Saturday, April 01, 2017

What's in a name - from Minigolf to Crazy Golf

The triggering of Article 50 and the UK's divorce from the European Union will have an unexpected consequence for UK minigolfers. In 24-months from today all UK 'minigolf' courses will need to be renamed 'Crazy Golf' courses, regardless of whether or not they have wacky theming and obstacles including windmills and clown mouths.

Sign for The Original Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness
Crazy Golf was invented in England in 1926. Here's the sign that proves it

The move is sure to divide fans of the miniature game.

Crazy Golf course in Aberystwyth
The Crazy Golf course in Aberystwyth, Wales. In Europe this type of course is known as Swedish Felt, or Feltgolf. From 2019 it'll only be known as Crazy Golf on these shores

Crazy Golf is often used as a generic name for the game in the UK, and while some of our more serious European neighbours prefer to call it Minigolf, there are parts of Europe where you can still get a game of Crazy Golf. However, with the UK regaining its sovereignty it means these non-UK courses will also lose the right to be called 'Crazy Golf' or any variant of the name, such as Krazy with a 'K'.

Minigolf course at Vista Alegre in Porto Cristo, Majorca. Photo by Christopher Gottfried, 2015
No matter how crazy Minigolf courses like this one in Vista Alegre in Porto Cristo, Majorca look, they'll have to be called 'Minigolf'

2017 marks the 150th anniversary of the game's invention and the UK's first Miniature Golf course is still in operation at The Himalayas in St Andrews, Scotland. Quite what they'll make of the decision to rebrand the course as Crazy Golf I don't know!

It's hilly at The Himalayas in St Andrews, but it's not crazy. But it'll soon have to be

On our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour we've seen a lot of types and variants of the game. We're glad we managed to chalk up so many synonyms since 2006 as the British landscape is about to get a lot more boring.

Laying down the law. One of the many ways to say Crazy Golf in Welsh

Wales is perhaps going to be the hardest hit of the home nations. As a dual language country there are a lot of different ways to describe the game. We've visited almost all the courses in Wales and seen it called Golff Gwyllt, Golff Giamocs, Golff Gwallgof, Golff Gwirion, Minigolff, Golff Bach, Golff Mini, Maes Golff, Golf Byr, Cwrs Golff and Golff Anturus. That's a lot of signage which will need to be changed to say 'Golff Gwyllt'. It's all rather gwirion if you ask me.

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