Mini-golf’s iron man Richard Gottfried gives seal of approval to Norfolk’s courses
- Credit: R&E Gottfried
You have to go a fairway to find somewhere better than Norfolk for miniature golf.
This comes from a man whose knowledge of the sport is a gimme, having teed off up and down the land.
Richard Gottfried and wife Emily have spent the past decade playing almost every course in the country - so far trying out 747 sites.
Mr Gottfried, 36 of Stockport, said: 'Great Yarmouth is one of the top places for miniature golf. We first visited in 2007 and have been back lots of times since.
'I particularly enjoyed Hollywood Indoor Adventure Golf inside the Windmill Theatre - it is a very unique course and I've not played another course like it before. It makes use of optical illusions which lots of courses don't.'
Mr Gottfried, who makes log of his visits on his website, also had positive things to say about the Pirates Cove and Castaway Island courses, both of which he said were well thought out and enjoyable.
He added: 'Another of my favourite places to play is Hemsby. I found it to be like a miniature Yarmouth - a proper seaside.
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'We really loved the Lost World course. There is an Aztec Temple on one of the holes which really makes you feel like you're in an Indiana Jones film.'
Visits to the region have also seen them play in Mundesley, Lowestoft, Cromer and Hunstanton among others, as well as at the Eaton Park course.
'I thought the Eaton Park course was truly one of the best we have ever played,' he added. 'It was really top notch.
'Norfolk Family Golf Centre also had some really wacky obstacles too, so that was great too.'
Their quest in the region is not yet complete, having yet to visit Pirate Island Adventure Golf in Blofield - though it is on their to do list.
Mr Gottfried added: 'Emily is originally from Ipswich and we have family in East Anglia, so it won't be long before we visit again.'
As well the UK, they have travelled to 28 sites in 11 different countries.
'We began in 2006 after visiting my brother at university in Southsea in Hampshire,' Mr Gottfried added.
'It brought back fond memories of playing at the seaside as a child, so we decided to play as many as possible.'
Richard's top tips
As a man with experience of more than 700 courses and a champion of the sport, Mr Gottfried had more than a few pointers for beginners.
His main piece of advice was to take a tactical approach to courses.
He said: 'The best advice I could give would be not to hit and hope.
'Whenever I play a hole, I analyse it first. If you have time, have a real look at what is in the course, as there are often secret routes that are more successful than the obvious one.'
Mr Gottfried, a marketing manager by day, also advised players to make use of what is on the hole.
He added: 'Another good tip is to think about the angles. Is there an obstacle you could make use of? Is there an angle on the edge that would make a good rebound?
'Obviously you are there to have fun, but take it seriously too and think analytically.
'We all play for the fun of it, but I think once you step onto the course competitiveness takes over.'