It’s safe to say that “Golf” Cafe Bar is unlike any we’ve visited so far. You can play virtual golf here. Yep — why settle for the run-of-the-mill amusements like pool or darts when you can hit the fairway? Targeting stag dos and corporate parties, “Golf” offers three simulator bays where you can play a full course or just have some fun on the driving range. You hit a real golf ball off a real tee with a real club toward a screen and through some kind of dark magic it calculates how far and how high you would have hit the ball were you playing the real thing. During off-peak times (Sunday through Thursday) this will cost you and your group £20/hr and on the weekends it’s £30/hr. You can also pay a fiver for thirty minutes on the driving range, which is what we opted to do (more on that later). They also seem to have various special offers available, so check their website for details.
The golf areas are all down a long hallway and quite separated from the bar. The biggest one has a large spectator area, perfect for a large party so you won’t miss out on any of the simulated action. There are also a couple of rooms which are available for meetings and other events. “Golf” has quite a lot to offer as amenities go, in addition to the “golf.” This is also a place for the sports fan, and when we visited the only people in the bar area were quiet Man U fans with their eyes glued to the Premier League title match. They have a standard pub food menu, though we didn’t eat anything (wanting to stay light in our golf shoes, of course). A nice touch during nice weather is the beer terrace overlooking the river, complete with astroturf!
Given that the “golf” is the main draw here, we really weren’t expecting much in the way of beer, but we were pleasantly surprised that they have a handful of decent bottled beers, including three ales from Black Sheep, three from Adnams and Sam Adams. They also strive to appeal to the designated driver (get it?) by offering three non-alcoholic beers including Erdinger’s. It was well kept and well served; we didn’t have to ask for glasses, which we often do in places that don’t market themselves at beer lovers. We were also very pleasantly greeted by the friendly landlord who gave us a full tour of the place and made us feel quite welcome.
So how did we do on the “golf,” you ask? Well after a very basic 60-second lesson from the owner, we had a go at the driving range for half an hour and I must say we did better than expected. It was also lots of fun, and definitely worth five quid. I’m not sure we would invest much more than that as we don’t really know how to golf, but others are likely to find it well worth it. We would certainly go back during the week if we were in the mood for something a little out of the ordinary.