Ace Man's crazy golf blog

Part Dix What? (November 2010)

It greatly pains me to say this but Hastings is no longer the fulcrum of miniature golf in the UK. What with the demise of Planet Hastings (the finest adventure golf course ever) and Hastings Mini Golf, the mantle has gone North. To Margate. Margate??!! Yes, Strokes in Margate. Closely followed by the wonderful course in Stratford.  Thanks to Mr Mittler for reminding me how good Belfast is.  I can think of no other outdoor courses that come close to these three. A very sad day. Time to leave, methinks.

Part Says (September 2010)

Two weeks of praccying and three long days of competing, and it comes to this. Personally nowhere. The British Open 2010. Will it be remembered for the marvellous Eirik the Viking winning or the chain-smoking Finn giving chase or the plucky Brit Nick 'Top Hole' Chitty holding on rather than going after them? Maybe, well, probably yes. However all sorts was going on prior to the conclusion of this titanic event. The hidden video cameras captured many an incident.  There are some red faces to come!! And I personally will be watching you all more closely from now on. However, the same cameras missed the drama that unfolded on the 17th. Mattias 'The Storm' Ståhl needed an ace to be leader in the clubhut. He blew it big time. Five shots later and his trusty putter was snapped in half and the Maier Classic 3 was thrown force5fully into the pond. No goldfish were harmed and at least he didn't damage the course, eh Jouni!

Exhausted after the event I went to investigate pond weed being thrown in the air. And there was Ollie 'Scuba do' Florence pulling out great clods of pond life. Emily and Richard "Don't you know who I am?" Gottfried were with Karsten Hein (he of 'psychological' fame), occasionally waving children's fishing nets and generally looking on sceptically.   After offering my professional opinion garnered from years of experience, he carried on doing what he was doing. I went and got the big rake. After a few minutes I felt a ball, not a course ball as these are hard but something with a slightly softer feel. Time to get the wellies and encourage the young man to take the plunge. Cue the classic, look it's not very deep by placing the rake on top of the rock trick. And in he went. The water lapping over the top of the boots. I have found many a ball using the soles of those boots and indeed they were instrumental in finding my dodo weeks previously. He had no luck. Not surprisingly as I'd moved the ball next to the bank. Incidentally, the exact spot where Sean Homer had slipped disgracefully in two days before. Talking of which, it appears they are a family of divers as Marion had dived getting Owen 'Jackpot' Johnson red-carded on the first day of the Open.  Fortunately Sean was on hand to give us all a first hand account of the trajectory of the Maier Classic 3. So the search continued, in the wrong spot. Money was mentioned and suddenly McBellamy wanted his boots back. The digital imagery on other blogs cannot possibly capture the ridiculousness of a young man lying prostrate on the 17th whilst Marion 'Double Trouble' Homer fondled and tugged on the pliable rubber that were the wellies. It seemed to go on for too long, much too long and then Ollies grip gave way and off one came. 
Soon McGrimer was in the fetid pool grubbing around gleefully, three course balls and a cone later. Kerching! Five pounds up he was a happy man, happy man. I then encouraged Ollie to go and look for another ball lost by a MrChumpman, I believe. He dived into the undergrowth and began the search. Unbeknown to him I'd all ready found it and taken it to the bridge in my own funky way. I can now confirm that the Ravensburg 089 bounces high, real high. Three bounces from said bridge, one at the beginning of Schwerte Way (which incidentally is not marked on google maps unless you use the little man), the second over a Fiat Doblò meandering along the seafront and then the final bounce on to the soon-to-be-saved pier and into the briny to swim with the sharks!  Did you find it Ollie?

Part Cannes (July 2010)

Another busy month, this time closer to home.  I've just completed my first course as a BMGA Approved Coach, an 'Introduction to Miniature Golf'.  Planet Hastings Crazy Golf Club in White Rock Gardens played host to the five hours of crazy golf fun. The children were schooled in the fundamentals of putting technique and the subtle art of gamesmanship.  Each chose their own all important nickname.  What an absolute riot, I think I learned more than the kids.

