Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Minigolf Clubs in the UK

Details of miniature golf clubs in the UK.

I'm a member of the reigning and two-time BMGA British Club Champions, the Midlands Minigolf Club, and Emily is a member of the Cambridgeshire & Essex Mini Golf Club.

The 2015 BMGA British Club Champions - the Midlands Minigolf Club. From l-r Seth Thomas, Michael Smith, Brenda Smith, Paul Johnson, Owen Johnson, Richard Gottfried, John Moore, Chris Smith

We compete as individuals on the British Minigolf Association Tour, with occasional forays into doubles and team competitions.

The 2015 bronze medalists from the Cambridgeshire and Essex Mini Golf Club. From l-r Chris Wood, Adrian Amey, Emily Gottfried, Mark Wood
The 2015 bronze medalists from the Cambridgeshire and Essex Mini Golf Club. From l-r Chris Wood, Adrian Amey, Emily Gottfried, Mark Wood

There are currently eight miniature golf clubs affiliated to the BMGA - they are the Midlands Minigolf Club, Cambridgeshire and Essex Mini Golf ClubKent Minigolf ClubPlanet Hastings Crazy Golf ClubSplash Point Mini Golf ClubSussex Wasps Mini Golf Club, London Minigolf Club and the Brighton Minigolf Club.

Former / defunct / inactive minigolf clubs in the UK include (in no particular order) the Welwyn Garden City Minigolf Club, Tunbridge Wells Minigolf Club, Brighton and Hove Minigolf Club, Cwmbran Minigolf Club, Thames Valley Minigolf Club, Hampshire Minigolf Club, The Green Mini Golf Club, Cambridgeshire Mini Golf Club, Sandbanks Crazy Golf Club, Basingstoke Minigolf Club, Portsmouth & Southsea Crazy Golf Club, Luton Wanderers Minigolf Club, Bangor Minigolf Club and the Kentish Town Mini Golf Club.

Around the world there are over 900 minigolf clubs and 38,000 competitive minigolf players registered with the World Minigolf Sport Federation via the 46 member nations.

Active club links:
Midlands Minigolf Club
Cambridgeshire and Essex Mini Golf Club
Kent Minigolf Club
Planet Hastings Crazy Golf Club
Splash Point Mini Golf Club
Sussex Wasps Mini Golf Club
- London Minigolf Club - no website, but there's some great old info on the LMC at MiniatureGolfer.com
- Brighton Minigolf Club - no website

Association links:
British Minigolf Association
European Minigolf Sport Federation
World Minigolf Sport Federation

Happy April Fools' Day from 'The Kentish Town Mini Golf Club'

Setting up a new minigolf club in the UK.

Emily and I have decided to set-up a new minigolf club - the Kentish Town Mini Golf Club.

Minigolf characters Richard and Emily Gottfried in Margate, Kent

I have played for the Midlands Minigolf Club since my rookie season in 2007, while Emily was most recently a member of the Cambridgeshire and Essex Mini Golf Club.

There were two main reasons for us creating a brand new club on the exciting and action packed British minigolf scene.


Last month we both competed for our respective former clubs in the BMGA British Club Championships and did well in the event. Now the time is right to build a new legacy. Starting today.

Minigolf in London at the Clarence Way Crazy Golf course in Camden
Richard playing the Clarence Way Crazy Golf course in Camden. Near Kentish Town

Back in 2011 Kent Athletic Club held a Bank Holiday Fun Day and one of the activities was Crazy Golf! The course became the 267th played on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour and the first we'd played on a football pitch.

Minigolf at Kent Athletic Club in Leagrave, Luton
A Crazy Golf course, with a windmill, set up on a football pitch, in Leagrave

We held the inaugural Kent(ish) Invitational Tournament on that course visit and the victory went to me with a score of 34 to Emily's 42.

