Sunday, June 17, 2018

Google Home Mini Golf

Google has created a miniature golf course!


The Google Home Mini Golf course. Photo by Google

The Google Home Mini Golf course is currently touring the US. I hope it comes to the UK at some point too. Check out the video of the course.



Top marks to Google for choosing minigolf in the campaign. The Google Home Mini Golf course looks great fun.

The course has been to New York and is currently in Chicago (until 17th June) before it moves on to Los Angeles (30th June to 5th July) and Atlanta (26th - 29th July).

Check out the Google Home Mini Golf website for more info.

New World Crazy Golf Champion crowned

Congratulations to Marc 'The Force' Chapman - the new World Crazy Golf Champion.

Marc Chapman has won his first World Crazy Golf Championship title. The championships took place at Hastings Adventure Golf on the 9th and 10th June, with the largest number of competitors in the field since 2005.

Marc 'The Force' Chapman - the new World Crazy Golf Champion. Photo by Hastings Adventure Golf
Marc 'The Force' Chapman - the new World Crazy Golf Champion

Marc took the world title and £1,000 prize money in the two-day event. His score was 226, 26 under par, beating last year’s top score by the Czech Republic’s Olivia Prokopova who took the 2017 title with a score of 235, 17 under par.

This is the ninth time the 32-year old from Canterbury, Kent has entered the tournament and said he was thrilled to win the title. Marc said “It feels amazing to finally become the World Crazy Golf Champion! It’s been a great personal ambition of mine to win this event and I have been close to it a few times before. I’ve only played in a few events in the last five years, which makes this win even more amazing to believe!”

Adam Kelly took runner-up prize of £750 and Michael Smith, former World Champion, took home £500 for third place.

Playing along side the seasoned crazy golf professionals was a separate novice category with a dedicated prize fund of £1,500.

The novice title and £500 went to Russell Smith from Tunbridge Wells. The runner-up Chris Horn took home £300, while third place went to Italian Mark Berezicki who won £200.

Russell said “It was a really fun day. The atmosphere at the course was fantastic and I am so pleased to have won the amateur title.”

Simon Tompkins of Hastings Adventure Golf, said “Congratulations to all our winners and a huge well done to everyone for taking part and making this a thoroughly enjoyable event.”

There were several other runner-up prizes. In total eight novices went home with prize money. The World Crazy Golf Championships tournament has been held at Hastings Adventure Golf since 2003.

You can see the full results of the competition online.

Check out the Hastings Adventure Golf website for more information, opening times and prices.

Swingers Crazy Golf in London's West End

A look at Swingers Crazy Golf in the West End of London.


Many thanks to Leland Carlson from the Dull Men's Club for sending me a snap of the A-board outside Swingers Crazy Golf that he spotted while having a wander round London's West End.

Swingers Crazy Golf. Photo by Leland Carlson 150618
Street Food and Crazy Golf - an increasingly popular combination

Check out the Swingers Crazy Golf course website for more info, opening times and prices.

On my last trip to London last year I played at the 'original' permanent Swingers course near The Gherkin. It's a superb venue.

Emily walked past the new Swingers course while it was under construction last November.

Back in September 2014 Emily and I played the Swingers pop-up course in Shoreditch.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Summer Greens at Churchill Square in Brighton

There's a Crazy Golf course on the rooftop car park at Churchill Square shopping centre in Brighton.


The pop-up miniature golf course is part of a summer of fun and players can pick up a putter for a FREE round on Level 7 of the Churchill Square car park in Brighton.


Sounds great to me.

I hope some of my friends down in Brighton get along for a game - and nab me a scorecard and some snaps.

The course is open now and is on the roof until the 15th July. Check out the Churchill Square website for more information and opening times.

Crazy Golf in Brighton
This is obviously not the rooftop Crazy Golf course. But I wonder if you can see this course and the pier from Churchill Square's rooftop course?

A Delightfully Dull, Brilliantly Boring Evening in Preston

Last month I was invited to be a speaker at the Dull Men's Club's 'Delightfully Dull, Brilliantly Boring Evening' at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in Preston.