I've been patrolling Planet Hastings Crazy Golf with Big Top after a spate of vandalism.

I'm now a Co-curator, with Richard 'Squire' Gottfried of the Virtual Crazy Golf Museum!!

And I'm still writing 'Win at Miniature Golf' which should be in all good bookshops in October.  Looking forward to making the film all ready.

Part Fortean (June 2010)

It's been a busy month on the road. Firstly inviting myself along to a Kent Invitational Tournament day at the excellent new course in Worthing, Splash Point. And then off to the BMGA British Championships at Wroxham Barns in Norfolk.

The trip to Norfolk was to be made alone as Big Top Ted had other plans. 'Big Top' less, who could I blame for getting lost?  Up at 4.30am, hit the road by 5.15. Arrived in Wroxham Barns at 8.30. No one was there?? Why isn't everyone here praccying? I thought to myself. So I did, up until the hordes of public arrived. Well, it was half term!  The venue owner was very helpful and hours later I had found a campsite. Having put up the tent I returned to the course for some more praccy.  Finishing around 8pm I returned to my tent to find everything rather damp.  No, it hadn't rained.  The next morning I realised why there were vacancies at the campsite.  I hadn't got a lot of sleep due to the traffic blasting down the road all night.   My back wasn't enjoying this.  But it did mean I could get to the course early and praccy some more.  Which I did, and I stayed all day as the public weren't quite as keen to play.  Praccied for most of the day and then at 8pm I made a swift visit to Hemsby for the BMGA Lost World Pro-Am where I was an interested spectator.  Excellent do!  Back to the campsite.  Very little sleep again.  But again able to get to the course early for a morning of praccy before the tournament kicked off.

Day 1, I played OK and was surprised to be in the lead.  I returned once more to the roadside hell with a raging headache, I think perhaps a touch of sunstroke. 

Day 2, yes you guessed it, another sleepless night.  And three more rounds to go.  Due to the hard work of the organisers this was to be an unneutered 7-rounder, well done the BMGA.  The final round was  the toughest I've been involved in.  Thank You Nick 'Top Hole' Chitty!!

Was it worth it?  You betcha!  I'm the British Minigolf Champion!!  And all I had to do was get home..................

Part Thirsteen (April 2010)

I returned to the BMGA tour after my Winter break, this time at Stratford upon Avon.  The Midland Open and the BMGA Doubles Tournament.  I think I should have had a longer break like my counterpart in golf.

It was great to see everyone particularly Martin Dexter and the premier family of Cymru - the Kukielkas. I had the immense honour of representing Wales with Leo, Seve, Cindy and Jas.  Friday's praccy and note talking was interrupted by the St George's Day Classic.  Gratifyingly, after averaging out the scores, I can categorically say, Wales won.  Cymru am Byth!!  Thanks to Morrisons Big Top Ted and I ate at a reasonable price on the Friday night.  I wrote letters to editors of the Stratford press on return I can tell you.

I mustered the troops at 6am on Saturday morn to finish the course notes, yes that was me and me alone.  Job done, I returned to the hotel for brekkers.  I had to grit my teeth through Ted's boring diatribes during my Full English.  And yes he'd copied my notes during my pre-prandial shower.  I didn't win but Ted came 3rd in the Midland Open, so a good day's work.  My goal this weekend  was to remind everyone how good Ted is.  Poor chap has taken a lot of flak.  Off we went to Brum to visit an old mate and feast on Bangladeshi curry and wine.  Up at 6am on the Sunday to tidy up.  Made Ted a cup of tea and woke him at 6.45.  Made him a coffee at 7am and whilst I popped out for a fag, he breakfasted.  Of course he didn't tell me so I didn't eat until lunchtime.  A Hob Nob.  Not much for lunch but decided to repeat the same as an afternoon snack.  We came 2nd in the Doubles.  I blew the last shot and hence I had to drive back to the coast while Ted reminded me, constantly.  Still, I've got the thirst for the game back after the Winter drought and look forward to beating you all in the near future.

 Everyone's blagging these days, check out these blogs.  New piccies of Staines care of Donkey Gringo, sorry I didn't give you a lift to the station.  I'll make up for it, honest.

