Tuesday, September 23, 2014

KISS Monster Mini Golf in Las Vegas

A visit to the KISS Glow-in-the-Dark Indoor Minigolf course in Las Vegas, USA.

KISS Monster Mini Golf course in Las Vegas
The entrance to KISS Monster Mini Golf in Las Vegas

Back in 2011 we heard about the unique KISS Rock n’ Roll-themed attraction that would be opening in fabulous Las Vegas in 2012 and on Emily's recent trip to the city she went along for a round. She tells me it was amazing.

And by the look of the great photos she took it certainly does!

KISS Monster Mini Golf course in Las Vegas
The tee-off area for hole 1 at the 18-hole KISS Monster Mini Golf course 

KISS Monster Mini Golf course in Las Vegas
The course is in a nice wide-open space and filled with some BIG minigolf obstacles

KISS Monster Mini Golf course in Las Vegas
Emily putting into The Demon's mouth at KISS Monster Mini Golf

KISS Monster Mini Golf course in Las Vegas
Janie about to putt in the nicely themed course

KISS Monster Mini Golf course in Las Vegas
A view of the KISS Monster Mini Golf course

KISS Monster Mini Golf course in Las Vegas
This hole had a sneaky shortcut to the cup

KISS Monster Mini Golf course in Las Vegas
During your round the course's own DJ gives your group a shout-out!

KISS Monster Mini Golf course in Las Vegas
Playing the right shot on this hole makes 'KISS' perform on stage!

KISS Monster Mini Golf course in Las Vegas
Emily lining up a putt at KISS Monster Mini Golf

KISS Monster Mini Golf course in Las Vegas
It's always great to wear white clothes when playing indoor black light minigolf courses

KISS Monster Mini Golf course in Las Vegas
One of the BIG minigolf obstacles on the KISS Monster Mini Golf course

KISS Monster Mini Golf course in Las Vegas
This hole had a small volcano obstacle on it

KISS Monster Mini Golf course in Las Vegas
The fiery volcano

KISS Monster Mini Golf course in Las Vegas
Indoor black light courses do look great with their contrast of colours

Playing against her international tournament rival Janie Peace, Emily won in a very close contest with a score of 46 to Janie's 48.

In addition to the 18-hole blacklight Mini Golf course the venue has an amusement arcade, Wedding Chapel, KISS Cafe, KISS Gallery and the largest KISS Gift Shop in the World!

KISS Monster Mini Golf course in Las Vegas
KISS Monster Mini Golf is much more than just a minigolf course!

KISS Monster Mini Golf course in Las Vegas
You can get married at the KISS Monster Mini Golf course's own KISS-themed Wedding Chapel!

KISS Monster Mini Golf course in Las Vegas
The huge fish tank made for the course by the team from Fish Tank Kings

KISS Monster Mini Golf course in Las Vegas
There looks to be an air hockey table in the large amusement arcade at the course

Emily got me some great merch from the KISS Gift Shop - including a t-shirt and four minigolf balls.

KISS Monster Mini Golf course in Las Vegas
The HUGE KISS Gift Shop

The course can be found at 4503 Paradise Road (near to the Hard Rock Hotel) and is open seven days a week from 10am until midnight. For more information and prices check out the KISS Monster Mini Golf website.

KISS Monster Mini Golf looks great and has some HUGE obstacles and decorations around the course. I've enjoyed playing the indoor black light courses we've visited over the years. In the UK you can find two in Castleford and our friend Jam tells us there's one in Paignton too. I can't wait to play at the KISS course.

Monster Mini Golf create themed indoor glow-in-the-dark 18-hole minigolf courses. Each location is unique and custome designed and there are around 30 Monster Mini Golf courses in the USA and Canada. You can find out more about the courses, franchising and locations on the Monster Mini Golf website.

The course was the 580th visited on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour and the 346th played.

