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What’s this? The great eight playing minigolf mate.

On the 20th of June a total of eight hardy minigolfers set off to Motspur Park for the Seth Thomas Merton Minigolf Invitational. Seth Thomas had spent the previous few months canvassing for players and as a testament to minigolf’s enduring and long lasting appeal had managed to procure a field half the size of the British Championships the first ‘major’ of the year to endure his tournament.

Notable absences included ‘Squire’ Richard Gottfried who’s IBS (irritable back syndrome) meant he was not up to the task of competing, his endeavors now lie elsewhere, see a future blog for more details. Also absent from the London contingent was Alan Norman who it was believed was holidaying in Cornwall.

Among this field we had Ollie ‘The Machine’ Florence playing his first minigolf of the year. His attention this year had been drawn away from minigolf instead to worm charming and managing though not as a combination it should be added. We also had the British Number One competing, seeking confidence following successive defeats to rivals in tournament minigolf.

Also competing were the Donnellys and the London contingent led by Brad ‘Frugal’ Shepherd who was hoping to follow on from his success in the WDMIOBCC (Will Donnelly Invitational Open Beckenham and Croydon Classic) provided he didn’t follow through….. all the other competitors didn’t have a problem with this.

Prior to the tournament the TD (tournament director) had bought a trophy of sorts for the winner and medals for the top three. Unfortunately the TD had a mishap with the trophy dropping it and breaking the engraved bit of the trophy off. Luckily sellotape (other brands of sticky tape are available) came to the rescue. Also up for grabs was a Freddo for the aces champion. Plus a bag of different types of chocolate each for the top 3. I also made special frugal cardboard and exercise book paper scorecards in honour of Bradders.


The trophy before it got damaged.

First to arrive at Motspur Park was Michael and Seth. Seth had joined Michael’s train at Earlsfield and had to cajole Michael twice into leaving his seat of two and sitting with him in one of the banks of four seats on the train. This reluctance may have had something to do with the intense mental preparation Michael goes through prior to each tournament, little room for chitchat. Following a small diversion via Fulham training ground Michael and Seth arrived at the course. The man was yet to have opened the hut so we made our way onto the course. When the man did finally arrive. I tried to pay but the man seemed more interested in his phone than opening a till. ‘Paying for tennis?’ ‘No minigolf’ ‘Nah you’re alright’ (Eyes back to phone.)

Eventually everyone arrived I told them we could all play free (the logical extension surely?). We started slightly later than the original agreed eleven-thirty tee off time to give the Donnellys more time to practice and in order to take a photo of the field. You may notice the photo is slightly skew-whiff. This owes itself to the fact I used my minigolf bag as a tripod.


What a fine bunch!

After the first round I was last following a dreadful round of 49 including a 7 on the snail. They say madness is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result. Sadly that’s precisely what happened to me on the snail I felt like I whacked my pink World Of Golf golf ball up it about a billion times.

Michael Smith was first. Following the end of our second round at Motspur Park Oliver Florence had to leave. A friend had come down from Cornwall who he had to care for. This was probably for the best as a controversial incident happened on the snail where he used a twig to keep his ball steady on the incline of the snail having replaced it after he hit his ball over the border of the hole.

Finally we went orf to Wimbledon Park. The Donnellys and Michael trailed Chris Jones’s car all the way there. We had to stop at one point ostensibly to let the Donnellys catch up having got caught in traffic lights but also to give Brad’s pub/charityshop dar an opportunity to function.

Having arrived at Wimbledon Park I told everybody to pay for a round and we’d play two. Brad was terrified of having to pay for a second round so I told him that we’d play on until we got kicked off…. I didn’t see this happening especially after what happened in Motspur Park unless the man in the hut or in this case woman own the course they tend to not care especially when it’s council run.

Michael maintained his good form all the way to the end of tournament winning comfortably. Brad came a despondent second. Gareth came third and won the highly sought after Freddo having hit 8 aces over 4 rounds showing marriage and minigolf can go hand in hand…..At least early doors anyway. Despite my ridiculously bad first round I actually came 5th missing a putt on the last to get into a playoff for third.


Michael wearing an unusually small amount of suncream?


Gareth taking great pride in his Freddo.


Stoic Brad.

Despite a great day of minigolf there was a slightly unfortunate end. My camera ran out of battery so I had to take the group photo of the top 3 with my phone unfortunately I did not realise I had maximum zoom on resulting in the worst quality photo taken in history. Some cruel soul said it was probably for the best….grrrrr.


Shepherd. Smith and Holmes.

While the London lot went off for a well deserved curry in the restaurant next to the course. We had an unofficial Knowley Grail. No pound entry fee or prize money, no banter. Just a quick test of who could master the Pinky Diver. With a quite extraordinary round of 35 without any dropped shots and including an unfortunate bounce out I became the unofficial Knowley Grail champion. The other three scores were so high I have no means of expressing them with this keyboard.

Thanks very much to those who came especially Michael for coming down from Oxford and Ollie for making his cameo from Guildford.

Hopefully the field will be bigger next year, would dearly like to match the British Championships!

If it was a bigger field I would make it a one course event.

ATB Seth.


1. Michael 38, 37, 39, 36, +6

2. Brad 39, 42, 38, 36, +11

3. Gareth 42, 40, 40, 39, +17

4.  Will 43, 45, 37, 37, +18

5. Seth 49, 40, 36, 37 +18

6.David 46, 40 39, 41 +22

7. Chris 45, 44, 40, 39 +24

DNF Oliver 44, 40 +12

DNS Richard

p.s Has anybody seen this man?