Part Douzey (March 2010)

Big News from the WCs, yes the Castle Golf World Crazy Golf Championship will be played entirely on one course, the Arnold Palmer Crazy Golf on Hastings Seafront. The finest example of the marque in the UK. For the last seven years the competition has been held on both the mini golf and crazy golf. The fear inducing mini golf, I'd say the finest true links course in the UK, is to be replaced.

So what does this mean? Realistically there were only one or two players in any given year capable of winning it, now any one of ten or eleven might. Goodness, even Brad Shepherd has a chance.  The mini golf sorted out the ladies from the lady boys. It was a true test of skill, nerve and bravado.  But economic necessities must and we are to say a tearful goodbye. The horror of hole 5, the desperate pleas to the gods of crazy golf on hole 12 are to be no more.  At least it is still a majorly seven rounder as opposed to the neutered BMGA British Championships. And it will still be THE best miniature golf tournament held in the UK if not the World.

What nightmares are left? Ah, the weather. The good old British autumnal hurricane season. And let's not forget hole 2 and the mostly benign but sometimes malignant hole 16. And any number of holes that you may think you have mastered. Or the final round with crazy crazy rules that few have figured out. Who's in with a shout? Yes, Chris but who else? The reigning champion Keith 'Doc' Kellard. The startlingly under-achieving Big Top. Johnny 'YI' Moore, Anthony 'His Excellency' Pope, Peter 'Lottery' Emmerson, Nick 'Top Hole' Chitty, the list goes on. Heaven forbid, a woman may win it!! Olivia 'Phenom' Prokopova or Jo 'Cup Cake' Williamson. Surely the gods of crazy golf are not that cruel. I for one, hope they are. One thing is for sure Andy 'No.2' Exall will be second.  And another thing, if you Brits don't join the BMGA ASAP you will not get a place in the restricted field.  Likewise, those fellows abroad should apply immediately.  The field for the Castle Golf World Crazy Golf Championships is now full.

Part Onze, part Off (February 2010)

Two blogs in a month I must be overdoing it.  But, it's that time of year again, the most prestigious miniature golf awards on the Planet!   Everyone has a chance to nominate things and people they like or dislike, then the committee ignores their comments and comes up with the winners of the Virtual Groynes.  The miniaturegolfer forum (alas lacking the forum) 2009 awards

As you know I've been researching Arnold Palmer Putting Courses, the undisputed design classic of the 1960's.  I've contacted as many of the UK courses as I could find.  You all know what happened to Folkestone!  The Camber Sands course is now a car park.  Hove was submerged under a tide of original thought,  thanks for that Ant.  Starr Gate, Blackpool is set to become a tram depot.  Something must be done.  Squire has pointed out that the Starr-Gate Residents Association aren't happy.  The council is blatantly ignoring the wishes of the people, nothing new there.  But now is the time my friends to make your thoughts known.  The S-G RA has our support!!  All of the premier English seaside resorts, Hastings, Skegness, Southend, Great Yarmouth and Cleethorpes have Arnold Palmer Crazy Golf courses.  Blackpool, dear friends, is about to be relegated.

For more information I thought I'd turn to the States.  Shock, horror.  I found what I believe to be the last operating Arnold Palmer Putting Course in the US.  I rang the course concerned and was confronted by an answer machine. "We are closed for remodelling." Arghh... Our agents are looking into it at this moment.  More news to follow............. If you run an Arnold Palmer course please contact me immediately. Send emails to the web address above - just add @aol before the full stop.

What in the name of Arnold Palmer is going on?  All attempts to contact the venerable corporation that is Arnold have been ignored and strangely one has been censored.

New pictures of Aberdeen , Hither Green , Naas & Newquay have been added.  As have some images of badges/pins and postcards

And Timmy's team have finally won a game! 15-4, Timmy scoring his first two goals for the club!!

Part Tenuous (February 2010)

I got very excited recently having 'discovered' (Squire discovered it before me) a piece of public art and thought I should get over there and see it ASAP. I'm talking about “18 Holes” by Richard Wilson on Folkestone promenade. The piece was commissioned as part of the Folkestone Triennial (2008).

