Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Crazy Golf on South Parade in Skegness

The Crazy Golf course on Skegness' South Parade is facing closure.

The sign on the prom for 'The Original Crazy Golf' on South Parade in Skegness
The sign on the prom for 'The Original Crazy Golf' on South Parade in Skegness

Back in the summer of 2011 Emily and I embarked on a mammoth road trip along the Lincolnshire coast. We played a lot of minigolf and visited a number of courses.

Hole 1 of the South Parade Crazy Golf course in Skegness, Lincolnshire
Hole 1 of the South Parade Crazy Golf course in Skegness

One of the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour visits took us to the Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness. Unfortunately when we visited the course wasn't open, and didn't look like it had been in a while.

Hole 6 of the South Parade Crazy Golf course in Skegness, Lincolnshire
The rocket on hole 6

Hole 8 of the South Parade Crazy Golf course in Skegness, Lincolnshire
Hole 8 of the Skegness Crazy Golf course

Hole 12 of the South Parade Crazy Golf course in Skegness, Lincolnshire
Hole 12 of the South Parade minigolf course layout

Since that visit the course has reopened and has had a bit of a refresh. However, it is under threat of closure and a petition has been set-up to help save it from being turned into a car park. Great spot by the team at Putterfingers.

The Crazy Golf course on South Parade is one of the world's oldest locations to play minigolf and is believed to be the site of England's first course. Set-up in the 1920's the date of its establishment varies from 1922 to 1927. It truly is a piece of living minigolf history. And one I hope is not consigned to history.

Crazy Golf in Skegness
How I looked in 2011 when I was unable to play Crazy Golf at the course. I'd look this grumpy again if the course was closed for good

When we visited Camber Sands in 2010 we found the Arnold Palmer Crazy Golf course had been dug up to make way for a Car Park. On our return last year it was a patch of dusty ground. Such a shame.

We're planning a return trip to Skegness this year and hopefully we'll get a chance to play on the country's first course.

Skegness is something of a mecca for miniature golf. On our visit to the seaside resort we managed to visit and/or play a grand total of twelve Crazy Golf, Minigolf, Adventure Golf, Mini Golf and Putting courses.

On our travels we've been to 589 courses to date and we've played the first two Miniature Golf courses in the world!

The first miniature golf is still in existence and has been playable since 1867. The Himalayas Putting course is at St Andrews in Scotland and is well worth a visit.

The first Pitch & Putt mini golf course is in Southsea, Hampshire and was opened in 1914. Again, it's still there today and is a tricky layout.

For more on the history of Mini Golf check out The Crazy Golf Museum and the extract from Nutters with Putters.

Related blog posts:
Minigolf, Crazy Golf and Adventure Golf Courses on the Lincolnshire Coast

Links:

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Gluten free breakfast GfMuffin

A gluten free breakfast treat.

As someone with Coeliac Disease I'm not necessarily bombarded with advertising via mass media, but I do get taunted/haunted/annoyed when I see adverts, posters, billboards etc. for food and drink that is not gluten free.

One advert in particular has caught my eye over the last few weeks. The marketing campaign by a well known fast food chain has posters for their breakfast item on the way to the platform at St Pancras station so I see it fairly often.

I haven't had a fast food breakfast muffin for many years so decided to make my own.

A gluten free sausage and egg breakfast muffin and hash brown on the side. Next time I'll be adding a slice of cheese too
A gluten free sausage and egg breakfast muffin and hash brown on the side. Next time I'll be adding a slice of cheese too

Living on a strict gluten free diet isn't always easy. While the actual eating of only gluten free food is relatively easy, but finding the ingredients and products you fancy eating can be a bit more difficult. So, in addition to not being able to buy a breakfast muffin from a takeaway, I also had to shop around to find the component parts.

The breakfast muffins took a while to find. I have had the Livwell English Muffins before, but looking in my local supermarkets this time I could only find them in Sainsbury's.

We were looking around for gluten free sausages/squares/patties/sausage meat to use as a filling and while in Tesco Emily spotted the new Fair & Square 97% Pork sausage squares from Heck Food. A nice addition to their range.

For a potato-based side it had to be McCain Hash Browns. They are gluten free and a stock item in our freezer.