Related blog posts:
Crazy World of Minigolf Tour
Las Vegas
New Indoor Minigolf Course Opening in Las Vegas - KISS Minigolf by Monster Mini Golf

Links:
Monster Mini Golf website
KISS Monster Mini Golf website
Monster Mini Golf on Twitter
- KISS Monster Mini Golf on Twitter
Monster Mini Golf - KISS, Las Vegas on Facebook
Las Vegas 'tagged' Blog Posts on The Ham & Egger Files
Merchandise

Ohana Mini-Golf in Las Vegas

Spotting a new miniature golf course in Las Vegas!

While travelling off-strip in Las Vegas, Emily spotted a Mini Golf course that we didn't know about!

The Ohana Mini-Golf course is inside this building
The Ohana Mini-Golf course is inside this building

En route to the Grand Canyon on the 14 September Emily's eagle eyes saw the location of the Ohana indoor Mini-Golf course on East Bruner Avenue, opposite the M Resort Hotel & Casino, but as it was 6am the course was closed.

Great to know there's another minigolf course to play on our next visit to Vegas.

For more information on Ohana Mini-Golf visit the course website, and social media links below, where you can see photos of the interesting looking course.

Check out the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour page for details of other courses we've played in Las Vegas.

Links:
- Ohana Mini-Golf website
- Ohana Mini-Golf on Twitter
- Ohana Mini-Golf on Facebook

Related blog posts:
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour
- Las Vegas

Monday, September 22, 2014

Minigolf Rankings Update following the BMGA British Open

Latest national ranking lists from the British Minigolf Association.

The official BMGA rankings have been updated following the BMGA Players Championship and BMGA British Open at the Pirate Golf course in Hastings.

Playing hole 12 of the Pirate Golf course in Hastings

Richard Gottfried's rankings in the Strokeplay Order of Merit for the 2013/14 season:
Following the BMGA Star City Open - 12th of 74 places (135 players)
Following the BMGA Star City Open & AGM changes - 11th of 79 places (135 players)
Following the BMGA British Masters - 7th of 84 places (137 players)
Following the BMGA British Championships - 10th of 85 places (138 players)
Following the Splash Point Open - 11th of 85 places (138 players)
Following the Midlands Open - 10th of 86 places (140 players)
- Following the BMGA Players Championship and BMGA British Open - 8th of 88 places (142 players)

Emily in action at the 2013 WMF World Adventure Golf Masters played at the Pirate Golf course in Hastings
Emily in action at the 2013 WMF World Adventure Golf Masters played at the Pirate Golf course in Hastings

Emily Gottfried's rankings in the Strokeplay Order of Merit for the 2013/14 season:
Following the BMGA Star City Open - 42nd of 74 places (135 players)
Following the BMGA Star City Open & AGM changes - 34th of 79 places (135 players)
Following the BMGA British Masters - 26th of 84 places (137 players)
Following the BMGA British Championships - 21st of 85 places (138 players)
Following the Splash Point Open - 21st of 85 places (138 players)
Following the Midlands Open - 21st of 86 places (140 players)
- Following the BMGA Players Championship and BMGA British Open - 26th of 88 places (142 players)

In the BMGA Season Only Rankings I am 25th of 57 players, Emily is in 29th place.

In the BMGA Matchplay Order of Merit Rankings Emily is in tied 20th place of 55 players, I am in 38th position.

We are both ranked in the World Minigolf Sport Federation's General Class ranking lists. In the women's rankings Emily is in tied 120th position of 128 places (132 players). In the men's rankings I am ranked in tied 397th place of 413 places (419 players).

Links:
British Minigolf Association (BMGA)
BMGA on Facebook
BMGA on Twitter

Related blog posts:
World Minigolf Rankings for 2014
Rankings
Richard Gottfried's Minigolf Player Profile
Emily Gottfried's Minigolf Player Profile

Minigolf Report from Hastings

22nd September 2014
Press Information
For Immediate Release

Minigolf Report from Hastings

Luton Minigolfer Richard Gottfried competed in three Minigolf competitions on the 18-hole Pirate Golf course at the Hastings Adventure Golf Complex from the 19th to the 21st of September.

