Thursday, May 27, 2021
Norwich city centre could soon be home to a new indoor minigolf venue as Putt Noodle Crazy Golf is looking to create three 9-hole themed layouts at the site in the Castle Quarter shopping and entertainment centre.
It'll be a new set of courses for us to visit on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour. My brother and charter member of the tour doesn't live too far away so I'm sure we'll swing by for a game when it opens.
Putt Noodle Crazy Golf is proposed to open in a retail unit in the centre and is the latest in the new wave of retail entertainment (retailtainment) activities opening up around the UK.
When our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour began in 2006 there were only two indoor places to play the game, both in East Anglia. Now there are around 100 indoor miniature golf courses around the UK, with more planned and opening all the time.
Labels: Castle Quarter, Minigolf in the time of Coronavirus, New course, Norfolk, Norwich, Putt Noodle, retail, Retailtainment, Shoppertainment, shoppingtainment
Location: 100 Castle Meadow, Norwich NR1 3DD, UK
Check out our guest blog post over on the Putterfingers Crazy Golf website at "Planning a BIG minigolf break".
|The Crazy Putting Challenge at Hamptworth Golf Centre - one of 18 courses we visited on a road-trip in May 2019|
|The Holbeck Putting Green in Scarborough. The course has been open since 1925. It was the 901st visited overall on our travels and one of seven miniature golf courses we went to on the trip back in June 2019|
Labels: Adventure Golf, Blog, Crazy Golf, guest blog, Mini Golf, Mini-Golf, Miniature Golf, Minigolf, Putterfingers, Roadtrip, Travel, Writing
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
I contributed a feature on marketing in the time of Covid-19 for operators in the UK entertainment sector in the new InterFun Expo Guide.
The whole publication is well worth a look, but you can also jump directly to my piece at Top 20 tips for operators.
The InterFun Expo will next be taking place at New Dock Hall in the Royal Armouries complex in Leeds on the 26th and 27th April 2022. I'm looking forward to speaking at the event and seeing developments in the sector from a range of suppliers and colleagues.
Labels: Adventure Golf, Competitive leisure, competitive socialising, Crazy Golf, InterFun, InterFun Expo, Marketing, Miniature Golf, Minigolf, minigolf marketing, Retailtainment, Richard Gottfried, Writing
Monday, May 24, 2021
A new mini golf course is opening at the Falkirk Wheel.
The new 9-hole mini golf course at the Falkirk Wheel will have a water-way theme.
Visit the Falkirk Wheel website for more information.
We last visited Falkirk in 2014 when we were in Scotland for the Commonwealth Games. It'll be nice to travel up again and have a game on the course on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour in the future.
Labels: Canal, Falkirk, Falkirk Wheel, Mini Golf, Minigolf in the time of Coronavirus, New course, Scotland
Location: Lime Rd, Falkirk FK1 4RS, UK
There's a new indoor mini golf course in Newquay, Cornwall.
The Pirate's Quest attraction in Newquay has a new addition this year with an indoor glow-in-the-dark minigolf course opening at the end of May.
The pirate-themed adventure golf course is a 12-hole layout.
Further information can be found on the Pirate's Quest website.
It's another new course for us to visit on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour next time we're in the South West.
Labels: Adventure Golf, Cornwall, glow in the dark, Indoor Adventure Golf, Indoor Black Light Mini Golf, Minigolf in the time of Coronavirus, New course, Newquay, Pirate, Pirate Adventure Golf, Pirate's Quest
Location: St Michael's Rd, Newquay TR7 1RA, UK
An adventure golf course will be part of the new Golf Plex entertainment centre in Bracknell, Berkshire.
Many thanks to my friend, minigolf rival and fellow adventure golf explorer Matt Dodd for letting me know about the development. The Golf Plex Adventure Golf will be a new local course for him and one for us to swing by on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour in the future.
Labels: Adventure Golf, Berkshire, Bracknell, Golf Plex, Matt Dodd, Minigolf in the time of Coronavirus, New course
Location: Bracknell, UK
There's a Miniature Golf course at Newham Grange Farm in Middlesbrough.
Visit the Newham Grange Farm website for more information.
Labels: Farm, Middlesbrough, Mini Golf, Miniature Golf, Minigolf, Minigolf in the time of Coronavirus, New course, Newham Grange Farm
Thursday, May 20, 2021
Work is nearing completion at the Princess Parade Crazy Golf course on Blackpool's North Shore.
I was in Blackpool two years ago today where I first met with colleagues on the project team working to refresh and reopen the Crazy Golf course on Princess Parade in the seaside resort.
The minigolf layout has undergone a lot of improvement work to get it up to scratch and it is planned that the course will be open to the public for the first time in many years later this summer.
|The course on the 20th May 2019|
old postcards from the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
|A Crazy Golf Course and North Pier, Blackpool postcard by The Photographic Greeting Card Co Ltd. London. Posted to Manchester on the 4th June 1969|
Visit the Princess Parade Crazy Golf course Facebook Group for more information and to see some photos of how bright and fresh the course and its surroundings are looking now.
