Florence looks to measure up as Smith and Harding rule

THE unveiling of an innovative putting aide was one of the highlights of the Scottish Open as Oliver Florence secured his third top-20 tour finish.

The Surrey-based minigolfer finished 20th in the Aberdeen event, which was won by British number one Chris Harding.

Florence hit eight aces as he carded a 11 over par 155 for the four rounds at Pirate Island Adventure Golf during the BMGA’s first trip north of the border.

Talk beforehand had focused on what Florence would opt to eat the night before, with the 28-year-old deciding to shun the idea of a duck supper with jus in favour of the traditional chicken curry and naan.

But it is a new invention from top minigolf prospect Michael Smith that is now dominating everyone’s thoughts after he produced an eight inch ruler to help him to third place.

Michael Smith - at least eight inches from the edge - lines up a putt

The Kent Minigolf Club member explained how he used it to make sure he moved his ball the right amount when up against an obstruction – as permitted under BMGA rules.

“It was just a basic 12 inch ruler cut down,” he said. “I just felt that having an exact measurement of 8 inches is better than guessing with the width of your hand.

“Otherwise you risk either accidentally cheating by moving the ball more than 8 inches or not giving yourself the best chance of making the putt by not moving it enough.”

Smith lost out on second place in a thrilling play-off to Jouni Valkjärvi, who had travelled all the way from Finland to take part.

Smith said he would not be marketing his implement and remained modest about whether or not he would turn out to be trendsetter in the game.

“Will it catch on? Probably not,” he said. “But then again, the top players have so many balls and are very precise with the way they prepare and take notes on courses, you would think they would want to do everything in their power to give themselves an advantage.

“Half an inch or so doesn’t sound much but you never know.

“Had I won the play off or the event outright, it may have become the next ‘must have’ gadget. Or not.”

Florence, who like Smith uses a blue faced Fun-Sports putter, said he was definitely considering turning up to the British Championship at Wroxham Barns in Norfolk next month with an eight inch ruler in his bag.

“It really is a great idea and something that I am going to investigate,” he said. “Michael has shown the way for those of us on our first BMGA tour and I’m eager to learn from him.”

2 responses to this post.

  1. […] He believes the use of the small mammal is the biggest development in minigolf measurement technology since Michael Smith unveiled a specially manufactured eight inch ruler at the Scottish Open in May. […]


  2. […] stick is the latest device to be used by minigolfers as measuring devices with rulers and hand spans also popular […]


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