After a pleasant drive as far as Hythe, I went through many a roadworks and finally arrived in the Leas Cliff park. I paid my pound for an hours parking and skipped on down to the beach. There they were – three beach huts. Each made of six of the holes from the old Folkestone Rotunda Arnold Palmer Putting Course. 

I was disappointed. This failed on so many levels. Anyone who's worth his salt knows that Arnold Palmer Putting Courses have a free game hole. I guess nobody told Richard about the lucky 19th! The public being their artful selves had created a 'Clochemerle' without planning permission at the rear. They were NOT beach huts. My dreams of sunning myself on an old fashioned deckchair, outside my very own artwork made of something I love were dashed. Crazy golf courses are full of happy people having fun. This just made me sad. And most importantly I'd rather have made the trip to Folkestone to play an Arnold Palmer crazy golf course – a true work of public art.

Dejectedly I drove home via Camber Sands. Eight years ago I'd visited and found an unloved course with a disarmed windmill. What would be there now? The answer sadly was, nothing! Just a poxy car park. Well, it will be if the retrospective planning application notification in a plastic sleeve pinned to the post is granted. 

You can find “18 Holes” just below the Leas Cliff Hall, but I don't think you want to know that. Why? Because I realised why I hadn't got it. This is 'Art Novelle'. You're not meant to know it's there, you need to just happen across it. You must not have any preconceived ideas. 
I just wish they really were beach huts!!

Pictures of Arnold Palmer courses

18 Holes

Part Nein! (January 2010)

It's been a busy month but I've yet to play crazy golf.  So what have I been up to?

I'm writing my latest tome, details to be released next month.  I've conducted a price survey, with help from Squire and Em.  The first of it's kind!  I'm working on a piece about advertising your course on the internet.  I've helped out training the keeper in Timmy's football team, we got our first point in the league last week!!  All of this while perfecting the art of house husbandry.  

This price survey sounds fascinating!  Yes it is.  No course owner or budding entrepreneur can be whole without it.  It's received many glowing accolades all ready from the trade.  Where is it then?  Well, you can see a précis of this industry first on this site only.  For now. Where else can you find the best value course in the Channel Islands?  The cheapest course in the UK?  Faint at the price some courses are charging?  And renowned as this site is for digging the dirt and being legally challenged, the worst value course in the UK!?

Here it is and let the debate rage, rage against (Thank You Dylan.)  The Miniature Golfer 2009 UK Price Survey Go on to the forum and say something interesting, it would be nice if someone, other than me, did!

Oh and I added some new pictures of Manchester, Abraham's Bosom and a nice little course in Jersey as well as checking all the links for the UK.

And what can you expect next month?  Another ongoing project, Big News!  And of course the virtual groyne winners in the MiniatureGolfer 2009 awards. And Nein, I will not be playing next month either!!

Part Wheat, part chaff - It's patently obvious (December 2009)

For years we have been told that the game of miniature golf was invented in the USA. 

The candidates? Was it Garnet Carter or perhaps Frieda who created "Tom Thumb Golf" on Lookout Mountain, Tennessee in 1927? Or was it James Barber of Pinehurst, North Carolina who in 1916 created "Thistle Du" in his garden?

They were wrong! 

As one of the few crazy golf historians, I have trawled through libraries, written pointless emails to even more pointless people and read all sorts of garbage in search of the ultimate truth. And finally I can tell the World that it was in fact invented by a retired British Colonel, William Senhouse Clarke. He applied for a patent in 1906 for 'Golfstacle' (yes, he probably got that from 'Obstacle Golf') which was granted in 1907. The game was described as "miniature golf" and a putter only was to be used. Success being dependent on "accuracy in direction" and "adjustment of the force of the blow". The set included a number of obstacles and an equivalent for a hole.

The game was sold by the likes of F A Davis Ltd (London) as the Golfstacle golf game, patent no. 19851. It came in a pine box with hinged rectangular top, enclosing various brown-painted metal obstacles; including tunnel, bridge, hoops and hole. A piece in the Illustrated London News of 1912 refers to it as the game of Gofstacle.

