opening in Newcastle

Mr Mulligan's Space Golf set to touch down in Newcastle.


Mr Mulligan's Space Golf opening in Newcastle

The countdown is on for the latest of Mr Mulligan's Adventure Golf courses to launch on Newgate Street in Newcastle in the New Year. The space-themed layout is the first of it's kind from the team behind the Mr Mulligan courses - with other venues focussed on pirates, dinosaurs and jungles.

The last Mr Mulligan's course we played was the new Lost World Golf layout in Cheltenham
You'll be unlikely to find any dinosaurs - like this one in Cheltenham - at the new Mr Mulligan course in Newcastle

The Newcastle Space Golf venue will have three 9-hole indoor Adventure Golf courses, as well as a restaurant and late-night bar.

We've visited and played most of the Mr Mulligan's Adventure Golf courses on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour, most recently at the new Lost World indoor Adventure Golf course in Cheltenham.

Other Mr Mulligan's venues can be found at Castleford, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Woking, Sidcup, Tonbridge and Stevenage. There are also plans for more new sites in the coming year!

Check out the Mr Mulligan's Adventure Golf website and Newcastle course Facebook Page for more information and updates on the launch.

Links:
- Mr Mulligan's Adventure Golf website
- Mr Mulligan's Adventure Golf Facebook Page

Related blog posts:
- Newcastle
- Mr Mulligan
- Indoor Adventure Golf
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour

Charity Darts Night - England vs. Stockport

England vs. Stockport Challenge Match at Stockport County FC.

Next week sees a special darts challenge match take place at Stockport County FC, with England taking on a Stockport select team in a charity darts night in aid of Chris 'Millzy' Mills.

England vs. Stockport Challenge Match at Stockport County FC
Doors open at 7pm, for a 7.30pm start

It looks like it's going to be a cracking night of darts with the England vs. Stockport match contested in a 10 vs. 10 format and featuring some legendary darts players including Tony O'Shea, Scott Waites, Lisa Ashton, Darryl Fitton, Dean Winstanley, Lorraine Winstanley, Nathan Aspinall and more!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Golfbaren minigolf in Sweden

Finding out about the Golfbaren minigolf courses in Sweden.


The indoor Swing by Golfbaren course in Stockholm
The indoor Swing by Golfbaren course in Stockholm

I've been chatting with my friend, minigolf rival and legend of the sport Hans Olofsson about his brand of minigolf over in Sweden - Golfbaren.

You can find the Golfbaren courses in Kristineberg, Aspudden (Hägersten) and Allén (Gothenburg) and the Swing by Golfbaren indoor minigolf course in Stockholm

Translated as Golf Bar, there are now four Golfbaren venues in total, with three outdoor courses and an indoor venue. It's a great concept and proving incredibly popular.

Golfbaren in Aspudden, photo by Mikaela Thörn
Golfbaren in Aspudden, photo by Mikaela Thörn

You can find the Golfbaren courses in Kristineberg, Aspudden (Hägersten) and Allén (Gothenburg), and the Swing by Golfbaren indoor minigolf course in Stockholm. The indoor course has a 1930's Speakeasy theme with plenty of food and cocktails to go with the miniature golf.

We met up with Hans and miniature golf professional Andreas Sollman for a game of Crazy Golf at Plonk Golf in Brixton while they were visiting London in February 2016. That course was the 676th we've visited on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour. How time flies!

We've also visited the wonderful city of Stockholm - where we represented Great Britain in the 2011 WMF Nations Cup tournament played on the Tantogårdens Bangolf courses in Tantolunden Park, Södermalm. It'd be marvellous to return to the city to explore even more of it.

Check out the Golfbaren and Swing by Golfbaren websites to find out more about the courses. Each of the locations is also on Facebook and Instagram.

Links:
- Golfbaren Kristineberg
- Golfbaren Aspudden
- Golfbaren Allén
Swing by Golfbaren

Related blog posts:
- Stockholm
- Sweden

Minigolfnews.com blog - End of the minigolf season – and the year ahead...

Check out my new blog post on Minigolfnews.com.

End of the minigolf season – and the year ahead...