Richard Gottfried putting at hole 11 in the BMGA British Open in Hastings
Richard Gottfried putting at hole 11 in the BMGA British Open in Hastings

In the BMGA Players Championship Richard finished in tied 14th place alongside Derek Bentall in the 22-player field having scored a round of 33(-3).

In the two-day BMGA British Open tournament Richard was 23rd in a 50-strong field that included players from Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Kosovo and the Czech Republic.

Richard scored rounds of 33, 34, 31, 27, 38, 32, 30 and 36 for a total of 261(-27).

Richard Gottfried playing hole 12 at Pirate Golf in Hastings
Richard Gottfried playing hole 12 at Pirate Golf in Hastings

In the eight-round BMGA British Open Team Championship the Midlands Minigolf Club’s 1st team of Michael Smith, Chris Harding, Chris Smith and Richard were runners-up to the Kent Minigolf Club’s 1st team. The event saw eleven club and national teams competing. The Germany 1 team were third in the event.

The BMGA British Open Team Championship runners-up - Midlands MGC 1 from l-r Chris Smith, Michael Smith, Richard Gottfried, Chris Harding

Richard said “I’m really glad that the Midlands 1 team finished on the podium and won the silver medal defeating some very strong teams. It’s a shame I had two relatively bad rounds over the two days of the British Open, but my round of 27 was my all-time personal best score on a UK Minigolf course which is great.”

Michael Smith of Oxford won the BMGA British Open and BMGA Players Championship.

Ends

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The first gluten free Mince Pie of the season

Seeing in the start of the festive season quite a bit earlier than before!

We Love Cake Gluten-free Mince Pies by Bells of Lazenby
We Love Cake Gluten-free Mince Pies

For the past two years I've blogged about the first gluten free Mince Pie I've seen on sale and this year it's even earlier!

We Love Cake Gluten-free Mince Pies by Bells of Lazenby
Gluten Free Mince Pies come in packs of 4, rather than packs of 6 like 'normal' people generally get the choice to buy. These Mince Pies cost £1.99 a box

On Saturday 20th SEPTEMBER I was shopping for some provisions in Hastings while in town for some minigolf tournaments and spotted the 'We Love Cake' Gluten-free Mince Pies from Bells of Lazenby in the Free From section of the town's Morrisons.

We Love Cake Gluten-free Mince Pies by Bells of Lazenby
The Mince Pies are Best Before Christmas 2014

We Love Cake Gluten-free Mince Pies by Bells of Lazenby
The Mince Pies are fairly full of filling and not too crumbly. They didn't taste dry either, so get a thumbs-up from me

I hadn't heard of Bells of Lazenby before, but looking at their website they have some sub-brands and also produce a number of products for supermarket own labels. Their free from products are made in a dedicated Gluten Wheat and Dairy Free site.

In 2012 the first Mince Pies I found were the Genius Gluten Free Mince Pies in Asda on the 5th October, while last year I bought some of Udi's Gluten Free Mince Pies in Tesco on the 10th October.

Merry Christmas all.

Links:
- Bells of Lazenby
- Morrisons

Related blog posts:
- My first gluten free Mince Pie of the festive season
- Seeing in the start of the 'festive season' with a gluten free Mince Pie

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Miniature Golf Day 2014!

Sunday 21 September is a BIG day for minigolf.

Hastings Pirate Adventure Golf course
Richard lining up a putt on the Pirate Adventure Golf course in Hastings

Miniature Golf Day 2014 is an 'unofficial' holiday and the third day of the year marked in the calendar to celebrate the great game.

The others are 'National Miniature Golf Day' (held annually on the second Saturday of May) and 'Minigolf Tag' (Minigolf Day in Austria).

