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The UrbanCrazy World Of Miniature Golf

Mon, 16 Jun 2014  |  Richard Gottfried, contributor

Being on a mission to visit and play all of the Minigolf, Crazy Golf and Adventure Golf courses in the UK we’re always on the lookout for new places to play.

There are over 600 courses in the country, ranging from 9-hole to 54-hole complexes, with layouts indoors as well as outside. Some are of the seaside classic ‘Windmill’ type of course, others are newer all-singing, all-dancing adventure-themed golf courses with animatronic dinosaurs, jungles, volcanoes and plenty of water features. The UK also has a number of grass putting greens and skill-based Minigolf courses.

Over our seven years of travel we’ve managed to visit a total of 561 courses, playing 337 of them since September 2006.

The team at UrbanCrazy have been designing and building permanent courses, along with bringing the fun of the game to a wide-range of events with their portable courses, for over ten years.

On our journeys around these shores we’ve been lucky enough to play 13 of UrbanCrazy’s courses – each with their own look, feel, playability and interesting obstacles. We’ve also had a go on some of their unique one-off designs, such as the Taxman hole for the Ipswich Building Society in Sudbury, and the hole-in-one challenge hole at the IDM show at Earl’s Court.

The first permanent UrbanCrazy course we played was the 18-hole Adventure Golf course in St Nicholas Park, Warwick way back in 2007 when we visited for the BMGA English Open championship during my rookie year on the British Minigolf Association Tour – I finished in a not very good 23rd place.

We’ve since played on courses they have designed, built or re-furbished at Wroxham Barns, Staines, East Finchley and Basingstoke in BMGA Tour events.

As the sponsor of the Great Britain Minigolf Sport Team and long-time supporter of the BMGA, new course launches mean the chance to head along for a play as well as to compete in challenge competitions amongst the GB and BMGA Pro players.

With UrbanCrazy offering permanent and portable courses and Miniature Golf accessories it’s meant that some of the layouts they’ve been developing are crazy, even by Minigolf standards.

The Garden Golf Minigolf course in East Finchley for example is a magnificent creation with a 9-hole layout enabled by some very smart design, with two of the holes being changeable from ‘easy’ to ‘hard’. The look and feel of the course is amazing and when playing there you can easily forget that you were in a back yard in London!

In the summer of 2012 the team were hired by the Camden Town Brewery to set-up a 5-hole Crazy Golf course in the brewery itself for the Brewmaster’s Open competition! One of the strangest locations I’ve played in.

Barnard Castle in County Durham is the most northerly UrbanCrazy Golf course we’ve played and it was well worth the trip to be at the launch event last year. Alongside fellow BMGA Tour Pro players Chris ‘Who’ Harding, Paul ‘The Overtaker’ Johnson and ‘local lad’ John ‘Al’ Moore, Emily and I had the honour of playing in what I believe must be the first-ever inter-Mayoral miniature golf tournament while at the launch fun-day!

Recently UrbanCrazy produced the Signature course which I’ve played at both the London Golf Show and at Regent’s Place in London. The team also supply equipment for courses around the UK. Two such courses are the temporary Bompas & Parr Crazy Golf course at Selfridges London and the colourful Krazy Golf course at Quest, Merry Hill.

The future for Minigolf is bright, with new courses to explore and competitions to play in. New UrbanCrazy courses such as the new 12-hole Wellington Park Miniature Golf course, the 9-hole course at Loughborough Golf Complex and the refurbished 18-hole Crazy Golf in Sandown on the Isle of Wight are three such courses we’ve yet to have a round on. Giving us plenty more places to explore on our travels!

Richard Gottfried and his wife Emily are on a Crazy World of Minigolf Tour to play all of the UK’s 600+ Miniature Golf courses. They play on the British Minigolf Association Tour where Richard is a six-time tournament winner and Emily is a two-time WMF Women’s World Adventure Golf Champion. They blog about Minigolf and other sports, games and stuff at The Ham and Egger Files
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