The earliest reference cited in the Oxford English Dictionary for the phrase "miniature golf" is from the American Golfer of 1909. So that will need to be rewritten too!

And here is the proof, the patent for Golfstacle!

Let history be rewritten and let the tug of war between the US and the UK continue......

Party Seven - Opportunity Knocks (July 2009)

The British Minigolf Association needs your help!  Each of you Brits should see yourself as ambassadors of the sport.  Each of you should actively participate in spreading the word.  To family and to friends, to courses and of course the media.  

British Miniature Golf Association - New players always welcome, click here to join us

Course owners and managers click here to affiliate to the BMGA

We also need volunteers to help organise and run events throughout the country.  We pay too!!

This site needs help, SUPPORT THIS SITE!!

And I as an author and film maker need your help as do all the others involved.  How can I help?  I'm glad you asked.  There are a bunch of videos here and you can leave feedback, favourite and rate them.  How easy is that!  You could go on to Amazon and leave splendid comments on a miniature golf related book.  So what I'm basically after is feedback.

How many opportunities have passed us by?  

We get a big break on TV and then nothing.  We need comments posted on those sites to keep the topic active.  Cast your ego aside, we are all on the same songsheet.  Granted some are holding it upside down and some don't really understand English.  But we should be looking to the greater good.  You can bet there are a great number of minority sports out there that aren't getting half as much coverage as we do.  We need to follow in the footsteps of the fans of Rick Astley.  We need to make better use of any opportunities we do have.  Sponsors like column inches and footage minutes.

And what does the media want - colourful characters - Batman & Robin for example at the World Crazy Golf Championships.  They want a bit of eccentricity, controversy and excitement. Something they can get their teeth in to.  They really don't want to hear Keith Kellard, the newly crowned British Champion, saying that he'd lose to any local golf club pro when it came to a showdown.  And for your information he didn't say that and he would win by a mile.  

Why is their so much jealousy from the World Minigolf Sport Federation and the Mittel European Alliance about the World Crazy Golf Championships?  They seem very adept at shooting themselves in the feet. The obvious answer is media coverage.  We're not competing. We should be working together!

Got any whacky ideas about how to further the sport?  Any ideas at all really. How about adding in a few questions relating to crazy golf on any quiz sites you participate in.  Keep the sport in the public consciousness.

We need you and "I mean that most sincerely."

Part Cease - In Search of the Tiger (July 2009)

You all know by now that I have challenged Tiger Woods to a game of crazy golf.  Surely you've all read the article on CNN Living Golf. And yes that's CRAZY GOLF! Not minigolf, miniature golf or putt putt just to put the record straight for those anal retentive Mittel European News hounds.  Strange they're capable of a considered opinion since none of them have ever played competition crazy golf.  I do digress. 

What's in it for Tiger?  Why should he take me on?

Is golf encouraging the kids to play? They're trying and they're failing.  What better way to introduce a kid to golf than get on a crazy golf course and learn how to putt?

Surely the greatest golfer ever known should be looking to develop the game. His own continuing fame demands that he takes the time to do so. All those golf professionals need him to succeed to continue their livelihood. His time is precious, much easier to spend an hour on a crazy golf course than on a driving range. Connect with the kids at the level they understand.  The Tiger Woods Foundation does marvellous work but could it do more?  A national junior crazy golf competition backed by the great man himself would engage a much larger audience.   Crazy Golf led the US Economy out of the last Great Depression.  People will be holidaying at home rather than go abroad, the added impetus of a sporting icon would add significant dollars to small businesses across America.  Why stop there?  National championships worldwide and an international junior crazy golf competition.

And what of his sponsors? An opportunity of a laugh time. The kids have fun, all those smiles. Televise that!  And the 'Ace Man' putter – a thing of true beauty.  A massive marketing opportunity.

Historically US mini-golfers were more well paid than US golfers.  Why is it that golfers think they are better?

