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Played on grass surfaces, golf is probably one of the most weather dependent sports. Requiring a mammoth expanse of open space, it is also not the most readily available in this concrete city. That was until Urban Golf appeared on the scene, which offers the next best thing to playing on a dry green as you can book a stylish “bunker” and enjoy a spot of indoor golf whilst nibbling on American style food and drinks. It is a great venue for improving your swing whilst socialising with pals, teams, colleagues or clients. Because it is so realistic, the experience is ideal for those with a good level of golf, but with multi-level courses, novices are also welcome to go along for the laugh and make a shambolic attempt.
This may seem like a glorified version of Wii Sport, but it smashes the tired home game right off the fairway. The simulators used at Urban Golf are the most advanced and accurate in the business. The golf simulator tracks the motion and carry through of your swing to project a realistic trajectory of the ball across virtual professional courses. They mirror, to a tee, the exact distance and roll of the ball as it would be on an ordinary course. The cameras detect every detail of your swing, mimicking a fade, draw, slice, hook, lob or shank with constant precision. Whilst it would be lovely to actually stand on a green with waterfalls, ponds, trees and blue skies, Urban’s 3D graphics on the 12ft by 11ft screens make a good attempt at fooling you. You can choose from over 50 of the world’s most prestigious courses, such as St Andrew’s Old Course, Pebble Beach and Kiawah Island Ocean Course.
Not only can you smash balls into walls at your own free will, but you can also book coaching sessions. The lessons aim to take beginner swingers up to professional course level and hopefully reach the ranks of the handicap golfers. Intermediate, elite and juniors can also benefit from some expert advice and raise their game through the use of simulation and highly technological methods in lessons. You can book a free half hour golf lesson by phoning 0207 248 8600.
Urban Golf currently has two branches; in Soho and Smithfield. A bunker costs £40 per hour Monday to Fridays, except for Wednesday and Thursday evening when the fee is £60. The popularity of the centre on weekends means that booths cost £50 per hour.
Bookings can be made up to 15 days in advance by calling 0207 248 8600 or emailing theclubsecretary@urban golf.co.uk.
Simply putt, this is a must try for any city golfer!