Here for the Photo Opps: Golf Fang Cardiff Review

As usual, I’m a little late getting around to reviewing some new thing. That said, I did make the effort to get myself over to Golf Fang, a new mini golf course in Cardiff. Golf Fang describes itself as a ‘sprayground’ that combines graffiti, crazy golf and cocktails, which I believe is a pretty apt description. Now, despite being absolutely tragic when it comes to anything that requires hand-eye coordination, I am a huge mini golf fan (it was like one of the only activities my dad could think of that would interest a teenage girl, a young boy and a middle-aged man) and therefore, I consider myself adequately qualified to give you guys a little run down of my thoughts on Golf Fang Cardiff. 

Now, as a disclaimer, my friend and I had shared a bottle of wine beforehand, so naturally I was a little bit boozy, which did affect my judgement (and my ability to play mini golf). Also I hadn’t originally planned to write a review about this, because Writer’s Block (enough said), but now I’m avoiding writing a 2500 word research report about a corpus analysis on the usage of brand-names for generic items, so Golf Fang review it is. 

So first off, we approached the building from the wrong side and getting into it proved a bit of a challenge. We found ourselves walking around attempting to open some locked doors and lamenting our inabilities to function as capable human beings. This is not necessarily a challenge for the average person, but my friend and I were either tipsy or stupid (most likely both) and I thought it was a funny little tidbit to include. Anyway, when we eventually made our way to the embarrassingly obvious front door and up the stairs, we were greeted by a nice lady. She explained a little bit about how it all works, helped me log in to a website where we can input our game scores and left us with a buzzer that would buzz when it was our turn to approach the course. Also this was where the cloakroom is, which is handy, but I’m a firm disbeliever in the concept of paying for someone to put my coat in a glorified wardrobe and I also am pretty much cold all the time, indoors and outdoors, so that wasn’t really relevant to me. 

Anyway, first impressions were “oooh yes, this looks cool already”. Plus, I appreciated the scorecard website as this saved us doing maths later (I’m a linguist not a mathematician) and meant that I wouldn’t need to carry around a piece of card and a scrappy lil’ pencil which I would at some point put down only for it to inevitably roll away from me and get lost forever, because that is the way that my luck typically goes. I would make a point about saving the trees and all that, but I doubt that mini-golf is a particularly large contributor to deforestation (real golf on the other hand…). After some thought, the only possible downside to not having a physical score card I could think of is that you can’t put it in a scrapbook – but I’ve not been scrapbooking this year so I guess I was alright with that and you could always just print a screenshot. 

And then we were into what I guess would be the bar area. It was a nicely decorated, large space (can you tell it’s been a while since I’ve written descriptively?). Obviously, being the fiend I am, it was straight to the bar for us. We spent a while browsing the cocktail menu, chuffed to see the option for a 32oz cup that I can only hope was decently priced (it was girls night, so we had already decided money was no object – tip: this is unwise, regardless of occasion). Briefly forgot for a minute there that I’m supposed to be writing an informative review and not an anecdote, though how informative are any of my blog posts really? Anyway, leaving that in because it’s amusing to me but upon research I have found that the 32oz cocktail is £15.50, while regular-sized cocktails were £8.20, and honestly my little brain cannot work out if this a good deal or not, because what even are ounces? Regardless, in my opinion the drinks prices were probably about what you would expect for this type of venue. While we’re talking money, the golf itself is £14 during peak hours and £12.50 off peak. I’d say that Golf Fang is worth the money and after comparing it to a couple of other mini golf venues, it’s definitely on the spennier side, but it’s also a lot better than some of your more basic venues. That said, with drinks and the course, it’s not going to be the cheapest night although there are some combo-deals available, which could be worth checking out.

