Whitstable Native speaks to Canterbury based mini golf national champion…
ompetitive mini golf ? Never thought such a thing existed ? Neither did we, but Canterbury local Marc Chapman, 34 has won the national championship for this not just once, but twice. And his enthusiasm and passion for the ‘niche’ activity is comparable to that of any professional regular golf player. Chapman explains,
‘I have been playing semi competitively in seaside towns like Margate and Hastings amongst other venues for many years.’
But you haven’t even heard of him, have you ? Why is this ?
‘It’s incredibly niche’, he admits.
“ I have been on many radio stations, BBC Breakfast and The One Show.. . .]
But he adds: ‘I have been played all over Europe such as in Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland. Fun and mini golf courses are all over the place.’
This is good to hear because these cute courses are slowly being replaced by larger corporate style ‘adventure’ courses. And the tiny one at Herne Bay which Chapman has also swung by on more one occasion should be even more treasured than it already is.
Fun golf and seaside towns
A British seaside town isn’t really a seaside town, without at least one of these nuclear green golf courses with bizarre obstacles and the odd pot plant springing out of it. But can someone who isn’t in the remotest bit active take part on what can be tricky courses ? Chapman says go for it if you can explaining:
“ It’s a nice day, a family outing where you can play for an ice cream. . .]
‘With the rise in staycations you can play with members of your family and amongst friendly tournaments. Putt a few rounds and the lowest score wins.’
A social and fun game for all the family
He continues: ‘It’s a good way to meet new people and a social activity. When you play regularly you can only get better.’
As for the rules of the game, it is basically just like regular golf but on a much smaller scale. But there is another key difference between fun golf and the golf played on starched grass in posh, remote areas.
‘Fun and mini golf is massively egalitarian, there are no memberships fees and no need for expensive equipment. It is also good for the time poor as you can just pick it up whenever you want to.’
You do not need to be sharing sales deals to take a putt. Sounds good to us ! And the championship money that Chapman receives alongside the prestige and travel opportunities is not to be sniffed at either. It’s a grand…sounds like a lot of sugary tea to us. And the Herne Bay mini golf course does a lot of that too. We’ll swing for that !