A quote from Nutters with Putters:

“Golf/minigolf borne of the same pod, one seed found rough ground, developed brown field sites and flourished. Another took huge swathes of unspoilt countryside, diverted streams, introduced non-native species driving out native flora and fauna, created a huge strain on available water supplies, encouraged further housing development on the periphery and used so many cides – herbi, vermi, pesti they could be polyhedrons. One developed a culture of exclusion the other perfect integration. One, hours of singular frustration. The other, hours of family fun.”

Crazy Golf pioneered artificial sports surfaces, outdoor lighting for sports events, was the forerunner of the Family Entertainment Centre and is an indelible part of everyone's fondest seaside memories.

And what can I offer? A new audience, a new product and a new way for Tiger to touch the people.

A lot of people, particularly kids, can't afford to play golf. Give them a route in via crazy golf or just encourage them to play for fun.  Away from the PS3, Wii or XBox in the great outdoors.

Why not regularly challenge the World's best minigolfers, crazy golfers and putt putt players?  A select professional golf team versus the best crazy golfers.

What's he got to lose? Nothing. Is his ego that big? He's in danger of becoming another inaccessible sporting icon. Just what we don't need!  Do your bit for the US and World economies.  And the best thing, he gets to meet me!


Putt Cinq: Injury (April 2009)

To silence the ignorant and the downright moronic. That is Brad, Kevin, …..... 

Where Ted & I have played competitions outside Hastings: 

Bad Münder (Germany) 
London – Broomfield Park 
Poole - Sandbanks 
Prague (Czech Republic) 
Tampere (Finland) 

I have also played in 
Geldrop (Holland) 
Vergiate (Italy) 

And Ted has played in 
Birmingham – Star City 
Timisoara (Rumania) 
Yokohama (Japan) 

And do not forget the gravitas that Ted and I add to any tournament and to your sad and squalid little lives. We both have 3d Balls of Fame in our name, we've written an awesome book, and created a fantastic DVD. I also, and more importantly, have a Minigolf legend ball to my name. Where would the BMGA be without two such important Executive Committee members? And to be frank, a win is nothing if we're not both involved. 

I am currently injured, I have 3 slipped disks and sciatica. However, I was forced to help Ted prepare the Planet Hastings course as no one else was available to help. I was not going to play in the Planet Hastings Crazy Golf Club Open but when the likes of John Moore and Owen Johnson make such massive efforts to attend and Olivia comes all the way from the Czech Republic. What can one do? When it comes to travelling, it hurts, I'd rather not. 

I have in the last year been more focussed on family. I have two young children, to encourage and support and for this and subsequent years they will be taking a higher priority. And it's only thanks to Vicky's support that I have been able to play as much as I have in previous years. 

One of the most important factors about any crazy golf course is the welcome you get. 
Two towns spring immediately to mind – Hastings & Margate. 
David & Marion on the seafront course in Hastings bend over backwards and understand the bigger picture. Ted & I, as more experienced than any other BMGA members, welcome the hearty majority of you. Brian, Frankie and Matt are equally accommodating, happily they now serve eggs once more. This is why the majority of tourneys are at these venues. They also happen to be the best courses in the UK! And they are backed up by the two best crazy golf clubs in the UK. 

When will you lot understand? Up until now you've been spoilt. Show a little more consideration for the services supplied by the courses. 

And that is why my one trip away this year will be to Margate. To support my team, to support a great competition, to play on a great course and to lock horns with the only other club in the UK that has a bunch of people as likeable as Planet Hastings.

Part Fore: What’s in a name? (February 2009)

Superbly enunciated in the seminal ‘Nutters with Putters’ here’s another take.

Many years ago before McDriveller and I joined the BMGA we had a tradition in our loose gathering of crazy golf mates that each had to have a handle. A cognomen. Something to show how good we were and more importantly to instil fear in our lack lustre soubriquet-less opponents. Thus was born the tradition in British minigolf that if you’re anybody you have to have a nickname.

So now we have players such as ‘Double Trouble’, ‘Ace Man’, ‘Big Top Ted’ (he’s the Ring Master) and ‘His Excellency’. It makes the game that bit more colourful. And follows the tradition of other sports such as golf which gave us ‘The Great White Shark’, boxing ‘The Dark Destroyer’ and American Football ‘The Refrigerator’.

