Ah, minigolf. The sport of lower middle class royalty. How far we've come from its origins in the Third Age, during the Battle of Greenfields, when Tolkien says Bandobras Took knocked Golfimbul's head a hundred yards across the battlefield and down a rabbit hole. The noblest sport has seen a gradual evolution over its five hundred year history, from leather pouches filled with feathers to dimpled plastic and rubber balls; from courses dug in sand dunes to multimillion dollars purpose-built greens; from sticks whittled from wood to clubs made of steel and sci-fi polymers.
But we weren't in the space age yet. Until now!
This fever dream is Lilalicht 3D Blacklight Minigolf. Occupying a third-floor spot in The Hub out by Hongqiao Railway Station, it's apparently a German brand of minigolf, built to international minigolfing tournament standards.
It advertises three themed minigolf "rooms," but it's more like "partitions." The entire space is about the size of a tennis court, with 18 concrete holes. And so much 3D!
Isn't all minigolf 3D, you ask? Stow that sass, buckaroo and feast your one-dimensional sensibilities on this!
This might be Shanghai's first blacklight minigolf, aka minigolfing on the Rainbow Star Road from Mario Kart. . Spacemans and dolphins pop out from the wall, and a couple of the putting greens feature visual trickery that can't really be conveyed in pictures since 3D glasses require two eyes to work.
Some of it's great! Blast your Moments into the stratosphere. Comes with complementary Depeche Mode soundtrack!
Some of it's...
What is this? Is that an arm? A tail? How does this creature work.
Once the blacklights and 3D paint wears off, the holes are a little meh. One, maybe two obstacles each. No moving elements. Not a single windmill. Even with the raised edge of the grass carpet hampering my backswing, I breezed through the first seven or eight holes in one go. Not to brag or anything, but I'm pretty good at minigolf.
They get harder after that. Hole 13 will absolutely wreck you. If you want to make this in a single shot, your form needs to be immaculate.
Entry is 98rmb for an hour and a half, which is pushing it. The novelty wears off in about half an hour. I'll go back if they bump up the complexity and difficulty of the holes, which they've promised to do. For now, it's good for a group outing or a kid's party, but they'll struggle to satisfy the serious minigolfer (like myself) who can take hole 13 in one go. People who know how to just send it home. It's time to go home, ball.
**** of a **** ball! Why didn’t you go home?! That’s your home! Are you too good for your home?! Answer me!
LilaLicht 3D Blacklight Minigolf is at 3/F, The Hub, 688 Shenchang Lu, near Zhouhong Lu / 申長路688號虹橋天地購物中心3樓, 近舟虹路. It costs adults 98rmb for 1.5 hours, or 58rmb for children. You can get tickets over on SmartTicket.