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FOOD & DRINK

Holey Moley Golf Club

Newtown's mini-golf bar with 18 holes, a bao station and a room dedicated to The Simpsons.
By Erina Starkey
July 27, 2017
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Holey Moley Golf Club

Newtown's mini-golf bar with 18 holes, a bao station and a room dedicated to The Simpsons.
By Erina Starkey
July 27, 2017
  shares

Taking over the turf of the Newtown Social Club, Holey Moley marks the launch of Sydney's first-ever mini golf bar — or 'watering hole' if you want to get on-board with the venue's many golf puns. The once-iconic live music spot has been transformed by the team behind Strike Bowling into an elaborate adult amusement park with a novelty value that's off the charts.

The exuberant mini-golf course consists of 18 holes and is split over two levels. Instead of the usual windmills and castles, the course is pop culture-inspired and features gems such as a reproduction of The Simpsons' living room, a hole inspired by the classic '80s video game Pac-Man, and a Donald Trump-inspired 'ass hole'.

There's a six shot limit per hole, which is generous if you've had less than five drinks. Impossible if you've had seven. However, there are still a few curve balls in the mix, including the Stage Dive hole, a shot which requires you to putt a ball across a drum kit and down the neck of a guitar — if you get it right, you're basically a rock star.

The distressing thing though is that the Stage Dive hole has been hastily set up on the actual stage of the old Newtown Social Club which, before that, was the Sandringham Hotel (aka The Sando). It's a stage that once hosted The Whitlams and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds as well as any Newtownian who owned an instrument or wrote a song, and it's now literally being assaulted with golf clubs. For some it will be a sad sight to see.

The old beer garden at the back where locals would slosh their Carltons and stub out their ciggies has been reinvented as Take a Bao, an Asian-inspired diner. Scoot into one of the booth seats or park yourself in the golf buggy while you scoff down a few of the many alcohol-soaking snacks. Just don't expect a culinary journey. Avoid anything too fancy and which feels like it doesn't belong on a mini golf food menu — the trout ceviche is the case in point here. Instead, you can't go wrong with the crispy waffle fries or the sweet corn with lime, cheese and sour cream. If you're looking for an actual meal, schedule one in for before or after your booking — this is Newtown, you're literally surrounded by options.

In terms of drinks, Holey Moley has its own Caddyshack Bar for when you need a shot between swings. The cocktail menu consists of party punches with punny names served in frat-style plastic party cups. Embrace the silliness with a Happy Gilmoreo a tasty abomination of vodka, Baileys, milk, chocolate sauce with a hint of Chambord jamminess, served sundae-style with an epic head of whipped cream and Oreos. There are also snow cone cocktails in Negroni, frosé and piña-colada, cocktails in trophy cups and elaborate sugary garnishes of skewered 'candy kebabs'. If it weren't for the alcohol, nothing would look out of place at a kid's birthday party.

Let's be honest, Holey Moley is not quite on par with its predecessors, but it's still worth swinging by for a few cold beers, an afternoon game of mini-golf — if not just as a timely reminder of what can happen if you don't support live music.

Images: Tom Wilkinson. 

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