A junkyard, a rooftop, a tunnel underneath a railway station; just some of the more unusual venues where crazy golf courses have sprung up in recent months in London.
As the capital’s zany fairways become increasingly inventive, we’ve come up with a few more suggestions of where we’d like to tee off and tackle everything from windmills to dinos…
Hampton Court Palace Maze
If the ninth hole always comes too soon, here’s an idea for a round that could last days.
Maze crazy golf has an added edge — the potential to end up the most lost you’ve ever been in your life. While you’re wandering round with your eyes fixed on a ball that moves only a few feet with every turn, you won’t be concentrating on where you’re going. Before you know it, you’re five layers deep in London’s biggest maze with nothing but a small ball and a long stick for company. To make it even more challenging, the holes wouldn’t even be labelled. You end up looking like Jack Nicholson in The Shining.
Mini golf and taxidermy are two of the most hipster pursuits currently known to man, so it only makes sense to combine the two.
The first hole in this Forest Hill museum would involve a crested porcupine getting ready to brandish its quills. Next, you’d swing your club to a stoic audience of badgers.
For the grand finale: thwack your ball into the famously overstuffed walrus’s mouth. All the while, a heavily bearded DJ plays vinyl records of electro bands with monosyllabic, consonant heavy names like SKN. Hurry, though — it’s only a matter of time becomes it becomes mainstream.
If you haven’t heard of this underground attraction, it’s because it’s not open yet. But when it does in 2017, we’d like nothing more than to strike a few golf balls down the 22-mile long tunnels 70ft below the streets of London.
Imagine whacking that ball with full force and watching it career down a seemingly endless cavern, not knowing where it will end up. Liverpool Street? Euston? Your guess is as good as ours. But whoever gets theirs to Paddington first wins.
Dans le Noir
We’ve tried eating blindly at this Farringdon restaurant, and it’s great. Playing crazy golf in the dark could be fun, and we’d crank it up a notch by adding an aural element.
Each hole makes its own unique sound so you know roughly where you’re aiming for. Sounds sensible. Less sensible is the idea to give each golf ball its own sound too. Yes, you’ll know whose ball is whose, but imagine the cacophony when multiple people are playing.
Getting tickets to this greenhouse in the clouds is one option, but why not go one further and putt among African lilies and French lavender — 155 metres above the ground. Just don’t go smashing any windows.
We’d love to play crazy golf on a travelling ship but that carries its own complications. The next best option is HMS Belfast, moored near London Bridge, where you can strike a ball without having to empty the contents of your stomach overboard.
Playing here would involve clambering up and down ladders throughout all nine decks, with a hole on each deck. Putt your way around the laundry room, bakery, dentist’s office and dormitories before reaching the grand finale on the gangways of the upper deck. The vessel may be moored, but that doesn’t make it immune to tidal movement, meaning the ship could tilt from left to right at any moment — and take your ball with it. Good luck, sailor.
Somerset House fountains
In winter, we get to skate on the temporary ice rink in the Somerset House courtyard. In summer, kids dart from one fountain to the next in a space that could well be used for crazy golf.
If we had our way, the course would incorporate the fountains. There would, for example, be a volcano on top of one of the jets which you’d have to coax a ball into. Seconds later, your ball would be propelled into the air by said jet and land further down the course. In another instance, the jet would be positioned in the way of another hole, thwarting your efforts. Things are about to get wet and wild.