Junkyard Golf Club, in Camden Lock Place, opened with a grand launch party on September 1 with more than just golf on the offering.
Sweet Sunrise, a mocktail on the menu that mixed flavours of bubble-gum with cherry shrub and apple, looked as delectable as it read. It established the character of the place for me from the get go – old school, quirky and peppy.
I headed straight to the golf courses with my expectations set high. There were four to choose from.
True to the venue’s theme, the first course I went with – Dirk – had a raw, gritty vibe of an abandoned warehouse that has been transformed into a techno party den.
In an era where high tech miniature golf courses that automatically record your scores exist, Junkyard instead hands the players a card to record the outcomes manually.
Each course has nine challenges to conquer with varying degrees of complexity. Some will pass by like a breeze and others will make you sweat – especially the one where the course has a slope to try to get the ball past the hurdle.
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Next came Bozo, a surreal universe with clowns, ferris wheels and a hall of mirrors that is designed to freak you out. Here, the holes seemed mostly achievable, but the set design provided just the right backdrop for stunning selfies.
Gary, the third course, is glittery and vibrant with its disco ball and UV lights in contrast to Pablo, the final one on the list, that is darker with pirate speedboats, bears and general chaos.
Trying to get the ball to roll down the stairs in the last one was hands down the hardest one of all the challenges at the courses.
While its classic charm makes the venue more enjoyable, it has its pitfalls.
These include the ball getting stuck at odd spots and an issue for people with mobility issues as some holes have a bit of a climb.
With one course costing up to £11 for an adult, the prices may seem steep considering each one takes about 20-30 minutes.
These shortcomings aside, the staff and service overall added to the positive and cheerful vibe of the experience.
I ended my visit with a deliciously frothy Cloud Burst cocktail that had Portobello Road gin, pink grapefruit, Giffard apricot liqueur and passionfruit air.
The venue left me with a sense of joy of having had a good time playing games and being goofy with friends – a welcome change to staring at screens all day.
This is the second London site owned by the chain, with its first in Shoreditch launched in 2019.