A look back at our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour in 2020.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic we were closing in on visiting the final 40 courses of the original 600 we set out to play in 2006. We were also very close to hitting 1,000 course visits overall.
Before the first national lockdown hit and our out-of-home putting was paused we'd visited 948 courses since September 2006.
We had a very strong start to the year and visited 20 courses in the first 20 days of 2020 (some of those were revisits). We had hoped to hit the BIG landmark of 1,000 course visits this year. That plan was obviously out of the window come March.
We've still been able to visit a total of 46 courses in 2020, including revisits. 15 of them were new layouts to us. We've been able to visit eight courses during the pandemic (March to December), playing two of them.
Playing minigolf in 2020
One of those played was the Gator Adventure Golf at Escape Entertainment in Chorley, Lancashire in August. It was the first new minigolf course we played in almost six months and the first course we played during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The second course we played was the Cae Glas Park Crazy Golf course in Oswestry, Shropshire in September. We first played that 18-hole layout in 2009 and had revisited it in 2012.
The last new course Emily and I played together was the Sunnybank Gardens Crazy Golf layout in Hatfield, Doncaster on the 19th January.
The last new course I played before the first Coronavirus pandemic lockdown was the CLUB GOLF pop-up minigolf in King's Cross, London on the 25th February.
The last course of any kind I played before the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown was at Junkyard Golf on First Street in Manchester on the 9th March.
Other firsts and lasts of 2020
- The last course we visited before the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown was The Lost Valley Adventure Golf at Amazonia in the Market Place Shopping Centre, Bolton on the 14th March.
- The first course we visited where we saw social distancing measures was the Bruntwood Pitch & Putt course in Cheadle Hulme on the 23rd May.
- The first previously played course we visited during the Coronavirus pandemic was the Crazy Golf layout at Wythenshawe Park in Manchester on 21st June.
- The first new course to us that we visited during the Coronavirus pandemic was the Pitch & Putt course at Wythenshawe Park in Manchester, also on the 21st June.
- The other new courses we visited this year were Puttstars Mini Golf in Rochdale, the Putting Green at Victoria Park in Swinton, the Pitch & Putt at Buile Hill Park, Salford, and the new Adventure Golf course at Fairhaven Lake in Lytham St Annes.
We've now been to a total of 956 courses since September 2006. 917 of those have been in the British Isles. 39 have been in eleven overseas countries including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden and the USA.
New course visit numbers year by year:
- 2020 = 15 courses.
- 2019 = 82 courses.
- 2018 = 64 courses.
- 2017 = 74 courses.
- 2016 = 47 courses.
- 2015 = 84 courses.
New minigolf courses in the UK
We've continued to research, monitor and promote the game and know about at least another 50 new courses now open, being built, in development or planned to open in the UK. It'll be nice to swing by them when it's safe to get back out on the road again.
Putting at Home
2020 was also a year for Putting at Home and we've enjoyed competing in Putt18 tournaments with players from the USA, Australia and New Zealand. It's also been a pleasure to be a part of the Filwood Fantastic Mini Golf Club in Bristol.
You can also check out our Big Mini Golf Bucket List for ideas of minigolf things to do during the pandemic.