8 Brownís Buildings
(Between Bury Street and St Mary Axe)
London EC3A 8AL
020 3846 3222
Cost: £13.00 per 9 holes
Par: 21 (9 holes Ė each course)
Lighthouse Course††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Windmill Course
Difficulty: 5††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Difficulty: 8
Creativity: 8†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Creativity: 8
Atmosphere: 9†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Atmosphere: 9
This course sits in central London right at the base of the Gerhkin building.† Itís a great location and the place was hopping on a Tuesday night when we visited.† Just be aware that this is an 18+ venue so unfortunately (or fortunately) no kids are allowed here.† Each course is 9 holes and they are set in back of the restaurant and bar area. It has almost a speakeasy feel as itís downstairs and the sign over the entrance, while neon, is actually a bit inconspicuous. There is a coat room which is also nice given it was a bit warm in there and you donít want to have to drag your outerwear along the whole evening.
We arrived early to partake in the food and drink selection and we were quite happy.† The course has a handful of outside food vendors who cater it and we can say the pizza was so good we actually went up for second helpings.† The drinks are fair as well, with a good selection of beer, and the cost overall was what youíd expect for food in central London.† You can also get served while on the course which is lovely.
The courses themselves are great to play.† They were both in very good condition considering the volume of people who play through there and their level of possible intoxication.† The borders of the holes and most of the obstacles are made of strong wood, almost looking like sections of railroad ties.† This makes the holes have an appeasing aesthetic look, allows for a good bounce on the balls and the material seems like it can take a beating. The course did have some real sand traps as well and despite the fact that these can get very messy on some courses it seemed to be under control here.† There are also plenty of places to put your beverage down while putting which is nice Ė just try to remember which is yours!† The course also provides WiFi, which is good because the cell coverage is rough the course being in a basement and all, and you can use their scorecard app for iPhone.† At the end of the round you can submit your score and try to get to the top of their live leaderboard shown in the main section of the restaurant.
There wasnít much in the way of true minigolf obstacles except for the giant loops on both courses and the lighthouse you putted through.† However, that didnít keep them from coming up with creative ways to design the holes and make the best use of the space available.† While the themes of some hole designs were the same on the two courses, the execution was different enough and the other holes varied enough, to keep the creativity score high. Even the holes that were short had different designs and were in fact quite challenging.† The lighthouse course was definitely the easier of the two and if youíre an avid putter and play it more than once you have a good shot of going below par.† The windmill course if definitely more challenging with a few holes where it is easy to drop strokes.† However, both of the courses do have their ace opportunities.
There are a few minor drawbacks that kept us from giving this course the highest marks.† The first is that it is a bit cramped and given there were a lot of people there when we visited it felt like you were constantly dodging people as you moved around the course or tried to get set up for a putt. Everyone was friendly about it though and since it was all adults and not kids it didnít feel like someone was just randomly butting into your experience.† Given the volume of people and the music (which is always good to have) it is a bit loud on the course as well so you need a beverage or two to make sure your throat is coated if you want to talk to your friends all evening. We would have liked to see the windmill on the course be an actual obstacle like the lighthouse but instead it was set up over one of the holes.† The cost is a bit high but again factoring you arenít paying for a child to play should not deter you from a visit though we can see where multiple visits might be tough to consider if you arenít an avid golfer.† As much as we like that it is an 18+ experience, that does knock it down just a bit on the overall minigolf scale given we love that miniature golf is a sport that can played by all.
Overall, we would highly recommend stopping by and playing this course.† Allow yourself the time and money to play both courses and have a meal for the full experience.
Additional Notes: While our review of the course is unbiased we do want to say we received excellent treatment when we were there.† We ended up being treated with some personal hospitality and we are incredibly grateful for the great time we were shown that evening.† Even the folks who didnít know who we were out on the course were very friendly and accommodating. We want to thank the course for a great time and being a good part of the wider miniature golf community.
Reviewed by Pat & LEGO Penguin
Reviewed in 2017
Course Pictures (click to enlarge)