Hastings Pirate Adventure Golf course
Emily playing the 18th hole at the Pirate Adventure Golf in Hastings

This year the 18-hole Pirate Adventure Golf course in Hastings, East Sussex is the host venue for the BMGA British Open which concludes on Sunday 21 September - aka Miniature Golf Day.

The Hastings Pirate Golf course was the 219th played on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour in 2011.

Hastings Pirate Adventure Golf course
Richard on the 16th hole at the Pirate Adventure Golf course in Hastings

Read more about Miniature Golf Day on the Holiday Insights website where there is the reminder that the day is ALWAYS September 21st!

The quasi-official holiday day - National Miniature Golf Day 2014 - was on 10 May this year, the same day as Day 1 of the BMGA British Minigolf Championships held at Strokes Adventure Golf course in Margate, Kent.

A view of the 18-hole Strokes Adventure Golf course in Margate, Kent
A view of the 18-hole Strokes Adventure Golf course in Margate

For ideas and inspiration on where to play please check out the links below (and on the right hand side of the blog) for a range of Mini Golf websites from around the world.

Happy Putting!

Related blog posts:

Scott's Gluten Free Raspberry Butterfly Cakes

Spotting a new gluten free product in Asda.

While stocking up on gluten free supplies in Asda Dunstable I noticed an interesting box on the shelf containing a product I hadn't seen before - Gluten Free Raspberry Butterfly Cakes!

New in Asda! Gluten Free Raspberry Butterfly Cakes
New in Asda! Gluten Free Raspberry Butterfly Cakes

They looked enticing and I had to grab a box to give them a try. After checking, and double checking, to make sure they were gluten and wheat free I put them in my basket.

The Gluten Free Raspberry Butterfly Cakes cost £2 for six - a bit of a gluten free bargain, granted I could make some (and Emily does make some delicious cakes), but 33p each for some very tasty cakes, with great consistency (that are quick & easy to scoff too) is brilliant to see. I'll definitely be buying them again.

The tasty gluten free Raspberry Butterfly Cake from Scott's Bakery. Note that this is the third one about to be wolfed down
The tasty gluten free Raspberry Butterfly Cake from Scott's Bakery. Note that this is the third one about to be wolfed down

There's a question on the label that says "Have you tried our gluten free Chocolate Chip Muffins?" - the answer is no, no I haven't. But I'll be keeping an eye out for them.

A nice touch is that the cake cases have the words 'Gluten Free' printed on them in a diagonal pattern. It's not overly in your face, and while it can be annoying to be reminded when eating that your food is GF, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Intriguingly, despite searching online, all the usual social media channels and the Asda Free From section I can't find any sign of a website for Scott's Bakery!?

Yesterday Coeliac UK announced that Asda is the first supermarket to sign up to the 'Coeliac UK Gluten-free Guarantee'. This means Asda will be stocking a core range of eight gluten-free items in all their stores to help people with Coeliac Disease manage their condition. Good news indeed.

This week is also National Cupcake Week - check out the website for more on the event.

Related blog posts:
Gluten Free
Coeliac
- National Cupcake Week 2014 and a Cupcake ATM

Links:
- Asda

Crazy Golf on Paignton Pier in Devon

A Crazy Golf course visit from the Gottfried family archives.

My brother Christopher travels around the country a fair bit and while on the pier in Paignton, Devon he spotted a Crazy Golf course!

The 9-hole Crazy Golf course on Paignton Pier. Photo by Christopher Gottfried (12 October 2012)

Emily and I are yet to reach that part of the UK - we've been as far as Weymouth* on the south coast and Weston-super-Mare** on the north coast of the south west of England. We're hoping to get down there soon though as there are stacks of great places to explore.

Other courses visited, but not played, by Christopher include Brighton (Crazy Golf), Margate (Cliftonville, Little Oasis Crazy Golf), Herne Bay (Mini Golf), Newquay (Mini Golf) and Mundesley (Adventure Island Golf).

