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Urban Golf, Virtual Golf at Smithfields Market

BY Boon Koh
Published 21 October 2012

While golf might at times seem a bit elitist, it really is a surprisingly fun sport. I guess three of the reasons why its normally considered elitist is because it is expensive, it takes a long time to complete a round (5 hours!), and golf courses are really not that accessible for those without a car.

But golf has become more accessible with the invention of virtual golf – now instead of you having to walk around in the cold and damp for hours, you can stay nice and warm indoors, with a cold beer in hand, and play a few rounds on the golf simulator.

I went, for the first time, to Urban Golf – a chain of virtual golf “bars” across London. Hidden away in the basement, this particular Smithfields Market branch is a bit hard to find, especially if you don’t know exactly where to look. But step through the plain street-level doorway and down the stairs, and you come to a cavernous bar and lounge area with big screen tellies. There’s a “check-in” desk, then you get directed to one of the virtual golf booths that line the sides of the basement.

Then its just a matter of choosing your course, from one of many of the top courses from around the world, including Pebble Beach and St Andrews!

The shots and holes passed by quickly, not having to do all the walking in between and having to look for your golf ball in the rough – but sometimes it felt a bit unreal. How do you really know if the simulator is really simulating where your golf ball was going with that swing? All my balls seemed to go straight – even though I hadn’t swung a golf stick for years!

Still, its a great fun night out – and very similar to All Star Lanes, if you’ve been there for a bit of bowling, fun, and drinks before!

Urban Golf – Smithfield Branch
Address: 12 Smithfield Street, London EC1A 9LA
Nearest tube: Farringdon Station
Phone: 020 7248 8600