Showing posts with label Darts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Darts. Show all posts

Monday, July 20, 2020

Caddy Shack now open at Sol Central in Northampton

The new Caddy Shack Mini Golf course at Sol Central in Northampton is now open.


Caddy Shack Northampton. Photo courtesy of HM Adventure Golf, July 2020

Caddy Shack is a New York-themed venue and home to a minigolf course, tenpin bowling and darts and is part of the Gravity Activity Entertainment centre at Sol Central.

Caddy Shack Northampton. Photo courtesy of HM Adventure Golf, July 2020

Many thanks to the team at HM Adventure Golf for sending over photos of the minigolf course there.

Caddy Shack Northampton. Photo courtesy of HM Adventure Golf, July 2020
  
Caddy Shack Northampton. Photo courtesy of HM Adventure Golf, July 2020

Caddy Shack Northampton. Photo courtesy of HM Adventure Golf, July 2020

Caddy Shack Northampton. Photo courtesy of HM Adventure Golf, July 2020

We're looking forward to visiting Caddy Shack and playing the crazy golf course there on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour in the future.

Check out the Caddy Shack website for more information.


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Thursday, July 09, 2020

Caddy Shack opening at Sol Central in Northampton

The new Caddy Shack Mini Golf course at Sol Central in Northampton is opening this month.


Caddy Shack indoor mini golf opening at Sol Central in Northampton

The new Caddy Shack indoor games venue is due to open on Friday 17th July. It was originally planned to open earlier this year.

Caddy Shack is a New York-themed venue and home to a minigolf course, tenpin bowling and darts and is part of the Gravity Activity Entertainment centre at Sol Central.

Check out the Caddy Shack website for more information.

We're looking forward to visiting Caddy Shack and playing the crazy golf course there on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour.

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Thursday, April 02, 2020

Competitive socialising in isolation

Keeping social and competitive in the new world of physical distancing.


Competitive socialising and competitive isolation in the world of social distancing

I've been thinking a lot about what'll happen post-pandemic, where I want to visit and what I want to do when things begin to 'return to normal'. My bucket list of places to go is filling up fast.


What that 'normal' looks like is certainly up for debate. I think it'll take a while before we're able to go about our daily lives as carefree as most of us were lucky enough to be as before coronavirus struck.


That said the changes we will need to make to how we live our lives will include some positives.

While we've been at home and practicing safe social distancing we've found a number of ways to stay social and have fun.

Admittedly I'm still spending a bit too much time on social media and will look to cut this down. I need to read more books, watch more films and play video-games, rather than scrolling through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn where you can quite easily be bombarded with bad news.

Like many people we're using apps and platforms in different ways and I've had more video calls with friends, family and colleagues than ever before. Why didn't we use video chat more before coronavirus? Surely this was one of the attractive advancements of the future promised to us by sci-fi films and TV back in the 80s and 90s, as well as being heralded as something we'd all be doing by the presenters on Tomorrow's World.

I suppose we don't readily break out of our routines or comfort zones unless we're really pushed, something the current situation has forced upon us.

Competitive socialising and social distancing


Before the pandemic hit the phrase 'competitive socialising' had become a popular way to describe going out, with lots of new operators catering to the demand of a public who wanted to compete at something while eating and drinking in a nice setting.

Whether it was table tennis, darts, shuffleboard, bingo, tenpin bowling, arcade games, or my personal favourite minigolf, people were finding new ways to quench their thirst, have fun and compete without signing-up to a full sports league or taking things too seriously. But we all know you have to take competitive socialising seriously – right?

'Competitive socialising' may, for the time being at least, have been replaced on everybody's lips by 'social distancing'. But when we're able to safely emerge from isolation there will be an appetite for playing games, having fun and doing new things.

Some of those experiences may not actually be totally new though, as people will want to tap in to the things they enjoyed, or were good at before lockdown.

I really love playing crazy golf and visiting new miniature golf courses, which explains why I've spent the last 14 years travelling to almost 1,000 courses.

My interest in minigolf comes partly from the memories of playing the game as a kid, as well as the fun I've had travelling the world to visit new courses and compete in tournaments with Emily. I also enjoy the aesthetics, design and architecture of courses. Seeing the rise in popularity, innovations in the sector, and the development of the game has been brilliant too.

Competitive socialising wasn't a new thing. It was a new way to describe something humans have done for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. While many of the sports and games we enjoy were codified in the last 150 years or so, people have been competing against one another – for honour, pride, money and bragging rights – for centuries.