Monday, December 11, 2017

Adventure Golf on Sea Road in Felixstowe

One of our most visited minigolf courses is the Fantasia Adventure Golf course on Sea Road in Felixstowe. We never fail to swing by to look at the layout - even if it's out of season. It was definitely unplayable in the snowy weather conditions we faced in the seaside town yesterday.

A snowy Fantasia Adventure Golf in Felixstowe
A snowy Fantasia Adventure Golf in Felixstowe

Here's a blog post about the course from a better day in 2016.

The 9-hole course was the 7th we ever played on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour way back in 2007!

Related blog posts:
- Felixstowe
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour

Mar's Mini Golf in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Finding out about Mar's Mini Golf - a 3D Glow in the Dark course in Saskatoon, Canada.


As I'm always on the lookout for new and interesting minigolf courses and stories I found out about Mar's Mini Golf in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The 3D Glow in the Dark course recently celebrated it's 5th birthday.

Mar's Mini Golf in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Photo courtesy of Mar's Mini Golf
The undersea theme at Mar's Mini Golf

Mar's Mini Golf in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Photo courtesy of Mar's Mini Golf
You need to putt through this shark's mouth

Mar's Mini Golf in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Photo courtesy of Mar's Mini Golf
A skeleton pirate captain

Mar's Mini Golf in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Photo courtesy of Mar's Mini Golf
We've putted through some whales on our travels

I'm a BIG fan of glow in the dark minigolf courses although there aren't very many in the UK. Some new indoor minigolf courses are applying glow in the dark elements, or have a few holes that are blacklit, but not many go all out on it.

The 200th course we played on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour was a 3D glow in the dark course - the only one I've played - it's in Castleford, Yorkshire.

It'd be brilliant to revisit Canada - we had our honeymoon in Toronto and Niagara Falls.

Check out the Mar's Mini Golf website and photo gallery for more information.

Golfer's Putter Pool

While perusing the charity shops in Felixstowe at the weekend Emily spotted this brilliant looking golf/pool crossover game - Golfer's Putter Pool! At three quid it was a must buy.

Golfer's Putter Pool by Dennco
Golfer's Putter Pool

We've been collecting miniature golf items since 2006 and hadn't seen this particular game before.

Golfer's Putter Pool by Dennco
The game was made in the year 2000

We have however seen a few variations of hybrid minigolf/golf/pool/snooker/billiards games including Crazy Golf Pool and Pit-Pat, as well as some Crazy Golf obstacles that have used pool and snooker tables.

In October we played Crazy Golf Pool at Krazy Golf Lydney in the Forest of Dean
In October we played Crazy Golf Pool at Krazy Golf Lydney in the Forest of Dean

Pit-Pat in Vienna, Austria
I first saw the game of Pit-Pat (obstacle billiards) in Vienna, Austria - it's like Crazy Golf but played with cues

The 7th hole of the Golf Apocalypse course in London used a snooker table
The 7th hole of the Golf Apocalypse course in London used a snooker table

Hole 5 of the Plonk Golf course at Efes Snooker Hall in Dalston, London involved a pool table
Hole 5 of the Plonk Golf course at Efes Snooker Hall in Dalston, London involved a pool table

Emily spotted the Snooker Golf course in Blankenberge, Belgium
Emily spotted the Snooker Golf course in Blankenberge, Belgium

Betway, sponsors of the UK Snooker Championship, have also created a version of Crazy Snooker. Check out the Putterfingers blog to see more.

98% gluten free

If something is 98% gluten free it's 100% useless to me.

The American Diner in Felixstowe is 98% gluten free
What a peculiar percentage to opt for, I wonder who their target market is?

Sadly there are very few 100% gluten free places for Coeliac diners. Cross-contamination with gluten containing food means that even 99% gluten free places are a big risk for people with Coeliac Disease.

The American Diner in Felixstowe is 98% gluten free
I've just noticed there's also a "98% GF" sticker on the door too

Thanks to Jo Tubby for the tip-off about the sign.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

A token blog post

I'm a collector of all sorts of minigolf ephemera, items and merchandise and love finding tokens. My friend, rival and co-Curator at the Crazy Golf Museum has a BIG collection of miniature golf tokens and I've got a pretty sizeable selection of other machine and arcade tokens.

