A new adventure golf locale has landed by the Kassam Stadium, bringing with it a pair of space-themed courses. Promising heaps of fun and with strong early word-of-mouth reviews I felt it the perfect weekend activity and so headed down to try my hand at the crazy golf on offer.
With 36 holes spread across two courses what Gravitee certainly doesn't lack are opportunities to putt your ball. The setup is simple: you can pay for one or two courses, you are a handed a putter and ball each and away you go. The courses take in locations as diverse as a crashed spacecraft (with the ball running through the inside of the ship) and the surface of a moon, with ramps and aliens watching us. 'Galactic Explorers' is more geared towards longer holes, only becoming trickier in the final holes; whereas 'Space Astronauts' is tighter, full of trick shots throughout. I preferred the latter as it seemed to pitch the difficulty just right, with the former having a steeper curve in its second half. Plus I simply adored 'Space Astronauts'' neon-decked ship's bridge (as did my young daughter who had great fun running around its expansive area). That isn't to diminish the fun of 'Galactic Explorers', a course we did first when we were getting into the swing of things.
What I most appreciated about Gravitee Golf is the expansiveness of each course. It feels positively generous to give us 18 holes per course, and each stretches to a good hour of golfing fun. While this means you are unlikely to play both on an individual visit, it does create a positive impression. There is the feeling that the owners do not want to short-change anyone and instead want us to get the most fun out of our time with them. This is amplified by staff who are friendly to us, welcoming visitors to the new surroundings and adding to the afternoon with their enthusiasm for adventure golf. The atmosphere around Gravitee Golf is relaxed and I'd certainly return for another game of golf in the future.
The courses could do with some tweaking to maximise the enjoyment level. They currently lack a designated par for each hole, so there is no real indication of how many attempts you are meant to take. While some areas are brimming with atmosphere (back to that gloriously neon bridge), others could do with more being added to them; be it a burst of smoke at the appropriate time or music to fit the course. There are the components of a great activity here, it just feels that the little tweaks could push this over the edge into something out-of-this-world.
This feels like something that is perfectly suited for families. I would be curious to see what it is like in the evening, once the younger participants and their parents have retreated to the safety of their homes. There is a well-stocked bar and an expansive area before the courses to hang out in, so there is the potential for this to turn into a more adult-orientated experience. Yet this was a very fine way to spend a Sunday afternoon, with all in our party having a good time. This is one trip through space and time that is worth taking.