Related blog posts:
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour
- Christopher Gottfried's Minigolf Player Profile
- Christopher Gottfried on The Ham and Egger Files

Link:
- Paignton Pier

* On the way back from the first-ever Weymouth Open tournament in 2008 I did however take a wrong turn and ended up in Bridport.
** In our pre-Crazy World of Minigolf Tour days we did have a holiday in Minehead.

Funny things about being a Coeliac #10 - Play-Doh is NOT gluten free

It's not just food that contains gluten - toys do too!

As today - 16 September - is National Play-Doh Day it's worth noting that Play-Doh is not gluten free as it contains dreaded Wheat!

The mind boggles!

Obviously Play-Doh is NOT a food product and is NOT meant to be eaten, but there are cross-contamination risks if Coeliacs touch/use/play with Play-Doh.

A big barrel of Play-Doh. This was as close as I dared get to it
A big barrel of Play-Doh. This was as close as I dared get to it

Hasbro, the manufacturers of Play-Doh in the UK, have helpfully put together a warning on the product packaging and also on the Ingredients section of the Play-Doh FAQ & Tips website. Although rather than mentioning the autoimmune reaction - or gluten intolerance - it say that an 'allergic' reaction may occur with use of the product.

The Coeliac UK website has some further information on play dough products and even has a recipe for making your own Gluten-free play dough.

Related blog posts:

Monday, September 15, 2014

National Cupcake Week 2014 and a Cupcake ATM

National Week to celebrate Cupcakes runs from 15 to 21 September.

Earlier today I spotted a Facebook post by Coeliac UK about how to celebrate National Cupcake Week with a gluten-free cupcake - almost at the same time as Emily sent me a photo of a Cupcake ATM in Las Vegas!

The Cupcake ATM is at Sprinkles Cupcakes on South Las Vegas Boulevard
The Cupcake ATM is at Sprinkles Cupcakes on South Las Vegas Boulevard

On holidays to Amsterdam I remember the great Febo automated food vending machines, but I've never seen a cake ATM before. Looking at the Sprinkles website the one Emily saw is the world's first Cupcake ATM!

National Cupcake Week runs from 15 to 21 September 2014 and is organised by British Baker magazine to celebrate the sweet bakery product.

I had a look on the National Cupcake Week website and there are some gluten free recipes, which is good to see. These include White Chocolate & Raspberry Cupcakes and Sticky Toffee Pudding Cupcakes, along with a guest blog about starting a cupcake business - with gluten free as a niche.

Check out the Gluten-free cake making page on the Coeliac UK website for more information about cake catering for Coeliacs/Celiacs.

Related blog posts:
Gluten Free
Coeliac
Celiac
- Las Vegas

Links:
- National Cupcake Week
- Coeliac UK
- Sprinkles Cupcakes Las Vegas

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Crazy Golf in Seahouses, Northumberland

A visit to Seahouses to play Crazy Golf.

Back in April 2012 we embarked on a mammoth leg of our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour and visited a bumper crop of 49 miniature golf courses!

Mini Golf in Seahouses, Northumberland
At Beaches Crazy Golf in Seahouses

On re-entering England the 18-hole Crazy Golf course at The Bunker on Seafield Road in Seahouses, Northumberland became the 494th course visited overall when we arrived in the town on the 9 April, and the next day became the 297th course played.

Crazy Golf in Seahouses, Northumberland
A view of the Seahouses Crazy Golf course

Driving through the town you can't miss the course as its sat right next to the road!

Seahouses Crazy Golf on Seafield Road
The Beaches Crazy Golf course is right next to Seafield Road in Seahouses. Note the historic plaque built into the wall - the public gardens were opened in April 1980

Each of the holes on the Beaches Crazy Golf course have a local landmark theme and name. The course is well worth a play, with some interesting, tricky obstacles and hole layouts.