A selection of Putt-Putt tokens
A selection of Putt-Putt tokens

It's always nice to find a course still using metal tokens / coins. Some have moved to plastic 'credit' cards, whereas others have always used paper tokens (of which I've got a few from my wins on the Lucky Last Hole).

I won this Free Game Pass by firing the cannon on the Lucky Last Hole on the very first course we visited on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour
I won this Free Game Pass by firing the cannon on the Lucky Last Hole on the very first course we visited on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour

Does your course still use tokens? If they do please get in touch and share any photos of them.

Related blog posts:
- Tokens
- A gift from Paradise
- Property of Machine
Clacton Pier
- Minigolf collectables from the Lost City Adventure Golf course in Nottingham
- Adventure Golf at The Pavilion Fun Park in Clacton-on-Sea

Link:
- Miniature Golf, Putt Putt and Crazy Golf tokens at the Crazy Golf Museum

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

End of the minigolf season – and the year ahead...

Here in the UK another year in the domestic minigolf tournament season has come to an end, which means it is the perfect time to look back and reflect on the year. However, this should be about more than rankings and stats. No matter how high or low you are on the leader board, or how many tournaments you took part in – if you enjoy participating in minigolf you have a story to tell.

There are plenty of opportunities to get your story out there, this can be about your achievements and what you've got planned for the 2018 season too, but it can also just be about your participation, and your enjoyment of the sport, spreading the news and awareness of minigolf in general.

Minigolf is a game for all. There are a huge variety of stories to tell and positive aspects to highlight to potential players, the media, sponsors, as well as wider sport, recreation and leisure communities.

The characters from the annual Holiday on the Buses Crazy Golf Competition in Prestatyn
The characters from the annual Holiday on the Buses Crazy Golf Competition in Prestatyn

There are a lot of communications channels to use to reach your audiences too! From newspapers, radio and TV, to blogs, social media and more, there’s a lot of choice when it comes to ways of getting your story out there.

Back in May this year I published my minigolf marketing eBook and it's received great reviews from a mix of people in the game. This marketing and communications guide has been designed for anyone interested or involved in minigolf.

I've been blogging about minigolf since 2006 and have played the game for as long as I can remember. I got seriously involved when I played in my first official tournament under the auspices of the British Minigolf Association back in 2007.

The top-three players at the Great Northern Minigolf Open (from l-r) Richard Gottfried (2nd), Scott Lancley (1st) and Russ Dent (3rd)
The podium of the first Great Northern Minigolf Open tournament. Held in Wigan back in April

Emily and I have been to almost 800 courses on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour and have played in a number of events, facing-off against each other but also sometimes as team-mates.

Southend Pier Crazy Golf course
At the Southend Pier Crazy Golf course - 1.3 miles out to sea. We held a tournament on the course last year

On our travels to courses and tournaments we are always keen to highlight the positive aspects of minigolf. Win or lose we've shared updates on tournaments we've competed in. Over the years this has earned us some brilliant local, regional, national and international media coverage.

This year I've added some variety to my minigolfing by competing in the MiniLinks Par-3 Miniature Golf tournaments in Lytham St Annes - they have a Winter Trophy tournament on at the moment, it's running from November to February

There are courses opening up all the time which means our 'To Play' list keeps growing! Minigolf is experiencing a real boom and it's a great time to be involved in the game.

This year I competed in a number of independent and national events – including the first staging of the American Golf National Adventure Golf Championships, which culminated in a grand final broadcast on Sky Sports.

Peter Jones in action in front of the cameras during the American Golf National Adventure Golf grand final at The Belfry
Peter Jones in action - as I look on - during the American Golf National Adventure Golf grand final at The Belfry

Unfortunately my team-mate Peter Jones and I were unable to win the title but came very close, with a very respectable second-place finish.

Celebrating our big minigolf win in the American Golf Welsh Regional Qualifier at Clays Golf Centre in Wrexham
Celebrating our big minigolf win in the American Golf Welsh Regional Qualifier at Clays Golf Centre in Wrexham

With the 2017 season done and dusted now is a good time to reflect on the highs and lows and look ahead to the 2018 season and beyond.


  • Why do you enjoy playing minigolf? What made you take it up as a sport?
  • What results did you get this year? Were they better / worse than you expected?
  • What do you want to achieve next season?
  • Where do you want to play?
  • What new tournament opportunities are there?
  • How are you preparing?


