Sunday, October 04, 2020
Saturday, October 03, 2020
The inaugural season of the Putt18 World Pro League concludes tomorrow.
I'll be playing my final four rounds in week 7 of the first Putt18 World Pro League at 11am (BST) tomorrow, Sunday 4th October.
You can watch my rounds live on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour Facebook Page.
I've been competing against fellow minigolf players from Australia, New Zealand and the USA in the seven event series.
Check out the Putt18 World Pro League Facebook Group and Putt18 website for more information.
Thursday, October 01, 2020
Where do you think it'll be?
14 years ago today we began our first full day of the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour. We've now visited a total of 956 miniature golf courses. When we began there were 'only' 600 in the UK!
|Terry's Traditional Crazy Golf course in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire. The 483rd course played on our adventures|
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
I've been documenting a number of aspects of the coronavirus pandemic here and on my social media. One of my areas of interest is the variety of warnings, instructions and directional signage there is around social distancing, so I loved seeing this photo Emily took of the social distancing measures in place on an escalator in M&S!
|Kind of like chevrons on the motorway|
Surely the 2 metre apart distance stickers should be on the moving walkway as well, rather than the static sides of the escalator? I wonder how many people are adhering to the rule and waiting for the person ahead of them to reach the first marker?
Check out my Instagram account and the various highlights for snaps of the social distancing, coronavirus and Covid-19 signs I've seen on my (limited) travels this year.
|Social Distancing World Champion! I don't think anyone is winning this year|
|Social distancing floor signs at the Burlington pub in Chesterfield|
Celebrating fourteen years of our crazy golf travels.
We played the Victory Trail course at Treasure Island Adventure Golf in Southsea, Hampshire on this day in 2006. At the end of our round on Saturday 30th September I won a free game by firing the cannon on the lucky last hole.
Our minigolfing adventures have been rolling ever since!
|How different would our lives have been if I'd missed my shot on the final hole?|
From the archives - Check out the blog post looking at our first game at Treasure Island Adventure Golf in Southsea.
We last played the Treasure Island Adventure Golf course in Southsea on the 30th September 2016 to celebrate ten years of our travels. I won another free game then too. I also won a free game when we revisited the course on the fifth anniversary of our tour on the 30th September 2011. Incredibly I won again on the 7th August 2015.
Joining us on that first course visit was my brother Christopher. He's also played a fair few courses on his own branch of the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour. The latest being the Alton Water Mini Golf course in Ipswich, Suffolk. That brought the combined total course visits to 982!
We've now visited 956 courses, 39 of which have been overseas.
From the archives - Check out the results of our first-ever game of Adventure Golf against each other in 2003.
The growth of minigolf
When our travels began in 2006 there were around 600 courses in the UK.
Minigolf has grown in popularity 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 new courses have come and gone during the last decade and we have been to a number of pop-up courses too. There are still new courses being planned, developed, built and opened.
When we first set out to visit all the courses in the country there were only two indoor courses, one in Felixstowe and one in Great Yarmouth. Both are still open and have been joined by around 100 other indoor minigolf venues!
We visited our 900th course overall when we played the North Bay Mini Golf course in Scarborough, North Yorkshire in June 2019.
|North Bay Crazy Golf in Scarborough|
We visited our 900th course in the UK when we played the indoor Pirates Cove Adventure Golf course at the New York Thunderbowl in Kettering, Northamptonshire last December.
|Pirates Cove Adventure Golf in Kettering|
The original 600
Before 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're also very close to hitting 1,000 course visits overall.
We had a very strong start to the year and visited 20 courses in the first 20 days of 2020.
We've been to a total of 46 courses this year. Fifteen of those are new courses added to our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour total and eight of them have been visited in the time of coronavirus.
Course visits by year
- In 2019 we went to 82 courses.
- In 2018 we visited 64 courses.
- In 2017 we went to 74 courses.
- In 2016 we visited 47 courses.
- In 2015 we went to 84 courses.
It'll be interesting to see whether we'll be able to get down to Southsea to celebrate the 15th anniversary of our minigolfing tour next year.
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
A new glow-in-the-dark Crazy Golf course is opening in Hull.
Hull will soon be home to a new UV Crazy Golf course as the team from the East Park Pirate Golf course are opening a venue at the Princes Quay shopping centre in the city.
Visit the East Park Pirate Golf Facebook page for more information.
Minigolf in Hull
There has been a real boom in minigolf courses opening in Hull, with the East Park Pirate Golf course joining Putt Club and the Pirate Adventure Golf course at One Stop Golf. The city will also be home to a new Lost City Adventure Golf venue soon.
Minigolf has grown in popularity in the last eight years and has moved from being seen as 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.
Businesses also use portable and temporary pop-up minigolf layouts to boost footfall, create awareness, product launches and promotions.
Our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour
Hull has been on our to visit list for a few years now. It'll be a busy trip with all of the new courses to play when we eventually get there!
Our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour had not yet begun 14 years ago.
It got underway 14 years ago tomorrow.
On the 30th September 2006 I won a free game card on the lucky last hole at the Treasure Island Adventure Golf course in Southsea, Hampshire and our adventures rolled on from there!
|Playing the Treasure Island Adventure Golf course in 2016|
We've now been to 956 courses on our travels.
Sunday, September 27, 2020
There was a pop-up crazy golf course in Fleet, Hampshire yesterday.
Minigolf in the time of Coronavirus
Saturday, September 26, 2020
A new Putt Club minigolf venue is opening in Watford, Hertfordshire.
The team at Putt Club are gearing up to open the brand's second venue with a new location in Watford.
The first Putt Club opened in Hull in January this year.