Links
- Heck 
- Livwell
- McCain

Related blog posts:
- Gluten free
- Coeliac

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Darts and Skittles at the Jolly Drayman in Gravesend

Playing some darts at the Jolly Drayman Pub in Gravesend.

On a recent trip to Gravesend, Kent we visited the Jolly Drayman pub that's a short walk from the town centre. It's well worth a visit.

Darts at the Jolly Drayman pub in Gravesend, Kent
We played a fair few games of darts at the Jolly Drayman. Luckily I didn't score under eleven in our matches. The pub has a nice, spacious and bright darts area. You can also buy darts, flights and spares there. I was undefeated in my games of 301 against Brad Shepherd and Seth Thomas so treated myself to some new flights

Pub skittles table at the Jolly Drayman pub in Gravesend, Kent
As we were leaving the pub we spotted a skittles table! I'll definitely try and give it a play in my next visit to Gravesend

I've played a few different types of pub skittles, including the rare London Skittles. In 2012 we played Northamptonshire Skittles on a table that was a little wider, but shorter than the one in the lobby of the Jolly Drayman.

Related blog posts:
- Gravesend
Pub games

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Some new minigolf kit from Fun-Sports

Updating my putter for the 2015 minigolf sport season.

A new putter rubber and a fancy looking ball 'picker upper' ready to add to my Fun-Sports Minigolf Sport Putter ready for the new season
A new putter rubber and a fancy looking ball 'picker upper' ready to add to my Fun-Sports Minigolf Sport Putter ready for the new season

Link:
- Fun-Sports website
- Fun-Sports on Facebook

Related blog posts:
- Crazy about Mini Golf Balls
- UK Mini Golf Competitions in 2015
- “Mr October” on a Minigolf Calendar!
- New (Minigolf) Balls Please
- What's in a Minigolf Kitbag?

Bar Billiards at the Three Daws pub in Gravesend

Playing some Bar Billiards at the Three Daws in Gravesend.

Bar Billiards at the Three Daws pub in Gravesend, Kent
Playing some Bar Billiards in Gravesend

I added another Bar Billiards table played and pub visited while in Gravesend, Kent as Brad, Seth and I headed to the Three Daws pub.

Bar Billiards at the Three Daws pub in Gravesend, Kent
Seth taking advice/ignoring the local knowledge from Brad

Bar Billiards at the Three Daws pub in Gravesend, Kent
The table was a bit on the wobbly side. And a bit wonky! It certainly made for an interesting three-player match. I won with a score of 780. Seth was second on 400, while hometown player Brad scored 330

Related blog posts:
Pub
Gravesend
Pub games

Links:

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Bar Billiards and Darts at The Cock Inn, Luddesdowne

Playing some Darts and Bar Billiards at The Cock Inn, Luddesdowne.

Bar Billiards at The Cock Inn, Luddesdowne
Brad Shepherd playing some Bar Billiards at The Cock Inn at Luddesdowne

I do enjoy playing pub games, and ever since my mate Brad Shepherd introduced me to the sport of Bar Billiards, via the Indoor League, I've looked to play as many tables as I can find.

On a recent trip to Gravesend we made the short journey to the village of Luddesdowne - between Meopham and Cobham - to visit The Cock Inn to see the traditional pub games there.

Bar Billiards at The Cock Inn, Luddesdowne
Brad and I had a cracking game of Bar Billiards. Having not played in a while we got off to a bit of a slow start, but Brad then took the lead, only for me to mount a comeback (curtailed by a break wipeout), followed by another fightback to eventually win 990 to 810

Darts at The Cock Inn, Luddesdowne
There's also a 'standard' dartboard at The Cock Inn...

Darts at The Cock Inn, Luddesdowne
...as well as three examples of variant dartboards! This was the first time I'd seen a London Fives, Yorkshire Board or a Manchester Log-End Board in the flesh. Brilliant to see

Shove Ha'penny at The Cock Inn, Luddesdowne, Kent
There was also a Shove Ha'penny slate at the pub. I've played on a wooden board, but never seen the game on a slate before

Check out the Patrick Chaplin (aka Dr Darts) website for more on the history of the dartboard.

Related blog posts:

Links:

Monday, February 16, 2015

Crazy Golf at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

A revisit to the Mini Golf course in Gravesend's Woodlands Park.