As ignorant as I am, and I freely admit I am, I have only come across a limited number of passable ones on the Continent; AceMax, The B******d and now the Viking. Such names as Haazeman (something may have been lost in the non-translation but he sounds like he’s comatose) and Hans III (a cuddly toy) do nothing for me.

My favourite, which needless to say I crafted, is ‘Aer Lingus’. Andre, a regular visitor to the British open in the early years, was equally impressed.
All negativity must be cleansed. Who wants to be called ‘Calamity’ James? Thank goodness he only plays in goal for England, Manchester City dispensing with his services long ago. Or Jürgen ‘Springboard’ Klinsmann.

So many wonderful nicknames remain unused. For the ladies; Dominatrix (although I think that’s what Double Trouble is alluding to when she uses the shortened form DT) Iron Lady (Putter Lady just doesn’t work), The midwife (she delivers) and Wild Cat.

For the gents, let the planes of WWII be your source; Hurricane, Spitfire, Devastator, Dauntless and Avenger.
For the androgynous, you have the best of both Worlds! But Freebird is taken!!

And be aware that it might be translated into another language, L’homme d’Ace is a thing of beauty.

This is a chance to reinvent yourself, to give meaning to the turpitude of your tawdry pointless little life. Become a part-time Super Hero to banish the image of bell-boy. To live the alter ego that struts the greens and plateaux aloof to all. You need a name worthy of invocations, in a pagan frenzy, to the Gods of Crazy Golf. But remember you’ll have to carry it off in front of a horde of spectators, so choose wisely.

Memorable for all the wrong reasons, Ethelred the Unready. I wander how many yellow cards he got for time-wasting? I’ll bet no one forgot the name of Ming the Merciless. They may forget your name but never let it be said that they forgot your nickname!

In conclusion, a ‘nom de guerre’ has to trip off the tongue, like Andre’s, make a positive statement, be unused by anybody else, be meaningful, memorable and most importantly of all fear-inducing. And make sure you choose your own before somebody else does it for you!!

Part 3: The Olympics (February 2009)

Or Why the World Crazy Golf Championships should always be in Hastings.

Should major sporting events always be held in the same place?

Let’s discuss the Olympics.

One argument is that the Olympics should be held at the same venue every four years. Why?

It worked perfectly well for the Ancient Greeks. The infrastructure would all ready be in place. No, will they, wont they be ready? The ridiculous bidding process, horse-trading, politics and alleged backhanders would go by the wayside. Everyone would know what to expect, all the organisers would be experienced in putting on the games. No longer would the hosting country have to spend billions preparing everything. The UK is looking at a total budget of nigh on £10 billion! We could bail out a small bank for that!!

Read a compelling argument here.

Initially I agreed, but upon more reflection I have a better solution. Oh, Yes!

Each continent decide amongst themselves where the Olympic venue will be (plenty of opportunity for those naughty boys and girls I talked of earlier to make a dishonest buck.) Alongside this they have to commit to building a ‘Continental University’ at the same site. We cycle around these venues every four years. And every year they host the Continental games. The IOC funds all of these sites with the help of the IMF and maintains them and the attendant unis. All proceeds from the Olympic brand and games goes to funding these and not the representatives, no, let’s not go there. Anything left over goes to developing roots sports.

I’ve digressed. There is a point. And it’s on the end of a very long stick that I’m about to poke the Mittel-Europeans with.

Minigolf, I use the term advisedly. An aside, has the ‘World’ Minigolf Championship ever been held outside of Mittel Europe? And why does it always involve Eternit? I’ve digressed again but this time somewhat poignantly.

In my mind, this is what should happen. Separate championships for DIFFERENT systems.
Swedish Felt Run – give it to Scandinavia to sort it out.
Eternit – Germany, Austria or Switzerland – I don’t mind.
Beton – Italy or France.
Crazy Golf – UK
Putt Putt – US
Adventure Golf – US – they need to be mollified. Or do they? Yes they do! They might invade us. But wait one moment. We would have to back them up. How would that work?