Crazy Golfer Richard Gottfried - guest speaker at the Delightfully Dull, Brilliantly Boring Evening at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in Preston
I had a thoroughly enjoyable time as a guest speaker at the Delightfully Dull, Brilliantly Boring Evening at UCLan

The Dull Men's Club is where dull men — and women who appreciate dull men — share experiences of enjoying everyday, mundane things, far from glitz and glam — "Celebrating the Ordinary".


The Dull Men's Club - where dull men, and women who appreciate dull men, share thoughts and experiences about ordinary things
The Dull Men's Club - where dull men, and women who appreciate dull men, share thoughts and experiences about ordinary things

The keynote speaker at the event was Dr Sandi Mann, aka ‘Dr Boredom’, author of The Science of Boredom: The Upside of Downtime, will spoke to the attendees about the benefits of boredom and her research on the Thirty Habits of Boring People.

A Delightfully Dull, Brilliantly Boring Evening in Preston
One of the highlights of the evening at UCLan

A Delightfully Dull, Brilliantly Boring Evening in Preston
The pink post-it notes directing delegates to the lecture theatre were a bit bright for a dull event

A Delightfully Dull, Brilliantly Boring Evening in Preston
We were on the 1st floor

A Delightfully Dull, Brilliantly Boring Evening in Preston
Not far from here

The desk space in the lecture theatre was a lovely shade of grey
The desk space in the lecture theatre was a lovely shade of grey

Some highlights of my presentation covered my travels on Crazy World of Minigolf Tour and how I, along with Emily, had - up to that point - visited 815 miniature golf courses since 2006.

Crazy Golf scorecard from the Arnold Palmer Putting Course in Skegness
One of the scorecards displayed in my presentation

Some of the intricacies of the sport were also discussed, with the show & tell element on minigolf balls being a particular highlight.

Southend Pier Crazy Golf
Course #683 - Southend Pier Crazy Golf

Somewhat controversially the 'Delightfully Dull, Brilliantly Boring Evening' was anything but. With a range of characters talking about their hobbies, pursuits and interests the group could've spent a long time sharing stories and ideas. Perhaps next time there'll be a longer Dull Men's Club symposium to spend more time talking about dull and boring matters.

Crazy Golfer Richard Gottfried - guest speaker at the Delightfully Dull, Brilliantly Boring Evening at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in Preston
Showing off my Putter

The "Anorak of the Year 2017.4" was also announced one the night (".4" as we were 40% into 2018), with Roundabout enthusiast Kevin Beresford taking the title.

Following the event I visited the 816th course on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour when I swung by the indoor Crazy Golf course at Level Preston.

Trailer Trash Jim's Crazy Golf course at Level in Preston
At Trailer Trash Jim's Crazy Golf course at Level in Preston
Links:
- The Dull Men's Club
- Dr Sandi Mann

Other dull blog posts can be found within the archives of the Ham & Egger Files...

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Fantasia Adventure Golf in Felixstowe

A look at the Fantasia Adventure Golf course on Sea Road in Felixstowe.


One of our most visited courses is the Fantasia Adventure Golf course on Sea Road in Felixstowe. We've been going to the seaside town for many many years and always swing by for a look, and more often than not a game on the 9-hole course.


Fantasia Adventure Golf on Sea Road in Felixstowe. May 2018
Hole 1 of the course in May 2018

On our recent visit we noticed the felt and signage have recently been replaced and the layout was looking in very good condition. The weather was nice on our Bank Holiday weekend visit and on our return stroll along the prom in the early afternoon the course was proving very popular.

Fantasia Adventure Golf on Sea Road in Felixstowe. May 2018

Fantasia Adventure Golf on Sea Road in Felixstowe. May 2018

Fantasia Adventure Golf on Sea Road in Felixstowe. May 2018

Fantasia Adventure Golf on Sea Road in Felixstowe. May 2018

The last time we were there it was snowing!

You can see what it looked like before the new felt was laid in this blog post from 2016.

