Monday, December 15, 2014

Crazy Golf in Abingdon's Abbey Meadows

A revisit to the first miniature golf course I ever played.

The Crazy Golf course at the Abbey Meadows in Abingdon-on-Thames, Oxfordshire
The Crazy Golf course at the Abbey Meadows in Abingdon-on-Thames

At the weekend I visited my home town of Abingdon-on-Thames in Oxfordshire. While there I had to go and have a look at the Crazy Golf course that was the first-ever minigolf course I played.

Richard Gottfried at the Crazy Golf course at the Abbey Meadows in Abingdon-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. The first minigolf course he ever played
At the first minigolf course I ever played

On our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour the Abbey Meadows Crazy Golf course became the 31st played in August 2007.

When we first walked up to the out-of season minigolf course we thought it had been felted. But no, it was a build-up of moss on holes one and two of the Crazy Golf course at the Abbey Meadows in Abingdon-on-Thames, Oxfordshire
When we first walked up to the out-of season minigolf course we thought it had been felted, but no, it was a build-up of moss on holes one and two!

I last played the course in June 2012 in match-up against my brother Jon. That visit saw a rematch following our game in April 2012.

One of the tricky minigolf holes at the Abbey Meadows Crazy Golf course in Abingdon-on-Thames
One of the tricky minigolf holes at the Abbey Meadows Crazy Golf course in Abingdon-on-Thames

Related Blog Posts:
- A Gottfried vs. Gottfried Crazy Golf Match in Abingdon-on-Thames
- A day out of Bun Throwing, Crazy Golf and Bar Billiards in Abingdon-on-Thames
- Abingdon Abbey Meadows Crazy Golf Course Replay on a Crazy World of Minigolf Tour Revisit
- Crazy Golf in Abingdon, Oxfordshire
- Abingdon
- Abingdon-on-Thames
- World of Bun Throwing blog
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour

Link:
Abbey Meadows, Abingdon on the Vale of White Horse District Council website

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

London Skittles at the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club

Report from the Minigolfer's Christmas 'Do' 2014.

The players after the London Skittles competition at the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club
Crazy Skittlers

This year our annual festive jaunt took us to The Freemasons Arms, home to London's last remaining Skittle Alley and the historic Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club.

London Skittles at the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club
Emily playing London Skittles

After reading about the game some years ago and a visit to the pub after a Hopping tournament in 2012 we made the booking to play a game of London Skittles in the basement alley for our Christmas tournament.

London Skittles at the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club
Brad 'The Fist' Shepherd launches into action

With reigning champion Emily leading one team and multiple-time former winner of Christmas shenanigans Brad captaining the other the other players were picked by number before we got straight into playing.

London Skittles at the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club
'Squire' Richard throwing a little off course

Emily led the proceedings and with a choice of three different 'cheeses' stepped up and scored an end of 5 with her three goes to get the competition underway.

London Skittles at the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club
A pair of 'Cheeses'

The winner's of the team tournament were 'Lemony's Lobbers' who defeated 'Team Frugal' with a scoreline of 178 to 176!

Lemony's Lobbers - 2014 Christmas 'Do' Champions. From l-r Jon Angel, Steve Gow, Alan Norman, John Moore, Emily Gottfried, Richard Gottfried at the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club
Lemony's Lobbers - 2014 Christmas 'Do' Champions. From l-r Jon Angel, Steve Gow, Alan Norman, John Moore, Emily Gottfried, Richard Gottfried

This year's losers and runners-up, Team Frugal. From l-r Paul O'Connor, Chris Jones, Brad Shepherd, Trevor 'Lord of Smeeth' Robertson, Richard Linden, Seth Thomas at the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club
This year's losers and runners-up, Team Frugal. From l-r Paul O'Connor, Chris Jones, Brad Shepherd, Trevor 'Lord of Smeeth' Robertson, Richard Linden, Seth Thomas

The overall individual was once again Brad 'The Fist' Shepherd with a total of 44, having been the only player to score a double-digit end in the two-hour tournament. Newcastle's John Moore and Surrey's Steve Gow tied for second.