A new way of doing things


Competitive socialising hasn't gone away. But the pandemic has certainly changed how we enact it.

Over the last few weeks I have seen how quickly people and businesses have adapted to cater for that need we have to fill our down time and have fun.

Our regular pub quiz at the Micker Brook in Cheadle Hulme is now online, with participants from the pub taking part in regular Zoom conference calls while using the SpeedQuizzing App as our team answer sheet. Our excellent host Mike Prince runs a number of quiz nights at pubs around Greater Manchester. The lockdown has meant we've been part of ‘pub’ quizzes we wouldn't normally have participated in, as the teams from across all five pubs are now playing together up to three nights a week all whilst enjoying some friendly rivalry.

I've also seen a number of friends on Facebook hosting regular quiz nights and drawing in people who may not previously have been able to take part, had the event taken place down the pub.

On the minigolf side of things our friends at The Putting Penguin were quick to organise the Putting Penguin Pandemic Putt Off online – a stay-at-home putting competition with entries being submitted from around the world.

Similarly Tom and Robin at A Couple of Putts in the US have been sharing all the examples of putting at home on their Instagram story to illustrate the fun to be had.

One of those competitions in the USA is the Home Mini Golf Challenge organised by the team at Cool Crest Miniature Golf in San Antonio, Texas.

Another was the At Home Challenge organised by Fun Fore All Family Fun Park in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania where customers were invited to design their own versions of attractions and rides from the fun park.

Here in the UK Plonk Golf have put together a Plonk at Home package for people young and old to encourage home minigolfing fun and also to raise money for charity.

I've also seen lockdown contests from Inverness Crazy Golf and Volcano Falls Adventure Golf in their two Castleford and Edinburgh locations.

Before the lockdown Roxy Ball Room had started work on their new location in Manchester, which will be a local venue for us. As well as an online Roxy Isolation Pong game the brand has launched a competition on Instagram where a lucky winner will receive a party for 50 people at their local venue when this is all over.

Emily and I have put together a Big Mini Golf Bucket List with 12 activities you can ticket off while in lockdown as well as a few ideas for what to do when allowed back outside.

In the world of dodgeball the sport's governing body British Dodgeball have been sharing lesson plans for younger players and sharing video challenges on social media. While the Manchester Bees Dodgeball Club issued a Loo Roll Challenge to other clubs.

These have all been great ways to combat the impact of social distancing and isolation.


Competitive isolation


Social distancing is a bit of a misnomer if you think about it, as the end result from the actions we take is to limit physical contact and proximity to others, rather than being anti-social. I've certainly been social, and seen a lot more social interaction, albeit online, in the last few weeks. We've got a lot more planned in case the weeks spent indoors with limited outside activity turn to months.

A better term for what we're seeing and experiencing is 'competitive isolation'. Yes, we're indoors and cut-off from friends, family and colleagues for a long time. But ingenuity and the desire to have fun, interact and compete is still there.

I'm a big fan of darts and love playing and watching the game whenever I get the chance. Last night the Professional Darts Corporation held the first-ever Darts From Home event, with a five-player round-robin tournament won by South Africa's Devon Petersen. From the positive feedback and enthusiasm from fans this looks to be the first of many home-based pro darts events streamed online.

Speaking of streams, last week saw The Stockport Show launched online, with a daily broadcast on Facebook and YouTube. The aim is to help combat loneliness and isolation as well as bringing the community together and have fun.

I found out about this show after seeing a retweet about a Battle of the Borough. This online vote has been organised to get some community spirit, local rivalry and fun going in lieu of any sporting action. The tournament bracket and the areas of the borough competing certainly caused some interest when they were announced on Twitter on Tuesday evening.

As I said following the first online pub quiz after lockdown "It was superb. A brilliant way to beat social isolation during social distancing through competitive socialising using technology."

What are you doing to beat the isolation blues? Have you taken part in any competitive socialising online during the lockdown? Do let me know.



While a lot of the minigolf world is out of action, plans are still being drawn up for new courses, work is ongoing to finish courses where permissible, and ideas formulated for when it's safe to get back out on the course. If you'd like to have a chat about competitive socialising, minigolf, marketing, or minigolf marketing do get in touch.

Thursday, February 06, 2020

Boom: Battle Bar opening at Castle Quarter, Norwich in April

A new indoor games venue is opening at the Castle Quarter shopping and entertainment centre in Norwich.


