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Review: Zip World’s 500ft underground golf course in Welsh mine

Photo credit: Rhys Gregory / Wales247

Are you a keen golfer or simply prefer to do things differently? Zip World has launched a brand-new underground golf course that truly gives a whole new meaning to adventure golf.

Zip World’s newest activity is 500ft below ground at its iconic Llechwedd site in North Wales. It’s the first of its kind in the world, set in a disused mining cavern and is completely different to what you may have experienced before.

Getting there

Finding Zip World Llechwedd site couldn’t be easier. It’s signed posted and the sat nav postcode (LL41 3NB) provided will take you straight to the entrance.

Photo credit: Rhys Gregory / Wales247

Depending on how busy it is, you may be directed to higher level car parks, which offer spectacular views of surrounding slate quarries. You also get to witness people racing above you on the world’s fastest zipline as well – if you fancy that too!

Arrival and check in

Once parked, you will be directed to a check in hut where you provide your name or booking reference number. At this point, depending on the activity that you’re there to do (in our case underground golf), you will be directed to the appropriate entrance.

Photo credit: Rhys Gregory / Wales247

Knowing that they had several food options available, we arrived just over an hour ahead of our activity time, which gave us plenty of time to grab a bite to eat and use the facilities.

There was plenty of outdoor and indoor seating including picnic benches, which was ample even at the busiest of the times. I’m sure you’d be welcome to bring your own food as well if you wanted.

The staff were very welcoming and if like us, you’ve never been to Zip World Llechwedd before, they will talk you through everything and answer any questions that you may have.

Going underground

Before you begin your descent, you are given a short safety briefing on the activity. It’s the first time that I’ve ever had to wear a helmet when playing golf, but if you remember, there is no ordinary course.

Photo credit: Rhys Gregory / Wales247

To get to the golf course, you will travel along a cable railway 500ft below ground. The cable car at Zip World is in fact the Europe’s steepest, and if you are lucky enough to sit in one of the upper parts of the train, you will get a view of the tunnel as the day light slowly disappears.

Photo credit: Rhys Gregory / Wales247

Each compartment on the railway fits only 6 people, which was plenty for the group that we were in for our time. It can obviously get a little cosy, but it was not a problem.

Before visiting, I highly recommend that you pay close attention to footwear and clothing suggestions made by Zip World. It was such a lovely warm day; it was difficult enough to wear jeans and a decent pair of boots. What I did leave behind was my jumper, so I was just in a t-shirt. It was quite chilly underground (Approx 7°C) and although I could shrug it off whilst playing, waiting for the return train to the surface (approx. 15-minute wait) was a step too far. If I go again, I will listen to Zip World’s advice and go with my arms covered…

Playing underground golf

Once underground, you make your way through some of the most beautiful caverns until you reach the course. It’s a short walk with some dripping water (at this point, I realised the t-shirt wasn’t the best of ideas). However, the caverns are lit up with coloured lighting, which makes it truly breath-taking.

Photo credit: Rhys Gregory / Wales247

Once you arrive at the starting point, which is more like a mining outpost – which was cool! You will be greeted by a Zip World guy who will provide you with a golf putter and ball.

Level 1 Underground Golf

The course itself is 18 holes across 4 flours, offering a variety of challenges for participants. I guess what was a little off putting (no pun intended) is the darkness (although it is lit very atmospherically), which can make it difficult to see your ball. I should say that I usually wear glasses (strike 1) and I was mesmerised by the cavern (strike 2), so those are my excuses for not doing very well. Oh, I also let my partner win (strike 3), of course I did.

Photo credit: Rhys Gregory / Wales247

Each of the holes offered various challenges as I mentioned, and most of which incorporated old mining memorabilia.

Photo credit: Rhys Gregory / Wales247

What was nice and unexpected was that a lot of the old mining equipment was incorporated into the game, so they weren’t just there for aesthetics, they were operational as well.

Photo credit: Rhys Gregory / Wales247

The simple looking hole caught a lot of people out. You can see why that one of the rules was to have no more than 6 shots before moving on, as it did bunch up a few groups.

Once you reach the fourth floor of the course, you are given the option of either walking down the set of stairs to the final two holes… or taking another method of transport.

At the top, you could opt to slide down a steep but exhilarating slide. I can’t recall anyone who didn’t give it a go… and some children (and adults) decided to do it a few times.

Photo credit: Rhys Gregory / Wales247

The final hole (number 18) is brilliant. I can’t think of a better way to end the game than attempting to get the ball into what looked to be a miniature mineshaft. You were obviously forgiven if you spent a little longer on this one…

Overall experience

Whether you’re into your adventure or crazy golf, then I can think of no better challenge to set yourself. It’s completely different and being a world first, you’re not going to have the experience anywhere else.

The cost starts from £20, with concession pricing also available.

A family of 4 can expect to pay £52-£65 with two under 18s.

Given the fact that this is an 18-hole course and it offers an underground experience, it’s a reasonably priced activity, especially when compared to similar courses.

What I would say is that if you are travelling to Zip World and don’t live locally, I would recommend combining it with at least one other of their activities to make it worth it. With so much to do at Llechwedd and Zip World’s other nearby locations, you can really make an adventure packed holiday out of it.

Book your tickets and start your adventure here: https://www.zipworld.co.uk/adventure/underground-golf