The course was the 7th visited on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour. We've now been to 821 courses!

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

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Ten years gluten free

Today marks my ten year Coeliac Anniversary - my Coeliacversary.


Ten years ago today I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease and so I began my journey into the world of all things gluten free.


I'm gluten free, not a glutton (or any number of other misspellings of gluten)

Coeliac Disease is a lifelong autoimmune condition, where the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. In Coeliac Disease the immune system mistakes substances found inside gluten as a threat to the body and attacks them. This can trigger a number of painful, horrible, stressful and uncomfortable symptoms.

My life as a Coeliac, in LEGO form
Why I avoid gluten at all times!

Having suffered from a range of symptoms for around ten years I finally received a positive diagnosis of Coeliac Disease following some 'interesting' and in-depth tests and procedures in 2008. It came as a relief to finally have a name for the mysterious cause of my illnesses and ailments, but at the time I was only given a brief summary and told that I'd have to "cut down on bread and beer". It was only later when I met with my Gastroenterologist and a dietitian that I found out that the only treatment for people with Coeliac Disease is a strict, life-long gluten free diet.

While having a life-long condition such as Coeliac Disease can be a pain - and horrible if I 'get glutened' - having the disease has had some positives. I've met great people since my diagnosis and have made some brilliant friends who I've met through Coeliac groups. I've also blogged a lot about living with the condition and the great free from food and drink I've found since 2008.

Thank you to everyone for their support, tips, help and recommendations over the years. It's been very much appreciated. I've also found some funny things about being a Coeliac along the way.

And a MASSIVE thank you to Emily for all of her help and support throughout my struggles with the illness.

For more information on Coeliac Disease do check out the NHS Choices and Coeliac UK websites.

You can also view the very first blog post I wrote about gluten free / Coeliac stuff at 'Gluten Free Fish & Chips at Rossi's in Swansea'.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Popeyes Take Away in Blackpool

Emily's spot of the 'Popeye' shops in Edinburgh reminded me of this bootleg takeaway we spotted in Blackpool.

Popeyes Take Away in Blackpool
Popeyes Take Away in Blackpool

Popeyes Take Away in Blackpool
While 'Popeye' is holding a can of spinach, I don't expect there'll be many greens on the menu

Related blog posts:
Bootlegs
Popeye
- Blackpool

Monday, June 11, 2018

Adventure Golf at Stonham Barns in Suffolk

A look at the new Adventure Golf course under construction at Stonham Barns in Suffolk.


Last month we swung by Stonham Barns in Suffolk to take a look at the new Smugglers Bay Adventure Golf course being built at the leisure and retail venue.

Smugglers Bay Adventure Golf at Stonham Barns

The Smugglers Bay Adventure Golf layout replaces the old Crazy Golf course at the site. That course was the 33rd played on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour back in August 2007!

Smugglers Bay Adventure Golf at Stonham Barns

Smugglers Bay Adventure Golf at Stonham Barns

Smugglers Bay Adventure Golf at Stonham Barns

Smugglers Bay Adventure Golf at Stonham Barns

The new Adventure Golf course will certainly be different in style to the old course.

The old Mini Putting course as it was in 2013

We're looking forward to a game on the new Smugglers Bay Adventure Golf course when we next return to Suffolk.

Related blog posts:
- Smugglers Bay Adventure Golf at Stonham Barns in Suffolk
- Course played #33 - Crazy Golf at Stonham Barns in Suffolk
- A Minigolf revisit to Stonham Barns

Link:
- Stonham Barns Golf Park website

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Popeye, Bluto and Olive - in Edinburgh

I never knew Popeye, Bluto and Olive lived in Scotland.


What a great pair of bootleg businesses Emily spotted while up in Edinburgh.


Bluto & Olive's barbers and Popeye's coffee shop in Portobello, Edinburgh
It's a good job Station India is in the middle of the two establishments else it'd be all out war

You can find both businesses on Portobello High Street in Edinburgh.

