Golf centre to serve alcohol in bunker bar after approval

The driving range

The driving range - Credit: Brent Council

A golf centre has been permitted to sell alcohol in more areas, sparking fears it is turning into a “party venue”.

Brent Council’s licensing committee gave the green light for Big Shots Golf Northwick Park to serve alcohol in a new ‘bunker bar’ and games area at its site in Watford Road. 

This is despite concerns it would put families off from visiting and could lead to increased antisocial behaviour in the area. 

Brent councillor Gaynor Lloyd told the licensing meeting as a resident that she was “horrified at what [the] building is turning into”. 

She said the centre is in a “sensitive area” and, as it is not in the town centre, is less policed and sees most people arrive by car, which can cause noise and traffic issues. 

Cllr Lloyd said families might feel “excluded” with alcohol being served throughout the venue. 

She added Big Shots’ claim that it is a place to “light up the neighbourhood” – as stated on its website – was not in keeping with a family-friendly venue.
Cllr Lloyd said there have been problems with “drug-taking” and “sexual activity” in the nearby car park and suggested this new licence could make these problems worse. 

She added the reliance on people arriving by car could lead to increased cases of drink driving.

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For Big Shots, lawyer Jeremy Phillips said the venue is “still very much a community venue” but one that wants to cater to modern trends. 

Mr Phillips explained there has been a £1.8million investment at the site, a place he said the council “should be proud of”. 

He said: “This is a very professional organisation, which will be controlled very effectively. Any breach of the [licensing] conditions is inconceivable.”

Big Shots managing director Dominic Taylor said it is following an experienced model pioneered by Topgolf, which opened its first UK venue in Watford more than 20 years ago. 

He said he wants to “encourage” families to visit and “grow the game of golf” by offering a variety of facilities at the site.