Crazy Golf at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Back in February 2009 we visited Gravesend and had a play of the abandoned Crazy Golf course in Woodlands Park. Six years on and I was in town again and had to have a look at the course.

Nothing much had changed.

Crazy Golf at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent in February 2009
The course on 28 February 2009

Crazy Golf at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent in February 2015
As the course looked on Valentines Day 2015

The course is still in an abandoned, derelict state, but surprisingly the felt and frame of the 18-hole layout still looks to be in a pretty decent condition.

Richard Gottfried at the Crazy Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent
At another unplayable course on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour

Interestingly when you look beyond the existing holes you can see the foundations of the course that was originally there. It looks like the course used to be similar to some of the Beton and Eternit courses more often found in continental Europe.

Mini Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

My guide for the day was Brad 'The Fist' Shepherd who had a walk round the course and reminisced about some of the holes-in-one he scored on the miniature golf course when he was a lad.

Local tour guide Brad Shepherd shares some minigolf stories as we walk the Woodlands Park Crazy Golf course in Gravesend, Kent
Local lad Brad showed me around the Crazy Golf course

Mini Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Mini Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Mini Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Miniature Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Miniature Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Miniature Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Miniature Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Miniature Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Local tour guide Brad Shepherd shares some minigolf stories as we walk the Woodlands Park Crazy Golf course in Gravesend, Kent

Minigolf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Minigolf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Minigolf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Minigolf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Minigolf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Minigolf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Minigolf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Minigolf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Richard Gottfried at the Crazy Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Minigolf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Crazy Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Crazy Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent
  
Crazy Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Crazy Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent
 
Crazy Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

Crazy Golf course at Woodlands Park in Gravesend, Kent

The Woodlands Park Crazy Golf course was the 79th played on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour.

Related blog posts:
Minigolf Course Visit No. 79 - Woodlands Park, Gravesend
Hole...in...one
Crazy World of Minigolf Tour

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Dunton Hills Invitational Minigolf Tournament

Richard Gottfried wins the Dunton Hills Invitational minigolf tournament

Leagrave minigolfer Richard Gottfried got his 2015 minigolf season underway with victory in the Dunton Hills Invitational tournament played at the Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre in West Horndon, Essex on Sunday 15 February.

Minigolfer Richard Gottfried at the Dunton Hills Invitational in West Horndon, Essex
Luton Minigolfer Richard Gottfried in action at the Dunton Hills Invitational competition in West Horndon, Essex

Organised by the Cambridgeshire & Essex Mini Golf Club, the Dunton Hills Invitational saw seven British Minigolf Association Tour Pro players compete over three rounds on the 18-hole miniature golf course.

Richard recorded a 54-hole score of 140 with rounds of 48, 45 and 47. Mark Wood of the CEMGC was runner-up with a score of 143, with Andy Wilde of the Sussex Wasps Mini Golf Club in third place.

Richard said “It’s marvellous to win the Dunton Hills Invitational tournament. The course is incredibly tricky and the competition was tough. It was a real battle for the title with Mark and it went all the way to the wire. Thanks to the CEMGC for organising the event, it was good fun and a great way to start the season.”

Full results of the Dunton Hills Invitational Minigolf Tournament:
1. Richard Gottfried (48-45-47) = 140
2. Mark Wood (46-44-53) = 143
3. Andy Wilde (50-49-46) = 145
4. Chris Wood (50-51-49) = 150
4. Brian Smith (48-54-48) = 150
6. Steve Lovell (46-51-55) = 152
7. Martin Greenhead (56-53-44) = 153

Next up for Richard and Emily is a trip to Hastings for the BMGA British Club Championships in March. Richard will be playing for the Midlands Minigolf Club, the 2008 national champions, while Emily will be competing as part of the Cambridgeshire & Essex Mini Golf Club.

Links:
Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre website
Cambridgeshire & Essex Mini Golf Club on Facebook
CMGC website

Related blog posts:
- CEMGC Invitational Minigolf Tournament 2014
Minigolf at Dunton Hills Golf Course in Essex
Playing the Dunton Hills Miniature Golf Course in West Horndon, Essex
Minigolf and Crazy Golf in Essex
Crazy World of Minigolf Tour - List and links for all Miniature Golf courses visited to date