Richard Gottfried is travelling Britain to play every single crazy golf course in the country. We caught up with him to find out how he’s getting on… and why he’s doing it.
First question – why?
I like a challenge! I’m a collector and a completist, so this seems quite normal to me. I’ve always played minigolf, since I was a kid on family holidays. I love the British seaside and its quirks and traditions and crazy golf is part of that. It’s been great to visit so many places around the UK that I would never have got to if it weren’t for crazy golf.
How many courses are in the UK and how many have you played?
Originally I saw there were around 600 courses of all shapes and sizes in the UK, but with new ones opening, I’ve played 640 and still haven’t done them all.
What’s the best course you’ve played?
Skegness and Hastings are real minigolf hotspots. Skegness has nine courses along the prom and is the location of England’s first-ever crazy golf course, opened in 1926. Hastings is home to a lot of tournaments, including the annual World Crazy Golf Championships which I’ve played in since 2007. I’ve been a finalist in the event four times – finishing ranked 17th in the world each time!
What’s the best hole you’ve played?
As I was brought up on classic seaside crazy golf I’d have to say the windmill is my favourite obstacle. My advice would be to always play around a windmill, not through it – that way the spinning blades won’t block your ball.
How many clown’s mouths have you putted into?
Actually, very few. You’re more likely to see a Humpty Dumpty on a crazy golf course than a clown’s mouth. There are a lot of bizarre obstacles out there. One of the weirdest holes is at Moby Golf in Romford where you putt into a whale’s mouth!
When will you be finished?
I estimate I’ve got 50 more to visit, but there are new courses opening all the time, so who knows!