While in Camber Sands back in 2010 we found this legit Popeye Arm Wrestling Machine in the beachside amusement arcade.

Related blog posts:
- Bootlegs
- Edinburgh
- Popeye

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Darts in Barrow-in-Furness

Last weekend we had a marvellous time visiting our mate Marc Bazeley in his new home region up in Cumbria. As well as exploring the local area we were up in Barrow-in-Furness to attend a special Darts Exhibition evening starring the 1996 BDO World Professional Darts Champion, 'The Bronzed Adonis' Steve Beaton.


The charity event took place at The Kill One pub in the town, with fund from the night going to the Paul Larkin memorial darts competition and this year's chosen charity Parkinson's Disease.

Ticket for the Steve Beaton Darts Exhibition at The Kill One pub in Barrow-in-Furness
The hottest ticket in town

We bought a few strips of raffle tickets which, if drawn, would entitle you to face-off against Steve in front of the crowd. As luck would have it my 'lucky' number was called out third from the end of the evening, much to the relief of Marc, Emily and Lauren.

The Kill One pub in Barrow-in-Furness
What a venue

It was certainly a brilliant opportunity, but also pretty stressful to get up on stage and try to compete with a world class act.

Playing darts against Steve Beaton at The Kill One pub in Barrow-in-Furness
In action against the 1996 World Darts Champion!

After my nine practice arrows I started the leg off and managed to average around the 40 mark. With the heavily refreshed crowd behind me I managed (Steve let me) get down to a finish of 53, before he ended any hopes of a win for me by shutting out the leg with an exhibition finish.

Nice to get a photo with Steve Beaton after our match at The Kill One pub in Barrow-in-Furness
The night got a big thumbs up

Check out the video to see 3 minutes of sporting action I will never forget. Steve Beaton never stopped smiling. Neither did I. What a superb night.

Characters!
The Sajwani Army with darts legend Steve Beaton

We had a wonderful time in Barrow-in-Furness and are looking forward to returning. I'm not so sure about returning to the oche against world class opposition anytime soon though!

Check out Steve Beaton's website, as well as The Kill One for more info about the next charity darts event at the pub.

To top it all off Marc and I made it onto Steve's blog post about the night too!

Friday, June 08, 2018

Miniature Golf at Coronation Gardens in Polzeath, Cornwall

A look at the Putting Green at Coronation Gardens in Polzeath, Cornwall.


Many thanks to Dan Paynton for sending over some more photos he's taken of minigolf courses while on his travels.


The Putting course at Coronation Gardens in Polzeath, Cornwall. Photo by Dan Paynton, June 2018
'Bouncing Castles'!

This time Dan has been in Polzeath, Cornwall where he spotted a couple of minigolf courses "opposite the toilets in Coronation Gardens".

The Putting course at Coronation Gardens in Polzeath, Cornwall. Photo by Dan Paynton, June 2018
The course was closed when he arrived

The Putting course at Coronation Gardens in Polzeath, Cornwall. Photo by Dan Paynton, June 2018
Looks like an interesting layout with some ridges and hilly bits

The Putting course at Coronation Gardens in Polzeath, Cornwall. Photo by Dan Paynton, June 2018
We're looking forward to giving it a play in the future

The Putting course at Coronation Gardens in Polzeath, Cornwall. Photo by Dan Paynton, June 2018
A sign for the Crazy Golf course, but there was no sign of the course!

Dan was also recently at Flambards Theme Park in Helston, Cornwall where he spotted this 9-hole Adventure Golf course.

Adventure Golf at Flambards Theme Park in Cornwall. Photo by Dan Paynton, June 2018
We haven't been there. Yet. The closest we got was the nearby service station. We didn't have time to justify buying a ticket to the park

They are three courses we failed to reach on our epic two-week road-trip around the south west coast back in 2015. We did manage to visit 62 others though.

It's the World Crazy Golf Championships in Hastings, East Sussex this weekend

The World Crazy Golf Championships are taking place on the 18-hole Arnold Palmer Crazy Golf course at Hastings Adventure Golf this weekend.