One venue for each championship, specialism. And any sponsorship can be used to subsidise participants.
A lot of players around the World are interested in only one system. Did I mention the Lawn Tennis World Championships at Wimbledon? But it’s not called that is it.

We play the World Crazy Golf Championships, a WMF sanctioned event, in Hastings as they have two quality courses, well three actually, on the same site. The course owners and managers bend over backwards to facilitate the event. It costs them a lot of money. I don’t think anyone could guarantee this level of support elsewhere. And most importantly it is organised wonderfully by David, Marion and Keith.

The weather is an integral part of crazy golf, particularly on links courses. No windshields (except the crowd or occasionally yourself if you’re fast enough) and we play in all conditions, except lightning. Minimal prepping of the balls, you might occasionally inspect them and give them a good scrub. And no ‘on course’ coaches unless of course you’re a complete …. And the highly innovative rules of the final round were developed by Planet Hastings members in their pre BMGA days.

And that is why, my crazy golf enemies, I believe Hastings should host the WCs for the foreseeable future.

Part 2: Why bother? (January 2009)

The Brits shouldn’t bother sending a team to any more major minigolf championships. Why? I hear a small disinterested voice in the back ask.

“One half of the players don’t want you here and the other half REALLY don’t want you here.” A quote from the Nations Cup in Tampere. That’s not even a major!

Because we don’t have any competition standard Swedish Felt, Beton or Eternit courses. There are no plans to build any in the UK that I’m aware of. And why on Earth would anyone build one? The public would swiftly run to the nearest adventure or crazy golf course for a decent game.

So how can we compete? We can’t. So let’s not bother. For those wanting the unique Mittel European Minigolf experience by all means play. Pay your own way and don’t expect any funding from the British Minigolf Association. And be honest you’re playing for your own reasons, full stop.

We have never sent a full strength team to any championship. In Canegrate we didn’t have a team. Why, because we didn’t have 7 players who could be bothered. Pure and Simple. For the NC in Tampere, we sent two teams – remarkable! Mainly because there were only four players in each team and less time was required. Could it be these individuals had a life! And once more we were last or thereabouts.

We, in the UK, are a small number of players. Any folly, such as sending teams to majors in the past has been an unnecessary drain on limited resources. Last or second to last doesn’t really swing it.

What do we get out of it? Not a lot. Individual players seem to view it as a way of self-aggrandizement. Very little, if anything, is passed on to other players.

UK players view the World Crazy Golf Championship as more important, accessible and fun than any major in Mittel Europe.

When finally the minigolf world comes to it’s senses and MOS features in a major championship, then and only then should we send a team.
As for the Nations Cup - I love it!

Part 1: Who am I? (December 2008)

A lot of you wont know who I am, others know me but would rather not and there are my friends. That should be friend. So, let me tell you all who I am.
I run I'm a frequent poster on the forum.
Controversy is my bedfellow. I want to learn all there is to learn about crazy golf, I've got a long way to go. I aim to ask the questions no one else will. My philosophy has always been to confront and question and find a better solution. Prisoners, what are they? I'm a big fan of Kipling's 'The Elephant's Child'. I don't do PC or diplomacy. I do believe in attributing blame. I despise small minds. I do like to take the 'opposing view' just to see where it goes even though I may not agree with what I'm saying myself. This has meant I have more enemies than friends. If you can upset someone and they're still a friend then they're worth knowing.
I've written a book and made a DVD about crazy golf with John 'Big Top Ted' McIver both entitled 'Nutters with Putters'. I cannot recommend them highly enough!
I run the best crazy golf course in the UK, with Big Top, Planet Hastings.
I'm captain and dictator of Planet Hastings Crazy Golf Club.
I'm a member of the British Minigolf Association Executive Committee. My blogs will be in an unofficial capacity as they always have been on miniaturegolfer. I may serve the Brits but I still have opinions not necessarily shared with the hierarchy and no one is going to stop me making them public.

I'm also the best player in the UK. Lump it fellow Brits!

Blog. Blog. Blog.



My biog

My full record