The new Putt Club in Watford is scheduled to open on the 21st October.
For more information on motorsport-themed indoor crazy golf courses visit the Putt Club website.
Friday, September 25, 2020
A look at the Treasure Island Adventure Golf course at Wonderland Telford in Telford Town Park in Shropshire.
We had a look at the Treasure Island Adventure Golf course at the Wonderland Telford theme park in Telford Town Park earlier this month!
We really enjoyed our visit to Wonderland Telford and are looking forward to returning in the future.
Visit the Wonderland Telford website for more information.
|Dinosaur at Wonderland Telford!|
Our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour
We've visited a total of 956 courses since our adventures began at Treasure Island Adventure Golf in Southsea on the 30th September 2006.
We've been to 46 courses in 2020, with 15 of those being new courses visited. We've swung by eight new courses in the time of coronavirus.
We've got 40 of the original 600 we set out to visit left and a lot of new courses to play at too!
Check out The Minigolfer's Guide to Marketing.
InterGame Video Insights - Mini-golf in the time of Covid-19.
Check out episode 1 of InterGame's Video Insights with a discussion of the opportunities and challenges of operating a mini-golf venue amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Finding an old mosaic tile logo at the former Littlewoods shop on Stamford Street Central in Ashton-under-Lyne.
A few doors down from the old Woolworths on Stamford Street Central in Ashton-under-Lyne is a Cash Converters. The doorways to that shop also hold a link to the past.
|Past meets present - the decades old Littlewoods logo and the signs of the pandemic times of 2020|
Before becoming Cash Converters the building was home to Hitchens, a catalogue clearance store.
Another interesting thing about the building is that the street light is attached to the building itself, rather than on a pole.
Finding an old mosaic tile logo at the former Woolworths on Stamford Street Central in Ashton-under-Lyne.
This branch of Woolies opened in 1927. It closed in the 1960s.
The building is now a charity shop for the Wooden Canal Boat Society.
I found out about this old logo on the excellent Woolies Buildings blog.
It's great to look up, down and all around while out exploring as you can see so many interesting things.
You can see still other remnants of Woolworths on the UK high street if you know where to look.
We visited the old Woolworths in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent earlier this month. It's one of the few former Woolworths shops that has not been occupied since the brand's demise in January 2009.
We also spotted an old Woolworths store in Brunstane, Edinburgh on a minigolfing trip back in August 2011. That was the Big W Woolworths store at The Jewel retail park.
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Results from week 6 of the Putt18 World Pro League.
I've been competing in the inaugural Putt18 World Pro League during the pandemic and six of the seven events in the first season have now been completed.
Players from the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand have been pitting their Putt18 putting skills against each other in the fortnightly challenges. The final week gets underway next Wednesday, 30th September with the champion crowned on Sunday 4th October.
After six weeks a total of 480 rounds of Putt18 have been recorded.
At the top of the leader-board is Matt Ansley of New Zealand with 742 points scored in the six events.
GB's Dave Gomm in second spot with 602 points. Dave has also set a new world record for an individual round with a score of 57 recorded last week.
John Ansley of New Zealand is in third place with 548 points.
I'm currently in 18th place of the 20 players left competing in the marathon of putting with 91 points.
It'll be an interesting final week of games to see if there is any movement at the top and bottom of the leader-board!
Many thanks to my fellow players for keeping track of all the action.
Putt18 World Pro League
Each player has a 20-minute time limit to play four 18-hole rounds for a 72-hole total score in each of the seven events. There are a variety of points on offer for low scores and total rounds.
Check out the Putt18 World Pro League Facebook Group for more info.
We first played the Putt18 game format in the Putt18 Home Putting Challenge 4 Nations Cup international event against Australia, New Zealand and the USA back in May.
The Putt18 game mat consists of six tee-off boxes and three target score zones. Players must hit their balls from each of the tee boxes in turn aiming at the Par-4, Par-5 and Par-3 targets while avoiding fairways, bunkers and water hazards that carry penalty points. After the 18 shots have been played you tot up your score to see what you've shot for your round.
Further details of the Putt18 golf game mat can be found on the Putt18 website.
Read my blog post about keeping social and competitive in the new world of physical and social distancing
A visit to the Princess Parade Crazy Golf course in Blackpool.
We visited Blackpool for the first time this year on the 3rd September. It was really nice to get back to the seaside.
|You can see the top of the Blackpool Tower from the sunken gardens crazy golf course|
While there we had a catch-up with Ian and Paul from the Blackpool Fulfilling Lives and Blackpool and the Fylde Street Angels - the two groups that have joined forces to refresh and reopen the Princess Parade Crazy Golf course on Blackpool's North Shore.
|It was brilliant to talk to people in real life for a change!|
It's a pleasure to be a part of the Princess Parade Crazy Golf project and I've enjoyed working with the teams at Blackpool Fulfilling Lives and Blackpool & the Fylde Street Angels, Blackpool Council and the Blackpool Civic Trust to get the course reopened.
The area has been given a massive clean up by the project team and a number of the holes have required repairs. You can see how the course looked in May 2019 and October 2019 in my blog post.
|How the course looked in May 2019|
The Princess Parade Crazy Golf course will be opening next year once the refurbishment work is complete and it is safe to do so.
|One of the holes under repair|
More information on the project can be found on the Blackpool Princess Parade Crazy Golf Facebook Group.
Photos of the 18-hole Princess Parade Crazy Golf course, September 2020.
Seaside heritage and Blackpool minigolf history
We've recently found out that the course has been there since the late 1950s. We've got quite quite a few old postcards showing the course. It's lovely to see the photos of it in its heyday and it'll be brilliant to be down there on a hot, sunny day in the future.