Boom: Battle Bar in Norwich will be home to a minigolf course and more!

Norwich will soon be home to a new indoor venue containing a minigolf course, boules piste, axe throwing arena, electric darts and shuffleboard.


It sounds brilliant.


We're looking forward to playing at Boom: Battle Bar when it opens later this year.

Visit the Castle Quarter Norwich website for more information.

The Castle Quarter has been home to pop-up minigolf events since the centre opened last year.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Darts at The Players' Entrance in Stockport

Playing darts at The Players' Entrance indoor sports park in Stockport.



Darts at The Players' Entrance in Stockport's Merseyway shopping centre
Darts at The Player's Entrance in Stockport

Earlier today I called in to The Players' Entrance in Stockport's Merseyway shopping centre as the venue was hosting a special darts event.


Stockport darts superstar Nathan 'The Asp' Aspinall is competing in the PDC World Championships this month and the event saw the launch of a new partnership with the Stockport Disability Darts League and a link up with The Players' Entrance and Stockport schools.


The Stockport Disability Darts League set-up at The Players' Entrance
The Stockport Disability Darts League set-up at The Players' Entrance

Nathan Aspinall is ranked number 12 in the world and is the 2019 UK Open champion, the 2019 US Darts Masters champion and was a semi-finalist in the 2019 PDC World Championships.

It was brilliant to meet Nathan and I had the chance to play against him in two games on one of the electronic soft-tip dartboards.

Nathan 'The Asp' Aspinall and Richard Gottfried at The Players' Entrance at the Merseyway shopping centre in Stockport
Nathan 'The Asp' Aspinall and me after our two games of darts. Guess who won?

The Playerss Entrance now has a disability darts area with dartboards and oche set-up so that players of any ability can compete against each other. The backing board has two dartboards - one for standing players and one for those seated - that can be quickly flipped after each player's throw.

I'm a big fan of both playing and watching darts. It's an inclusive game and can be picked up and played easily.

Visit The Players' Entrance website for more info, opening times and prices for the sports and games on offer.

Check out Stockport Disability Darts League for more information.

Visit Nathan 'The Asp' Aspinall's official Facebook Page too.

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!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Bar Billiards at The Smithfield Market Tavern in Manchester

Spotting a Bar Billiards table at The Smithfield Market Tavern.


Bar Billiards at The Smithfield Market Tavern in Manchester

While having a day out in Manchester we were wandering along Swan Street in the Northern Quarter and noticed a sign in a pub that said 'Bar Billiards'! We had to go in for a further look.

Bar Billiards at The Smithfield Market Tavern in Manchester
The pub has a nice Bar Billiards area

Unfortunately the barman told us the Bar Billiards table was out of order as somebody had poured beer down the 200-points-hole so the mechanism was broken.

Bar Billiards at The Smithfield Market Tavern in Manchester
Never a good sign

As the game is only getting rarer it's more difficult to find people to repair them, although he did say he hoped it would be fixed soon. We're looking forward to revisiting The Smithfield Market Tavern for a game or two in the future.

Bar Billiards Rules at The Smithfield Market Tavern in Manchester
Always nice to see The Rules of Bar Billiards on display - it can be a mysterious game to play without them

As well as Bar Billiards The Smithfield Market Tavern also has Table Skittles, Shove Ha'penny and Darts. The darts area also has a brilliant scoring machine!

Shove Ha'penny at The Smithfield Market Tavern in Manchester
Shove Ha'penny

Table Skittles at The Smithfield Market Tavern in Manchester
Table Skittles

The "Bisset" Automatic Dart Scorer by Kwiz Darts
The "Bisset" Automatic Dart Scorer by Kwiz Darts

Check out The Smithfield Market Tavern on Twitter for more info.

The Smithfield Market Tavern in Manchester's Northern Quarter
You can find The Smithfield Market Tavern at 37 Swan St, Manchester M4 5JZ

Related blog posts:

- Bar Billiards
- Manchester
- Pub

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Charity Darts Night - England vs. Stockport

England vs. Stockport Challenge Match at Stockport County FC.

Next week sees a special darts challenge match take place at Stockport County FC, with England taking on a Stockport select team in a charity darts night in aid of Chris 'Millzy' Mills.

