Saturday, May 30, 2015

Mini Golf in Skegness

Details of Adventure Golf, Crazy Golf and Minigolf courses in Skegness.

In May 2011 we visited Skegness as part of a road trip along the Lincolnshire coast. In May 2015 we returned for some more fun and games in the seaside resort. Here's a list of the courses we know of in Skegness.

- Arnold Palmer Putting Courses on North Parade - includes two Crazy Golf courses (one 9-hole, one 18-hole) and an 18-hole grass Putting course.

Arnold Palmer Putting Course on North Parade
The start of the 9-hole Crazy Golf course at the Arnold Palmer Putting course. The rocket ship in the top right of the photo is an obstacle on the 18-hole course

Arnold Palmer Putting Courses on North Parade
The excellent grass Putting Mini Golf course at the Arnold Palmer site

- Gold Mine Adventure Golf course at the Pleasure Beach - a 9-hole course.

Adventure Golf in Skegness
Hole 2 of the Gold Mine Adventure Golf course at the Pleasure Beach. You can see part of the Cactus Canyon River Ride to the right of the photo

- Jolly Roger Adventure Golf course on Grand Parade - includes two 9-hole layouts.

Adventure Golf in Skegness
A view of one of the two courses at the Jolly Roger Adventure Golf. We played them both in May 2011

- Miniature Golf at the North Shore Holiday Centre and Caravan Park - an 8-hole course.

Miniature Golf at the North Shore Holiday Centre and Caravan Park in Skegness
One of the holes of the Miniature Golf courses at the North Shore Holiday Centre. It's not too far from the seafront or town centre and is worth a play. The nearby pub is called The Pitch & Putt Inn

- Pitch and Putt course on Princes Parade - a 9-hole course.

Pitch and Putt course on Princes Parade in Skegness
We're yet to play the Pitch & Putt course and on our most recent visit we were there too early in the season

- Pebble Beach Adventure Golf course at the Pleasure Beach - a 9-hole course.

Adventure Golf in Skegness
We were able to play the Pebble Beach Adventure Golf course on our second visit to the seaside resort. It's well worth a play

- The Original Crazy Golf course on South Parade - a 12-hole layout.

Crazy Golf in Skegness
This is the site of England's first-ever Crazy Golf course. The game has been played in the town since 1926!

We've also visited and played a number of other courses in Lincolnshire.

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

Home Counties Gluten Free Food Fair 2015

The Home Counties Gluten Free Food Fair 2015 will be taking place on Saturday 5th September.

Dozens of gluten free food businesses and hundreds of Coeliacs will be descending on The Weatherley Centre in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire for this year's Home Counties Gluten Free Food Fair on Saturday 5th September.

Poster for the Home Counties Gluten Free Food Fair taking place in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire on Saturday 5th September
Poster for the Home Counties Gluten Free Food Fair taking place on Saturday 5th September

The 2015 event will take place from 10am until 2pm, with a £1 admission fee (that also includes entry into a prize draw).

The group organises a number of events throughout the year, and the last large food fair was in 2013. That event had 30 exhibitors and over 600 visitors.

As well as food and drink available to sample and purchase from many of the exhibitors there will also be refreshments for sale including gluten free fish and chips, sausage and chips, and fritters together with tea, coffee and other gluten free snacks.

If the 2013 is anything to go by there will be more than enough visitors for the exhibitors to promote to. Other Coeliac Groups in the Home Counties and London areas will be advertising the event, and it will be advertised in Coeliac UK's Crossed Grain Magazine.

I enjoyed the 2013 event and it was nice to catch up with fellow members of the group. It was also great to find out about new gluten and wheat free food and drink (including beers). Most of the exhibitors were offering samples for eager Coeliacs to try out. Although I did notice that some of the exhibitors were not giving out any samples - this always seems strange to me as I like to try before I buy. And I've certainly bought my fair share of those gluten free products from brands that weren't stingy with their samples at the fair.

The Beds and Mid Herts Coeliac UK group has over 750 members in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and parts of Essex. I've been a member since shortly after my diagnosis in 2008 and have found the information in the newsletters to be useful. Attending a newly diagnosed Coeliacs event was very helpful in the early days of living life gluten free. I've also made some great friends from being a part of the group.

For more information check out the Coeliac UK Beds and Mid Herts local group page.

The 2015 Home Counties Gluten Free Food Fair will be held at The Weatherley Centre, Eagle Farm Road, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, SG18 8JH.

