Holey Moley- Mini Golf in Newtown

If you’ve ever visited any of the beachside resort towns on America’s east coast, then you are probably very familiar with the classic Americana pastime of putt-putt, or mini-golf. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, holds this particular claim to fame, owning the title of ‘Miniature Golf Capital of the World’, with over 50 courses. If you’ve ever played, you know mini-golf thrives on the weird and wonderful- putting through the feet of dinosaurs, across the hulls of pirate ships, or around the molten volcano- it’s a must-do for every vacationing family.

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Holey Moley took up residence in the former Sandringham Hotel (Photo courtesy of Broadsheet.com)

What’s with golf in a bar?

Well, if it was fun as a child, it will probably also be fun as an adult after a few drinks. Fast forward to 2017 in Sydney, to the opening of Holey Moley. Holey Moley is a bar/18-hole mini golf course, complete with DJ, located in Newtown, in Sydney’s inner-west. With Nintendo, Mousetrap, and Tetris-themed holes, early 2000’s rap, and drinks served in red solo cups, it is definitely designed to appeal to millennial types looking to relive their college years, spring break/Myrtle Beach style. I finally had a chance to visit recently, and it was all I hoped for and more. If you’re looking for a unique afternoon out with a group of friends, this place should be tops on your list.

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Mousetrap takes center stage. (Courtesy of Urban List)
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Putt across an old school Nintendo controller- 90’s dreams come to life.

Note: I, along with some friends, visited as full-paying guests, and have received no incentive to write this review. Rather, I think it’s an off-the-wall (sometimes literally, depending on your short game), and quirky place that American expats (and Aussies) would love.

The Golf

You can choose from either nine holes or the full 18. We went for nine, since it seemed like enough, and the cost was reasonable at $16.50 per person. For the full 18, it’s $33.00, so a lot steeper. (The first nine are downstairs, the back nine are upstairs. We went for the first nine.) You can also book tee times before arrival, helpful if you’re planning on a weekend or Friday night. IMG_1257

You are given a token, which you then insert into one of the giant gumball machines holding the golf balls. Watch your ball wind down the slide, select your putter, and then you are good to go. Mine got stuck halfway down, but nothing’s perfect. 

Replacing the old-fashioned score card and golf pencils is a score keeping app, so download it before you start. Competition amongst mini-golfers can be fierce, so make sure whoever you nominate as scorekeeper can be trusted! 

The holes were crazy creative, each one with a different theme. We bounced balls through Kombi vans, shot through pipes into the Rube Goldberg mousetrap game of our childhood (complete with bathtub and boot), and watched the balls ricochet down a Tetris board. From a design perspective, I really enjoyed the originality. They’ve taken the traditional style mini-golf formula, but added a modern flare with an Aussie twist, based around pop culture and technology.

I only had a brief look at the upstairs nine, but an Elvis statue and a re-creation of the Simpsons living room is enough to make me want to come back.

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Cue the opening credits… (Courtesy of the AU Review)

The Drinks

There’s a full bar available, complete with buckets of beer, Happy Gilmore- themed cocktails, and Long Island Iced ‘Tees’- no shortage of golf puns here. Prices were what you would expect in the area, though I’m not sure if our shared pitcher of Pimms helped or hindered my game…

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(Image courtesy of Time Out)

The Food

I didn’t sample the food, so can’t comment on the quality, but they have a limited menu of standard bowling-alley type fare. Think pizzas, burgers, hot dogs. Would make for a quick snack between holes, but for more varied food, Newtown offers infinite dining options for eating before or after your game.

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(Image courtesy of Broadsheet.com.au)

Places like this tend to be a novelty, but I hope they do well. I’d love to see more theme bars that think outside the box, and bring a new perspective to a night out with friends. This place would also appeal to non-drinkers, as it’s a great way to socialize and have fun without meeting at a bar. Well, it is a bar, but they have more to offer than just drinking, which I think appeals to a wider range of audiences.

If you’re after more unique things to do in Sydney this summer, I’d recommend checking out Sip My Ocean at the MCA or the gorgeous floral gardens of the Calyx.

Have you been to Holey Moley? What did you think?

9 Comments

  1. I hope Holey Moley lasts a long time (like long enough for me to get to Sydney), because I have to see the Simpson’s living room! I even told my husband about it. He went on to tell me that someone in the US created Moe’s Bar somewhere.

    I agree about theme bars and restaurants. I like the ideas and I hope they are able to stick around. It looks like Holey Moley has a lot of different things and can appeal to a wider crowd that way. I also want to play the mousetrap game hole. It’s a great game that never worked for me!

    1. That’s amazing that Moe’s is real, aha! Would love to check it out. Same, most of the fun with Mousetrap was setting it up, but I don’t remember the actual game being very exciting…

  2. This is such a fun idea! I can see it as a great activity with friends after a few rounds of drinks. I also really like the cute setting – would be great for photos!

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