We all remember our times playing crazy golf whilst on holiday. Usually, the obstacle was an old wooden windmill that had seen better days. For many of us, it was moments like these that helped us pick up a club for the first time and for some, it was these moments that made us take the game one stage further. Whatever the outcome, we all had fun and took away these precious memories. However, back then, we were kids and for a long the world of crazy golf has become something nostalgic. That was until things changed.
Now crazy golf has become urbanised. Far away from the seaside resorts, we have seen them pop up in places like London, Birmingham and Manchester. From Dinosaur themed courses to things like Ghetto Golf in Liverpool. However, Ghetto Golf is not for the kids. This one is purely for the adults with its imposing bar and graffiti-based art. Situated in the Cains Brewery Village in Liverpool, you very quickly get a sense of what Ghetto Golf is all about.
Loud urban music greets you as you head to the bar to wait for your tee time. It’s while waiting that you can fully take it all in. The walls are full of graffiti art including a lovable minion swiftly extending his middle finger. It pretty much sums up the attitude here. You are here to have fun however you intend to do it. Take your beers around the course and enjoy yourselves.
Everywhere I look I see people doing just that. Selfies, laughter and all in your far from your usual golfing attire. Instead, the weekend is here and the revellers are dressed for a night on the tiles. From young students enjoying a round before heading out for some snakebite, to couples on their first dates. We even bumped into hip OAPS refusing to let their age prevent them from having a laugh. If this is the future of crazy golf, then count me in.
This 18 hole course should take about an hour to complete with each hole being completely unique in it own way. The first hole is in a caravan, the second has a library feel to it and the third takes you to a skate park slope. Yet it was the fifth hole that was completely different to anything I have ever seen. The aim was to get the ball into the toilet. Now that was somewhere I never thought I’d retrieve my golf ball from.
I may have seen golf’s finest perform and had the pleasure to interview many but I would give my right arm to see them at a place like this. To see them enjoying themselves rather than have their game faces on.
As we approached the arcade machine phase of the course the artwork perfectly blended Sonic the Hedgehog and Space Invaders to create a pinball hole. Along each hole, I thought to myself, “This is harder than it looks!” The scorecard reflected that but really the idea of keeping score wasn’t what was important. I don’t think I have enjoyed a round of golf like this in a long time. If anything, it took me back to those days playing crazy golf on holiday. I may have entered as an adult but I found my inner child once again...only slightly more inebriated.
It was only on the way home that the thinking fully began. Whilst everyone had fun, how many would consider actually playing golf properly? My guess is not many. Perhaps there is a valid reason for this. Golf is often seen as a boring game yet Ghetto Golf was the complete opposite. It was fun, vibrate and full of energy. Perhaps golf itself should start taking a hard look at itself to see if there are lessons that can be learnt. After all, we talk continuously about attracting younger players from both sexes. Ghetto Golf doesn’t have that problem at all. That is why it should be embraced by the golfing community. It may not golf as we know it, but it is still golf and if some of the those we played alongside were to try a traditional golf course in the future, then it will be the likes of Ghetto Golf that helped in growing the game.
Cains Brewery Village
£10 for 18 holes.