The Big Cheese - Brad 'The Fist' Shepherd at the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club
The Big Cheese - Brad 'The Fist' Shepherd

Baby Bel - Alan 'Stormin' Norman at the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club
Baby Bel - Alan 'Stormin' Norman

Our instructor for the evening, Pete, was a great coach and referee giving us plenty of hints & tips and history of the game and venue. We also learned some of the terminology of the game for good shots, bad shots, pin layouts and more.

The final scores of the London Skittles competition at the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club
The final scores

We'd definitely play again and recommend London Skittles at the Freemasons Arms as a great night out.

The Freemasons Arms in Hampstead, home of the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club
The Freemasons Arms, Hampstead

Check out the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club website for more information on London Skittles and for booking enquiries, as well as some videos showing the game as it was in the 1930's and as it is now.

The Lawn Billiards game that forms part of the club's name is a long extinct sport, but you can still view Lawn Billiards artifacts in the club's alley.

London Skittles at the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club
While one team is throwing, two of the opposing team's players act as pin setters and cheese returners

London Skittles at the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club
Emily readying herself for a lob

London Skittles at the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club
Richard preparing for a shot

London Skittles at the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club
John Moore getting in the swing

London Skittles at the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club
Five scored

London Skittles at the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club
Pin setting and cheese rolling

London Skittles at the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club
Chris 'Stretch' Jones on a leisurely stroll up the alley

London Skittles at the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club
Trevnio in action

London Skittles at the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club
Big Al in full flight

London Skittles at the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club
Jon Angel with a great shot up the middle
  
London Skittles at the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club
Alan 'Stormin' Norman throwing a cheese

London Skittles at the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club
London Skittles team competition results

London Skittles at the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club
London Skittles individual competition results

Minigolfer's Christmas Shenanigans Hall of Fame
2014 - Brad 'The Fist' Shepherd - London Skittles Individual Championship
2014 - Lemony's Lobbers (Emily 'Lemony' Gottfried, 'Squire' Richard Gottfried, Alan 'Stormin' Norman, John 'Big Al' Moore, Jon 'Occasional' Angel, 'Big' Stevie Gow) - London Skittles Individual Championship
2013 – Emily ‘Lemony’ Gottfried – World Boules Le Noël Champignonship
2012 – Brad ‘The Fist’ Shepherd – Riverclose Worlds UnProfessional Minigolfer's Darts Championship
2011 – Brad ‘The Fist’ Shepherd – Rivernear Worlds Professional Crazy Golfers Darts Championships
2010 – Brad ‘The Fist’ Shepherd – Christmas Minigolf 9-Hole Putting Green Sudden Death Challenge
2010 – Keith 'Doc' Kellard & Jon 'El Pato' Angel (Team KJ Choice) – Sim BIG Golf Par-3's of the World Doubles Challenge
2009 – Brad ‘The Fist’ Shepherd – Christmas-themed Crazy Golf at Devonshire Square
Before Records Began – Lionel ‘The Spoon’ Bender – Crazy Golf Contest

Links
- London Skittles at the Hampstead Lawn Billiard and Skittle Club
- London Skittles on Facebook
- The Freemasons Arms, Hampstead

Related blog posts:
- Report from the Minigolfer’s Annual Christmas Shenanigans ‘Do’ in London 2013
- The Minigolfer’s Annual Christmas Darts ‘Do’ 2012 in London
- Crazy Golfers Christmas 'Do' in London 2011 - Darts Tournament at Rileys Victoria!
- The Minigolfers Christmas 'Do' 2010
- 2009 Christmas Crazy Golf Challenge at Devonshire Square
- A London Pub & Jumble Sale Crawl
- Another New Game Played - Northamptonshire Skittles
- Behold...
- Tenpin Bowling

Monday, December 08, 2014

Gluten free beer at The King and Queen pub in Fitzrovia

Spotting gluten free beers available at The King & Queen pub in London.

While on a recent evening out in London Emily spotted that The King and Queen Pub in Fitzrovia serves gluten free beer.