The code of conduct of the Kentish Town Mini Golf Club is summarised below:

  • Action - our events will be action packed 
  • Playability - we'll play at any course. Anywhere
  • Rankings - we'll set up the Kentish Town MGC ranking list for our members
  • International - we welcome players from around the world to represent the KTMGC
  • Lifestyle - we recognise minigolf is a lifestyle choice and we will have as much fun as possible while doing it
  • Fun - see above
  • Original - from it's name down, the KTMGC will be original in all it does
  • Official - it is
  • Longevity - we're in this for the long haul. Oh yes

The Kentish Town Mini Golf Club is open to all and for today only is offering free membership (the normal subs price will be £5 per player, per season). If you're interested in joining please get in touch via the comments below or on Twitter.

News of the British minigolf scene hasn't gone unnoticed. Mr Uri Foal from Kentish Town Council said "The forming of a new sports club in Kentish Town is always a cause for celebration. Having two fine minigolfers, Emily and Richard, committing their futures to the KTMGC is a sign of things to come."

Check out the links below for websites and Facebook pages of the other UK minigolf clubs.

Links:
- Kent Minigolf Club
- Midlands Minigolf Club
- Cambridgeshire and Essex Mini Golf Club
- Planet Hastings Crazy Golf Club
- London Minigolf Club - not online
- Splash Point Mini Golf Club
- Sussex Wasps Mini Golf Club
- British Minigolf Association
- European Minigolf Sport Federation
- World Minigolf Sport Federation

Related blog posts:
Crazy World of Minigolf Tour
Finally Playing the Camden Crazy Golf Course
Crazy Golf in Luton - Charity Fun Day at Kent Athletic Club
Richard Gottfried player profile
Emily Gottfried player profile

Monday, March 30, 2015

Chad Valley Miniature Golf

Playing a 1960's Miniature Golf set.

Chad Valley Miniature Golf

My fellow minigolf enthusiast Paul 'Johnson Paul Johnson' Johnson recently acquired a 1960's Miniature Golf set made by Chad Valley and he kindly donated it to The Crazy Golf Museum.

The 9-hole Chad Valley 'Miniature golf' course was designed for indoor and outdoor play and includes two putters, balls, flags and tin plate holes
The 9-hole Chad Valley 'Miniature golf' course was designed for indoor and outdoor play and includes two putters, balls, flags and tin plate holes

While at the Four Ashes Golf Centre in Dorridge last weekend we had to give the game a go.

Chad Valley Miniature Golf
Paul Johnson lines up a putt on a plateau hole

Chad Valley Miniature Golf
Putting using the Chad Valley miniature golf putters was very tricky

Chad Valley was founded in 1860 and the range of toys and games is now exclusively available at Argos.

Links:
- The Crazy Golf Museum
- Miniature Golf and Crazy Golf toys and games at The Crazy Golf Museum

Related blog posts:

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Novelty Automation arcade in London

A visit to London's Novelty Automation arcade.

Novelty Automation arcade in London

We recently visited the excellent Novelty Automation amusement arcade near Holborn in London.

Novelty Automation arcade in London
A nice relaxing break

We had great fun playing the mad arcade games. My favourite was definitely My Nuke - a personal nuclear reactor!

Novelty Automation arcade in London
Playing on my own personal nuclear reactor

Novelty Automation arcade in London
After 'successfully' playing the My Nuke game I received a piece of edible nuclear waster

The arcade is full of home-made games machines built by enthusiasts. And very well built they are too. Games include Test Your Nerve, Pet or Meat?, Chiropodist, Is it art?, The Expressive Photobooth, Divorce, Money Laundering, Cycle Pong, Alien Probe, Microbreak, Instant Eclipse and Autofrisk.

Novelty Automation arcade in London
Getting an Autofrisk!

They have some great merchandise for sale too. I picked up some nice badges and a keyring.

Novelty Automation arcade in London
Emily visited the Chiropodist

You can find Novelty Automation at 1a Princeton Street, London, WC1R 4AX and it's a five minute walk from Holborn Tube Station.

Novelty Automation arcade in London
Cycle Pong was out of order. We'll give this two player game a play next time

It's open Wednesday to Saturday and admission is free. Each of the games costs between £1 and £3 to play - each is token operated.

Novelty Automation arcade in London
The Alien Probe is a game of precision. And surprise

And what marvelous tokens they are too.

