The growth of shopping centre crazy golf courses.
On Saturday Emily and I made a short trip up the road to have a game on the pop-up Crazy Golf course
at the Walkden Town Centre shopping mall in Greater Manchester.
The Crazy Golf course was set-up for three days as part of the shopping centre's Summer of Fun events.
It's wonderful to see miniature golf courses popping up in different places. Shopping centres are increasingly becoming popular venues for both pop-up and permanents courses, ranging from portable courses, to skill-based minigolf, to adventure golf layouts.
We got there nice and early and had a clear course ahead of us. After our game we had a wander round the shopping centre as we hadn't been there before. As we walked past the course a few more times it was nice to see lots of people enjoying a game and were glad we got there early.
The course at Walkden Town Centre was the 924th visited on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour and the 526th played.
When our travels began back in September 2006 there were just two permanent indoor minigolf venues among the 600 courses in the UK. One of those was in Felixstowe and the other in Great Yarmouth. There are now close to 100 indoor venues, with more opening up every week.
This summer has also seen pop-up miniature golf courses in shopping centres including Affinity Outlet Staffordshire and Touchwood Shopping Centre in Solihull.
New permanent courses have opened at retail venues this year including Treetop Adventure Golf at the Highcross shopping centre in Leicester.
The new Angry Birds Adventure Golf course at the intu Metrocentre in Gateshead is nearing completion too.
The minigolf boom is also continuing in London, with a new Puttshack course set to open in the city this December.
While in Greater Manchester the new Riverside entertainment, leisure and shopping centre in Rochdale will be home to an indoor minigolf venue called Puttstars when it opens in April next year.
A new entertainment centre, including an Adventure Golf course, is also being planned for the Market Walk Shopping Centre in Chorley, Lancashire.
Having a fun activity on offer like minigolf where people of all ages and abilities can take part is a nice way to attract both new and old customers to a shopping centre, and to help them stay at the venue for a little longer too.
Richard Gottfried blogs about minigolf at The Ham and Egger Files. He's also the Curator of the Crazy Golf Museum and author of The Minigolfer's Guide to Marketing.
The views expressed in this blog are solely the views of the writer and do not represent the World Minigolf Sport Federation (WMF), Minigolfnews.com or any other organization that the writer may be associated with unless expressly stated in the blog.