Gluten free beers are available at The King and Queen pub in Fitzrovia, London
Green's gluten free beers and Crop Circle by Hop Back Brewery are available at The King & Queen pub in Fitzrovia

After seeing the chalkboard advertising the beers Emily asked behind the bar and was shown the row of Green's Beers and Crop Circle by Hop Back Brewery.

The bar staff at The King and Queen pub in London opened up the fridge so Emily could take this photo of the gluten free beers available. Green's beers and Crop Circle are on the bottom shelf
The bar staff opened up the fridge so Emily could take this photo of the gluten free beers available. Green's beers and Crop Circle are on the bottom shelf

Great to know there's another pub serving gluten free beer.

Links:
- The King and Queen Pub
Green's Beers
- Crop Circle

Related blog posts:
Gluten free Ale, Beer and Lager
Gluten Free

Sunday, December 07, 2014

End of minigolf season report for 2014

Details of Richard and Emily Gottfried's participation in the 2014 minigolf season.

Luton Minigolfers Emily and Richard Gottfried completed the 2014 minigolf season with a visit to the Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre in West Horndon for the CEMGC Invitational Tournament on Saturday 6 December.

Luton minigolfers Richard and Emily Gottfried at the Dunton Hills miniature golf course in Essex
Luton minigolfers Richard and Emily Gottfried at the Dunton Hills miniature golf course in Essex

In the five-player event Emily scored rounds of 50 and 49 to tie with local competitor Chris Wood on a score of 99. In the four-hole cumulative score play-off Emily won with a score of 9 to Wood’s 13. Richard had led the contest after round one, but a round of 59 saw him finish in fourth place.

Emily Gottfried putting on her way to victory in the season-ending CEMGC Invitational Tournament at the Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre in West Horndon, near Brentwood, Essex
Emily putting on her way to victory in the season-ending CEMGC Invitational Tournament in Essex

Richard completed the British Minigolf Association’s season with an 11th place finish in the Planet Hastings Crazy Golf Club Open that saw 26-players compete on the 18-hole Adventure Golf course in Hastings. Richard scored rounds of 40 and 42 for a total of 82(+10).

Richard Gottfried playing in the season-ending CEMGC Invitational Tournament at the Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre in West Horndon, near Brentwood, Essex
Richard in action at the CEMGC Invitational in Essex

The pair also recently participated in the Surrey Invitational Tournament played at Hoebridge Golf Centre in Woking and Horton Park Golf Club in Epsom. The 36-hole event was won by Woking’s Matt Dodd. Richard was the runner-up, with Emily in third-place.

Richard Gottfried at the Jungle Island Adventure Golf course in Epsom
Richard at the Jungle Island Adventure Golf course in Epsom

Richard said “It’s been a good minigolf season and we’ve played some fun events. Emily has had a very strong year and won some great titles. I’m happy to have finished ranked 12th in the UK and I’m looking forward to competing as part of the rejuvenated Midlands Minigolf Club in the 2015 season.”

Richard Gottfried playing the Strokes Adventure Golf course in Margate
Richard playing the Strokes Adventure Golf course in Margate

Emily said “It has been an interesting season. I have won some brilliant titles and taken part in some amazing tournaments. I’ve had a lot of fun along the way and hope to keep it up during 2015.”

Emily Gottfried in action at the Midlands Open at Dorridge
Emily in action at the Midlands Open at Dorridge

Richard once again ended the year inside the top-16 in the country with a 12th place ranking of 105 places (161 players) in the BMGA Strokeplay Order of MeritEmily reached a career-high end of season ranking, finishing 29th.

Richard Gottfried at the World Crazy Golf Championships in Hastings
Richard at the World Crazy Golf Championships in Hastings

In the BMGA Matchplay Order of Merit Rankings Emily finished in tied 20th place of 55 players, Richard was 38th.

Emily Gottfried playing hole 17 at Strokes Adventure Golf in Margate
Emily playing hole 17 at Strokes Adventure Golf in Margate

In the BMGA Season Only Rankings Emily finished 21st of 91 players, Richard was ranked in 25th position.

