Friday, March 06, 2020

Artainment and the world of minigolf

A look at how minigolf has been used in artistic creations.


We've seen the worlds of art and minigolf combine a number of times over the years.


A relatively new term for this combination is 'artainment' - where art and entertainment mix to immerse visitors to an exhibition, gallery or installation in an interactive experience.


Playing Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf course at York Art Gallery
Playing Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf course at York Art Gallery in 2017

We've seen a number of art trails created in the last couple of years and they are becoming a popular part of 'retailtainment' and 'shoppertainment' where entertainment options have been added to the high street or shopping malls to help attract and retain customers.

Crazy Golf and art.


There is currently an art installation pop-up Crazy Golf course at Coal Drop's Yard in King's Cross, London. It's playable until the 29th March. Club Golf is a combination of sport, art and retail entertainment. Artists Baker & Borowski created the 9-hole themed Crazy Golf layout inspired by the rave culture in the King's Cross area back in the 1980's and 90's.

Club Golf at Coal Drops Yard in King's Cross, London
Club Golf at the Coal Drops Yard shopping and dining area in King's Cross, London

Minigolf is a very visual thing and each course is a work of art in its own right. We love seeing time, effort and thought put into the design of a minigolf hole and when they are aesthetically pleasing it's marvellous.

Playing hole 1 of Putt Putt #2 in Croydon in 2014
Playing hole 1 of Putt Putt #2 in Croydon in 2014

My favourite miniature golf layouts are Arnold Palmer Putting Courses. They are a design classic and look wonderful. They are also a real test of putting skill and incredibly playable today.

The old Arnold Palmer Putting Course from The Rotunda amusement park in Folkestone was turned into an art installation in the seaside town back in 2008.

18 Holes by Richard Wilson in Folkestone
18 Holes by Richard Wilson in Folkestone

New art-based minigolf courses in 2020.


This September the Creative Folkestone Triennial will play host to an amusement arcade and crazy golf-themed art installation by the artist genuinefake (Rachel Stella Jenkins).

My friend Jack Hurley aka Loud Ribs of Rubbish Seaside fame has also let me know about an art-based Crazy Golf course being created at Saltaire in Bradford over the May Bank Holiday weekend.


The art-based minigolf courses we've visited on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour include:


18 Holes by Richard Wilson in Folkestone in 2010.

18 Holes by Richard Wilson in Folkestone
18 Holes by Richard Wilson in Folkestone

Crazee Golf at the Tintype Art Gallery
in London in 2012.

Crazee Golf at the Tintype Art Gallery in London
Crazee Golf at the Tintype Art Gallery in London

Bompas & Parr's Big Rooftop Tea & Golf Party saw a 9-hole London & Cake-themed Crazy Golf
course created at Selfridges Oxford Street in London in 2012.

Bompas & Parr's Big Rooftop Tea & Golf Party Crazy Golf at Selfridges Oxford Street in London
Bompas & Parr's Big Rooftop Tea & Golf Party Crazy Golf at Selfridges Oxford Street in London

M!MS Empire Sunset Nine Hole Mini Golf
course in Bedford in 2013.

M!MS Empire Sunset Nine Hole Mini Golf course in Bedford
M!MS Empire Sunset Nine Hole Mini Golf course in Bedford

Putt Putt #2 by TURF Projects in Croydon in 2014.

Putt Putt #2 by TURF Projects in Croydon
Putt Putt #2 by TURF Projects in Croydon

Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf at the New Art Exchange
in Nottingham in 2016.

Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf at the New Art Exchange in Nottingham
Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf at the New Art Exchange in Nottingham

Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf at York Art Gallery
in 2017.

Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf at York Art Gallery
Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf at York Art Gallery

Our friends Gareth and Lurlyn Holmes played Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf course at the Venice Biennale in 2015.

Doug Fishbone’s Leisure Land Golf in Venice. Photo by Gareth & Lurlyn Holmes, 2015
Doug Fishbone’s Leisure Land Golf in Venice. Photo by Gareth & Lurlyn Holmes, 2015

Also in 2015 our friends Matt and Helen Dodd played the Mini Gulf course at Banksy's Dismaland Bemusement Park in Weston-super-Mare.

Mini Gulf course at Banksy's Dismaland Bemusement Park in Weston-super-Mare. Photo by Matt Dodd, 2015
Mini Gulf course at Banksy's Dismaland Bemusement Park in Weston-super-Mare. Photo by Matt Dodd, 2015

There was Crazy Golf at Clerkenwell Design Week in 2014. But we didn't get to play the course.

There were plans for a Visionary Golf course to be created in Trafalgar Square as part of the London Design Festival in 2016. However, the funding campaign was unsuccessful.

There was a Post-Apocalyptic Minigolf course at the Now Play This festival in London in 2017. However, we didn't manage to get along to play it.

Art and minigolf in the USA.


Our friends Tom and Robin at A Couple of Putts in the USA have also played on and created a number of art-minigolf holes on their adventures, including Sparkle City Mini Putt in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

The team at The Putting Penguin have seen and reviewed a number of art designed courses over the years too.

We're looking forward to seeing where the next art-based minigolf course pops up.


Related blog posts:
- Art
- Art Trails
- Crazy Golf
- Minigolf

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