Not-so-Crazy Golf? Championship Adventure Golf‘s new approach to an old favourite

Crazy Golf has been around in many forms for many years. Indeed, there is now a world championship for the game which sees competitors using a putter and a golf ball to work their way around all sorts of manic obstacles in as few shots as possible.

For many years, the sites of windmills, large ducks, helter-skelters, ramps and more always signified a Crazy Golf course. Their appeal for people tended to focus more on the Crazy aspect of the name, rather than the golf. However, that could be set to change.

 

 

Nick Ashfield is the Managing Director of Championship Adventure Golf, a new take on the Crazy Golf genre, which takes its inspiration not from a wacky assortment of props, animals and other unusual items, but from some of the world’s most famous golf holes.

The 18-hole course opened just after Easter in 2013 and has proved to be a big success with the locals, with rumours now growing that another 18-hole course may be built right next door to the existing course on the same site.

 

 

Unlike Crazy Golf, where the challenge comes from the unusual obstacles a player has to overcome, Championship Adventure Golf sees 18-holes that are miniature replicas of some of the most famous holes in world golf.

 

Amongst them are the famous Postage Stamp 8th hole at Royal Troon, Amen Corner (the 12th and 13th holes) from Augusta, the 18th from St Andrews (complete with the Swilken Bridge and famous old club house) and arguably the most recognisable hole in golf, the famous island green of the 17th at Sawgrass.

 

Each hole has been designed so that players can play it in a number of ways. Some holes offer a ‘risk and reward’ scenario where a player can try a shortcut, but risk losing their ball in the water, or take more shots and go the long way around to the green.

 

 

The obstacles on the course are in the form of bunkers, water, rough and other obstacles (trees and bunkers are represented by raised areas or hollows) which are all found on a natural golf course.

The course was originally set to be built in Manchester, but investment in New Brighton saw the course switch to the Wirral instead and early indications are, is that it is going to be a big success.

 

The key to success is the appeal of the game to the golfing and non-golfing market. It is an ideal family attraction in that children of all ages (under 5’s play free) have the right size equipment to play easily alongside parents or older siblings.

The holes are long enough to offer a real challenge for all abilities of player.

 

 

Perhaps the most unusual aspect of the course however, is the challenge and enjoyment that a ‘real’ golfer will get from playing.

Not only is it rather neat seeing some of the world’s greatest courses in miniature, the fact that the course is so well made, with the right degree of challenge and contrasting rough, bunkers and water hazards, makes for a real test of your putting skills.

 

What is crucial here is that it is not a ‘hit and hope’ course. Just as you would over a real golf putt on a green, you can work out the best line to take on a hole by working out the contours of the shot. A measured approach does bring forth positive results.

This is best exemplified by our experience last weekend, where I shot a good round of 47 on the course (par is 67), however the only person to achieve a hole in one was my son, who aced the 6th hole, based on the tricky par 3 at Amen Corner at Augusta.

 

Not many 11-year-olds can claim to have aced that hole! And in a nice touch, he received a badge at the end of the round, free of charge, stating that he’d achieved a hole-in-one on the course.

 

 

So while Championship Adventure Golf has really caught the imagination, it is having a positive effect in other areas, especially when it comes to promoting the game to younger players.

Company owner Nick Ashfield has stated that it was his aim to improve the links between golf and younger people on the Wirral and there is clear evidence that this new venture is achieving just that. Most weekends and evening the course is busy with youngsters and their families playing.

 

This outreach program will be expanded into local schools, with opportunities to tie in with golf club membership. It is worth noting that once your skills on the putting course are refined, there is a small 9-hole pitch and putt immediately behind the course, set up and equipped for youngsters to try, to help foster their interest in the game.

 

In addition to links with schools and the community, the course has also been used to promote several charitable events, raising funds for the local RNLI lifeboat amongst other charitable organisations.

So is this the future of Crazy Golf? Like most great ideas, it seemed somewhat ‘crazy’ itself initially, but the quality of the course and elegant simplicity of the game, have made it a success.

 

The knock on effect of which could be more younger people attracted to the game at a younger age, one of the key areas for growth that major golfing organisations have felt it is vital to reach for some considerable time.

That can only be good for the future of golf, and for the future of Championship Adventure Golf.

 

Images all copyright and courtesy of Gorilla Golf Private Stock.

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Nick Ashfield November 18, 2013

Impressive write up Ian! I don’t remember being interviewed either! Keep up the good work. Nick

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Lem Clevenger November 20, 2013

This is an awesome concept that appears to have been executed very well – kudos to Championship Adventure golf. I wish it was closer to me so I could play it. This really captures the imagination.

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