Richard Gottfried at the BMGA British Masters at Splash Point Mini Golf in Worthing
Richard at the BMGA British Masters at Splash Point Mini Golf in Worthing

The BMGA Season Only Rankings also contained a team listing. Richard is a member of the Midlands Minigolf Club that was ranked 2nd of five clubs. Emily and her Cambridgeshire & Essex Mini Golf Club team-mates finished the year in 4th place.

Emily won The Gommery trophy for most aces at this year's World Crazy Golf Championships in Hastings
Emily won The Gommery trophy for most aces at this year's World Crazy Golf Championships in Hastings

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

International Minigolfers Emily and Richard Gottfried on GB duty in Sweden in 2011
International Minigolfers Emily and Richard Gottfried on GB duty in Sweden in 2011

Worldwide the WMF has 46 member nations, with over 38,000 Minigolf players, 1,000 courses approved for competitions, 900 clubs and over 1,500 Minigolf tournaments held each year.

CEMGC Invitational Minigolf Tournament

Results of the CEMGC Invitational Minigolf Tournament at the Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre in Essex.

CEMGC Invitational Tournament winner Emily 'Lemony' Gottfried receives her prize from Mark 'The Natural' Wood at the Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre miniature golf course
CEMGC Invitational Tournament winner Emily 'Lemony' Gottfried receives her prize from Mark 'The Natural' Wood

On Saturday 6 December 2014 Emily Gottfried won the first-ever CEMGC Invitational Minigolf Tournament in a five-player Pro contest.

The Cambridgeshire & Essex Mini Golf Club members at their 2014 Invitational Tournament at the Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre in West Horndon, near Brentwood, Essex. From l-r Adrian Amey, Chris Wood, Mark Wood, Emily Gottfried
The Cambridgeshire & Essex Mini Golf Club members line-up at Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre. From l-r Adrian Amey, Chris Wood, Mark Wood, Emily Gottfried

The contest was held over two 18-hole rounds on the tough layout at the Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre in West Horndon, Brentwood, Essex with players from the Cambridgeshire & Essex Mini Golf Club taking part along with Richard Gottfried of the Midlands Minigolf Club. Each competitor used a Golf ball in the event, with Emily winning using a Putter King ball.

Cambridgeshire & Essex Mini Golf Club Invitational Tournament at the Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre in West Horndon, near Brentwood, Essex
Emily Gottfried playing in the CEMGC Invitational Tournament

Emily scored rounds of 50 and 49 for a total of 99, with Chris Wood also scoring a 99 to join the sub-100 club after rounds of 51 and 48. Wood's second round also included the tournament's only hole-in-one.

Cambridgeshire & Essex Mini Golf Club Invitational Tournament at the Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre in West Horndon, near Brentwood, Essex
Chris Wood playing in the CEMGC Invitational Tournament

The title was decided by a four-hole cumulative score play-off, with holes 1, 2, 8 and 9 used to decide the winner. Emily shot a total of 9, with Chris scoring 13.

Emily Gottfried and Chris Wood on the 8th hole in the play-off at the CEMGC Invitational Tournament at the Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre in West Horndon, near Brentwood, Essex
Emily Gottfried and Chris Wood on the 8th hole in the play-off at the CEMGC Invitational Tournament

After her victory Emily said "I am, of course, ecstatic to win the first CEMGC Invitational Tournament. Its a really enjoyable course, and playing on a bright, if chilly day, with a great group of my club-mates and the guest competitor, was brilliant. Although the holes are long and there are some very tricky greens, I liked it. Playing somewhere new and individual was fun. Congrats to Chris 'Bunker' Wood on coming in with a 99, but commiserations for losing the play-off."

Richard said "I enjoyed competing in the CEMGC Invitational Tournament and while the Dunton Hills miniature golf course is incredibly tough, it was still great fun. Well done to Emily on her well deserved win and thanks to the Cambridgeshire & Essex Mini Golf Club for organising the event."

