Whilst travelling to an exotic and faraway sunny place would be amazing, it costs money. So instead, I went mini golfing in a bar. In rainy, cold Manchester.
Junkyard Golf is a golf course made out of stuff that’s been thrown out. It started in London (of course) and spread to Cardiff and Manchester. It’s a bar first and foremost, with various cocktails and hot dogs for sale. But I’m getting ahead of myself; my day started out with meeting up with my friends in a little café called Ziferblat.
Time is literally money in Ziferblat. A cute sizable café where all the food and drinks are free – you pay for as long as you’re in there. You have to clean up after yourself, but it’s lovely. A home away from home where you can play a multitude of board games, like the Sex in the City game. We opted for one more our style: Cards Against Humanity.
Relaxing, chatting and out of the rain, we drafted a plan for the rest of our day. We cleaned up after ourselves, which meant washing dishes (or putting them in the dishwasher), putting away the cards, and paying for our time. You clock in when you arrive and you can stay all day, if you pay for ten hours. We’d only been there for two. It came to £6.30, which I didn’t think was bad considering I’d had about four different slices of cake.
We braved the rain again to make it to Junkyard Golf – an unassuming building tucked away in Manchester, not too far from the train station but far enough from Ziferblat to make sure we were all soaking before we got there.
Through the glass doors you are met by a wide open sitting space and a big bar, walls adorned with the prices of drinks and the three flavours of hotdogs. Across the room is another bar, where they sell you your golf ball and club.
There are two options of courses, a beach island get away theme or Ayia Napa. We went for the latter. Each of us picked a different coloured golf ball, and got our drinks. Cherry Lambrini is delicious, but the sort of delicious that reminds you of your first house party – so if you can face the memories, I’d recommend that.
Then our group rounded the corner from the bar, where we found ourselves facing a mess of car parts and tires in the form of a miniature crazy golf course. And I was winning! Until about the third hole, where we had to hit it uphill. Ronan lost his ball behind a car door and when he found it again, it was a different colour.
I got really behind and then from that point on I lost my nerve. The lighter (stolen from Ronan) was taken in front of the hole where I finally lost my first place. The skull was more of a decoration for the hellhole of a spiral that I had to knock my ball around. Each hit was worse than the last and then we finally got to hole nine and it was all over.
The blacklighting takes the colour away from the lighter, but the whole experience was a bright spot away from the rain and the cold.
Editor: Floss Hafter-Smith