Novelty Automation arcade in London
Brilliant tokens

I'm looking forward to returning.

Novelty Automation arcade in London
A reason to return

If you're ever visiting the East Anglian coast then I suggest you also visit Southwold Pier as it's home to the original Under the Pier Show.

Novelty Automation arcade in London
I was far better at Test Your Nerve in London than in Southwold

There's also a FREE TOKEN offer running at the moment - check out the Novelty Automation website for more info!

Novelty Automation arcade in London
 I won at DIVORCE

Links:
Novelty Automation website
Novelty Automation on Twitter
The Under the Pier Show website

Related blog posts:
- Novelty Automation amusement arcade in London
Under the Pier Show - Southwold
Southwold
Amusement Arcades

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Crazy Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire

Playing minigolf in Tamworth's Castle Grounds.

Crazy Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire

On our recent visit to Tamworth, Staffordshire we played the Crazy Golf course in the town's Castle Grounds.

Minigolfers Richard and Emily Gottfried at the Crazy Golf course in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Minigolf adventurers at Tamworth's Crazy Golf course

Crazy Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
The course has a great scorecard

Crazy Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Emily on hole 1. This obstacle is often used as a last hole ball collector

Crazy Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Playing hole 2

Crazy Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Over the bridge on hole 4

Crazy Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Emily on hole 5

Crazy Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Emily plays hole 7

Tackling hole 7

Crazy Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Emily about to ace hole 8

The Castle Grounds Crazy Golf course became the 590th visited and 356th played on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour on Saturday 21 March 2015. In our match-up I managed to beat Emily by one-shot - 24 to 25.

Crazy Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Hole 1

Mini Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Hole 2

Miniature Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Hole 3

Adventure Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Hole 4

Mini-Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Hole 5

Minigolf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Hole 6

Crazy Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Hole 7

Crazy Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Hole 8

Crazy Golf in Tamworth, Staffordshire
Hole 9

The Crazy Golf putters and balls can be hired from Dave Owen Cycles.

Dave Owen Cycles in Tamworth's Castle Grounds provides cycle hire, tennis, crazy golf, cycling lessons, trampolines, bowls, skateboards and table tennis
Dave Owen Cycles offers a lot more than Crazy Golf

Dave Owen Cycles and Crazy Golf hire is based in the old Lido in Tamworth
Dave Owen Cycles and Crazy Golf hire is based in the old Lido

Tamworth Castle - flying the flag of the ancient Kingdom of Mercia
Tamworth Castle - flying the flag of the ancient Kingdom of Mercia

The Crazy Golf course in Tamworth's Castle Grounds is open seven days a week from 9am. The price is £2.50 for adults and £2.30 for children. For more information check out the links below.

We really enjoyed our trip to the town and would definitely visit again.

Links:
- Dave Owen Cycles on Facebook
- Castle Grounds on Tamworth Borough Council's website

Related blog posts:
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour
- Humpty

Videos:
- A visit to the Crazy Golf course in Tamworth
- Crazy Golf in Tamworth - Hole 4
- Emily plays hole 6
- Richard plays hole 6
- Richard plays hole 8

Postcards from Abingdon in Picture Postcard Monthly

Article about postcards from my home town in the top magazine for postcard collectors.

Check out the latest issue of Picture Postcard Monthly (April 2015) to read an article, written by yours truly, entitled 'A postcard from Abingdon-on-Thames'.

I grew up in the town before leaving in 2000. Since then I've returned for several Bun Throwing events and kept an eye on news from the town. I've also built up a collection of postcards of the town dating from the early 1900's to the present day and these make up the feature in the magazine.

Outside the former County Hall in Abingdon-on-Thames. The building is now home to the town's museum, while the basement is a new cafe. The market place itself has not changed a great deal over the decades, illustrated by the postcards featured in my article
Outside the former County Hall in Abingdon-on-Thames. The building is now home to the town's museum, while the basement is a new cafe. The market place itself has not changed a great deal over the decades, illustrated by the postcards featured in my article

You can buy hard copy and PDFs of Picture Postcard Monthly online. Check out the links below for more information.