Seahouses Crazy Golf
Crazy Golf in Seahouses

In damp weather conditions on the 10 April 2012 we played a match-up on the course as part of our 'North West England, Scotland & North East England Tour Challenge' . In the contest I defeated Emily with a score of 36(par) to 45(+9).

Seahouses Crazy Golf
Emily playing a criss-cross of two holes at the Seahouses Crazy Golf course!

The course was the last of the thirteen we were able to play on our roadtrip, and the 48th visited overall during the holiday.

Crazy Golf in Seahouses, Northumberland

Crazy Golf in Seahouses, Northumberland

Crazy Golf in Seahouses, Northumberland

Crazy Golf in Seahouses, Northumberland


Seahouses Crazy Golf

Seahouses Crazy Golf

Seahouses Crazy Golf

Seahouses Crazy Golf

For more information, photos and prices for the Seahouses Crazy Golf course check out The Bunker website.

Seahouses Crazy Golf
The Crazy Golf course and The Bunker clubhouse in Seahouses

During the trip we managed to play the world's first miniature golf course - at St Andrews.

Link:
- The Bunker Seahouses

Related blog posts:
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour - List and links for all Miniature Golf courses visited to date
- Visiting a further 49 Minigolf and Crazy Golf courses in England and Scotland

Videos:
- View of the course 1
- View of the course 2

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Celiac Awareness Day!

September 13 is Celiac Awareness Day!

So, I was blissfully unaware that today is Celiac Awareness Day until I noticed a Facebook post by 1-2-3 Gluten Free! So here's a blog post about today's 'Day'.

Celiac Central, the national foundation for celiac awareness in the USA, are the group behind Celiac Awareness Day.

Check out the Celiac Central website for more information and their top ten ideas for marking Celiac Awareness Day.

Richard Gottfried is Gluten Free
I've been living the gluten free life since I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease in May 2008. One of Celiac Central's ideas for Celiac Awareness Day was to show support by wearing green. I've worn blue clothes today - but here's a photo of me from last Christmas in my festive jumper

Things to remember about Celiac/Coeliac - it's NOT an allergy, it's NOT a preference, it's NOT a fad, it's NOT a diet, it's NOT an intolerance, it's NOT a choice - it's an AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE.

Also, it's NOT contagious - though it can sometimes be quite amusing to see waiting staff and people who've never heard of it before recoiling in horror at your 'plague'.

Coeliac Disease (aka Celiac Disease in the USA) is a lifelong autoimmune disease caused by intolerance to gluten and while there is no cure the only treatment is to adhere a strict lifelong gluten free diet - which can be harder than you think when you factor in the risks and hazards of cross-contamination!

In the UK it's estimated that 1 in 100 people have the condition, in the USA the figure is 1 in 133.

The strict gluten free diet means that a number of commonly found ingredients must be avoided. A non-exhaustive list of gluten containing things include wheat, barley, rye and oats. This means the diet is restrictive, expensive and can be a challenge. Every day is a learning experience about how to manage the condition, so its great to see so much information available online.

Good work by 1-2-3 Gluten Free in spreading the word. I met the team at the Allergy and Free From Show 2014 at Olympia and they told me about the brand's launch in the UK, having started life in the USA.

This year Coeliac Awareness Week here in the UK ran from the 12 to 18 May and Coeliac UK promoted the Gluten-free guarantee to ensure that key gluten free items are available in stores around the UK.

May was also Celiac Awareness Month in the US and Canada.

The team at Glutenlibre have their own 'smashmouth awareness campaign' and are on a mission to spread awareness worldwide. Check out the Glutenlibre website for more info.

Related blog posts:
- Gluten Free
- Coeliac
- Celiac
- Minigolfing gluten free in Margate
- Coeliac UK Awareness Week 2014 and the Gluten-free guarantee
- Awareness Week: Coeliac Facts from Udi's Gluten Free
Funny things about being a Coeliac

Links:
- Celiac Central - the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness
- Coeliac UK
- 1-2-3 Gluten Free
- #CeliacAwarenessDay on Twitter