England vs. Stockport Challenge Match at Stockport County FC
Doors open at 7pm, for a 7.30pm start

It looks like it's going to be a cracking night of darts with the England vs. Stockport match contested in a 10 vs. 10 format and featuring some legendary darts players including Tony O'Shea, Scott Waites, Lisa Ashton, Darryl Fitton, Dean Winstanley, Lorraine Winstanley, Nathan Aspinall and more!

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Trailer Trash Jim's Crazy Golf inside Level at Preston Guild Hall

New indoor Crazy Golf course opening at Preston Guild Hall.


Part of the redevelopment of Preston Guild Hall includes the opening of a new Crazy Golf course. Trailer Trash Jim's Crazy Golf will be located on Level 1 of Level - Preston's new leisure and entertainment venue.

It sounds like a brilliant place as not only will there be an indoor Crazy Golf course on Level 1, but you can also play Laser Tag and Arcade Games. Level 2 has Ten Pin Bowling and Darts, while Level 3 of the centre is home to a Daredevil Assault Course.

Level at Preston Guild Hall opens on Friday 8th December.

Visit the Preston Guild Hall website and Level Preston on Facebook for more information.

Friday, September 01, 2017

DartsCrazy - the new game from UrbanCrazy

UrbanCrazy's new DartsCrazy game will be free to play at Regents Place in London next Friday, 8th September between 11am and 3pm.

Check out the video below to see the DartsCrazy board / course in action.



Check out the DartsCrazy website for more info on the game.

As well as minigolf / crazy golf / adventure golf the team at UrbanCrazy have also created PongCrazy - table tennis mixed with Crazy Golf style hazards and obstacles!

Links:
UrbanCrazy
DartsCrazy
PongCrazy

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Flight Club Darts in London

A quick visit to Flight Club in London.

Flight Club Darts in London

While on a recent trip to London I called in at Flight Club to check out the Shoreditch darts venue. I'd heard good things about it and some friends have had a 'do' there before.

Flight Club Darts in London
One of the many dart boards set-up over the two levels at Flight Club in Shoreditch

I really liked the array of darts memorabilia and ephemera adorning the walls. It looked top notch.

A little bit of the old darts memorabilia to be found on the walls
A little bit of the old darts memorabilia to be found on the walls

There's a wall of dart boards at Flight Club. No Quadro board though
There's a wall of dart boards at Flight Club. No Quadro board though

I spotted a Pin-Bagatelle board next to one of the dart boards downstairs too
I spotted a Pin-Bagatelle board next to one of the dart boards downstairs too

It's always nice to see a celebrity leaderboard
It's always nice to see a celebrity leaderboard

Check out the Flight Club website for more info on the Shoreditch and Bloomsbury venues, opening times and prices.

Flight Club Darts in London
I had a nice welcome from the staff at Flight Club and look forward to throwing a few arrers there in the future

Related blog posts:
- Darts
- London

Friday, April 28, 2017

The Golf Show by American Golf at Event City, Manchester

A visit to the American Golf Show in Manchester.

This afternoon Emily and I swung into day one of The Golf Show by American Golf at Event City in Manchester. We're glad we did as there were plenty of putting opportunities. And Golf Darts!

Emily and Richard Gottfried at The Golf Show by American Golf in Manchester
Minigolfing Adventurers at our 729th course!

First up was a round on the TomTom Sports Adventure Putting course. The 6-hole layout became the 729th course we've visited on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour. It's the 702nd we've been to in the UK and the 429th we've played since our minigolfing travels began in 2006.

Adventure Putting minigolf at the American Golf Show in Manchester
Emily playing hole 1 en route to victory on the Adventure Putting layout

In our minigolf match-up Emily picked up the win 13-14 and landed a spot in tied second place on the leaderboard.

Next we had a go on teeofftimes.co.uk's incredibly lengthy Long Putt Challenge.

Long Putt Challenge at the American Golf Show in Manchester
Emily putting on the loooooooooooong putt challenge hole

While neither of us managed to ace it, we did get close.

Long Putt Challenge at the American Golf Show in Manchester
The elevated green on the Long Putt Challenge hole

We then noticed the giant inflatable Dartboard at the end of the hall. It looked brilliant.

Golphin's Golf Darts at the American Golf Show in Manchester
I need a bigger back garden so I can get one of these dartboards!

The team at Golphin had set-up the Golf Darts game to promote their training programme for youngsters and I must say it was a great way to get non-golfers into giving the game a go. A fine crossover sport.