I'm always keen to find out about gluten and wheat free brands that are suitable for people with Coeliac Disease so please do get in touch if you know of any, or are a producer/supplier.

Links:
Coeliac UK
- Coeliac UK local group page for Beds and Mid Herts

Related blog posts:
Coeliac
Gluten Free

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Spot the Difference

Spot the Differences between our visits to the Original Crazy Golf course in Skegness.

We've visited the Original Crazy Golf course on South Parade in Skegness, Lincolnshire twice on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour. The first time was in May 2011, followed by a return trip to the seaside resort in May 2015. On both occasions we found the Crazy Golf course that stands on the site of England's first-ever Crazy Golf layout to be closed.

Minigolf explorer Richard Gottfried sat outside the closed Crazy Golf course hut in Skegness in May 2011 and May 2015
Spot the Differences

Check out the posts from our visit in 2011 and 2015 to see how the course has changed in the past few years.

Related blog posts:

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Mini Golf at Lightwater Valley Theme Park

An old Crazy Golf postcard and a new Adventure Golf course.

I recently noticed that the Lightwater Valley Theme Park in North Yorkshire has opened a brand new Jurassic Adventure Golf course ready for the 2015 season.

Our friend Emma lives in nearby Northallerton and visited the theme park last year. She let us know they had a Crazy Golf course there and we'd added it to our places to visit list.

As a fan of all things miniature golf-related I've collected quite a few mini and crazy golf postcards over the years. One of my recent finds was a late 1970's card from Lightwater Valley showing the concrete Crazy Golf course being played.

A postcard showing one of the old Crazy Golf courses at Lightwater Valley Theme Park. The card is postally unused and undated. The reverse shows the text 'LIGHTWATER VALLEY' and the address, along with 'No.7'. There is no date on the card, but with the amount of flares on show it's got to be from the late 1970s
A postcard showing one of the old Crazy Golf courses at Lightwater Valley Theme Park. The card is postally unused and undated. The reverse shows the text 'LIGHTWATER VALLEY' and the address, along with 'No.7'. There is no date on the card, but with the amount of flares on show it's got to be from the late 1970s

We look forward to visiting and playing the new 18-hole course on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour.

More information on the Jurassic Adventure Golf course can be found on the Lightwater Valley website.

Links:
Lightwater Valley website
Lightwater Valley on Twitter
- Lightwater Valley on Facebook

Related blog posts:
- Postcards
- Adventure Golf
- North Yorkshire

Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf

Minigolf blog post about "The BEST Mini Golf Course in Venice".

Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf by EM15 at the Venice Biennale, photos by Gareth & Lurlyn Holmes
Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf in Venice

Running from May to July 2015 Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf is a fully playable art-installation minigolf course in Venice.

Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf by EM15 at the Venice Biennale, photos by Gareth & Lurlyn Holmes
The layout is is described as "The BEST Mini Golf Course in Venice"

While Emily and I won't be able to make it over to play this time, our friends Gareth and Lurlyn Holmes were recently on holiday in Venice and luckily for them they were able to play the course on the trip!

Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf by EM15 at the Venice Biennale, photos by Gareth & Lurlyn Holmes
Crazy Golf controversy with a Costa Concordia hole!

Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf by EM15 at the Venice Biennale, photos by Gareth & Lurlyn Holmes
Lurlyn plays tees-off on hole 4 - John Akomfrah's 'The Turkey Shoot Galactico'
  
Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf by EM15 at the Venice Biennale, photos by Gareth & Lurlyn Holmes
While Gareth is a Pro-Putter it was Lurlyn who came out the winner. by one-point. Gareth informs me that he had been playing while refreshed from a few beers. Here he is playing the 'Pleasure Seekers' hole by Candice Jacobs

Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf by EM15 at the Venice Biennale, photos by Gareth & Lurlyn Holmes
Gareth and Lurlyn both took a dreaded seven on the last hole (Ellie Harrison's 'Life Raft') as they hit their balls into the water

The EM15 project is a collaboration between artist-led organisations and institutions including the Beacon Art Project in Lincolnshire, One Thoresby Street in Nottingham, New Art Exchange in Notting, QUAD in Derby, Nottingham Trent University and The University of Nottingham.

The holes in Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf have been designed by John Akomfrah, Yara El-Sherbini, Doug Fishbone, Ellie Harrison, Candice Jacobs, Hetain Patel, Lindsay Seers, Yinka Shonibare MBE and Eyal Weizman.