Blackpool and the Fylde Street Angels and Blackpool Fulfilling Lives joined forces to refresh and reopen the Princess Parade Crazy Golf course on Blackpool's North Shore in 2019 and a number of other people and groups have been a part of the project.
The activity has helped homeless and disadvantaged people in Blackpool by giving them the chance to work on the Crazy Golf course so it is playable and the opportunity to continue by staffing the site for the season. It's a brilliant plan to give people work experience, while also bringing a disused minigolf course attraction and asset to the town back to life.
We're really looking forward to seeing the course open again and having a game there on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour as I haven't played it since I was a kid. Our first visit to the course on our tour was in 2009 and it wasn't open then.
Labels: Blackpool, Blackpool and Fylde Street Angels, Blackpool Fulfilling Lives, Crazy Golf, Crazy World of Minigolf Tour, refurbished
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
The 15-hole Crazy Golf course at the North Marine Putting Greens became the 383rd played on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour and the 663th visited.
Labels: Bridlington, Crazy Golf, Crazy World of Minigolf Tour, Swedish Felt, Swedish Felt B-Run, Yorkshire
Location: Bridlington, UK
Looking back at the Crazy Golf Adventure at Lakeside Outlet Shopping Village in Doncaster, Yorkshire.
|The pop-up miniature golf course in May 2016|
Labels: Crazy Golf, Crazy Golf Adventure, Crazy World of Minigolf Tour, Doncaster, Retailtainment, Shoppertainment, Shopping, Shopping Centre, shoppingtainment, South Yorkshire, Yorkshire
Location: White Rose Way, Doncaster DN4 5PJ, UK
The new Crazy Golf course at Filwood Community Centre in Knowle West, Bristol is nearing completion.
To add some finishing touches there will be a Filwood Fantastic Mini Golf Club Community Decorating Day on Wednesday 26th May.
Find out more on the Filwood Fantastic Mini Golf Club Facebook Group.
We're looking forward to visiting Knowle West and playing the new layout on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour.
It was was brilliant meeting up with fellow members of the Filwood Fantastic Mini Golf Club during the first lockdown last year.
Labels: Bristol, Crazy Golf, Filwood Fantastic Mini Golf Club, Knowle West, Minigolf in the time of Coronavirus, New course
Location: Knowle West, Bristol BS4 1PY, UK
There are plans for a new Crazy Golf course in Addlethorpe, Skegness.
The new Crazy Golf course is planned to be built as part of a new holiday park on land that was formerly Addlethorpe Golf Club.
Skegness was home to England's first Crazy Golf course and the town is a real hot-spot for the game with ten courses and 120-holes there at my last count. The first Crazy Golf opened on South Parade in Skegness in 1926.
We're looking forward to getting back there on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour in the future.
Labels: Addlethorpe, Crazy Golf, Holiday Park, Minigolf, Minigolf in the time of Coronavirus, New course, Skegness
Tuesday, May 18, 2021
Spotting a Mini Golf course at Hutleys Caravan Park in St Osyth.
My cousin Elaine spotted a new Mini Golf course while in St Osyth recently. It looks like a nice layout.
Visit the Hutleys Caravan Park website for more information.
Labels: Caravan Park, Clacton, Clacton-on-Sea, Elaine Jones, Essex, guest blog, Hutleys Caravan Park, Mini Golf, Minigolf in the time of Coronavirus, New course, St Osyth
There are plans for a new Puttstars minigolf venue to open in Harrow, London.
There are Puttstars locations in Leeds, York and Rochdale and in addition to the new Harrow site there are plans for a further eight Puttstars courses to open in the next three years.
Visit the Puttstars website for more information.
Labels: Crazy Golf, Crazy Golf in London, Harrow, Indoor Crazy Golf, Indoor Mini Golf, London, Mini Golf in London, Minigolf in the time of Coronavirus, New course, Puttstars, Retailtainment
Location: Harrow, UK
Monday, May 17, 2021
Debenhams recently became the latest retail casualty as the brand ceased trading on the high street in May 2021 after 243 years of operation. More than 100 bricks & mortar stores closed and Debenhams will continue as an online-only brand as it is now owned by online retailer Boohoo.
Debenhams in Stockport
|The lights were still on in December 2020|
|A view of the store during lockdown in April 2021|
|In the store in April 2021|
|In January 2021|
Debenhams in Nuneaton
Debenhams in Manchester
|Debenhams on Market Street in Manchester one day after the store's closure|
|Covid-19 signage in January 2021|
|A Covid-19 sign in August 2020|
What next for the former shops?
As with other collapsed chains it'll be interesting to see who moves in to the former Debenhams shops and how long the last traces of the brand will linger on the high street.
There are already plans for one former store to become an indoor entertainment venue. Gravity Active Entertainment will be opening a new centre in Wandsworth, London. The four-floor site will be home to a crazy golf course, bar & restaurant, pool, tenpin bowling, darts, high ropes, go-karting and more.