All the best to the 98 players and characters competing in this, the 16th edition of the event.


Playing the 2nd hole on Hastings Crazy Golf course in my last tilt at the title back in 2015
Playing the 2nd hole on Hastings Crazy Golf course in my last tilt at the title back in 2015. In nine attempts I finished in  17th place four times

Once again, I look forward to seeing who finishes in 17th place...

You can follow the results online throughout the weekend.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Minigolfing in Grange-over-Sands

Playing two more courses on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour.


Crazy Golf at Promenade Recreation Park in Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria
Crazy Golfing in Grange-over-Sands

We've added two more minigolf courses to our visited list after playing the Crazy Golf and Putting Green at Promenade Recreation Park in Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria.

Crazy Golf at Promenade Recreation Park in Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria
Emily's best hole saw her score a 2 on hole 2

The visits were numbers 820 and 821 overall on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour. The two layouts were the 485th and 486th we've been able to play during our 12-year journey.

Mini Golf at Promenade Recreation Park in Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria
Minigolfing on the grass Putting course

Visit the Grange Promenade Recreation Park website for more information, opening times and prices.

Crazy Golf at Promenade Recreation Park in Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria
Having a nice sit down outside the course

Our friend and minigolf rival Marc Bazeley visited the course and guest blogged about it on the site last year.

The courses at Grange Promenade Park are the sister courses to those at White Platts Recreation Ground in Ambleside, Cumbria. We visited those during a road-trip in April 2012. The Crazy Golf course in Ambleside was the 463rd we visited.

Friday, June 01, 2018

Roasted Gluten

Many 'thanks' to my mate Paul O'Connor for sending me this snap of a bag of Roasted Gluten he spotted in a Chinese supermarket.

As a Coeliac this is my version of Kryptonite!

Roasted Gluten. Photo by Paul O'Connor, May 2018
They look like croutons to me

It's not the first time Paul has documented his gluten discoveries.

Related blog posts:

- Fried Gluten in a Can
- Gluten - my Kryptonite

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Minigolf in Carcassonne - Lac de la Cavayère

A look at the minigolf course in Lac de la Cavayère, France.


Minigolf in Carcassonne - Lac de la Cavayère. Photo by Christopher Gottfried, May 2018

Charter member of the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour Christopher Gottfried has been off on his travels in continental Europe again and this time has come up trumps in finding a minigolf course at Lac de la Cavayère.

Minigolf in Carcassonne - Lac de la Cavayère. Photo by Christopher Gottfried, May 2018

However, the course is only open in July and August!

Minigolf in Carcassonne - Lac de la Cavayère. Photo by Christopher Gottfried, May 2018

Minigolf in Carcassonne - Lac de la Cavayère. Photo by Christopher Gottfried, May 2018

Minigolf in Carcassonne - Lac de la Cavayère. Photo by Christopher Gottfried, May 2018

Minigolf in Carcassonne - Lac de la Cavayère. Photo by Christopher Gottfried, May 2018
  
Minigolf in Carcassonne - Lac de la Cavayère. Photo by Christopher Gottfried, May 2018

Minigolf in Carcassonne - Lac de la Cavayère. Photo by Christopher Gottfried, May 2018
A view of the course from afar

Christopher remarked that the place seems to combine my love of mini golf and park benches... one for every hole it seems!

Minigolf in Carcassonne - Lac de la Cavayère. Photo by Christopher Gottfried, May 2018
What a lovely spot it'd be to have a sit down

Minigolf in Carcassonne - Lac de la Cavayère. Photo by Christopher Gottfried, May 2018
There do certainly seem to be ample facilities for sitting

A couple of days ago Christopher was in Sète and spotted Mini Golf listed on this map (C1), however it's been turned into a skatepark.

Mini Golf in Sète, France. Photo by Christopher Gottfried, May 2018
C1 is now a skatepark

Earlier this month Christopher ticked off a few more minigolf course visits in Europe during a cycling trip in the Mosel Valley in Luxembourg and Germany.