If you're looking for help with your sports marketing and communications activities, no matter how big or small, do get in touch. You can buy my eBook, The Minigolfer's Guide to Marketing, on Amazon.

You can find out more about our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour on the Ham & Egger Files blog.

Details of my results during the 2017 season can be found in my summary blog post.

Congo Adventure Golf at Brean Sands in Somerset

A look back at our visit to the Congo Adventure Golf course at Brean Leisure Park in Brean Sands, Somerset.


Congo Adventure Golf at Brean Leisure Park in Brean Sands, Somerset

The 519th course visited on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour was the Congo Adventure Golf course at Brean Leisure Park in Brean Sands, Somerset back in November 2012.

Congo Adventure Golf at Brean Leisure Park in Brean Sands, Somerset

On the day of our visit the weather was poor. It was also out of season so the course was closed.

Congo Adventure Golf at Brean Leisure Park in Brean Sands, Somerset

Congo Adventure Golf at Brean Leisure Park in Brean Sands, Somerset

Congo Adventure Golf at Brean Leisure Park in Brean Sands, Somerset

Congo Adventure Golf at Brean Leisure Park in Brean Sands, Somerset

Congo Adventure Golf at Brean Leisure Park in Brean Sands, Somerset
A crocodile - or alligator - lurking near a tricky looking hole

Visit the Brean Leisure Park website for more information.


Related blog posts:
- Brean
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour

Link:
- Brean Leisure Park

Monday, December 04, 2017

Smugglers Cove Pirate Adventure Golf in Brean

A look back at our visit to the Smugglers Cove Pirate Adventure Golf course in Brean Sands, Somerset.


Smugglers Cove Pirate Adventure Golf in Brean Sands

While on our short break in Somerset back in November 2012 we called into the seaside town of Brean to see what minigolf we could find there. One of the unexpected discoveries was the Smugglers Cove Pirate Adventure Golf course.

Smugglers Cove Pirate Adventure Golf in Brean Sands

The layout was fairly small, but plenty of piratey theming had been piled into the playing area.

Smugglers Cove Pirate Adventure Golf in Brean Sands

Smugglers Cove Pirate Adventure Golf in Brean Sands

Unfortunately as has so often been the case on our travels, the course was closed so we didn't get to play it.

Smugglers Cove Pirate Adventure Golf in Brean Sands

Smugglers Cove Pirate Adventure Golf in Brean was the 518th course visited on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour.

Related blog posts:
- Brean
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Bar Billiards at The Blossoms pub in Stockport

Finding our first Bar Billiards table in Stockport.


On our walk back from a visit to the wonderful Christmas Tree Festival at St George's Church in Heaviley we stopped off at The Blossoms pub on the A6. We went in the main entrance and were very surprised to see a Bar Billiards table in the room to the right!

Bar Billiards at The Blossoms pub in Stockport
The Bar Billiards table at The Blossoms pub in Heaviley, Stockport

We're big fans of the old game and had searched online to see if there were any tables in the area when we moved here last year. It's brilliant to know there's a table just up the road from us.

Bar Billiards at The Blossoms pub in Stockport
We didn't play the finest game of Bar Billiards using the four-peg arrangement

We had three matches - the first using all four pegs and then two using the three peg rules we are more accustomed to.

Bar Billiards at The Blossoms pub in Stockport
Emily in action

We haven't seen too many four-peg tables on our Barmy Bar Billiards Trail. The ones at The Cheshire Cheese pub in London and The Chequers Inn at Knebworth spring to mind.

Bar Billiards at The Blossoms pub in Stockport
A great game in a nice pub

Game 1 - Richard 790, Emily 200 (had wiped out a score of 110, but then potted the last ball in the 200 hole).

Game 2 - Richard 880, Emily 450 (potted the last ball in the 200 hole).

Game 3 - Richard 1,060, Emily 720 (potted the red ball in the 200 hole).

You can find The Blossoms at 2 Buxton Road, Heaviley, Stockport.

Last year we played Bagatelle, another old cue game, at the Union Vaults pub in Chester.

Related blog posts:
- Bar Billiards
- Stockport
- Pub Games
- Pub

Link:
- The Blossoms