In our match-up I overturned the minigolf defeat to Emily by scoring 53 with my five chips/throws to her 0!

Golphin's Golf Darts at the American Golf Show in Manchester
Emily on her way to five 'throws' out of the board!

We then had to go back to the Adventure Putting for another round. This time I picked up the win 13-14.

Adventure Putting minigolf at the American Golf Show in Manchester
More minigolfing

Finally I stepped up to have a go on the Pressure Putt Challenge in the Skills Zone.

Pressure Putt Challenge at the American Golf Show in Manchester
The Pressure Putt Challenge was tough

The tricky charity putting challenge saw me attempted to sink a succession of putts from two-foot intervals. It's a lot more difficult than you think. Especially when you're against the clock.

If you miss any of your putts you have to return to the first two-footer and work your way back. I finished on the 8 foot mark, which wasn't too bad. Good fun for the £2 charity donation to the On Course Foundation.

Check out our videos from the event on YouTube.

The Golf Show at Event City is on until Sunday and tickets are free. Book your place online via the American Golf website.

Three weeks ago today we were in Wrexham for another one of American Golf's free events - the Adventure Golf Pairs Championship. Peter Jones and I won the regional qualifier at Clays Golf Centre and will be playing in the Grand Final at The Belfry in September.

Give the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour a Like on Facebook, watch our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter @putting_gott and @Ems_Lems. Please do sign-up to receive our miniature golf newsletter too.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Blackpool's Smallest Pub - The Mitre

We recently visited another pub with a small claim to fame - that of being Blackpool's Smallest Public House.

The Mitre in Blackpool - the town's smallest pub
A nice spot for a quick drink away from the crush of the illuminations crowd

Blackpool's Smallest Pub - The Mitre
A BIG claim - but not the smallest pub we've been to recently

Blackpool's Smallest Pub - The Mitre
It became The Mitre pub in 1902

Blackpool's Smallest Pub - The Mitre
And was formerly known as 'Ye Old Glue Pot'!

You can find the cosy boozer just off the seafront on West Street.

The had a dartboard at the pub, but even if it hadn't had a Halloween decoration on it we'd have been squeezed for space to chuck some arrers
The had a dartboard at the pub, but even if it hadn't had a Halloween decoration on it we'd have been squeezed for space to chuck some arrers

Related blog posts:
Pubs
Blackpool
- The Corner Bar in Stockport Market
A visit to the Smallest Pub on the Planet
The Lakeside Inn at Southport, Britain's Smallest Pub

Thursday, October 06, 2016

New darts stuff

I recently treated myself to an early birthday and Christmas present by buying some new darts stuff from the Darts Performance Centre - and of course it was Peter 'Chatterbox' Sajwani branded merch!

Peter Sajwani darts merch from the Darts Performance Centre
A lovely lot of darting merch. And a new postcard too

In his debut at the 2015 BDO World Championships Peter Sajwani caused an upset with victory over the number one seed James Wilson.

Peter Sajwani darts merch from the Darts Performance Centre
I'm a member of the Sajwani Army. Not sure what rank I carry though?

The chatty underdog won a legion of fans with his post-match interview where he claimed "It doesn't matter what you score. What does matter is hitting the double. A gorilla can punch the ball 600 yards but can't putt."

Wise words indeed.

Peter Sajwani darts merch from the Darts Performance Centre
The excellent gorilla putting darts flight - one for the Crazy Golf Museum too...

We've found a lot of the pubs in our new local area have dart boards, fantastic to see. We always carry a set now just in case the opportunity to have a quick game arises.

Darts at the Queens Arms pub on the Cheadle / Stockport border
'Peppering' the 20 bed with the new Sajwani Army flighted arrers

Darts at the Queens Arms pub on the Cheadle / Stockport border
A Shanghai on 19s at the Queens Arms in Cheadle

Check out the Darts Performance Centre and their shop for some great kit.

I also picked up some Harrows and Eric Bristow darts kit from The Sport Shop while in Shanklin on a recent trip to the Isle of Wight
I also picked up some Harrows and Eric Bristow darts kit from The Sport Shop while in Shanklin on a recent trip to the Isle of Wight

As that great sports writer (and fellow member of the Sajwani ArmyMarc 'The Roller' Bazeley might say "All the gear, no idea."

Links:
- Darts Performance Centre
- Peter Sajwani, Darts player (Twitter and Facebook)

Related blog posts:
- Darts
- Peter Sajwani