Inspired by Henrik Stenson stealing the Open from Phil Mickelson? Want to imagine you’re holing out at the 18th at Troon to win the famous claret jug? Don’t know what we’re talking about and just want to have some putting fun? If you’re in or near London this Summer there is plenty of choice when it comes to minigolf venues, and it costs an awful lot less than golf club membership and green fees.
For a few quid a head per course you can putt your way round the capital sinking holes-in-one along with cocktails and burgers.
Let’s start in the suburbs and work our way in.
Out East there’s Moby Golf, a whale of a good time in Dagenham. It’s inspired by the whale bones that sat in the toll booth on nearby Whalebone Lane throughout the eighteenth century. Definitely in the Adventure Golf vein, this course features a lagoon dyed bright blue, an eight-metre waterfall and a giant replica sperm whale.
Down South in Surrey, you can have a roaring good time at Jurassic Encounter Adventure Golf. It has animatronic dinos to put you off your stroke by bellowing at you, velociraptors in lakes of blood to give you the yips, and giant diplodoci to loom over you primordially. Why not take the old fossils along to play on a family ticket?
Out West at Northolt, Dinosaur Escape has the same theme, with somewhat less scary dinosaurs as it’s firmly pitched (heh heh) at young’uns, with children’s parties actively encouraged.
And Up North you could do a lot worse than visit Barnet and … oh, it’s another Adventure Golf course full of dinosaurs. There seems to be a theme developing here. Still, kids love Dinosaur Safari Adventure Golf, and it’s an 18-holer with some really beautiful holes in amongst the obligatory giant reptiles.
Now let’s pay our Congestion Charge and move inwards.
We’ve already told you about Swingers under the Gherkin, which is now open for business in an old wartime bunker. Try chipping out of that one, heh. It’s an 18+ venue with bars and a pretty awesome course snaking around under Shoreditch. Entry to enjoy the bars and food is free but putting tickets are a little on the pricey side at £13 for both walk-up and advance purchase.
Along and across the river at Battersea you’ll find Putt in the Park, a rocky expanse of putting pleasure surrounded by cafés and wine bars, and not far from Battersea Park Zoo so you can get your fix of reptiles, which are for once absent from the actual crazy golf course. Genteel putting fun.
In trendy Dalston you’ve got one of four London minigolf courses run by Plonk Golf (The others are in Hoxton, Hackney and Battersea). Push your way through the hipsters to reach EFEs Snooker Club, which houses a 200ft crazy golf course every Wednesday and Thursday. Mingle with Turks, eat kebabs and play minigolf. Cool. Like Dalston.
And on Brick Lane, there’s a visiting course from Manchester that has already been a huge success: Junkyard Golf. Open for three months this Summer, it’s a Heath Robinson-esque collection of slides, wendy houses, cows and treadmills. In their own words, Junkyard Golf is ‘Three nine-hole crazy golf courses of weird and twisted junk, car booty and charity shop shizzle.’ And it’s a hit.
So to play crazy golf this Summer, you don’t have to go to the coast (although you should at some point to support our seaside culture). London is chock full of putting action.