So, why was Mini Golf chosen for the art installation? Well, the 56th Venice Biennale called for responses to 'The Leisure Principle' - and what better way to spend your leisure time than putting around a miniature golf course.

The Leisure Principle considers the concept of tourism and trade as a metaphor to explore current global economic complexities through one of the defining principles of leisure - that of consumption - and how this consumption shapes our identity.

EM15 is a collective from the East Midlands region of the UK and aims to inspire a new generation of artists, curators and audiences, as well as representing diverse cultures and perspectives, and creating long-lasting impacts for the arts ecology in the Midlands and throughout the UK. For more information visit the EM15 website.

For more information on Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf and the Venice Biennale check out the links below.

Minigolf is a popular theme for artists, so whilst on our travels we've played a few art-installation pop-up crazy golf courses.

In 2012/13 Doug Fishbone and friends created a 9-hole Crazy Golf course called 'Adventure Land' which was playable at music & art festivals and galleries around the UK. Unfortunately we were never able to make it. Although we were at The Arnolfini in Bristol just before the controversial course arrived.

Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf course has got a great scorecard, branded pencil and button badge.

Links:
- EM15 website
- EM15 on Twitter
- EM15 on Facebook
- Venice Biennale / la Biennale di Venezia website
- Venice Biennale / la Biennale di Venezia on Twitter
- Venice Biennale / la Biennale di Venezia on Facebook
Doug Fishbone's Leisure Land Golf

Related blog posts:
- Art
- Gareth Holmes
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour

Photos courtesy of Gareth and Lurlyn Holmes.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Mini Golf Sharks

Catching sight of some Crazy Golf Sharks on our minigolfing travels.

Pirate Mini Golf at the Galleria Shopping Centre in Hatfield
An animatronic shark on the Pirate Mini Golf course in Hatfield

The first 'actual' shark obstacle we found on a minigolf course was at Pendine Bay in Wales on a mammoth road trip in 2009.

The shark hole at the Crazy Golf course in Pendine Sands

Preceding our trip to Pendine Bay we'd visited and played the excellent Strokes Adventure Golf course in Margate. The 16th hole there is called 'Shark's Teeth'.

Strokes Adventure Golf course in Margate
Playing the Shark's Teeth hole during the 2007 Kent Open tournament at Strokes Adventure Golf course

Strokes Adventure Golf course in Margate
Playing the 16th hole at Strokes in 2014

The kiosk of the Pirate Mini Golf at the Galleria in Hatfield has a big bitey shark above the counter!

Pirate Mini Golf at the Galleria Shopping Centre in Hatfield
Kiosk shark

Pirate Mini Golf at the Galleria Shopping Centre in Hatfield
The Great White shark is basking on the minigolf course in Hatfield

I've been to Littlehampton twice. On the second occasion I managed to play the Sharksville Adventure Golf course.

Sharksville Adventure Golf at Harbour Park in Littlehampton
At Sharksville

Sharksville Adventure Golf at Harbour Park in Littlehampton
The shark on the advertising board was a different type of character

Sharksville Adventure Golf at Harbour Park in Littlehampton
The one that didn't get away was a different species of shark too

Look closely at the shark at Sharksville and you'll see he's wearing a bow tie!
Look closely at the shark at Sharksville and you'll see he's wearing a bow tie!

The 231st course we played on the Crazy World of Minigolf Tour was the 'Sea Dwellers Crazy Golf' at the Golden Palm Resort in Chapel St Leonards, Lincolnshire. However, none of the holes had a shark on it.

We spotted this shark bin in a seafood shop in Whitstable!
We spotted this shark bin at a seafood shop in Whitstable in 2014

Shelley at Putterfingers also spotted a shark obstacle on a miniature golf course - it was on a Disney TV show called Shake It Up!

On our travels we've seen a lot of crocodiles and alligators lurking on courses too.

If you see any sharks on a minigolf course do let me know!

Related blog posts:
Sharks
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour
- Strokes Adventure Golf in Margate
- Crazy Golf at Pendine Sands
- Sharksville Adventure Golf at Harbour Park in Littlehampton
- Pirate Mini Golf at the Galleria Shopping Centre in Hatfield

Happy National BBQ Week

National BBQ Week is running from the 25th to the 31st of May.

I heard on Twitter that this year is the 19th National BBQ Week. A time to celebrate all things BBQ!

Check out the National BBQ Week website for more information, facts and top tips about barbecuing.