The lesser spotted James.

Miserable Seth Maudlin In Defeat

In one of the biggest falls from grace since Adam and Eve tried to keep the Doctor away, reigning Kent Open Champion and British number 17  Seth Thomas slumped to an abject 28th place finish in the Star City Open. Despite high hopes on improving on his unsatisfactory performance in the same event last year, little could be done to aid his play once the jiffs appeared to take over. An average of an unfathomable 9 shots a round behind the leaders, Seth dropped more shots in his first 9 holes than he did in the entirety of his Kent Open win.

This derisory display has led to fresh speculation as to his place in the game and indeed his commitment to it, with some suggesting his new found preoccupation with Darts could perhaps be affecting his game. An unknown source close to his family revealed today that he was spending near 20 minutes a day chucking pointy things at a round object. In fact this led to a caution from the Police after a neighbour complained about having cacti lobbed at her rear. One unnamed BMGA Tour professional, said this ”It’s undeniable Darts is affecting his minigolf, I was playing hole 18 with him yesterday and he tried a ridiculous double rebound, he told me he thought we had to finish with a double, honestly the closer he gets to hitting 180’s in Darts the closer he gets to hitting 180 over 3 rounds in minigolf.”


Seth's hero. Half the player he used to be.

Seth himself has yet to comment on these rumours, but an official statement is expected to be released shortly. British number 1 Michael Smith tried to allay these fears saying ”’When he is relaxed, he plays better minigolf than anyone in this country past or present, he proved that with that ridiculous four round sequence at Hither Green in practice, he won’t let that ability go to pasture” the sequence in question, of 4 rounds under 30 including two 26’s whilst impressive, did come under the influence of Haribo, this notorious performance enhancing drug long since banned from BMGA events.

While it is believed the British number 17 will be present at the British Masters in April looking to improve upon his respectable 5th place finish from last year. The bookmakers seem less than  convinced with Madbrokes offering odds of 2 to 1 that British Number 48 Alex ‘Perfect Par’ Pragnell beats Seth by a margin of 5 shots or greater.


A new dawn is approaching and it will be perfect.

In other sporting news, Tooting/Wandsworth based Seth Thomas stormed to victory in the Arcade Games winning comfortably all the fixtures he played. The bashful teenager was modest in victory unable to offer explanation as to his surprise domination, ”It’s like well weird I play this game right called minigolf and I can barely hold my putter then I come down d’ Arcade and I’m like OMG my hands are doing what I ask them to I was just ROFL by the end really, I dunna wha’ to say, to defeat these legends in such a way big man ting I don’t know what was gwaaning, d’ only worry is can I take this form into the next 2 pound tat challenge?”.


Playing it by Air.

Perhaps foreshadowing his terrible minigolf performance, and the idea that perhaps an alternate career choice might be wise, Seth Thomas took a little time out from minigolf by conducting an interview with maverick minigolf blogger and mild mannered man, ‘the Machine’ Oliver Florence, admittedly the interview was conducted during a round of minigolf but lets not split hairs just yet!* The Walton upon Guildford based man was extremely enthused about his minigolf blogging, particularly the fact that he never released a blog unless he was a hundred percent happy with it. Whether this was a thinly veiled attack on the father of minigolf blogging is up for question, but it is certainly true that Oliver emphasised the importance of quality to his blogs, revealing that he sometimes wrote as many as 14 drafts.Indeed a rare outburst of annoyance when questioned about his output led to some choice words ”I don’t understand why people criticise me for not writing enough blogs, I write tonnes of blogs but I happen to have a cr** filter which means most of them do not see the light of day”. Oliver Florence did express one regret however saying ”I wish I hadn’t named it the minigolfer, with my forays into the world of bread golf and wormcharming, I feel I have really limited myself from the mass audiences these activities could bring to my blog, there’s much more to it than minigolf”. When asking about his own blog, Mr Thomas was encouraged to give up. Oliver Florence was rather grim, ”The minigolf blogging market has reached saturation point, Michael’s reports, Rocket’s round ups, Will, Alex and Owen’s blogs, the amount of minigolf based writing on the Internet has reached horrendous levels. ‘The Ham and Egger Files’ had to have a high output when it was the only example of its type on the market, but now there is too much. Something has to give, if you don’t enjoy writing your blog that much, then  just don’t write it!”. Apparent plans to introduce a pay-wall to are what is reputed to have led to Oliver’s recent attacks on his blogging rivals. Oliver however was having none of this ”These pay-wall plans have been in place for ages, before your blog before Alex, Will’s and Owen’s blogs, I don’t need to tell people not to read them, If they’ve read them once already, then that job is done”. What followed this comment is unfortunately unpublishable, needless to say the interview was brought to a horrid premature close. Later that night Birmingham A and E had to deal with multiple finger fractures, in a horrible ‘Air Hockey’ accident Mr Thomas had had two fingers broken.

Oliver Florence had a chipped nail and a new nickname.


From small Acorns do Mighty Oaks grow.

He’d just added Mean to the Machine.

*What follows might not be quite true, I cannot remember the interview in its entirety, perhaps because I passed out in pain and was unconscious for several hours 😉

p.s This could have been 3 separate longer blogs but I wanted to spoil you. It’s definitely not laziness.