It’s loud, garish and gimmicky - yet Anja Madhvani can’t help but love The Light’s latest addition
Recently I find myself spending more and more time at The Light, which seems to be going through some sort of renaissance.
The Light caters to most of my needs; my doctors surgery is here, as well as my gym, Vue Cinema, and several places to eat. La Bottega Milanese keep me happily sedated with caffeine, and I’ve become entirely addicted to the challenges at Escape Hunt.
If all that weren’t enough, it’s recently become the home of Junkyard Golf, where I can now humiliate myself publically by attempting to do things at which I am terrible.
Part of me wanted to dislike Junkyard Golf, it’s loud, it’s full of millenials and it’s tacky... But I cannot lie, I had a fantastic evening
Junkyard Golf boasts three nine-hole courses, complete with slides and neon lights. It’s all pretty trippy: I feel as though I’ve fallen into a Mighty Boosh episode, though unfortunately neither Naboo nor Bollo make an appearance.
It pitches itself at vibrant young putters, with a selfie booth and plenty of fun photo opportunities. Despite being garishly fun, this is by no means limited to the student crowd; I reckon I could take my mum here for a spot of silliness, or my nephew (check their times to find out when under eighteens can visit). It’d also make a great first date.
The props on the holes are inventively made from reclaimed materials, and each course is themed differently. Bozo is a creepy fairground, Pablo is a jungle, and Gary is a scrap yard (with some subtle MDMA references).
Bars are positioned throughout the site, so you’re never far from some refreshment. You’re also never far from the onset of diabetes, with each cocktail being garnished with an obscene amount of Pick ‘n’ Mix. Were I at a bar I’d find this gimmicky and irritating, but in this setting I’m actually delighted to embrace the sugar rush. The food kiosk serves up hot dogs and nachos.
The whole experience perfectly encapsulates childhood memories of sleepovers spent drinking too much pop, eating too much junk food and staying up all night completing a PlayStation game from Blockbuster. You know exactly what I mean.
Usually I get quite nervous at places like this; I hate having to perform an action requiring any form of skill in front of people. Bowling is my idea of hell. But somehow there is no pressure here, it’s very chilled and casual, and there’s so much going on that it feels like nobody is even noticing my poor form. On average it takes around 45 minutes to complete a course, and there are plenty of bar areas to hang out in before or after your game.
Part of me wanted to dislike Junkyard Golf, it’s loud, it’s full of millenials and it’s tacky to some extent. But I cannot lie, I had a fantastic evening. As adults, we are sometimes in danger of forgetting how to be silly, from time to time we need little escapes like this to remind us how to be fun. I think this place works because it’s so distracting you can’t help but forget about all that boring stressful stuff. Junkyard Golf forced me crack a much needed smile.