But back to the booze! After spending a lot of time umm-ing and ahh-ing over the menu (decisions are tough), my friend opted to ask the bartender for their suggestion, which didn’t help at all as he suggested the two cocktails that we were mainly stuck between, however I appreciated his attempt at helping two fools and the fact that he obviously had good taste. It took a little while for it to dawn on us that there were two of us and two cocktails we wanted to try, so it would make sense that we would simply buy both and try each other’s (see, fools). In the end, I went for the Nuthin’ But A G Ting and my friend had the Ghetto Punch, both of which were pretty tasty, though I’m a sucker for anything that has a melon liqueur (hate melon though…) so I guess I’m pretty easy to impress. The colossal cocktail also lasted me the entire course, though by the end a lot of the ice had melted, which is something to keep in mind. It’s also worth mentioning that there is a second bar after the 9th hole, so you don’t have to stress about making your drink last the whole way around the course. On my next visit, I’d probably skip the big cup, as I would definitely be interested to try some of the other cocktail options on the menu, however if you’re not a cocktail fan, firstly, why? And secondly, I’d like to reassure you that there were other options such as beer and wine, and Hooch (we all love some Hooch), as well as some non-alcoholic beverages and mocktails. 

Next on the list before our game started, we headed to the toilets together, because that is what girls do (girls night, remember?). The toilets are located kind of near the middle/end of the course (it loops around a bit) so we were a little distracted en route by all of the exciting things around us, but this simply served to hype us up for the game to begin. The toilets weren’t particularly exciting though everything else is, so they kind of serve as a safe haven from sensory overload. Now that we were sorted, there was only one more thing to do before the game could begin. Photo Booth!

Anywhere that comes equipped with a photo booth instantly gains multiple points in my book. Having been obsessed with purikura every time I visited Japan growing up, it’s fair to say that I am a photo booth fiend. I’ll hunt them down in every venue and spend a large amount of time and money. The Golf Fang photo booth is extra exciting (for the UK at least, Japanese photo booths have waaaay cooler features, but that’s just how everything is in Japan) because it has a greenscreen and you get to pick a background. The only problem (or is it an amusing bonus?) is that you definitely can’t wear something green, unless you want to appear as a floating head. My friend learnt this the hard way. Nonetheless, if you want to get a good review from Ellie, simply whack a photo booth into your venue. 

And as we were eagerly waiting for our pictures to print, whilst sipping on our tasty beverages, our buzzer sounded and it was time to start our game. We headed over to the start of the course where we were given our weapons (golf clubs and balls – that was supposed to be a joke but I have in the past accidentally whacked people at mini golf) and the rules were kindly explained to us (I was still thinking about how funny the greenscreen dress was so I can’t say I remembered anything in detail). Then, we were off, but naturally at the start of the course there’s a photo opportunity, so we ended up letting a group go in front of us, while Photo Shoot No.1 of the evening took place. This feels like a good place to mention that half of the appeal of Golf Fang does appear to be the photo opportunities and if people stopping to get their pics in for the ‘Gram will annoy you, you should probably just get with the times and accept our overlords, the social media algorithms. 

Mini golf, on a whole, is usually a 9-hole experience. Sure, sometimes you have the option of two different courses with 9-holes each or a rogue 10th hole that doesn’t count but serves as a fun way to get rid of your ball at the end – but generally it’s a 9-hole affair (have I used the word ‘hole’ too much? Holes and balls, there’s some sort of joke here…). I have often found that 9-holes aren’t usually enough (I’m definitely walking into some sort of rubbish joke) but a second round and I start to get a little bored. Golf Fang boasts an 18-hole course, but with each hole taking on its own theme and identity – from a Jeremy Kyle set to some scarily accurate Japanese streets (and I’d know), plus plenty of interesting photo opportunities and features along the way (alcohol vending machine? Yes please!) my attention was held the whole way through. Every corner kept me guessing about what delights we were about to encounter next, and I’m sure “wait, I have to get a picture of this!” was my most-frequently used phrase that day (I really embraced my inner content-creator). Honestly, I feel like going into too much detail would probably dampen things for someone who hasn’t gone yet, but truly the attention to detail and straight-up randomness of the whole course was incredible. 

So here we are again (at last!), the end of one of Ellie’s probably-not-all-that-informative reviews. To summarise, Golf Fang was sick and you should probably go visit. I’ll definitely be going again, and though I think that the first visit will always be the best one, I’m pretty sure it’ll be a good laugh every time. 


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