With a total length of 734 feet, including a 62ft long 17th hole the Dunton Hills Miniature Golf course saw players battling for twos in the frosty conditions.

Mark Wood launches at shot at the Cambridgeshire & Essex Mini Golf Club Invitational Tournament at the Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre in West Horndon, near Brentwood, Essex
Mark Wood launches at shot at the CEMGC Invitational

Adrian Amey playing the 9th hole during round two of the Cambridgeshire & Essex Mini Golf Club Invitational Tournament at the Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre in West Horndon, near Brentwood, Essex
Adrian Amey playing the 9th hole during round two of the CEMGC Invitational

The course record was set at 48 by Richard Gottfried during round one, with Chris Wood equaling the score in round two.

Guest player Richard Gottfried of the MMGC plays at the Cambridgeshire & Essex Mini Golf Club Invitational Tournament at the Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre in West Horndon, near Brentwood, Essex
Guest player Richard Gottfried of the MMGC plays at the CEMGC Invitational

Round one leaderboard:
- Richard Gottfried - 48
- Chris Wood - 49
- Emily Gottfried - 50
- Chris Wood - 51
- Adrian Amey - 61

CEMGC Invitational Champion Emily Gottfried at the Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre in West Horndon, near Brentwood, Essex
The 2014 CEMGC Invitational Champion Emily Gottfried

Final results:
1. Emily Gottfried - 50 & 49 = 99* won four-hole play-off
2. Chris Wood - 51 & 48 = 99
3. Mark Wood - 49 & 56 = 105
4. Richard Gottfried - 48 & 59 = 107
5. Adrian Amey - 61 & 58 = 119

Links:
Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre website
Cambridgeshire & Essex Mini Golf Club on Facebook
CEMGC Invitational event result, report, photos and update on the CEMGC Facebook page
CMGC website

Related blog posts:
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

Minigolf at Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre in Essex

A revisit to the miniature golf course in West Horndon.

Miniature Golf Putting Course at Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre in West Horndon, Essex
A view of the miniature golf course and clubhouse at the Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre in West Horndon, Essex

On Saturday 6 December Emily and I headed to the 18-hole minigolf course at the Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre in West Horndon, near Brentwood, Essex where we would be competing in the first CEMGC Invitational competition.

Emily Gottfried putting during the CEMGC Invitational Tournament played at the Miniature Golf at Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre in West Horndon, Essex
Emily putting during the CEMGC Invitational Tournament

We first visited and played the 18-hole course in July 2012 when it became the 299th played and 499th visited on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour.

Richard Gottfried putting during the CEMGC Invitational Tournament played at the Miniature Golf at Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre in West Horndon, Essex
Playing minigolf at Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre

It's a very tough layout, with some incredibly tricky second (and third!) putts on the big greens. The holes vary in length from 27 to 62 feet!

Miniature Golf at Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre in West Horndon, Essex

Miniature Golf at Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre in West Horndon, Essex

Miniature Golf at Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre in West Horndon, Essex

On our visit in 2012 I scored a 48 (Out in 24, In in 24), with Emily scoring 51 (Out in 27, In in 24). On this occasion playing in the CEMGC Invitational Tournament Emily won the two round contest with scores of 50 and 49, while I shot a course record 48 (once again Out in 24, In in 24), followed by a 59 to finish fourth in the five-player Pro contest.

Mini Golf at Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre in West Horndon, Essex

The minigolf putting course is great value at £3 for adults and £2 for juniors.

Mini-Golf at Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre in West Horndon, Essex

As well as the miniature golf course Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre is home to an 18-hole Golf course, driving range, bar and restaurant and meeting rooms. For more information check out the Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre website.

Minigolf at Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre in West Horndon, Essex
The Dunton Hills Miniature Golf course

Links:
- Dunton Hills Family Golf Centre website
- Cambridgeshire & Essex Mini Golf Club on Facebook
CEMGC Invitational event result, report, photos and update on the CEMGC Facebook page
CMGC website

Related blog posts:
- CEMGC Invitational Minigolf Tournament
- Minigolf and Crazy Golf in Essex
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour - List and links for all Miniature Golf courses visited to date