BBQ time!
Have a happy National BBQ Week!

As someone with Coeliac Disease eating safely at barbeques can be a problem. Whenever I go to a BBQ I always take my own disposable BBQ and utensils. If you are cooking gluten free food on a shared grill then use foil to separate your gluten free meat and food from anything containing gluten. Even if the grill has been cleaned thoroughly there may be trace elements of gluten.

Also, check where the gluten free buns are being warmed. Make sure they are kept and heated separately from other bread and buns.

Another thing to remember at BBQs is to check whether any of the soft drinks contain gluten? I remember being caught out by own-brand colas when I was first diagnosed - they contain barley gluten! So always check the labels.

Thankfully I have found more and more products are being made gluten free, only recently I spotted that Asda have a new range of gluten free sausages, hot dogs and toppings.

Gluten free foot long hot dog sausage from Asda
Foot long and gluten free!

But above all else do remember to have fun, eat well and enjoy the sun!

Links:
- National BBQ Week website
- National BBQ Week on Twitter
- National BBQ Week on Facebook

Related blog posts:
- BBQ
- Hot Dog
Gluten Free
Coeliac
My life as a Coeliac in LEGO form

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Mini Golf at Tea Green Golf at Wandon End, Luton

A visit to the new Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club in Wandon End, Luton.

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton
The old Crazy Golf has been upgraded to this bright new Mini Golf 

Tea Green Golf Club in Luton has unveiled its upgraded Mini Golf layout and on Friday I headed up there for a few rounds on the course.

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton
Playing hole 1. The 'classic' ace line has been blocked by two obstacles. There is still a way to get a hole-in-one though. You can see the old version of hole 1 here

Emily and I have been visiting Tea Green Golf since we found out that the club was home to a Crazy Golf course in July 2009. The course was the 111th played on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour. Since that first visit almost six years ago the courses has undergone some changes.

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton
Revisiting the 111th course on our tour

Using the base holes as a foundation for the new miniature golf layout the 9-hole course has been refurbished and freshened up with new borders, obstacles and colours. I'm very pleased to say that the course manager Lester Coles and the team have taken on-board some of my suggestions for updating the course. There are now some nice undulations on the course, bright colours, high quality felt to play on, and of course there's a windmill on one of the holes.

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton
Hole 5 has a windmill obstacle on it. It blocks the straight shot to the hole, but there is a fine angle to make the ace

Lester has also been a minigolf rival of mine since we first played the course in 2011 so he was itching to give me a game - and what a clash it was. Having set the record of 17(-1) on the first official day of the new course Lester bested me in the first two rounds (18 to 19), before we tied on 17. We then played another 18-hole round which saw me force a play-off with an ace at the last hole. The game continued to the 4th extra-hole before I was robbed by a bounce out from my second putt.

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton
A view of the course from the turnaround point. Hole 7 (the blue hole in the photo) used to be hole 9

Over the years we've had many rounds on the course and scored a lot of holes-in-one. Lester and I were both amazed at how tricky it is to ace many of the holes during the round - we did however make some nice shots in some practice play. It'll be very interesting to see if the old course record of 14 (held forevermore by Scott Holmes) will ever be equalled or bettered...

The cost to play the Tea Green Mini Golf course is just £2 and gives you unlimited play on your visit. Great value
The cost to play the course is just £2 and gives you unlimited play on your visit. Great value

Check out the photos of the 9-hole course below.

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Mini Golf course at Tea Green Golf Club at Wandon End, Luton

Tea Green Golf is a really friendly golf club that welcomes members and non-members alike. The Par-3 Golf course is a great test and they also have a really popular Footgolf course. Plus there's a bar, restaurant and games area (pool and darts). Visit the Tea Green Golf website, and check out the club on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

Links:
- Tea Green Golf
- UrbanCrazy

Related blog posts:
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour
- Tea Green
- Luton

Videos:
A round of Minigolf at Tea Green Golf Course in Luton (July 2009)
- Attempting to play Crazy Golf in the snow at Tea Green Golf, Luton (January 2010)
- Hole in One at Tea Green Golf's Minigolf Course (March 2010)
- A round of Minigolf at Tea Green Golf Luton (May 2010)
- A round of Minigolf at Tea Green Golf for the Putter King Scavenger Hunt (September 2011)
- Minigolf Trick Shot - Blindfolded Hole-in-One for the Putter King Miniature Golf Scavenger Hunt (September 2011)