The retailtainment and minigolf boom
Miniature Golf is a big part of the retailtainment boom, with courses opening as standalone entertainment activities, or as part of large shoppingtainment leisure offerings in malls, high streets and retail parks.
Some of these retailtainment activities are permanent, while others are pop-ups catering to a mix of audiences, from children and families, to adults looking for competitive socialising fun.
Minigolf has really grown in popularity in the last decade and has moved from only being a traditional outdoor seaside summer activity to become a year-round game that can be played indoors, outdoors and at pretty much any time of the day.
A number of high streets, retail parks and shopping malls are now home to minigolf courses, with more new venues planned to open.
Minigolf is also a popular addition to boost footfall, create awareness and attract people to a location. Businesses also use portable and temporary minigolf layouts for product launches and promotions.
Other lost shops
Labels: Architecture, Art Deco, closed, Debenhams, history, Lost, Manchester, nostalgia, Nuneaton, retail, Retailtainment, shop, shopfront, Shopping, Shops, Stockport, storefront
Check out the Aces Minigolf Gloucester Facebook Page for some sneak peeks of the course design and the progress of the build.
We're really looking forward to playing the new course when it opens at Dobbies Garden Centre in Gloucester next month.
More information can be found on the Aces Minigolf Gloucester Facebook Page.
Labels: Adventure Golf, Crazy Golf, Dobbies Garden Centre, Garden Centre, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, Minigolf, Minigolf in the time of Coronavirus, New course, retail, Retailtainment, Seve Kukielka, Shoppertainment
Location: Bath Rd, Gloucester GL10 3DP, UK
Sunday, May 16, 2021
Today is International Coeliac Day.
About Coeliac Disease
Coeliac Disease (Celiac in the US and Canada) is a lifelong autoimmune disease caused by intolerance to gluten and the only treatment is to adhere to a strict lifelong gluten free diet.
In the UK it's estimated that 1 in 100 people have the condition.
Living a gluten free life
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 a 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.
The month of May is Celiac Awareness Month and this week has been Coeliac UK Awareness Week.
Labels: Celiac, Celiac Awareness Day, Celiac Awareness Month, Celiac Problems, Coeliac, Coeliac Awareness Week, Coeliac Problems, Day, GF, Gluten, Gluten Free, International Coeliac Day
Friday, May 14, 2021
There's a new Crazy Golf course at the Run About soft play centre in Farnborough, Hampshire.
Visit the Run About website for more information.
Labels: Crazy Golf, DK Fibreglass, Farnborough, Hampshire, Minigolf in the time of Coronavirus, New course, Run About, Soft Play
Location: Armstrong Way, Farnborough GU14 0LP, UK
A visit to the old Toys R Us store at Teesside Retail Park in Stockton-on-Tees.
We recently took a look at the former Toys R Us in Stockton-on-Tees.
It's a very nice example of a closed store, with lots of the original signage still visible.
I worked in the Gipsy Lane Toys R Us store in Luton, Bedfordshire back in the year 2000.
Toys R Us closed in the UK in April 2018. It's fun to see that there are still remnants of the brand on some retail parks in the UK.
Check out my blog posts below about other former Toys R Us stores:
Labels: Abandoned, retail, retro, shop, shopfront, shopfronts, Shopping, Stockton-on-Tees, storefront, Teesside, Toys R Us, urban exploration, urbex
Location: Stockton-on-Tees, UK
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
There are plans for a new Crazy Golf course on Southsea Beach.
A new Crazy Golf course is planned to open at Southsea Beach in Hampshire.
The minigolf layout has been proposed by South Parade Pier and would be located on the shingle beach to the west of the pier.
Visit the South Parade Pier website for more information.
Our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour began in Southsea back in 2006 and we've played a number of miniature golf courses there over the years. One of those courses was a 12-hole Swedish Felt layout on South Parade Pier in 2010. That course can now be played on Southend Pier!
It'll be nice to get back down to visit again in the future.
Labels: Beach, Crazy Golf, Hampshire, Minigolf in the time of Coronavirus, New course, Pier, Piers, South Parade Pier, Southsea
There's a Crazy Golf course at Brimstage Maize Maze in Brimstage, Wirral.
It's another course for us to visit on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour in the future.
Visit the Brimstage Maize Maze website and Facebook Page for more information.
Labels: Brimstage Maize Maze, Crazy Golf, Maize Maze, Maze, Minigolf in the time of Coronavirus, New course, Wirral
Location: Brimstage Hall & Courtyard Yard, Brimstage Road, Brimstage, Birkenhead, Wirral CH63 6JA, UK
London's South Bank will be home to a mini-golf course this summer.
A mini-golf course will be part of the new Between the Bridges food, drink, music and entertainment pop-up on the South Bank in London this summer.
The mini-golf activity will be provided by Plonk Golf.
Visit the Between the Bridges website for more information.
Labels: Between the Bridges, competitive socialising, Crazy Golf in London, London, Mini Golf in London, Mini-Golf, Minigolf in the time of Coronavirus, Plonk Golf, Plonk! Golf, pop-up, South Bank
Location: South Bank, London, UK