Related blog posts:
- Postcard
- Postcards
- Picture Postcard Monthly
- A visit to Abingdon County Hall Museum

Links:
- Reflections of a Bygone Age (publishers of Picture Postcard Monthly up to issue no. 432 April 2015)
- Chimes Publishing & Postcards (publishers of Picture Postcard Monthly from issue no. 433 May 2015)
- World of Bun Throwing

Friday, March 27, 2015

Crazy Golf in Wardown Park Luton

The Crazy Golf and Minigolf courses in Luton's Wardown Park are no more!

Miniature Golf in Wardown Park, Luton
The sign for the Miniature Golf courses is still there

On Wednesday 25 March my friend and sometimes minigolf rival Simon 'Practice' Hall let me know that the minigolf and crazy golf courses in Luton's Wardown Park had been removed, so I had to head down for a look.

The Minigolf and Crazy Golf courses in Wardown Park, Luton on the 25 March 2015
The fibreglass holes of the Crazy Golf course have been dug out of their foundations and put in a pile. The muddy patch in the background is where the miniature golf grass putting course was

The Minigolf and Crazy Golf courses in Wardown Park, Luton on the 25 March 2015
The old Crazy Golf holes piled on top of hole 1

The Minigolf and Crazy Golf courses in Wardown Park, Luton on the 25 March 2015
A view of the Crazy Golf course area, with the 'grass' Minigolf layout on the left

The grass Miniature Golf course had been in Wardown Park since 19 June 1934 when it was opened by the town's Mayor. The fibreglass Crazy Golf course was a much later addition.

Hole 6 of the Crazy Golf course in Luton's Wardown Park in May 2007
Hole 6 of the Crazy Golf course in Luton's Wardown Park in May 2007

The Crazy Golf course was the 18th played on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour on 5 May 2007, with the Grass Putting Miniature Golf layout the 19th played on 19 May.

Emily playing Crazy Golf in Luton's Wardown Park in July 2007. The very green grass putting layout is on the other side of the fence
Emily playing Crazy Golf in Luton's Wardown Park in July 2007. The very green grass putting layout is on the other side of the fence

I hadn't seen or heard anything in the local media about changes to the minigolf area of the park and the staff in Wardown Park Museum didn't have any further information on the removal of the courses.

I asked Luton Borough Council why the Crazy Golf and Minigolf Putting courses in Wardown Park have been dug up?

They responded telling me it's a new meadow planting project with Sheffield University. There'll be nine plots, pathways and 'picnic zones'.

I then asked what was going to happen to the obstacles from the course and was told that the course will be reinstalled in another area of the park.

Mystery solved.

It'll be interesting to see what the area looks like when it's finished and where the Crazy Golf holes end up.

Playing hole 3 of the Wardown Park Crazy Golf course in Luton in 2007
Playing hole 3 in some golfing attire in 2007

An Autumn/Winter look to the Crazy Golf course Wardown Park, Luton in November 2011
An Autumn/Winter look to the course in November 2011

Hole 1 of the Crazy Golf course in Luton's Wardown Park as it used to look in May 2007
Hole 1 as it used to look

Playing the miniature golf grass putting in Wardown Park, Luton in May 2010
Playing the miniature golf grass putting in Wardown Park in May 2010

Check out the links below for photos and videos of the courses since we first visited them in 2007.

Related blog posts:
- Crazy Golf & Minigolf Courses in and around Luton, Bedfordshire
- Course Played #18 Luton (Wardown Park) - Crazy Golf
- Course Played #19 Luton (Wardown Park) - Miniature Golf
- Wardown Park in Luton - Changes to the Crazy Golf Course & Ducks Fighting
- Crazy Golf at Luton's Wardown Park - November 2010
- Minigolf and Crazy Golf at Luton's Wardown Park
- More Snow - Sledging & Crazy Golf
- Snow halts play
Crazy World of Minigolf Tour
Luton

Videos:
- View of the Crazy Golf Course at Wardown Park in Luton
Crazy Golf course changes at Wardown Park in Luton