Swingers Crazy Golf – quintessential Britishness and now competitive socialising. Founded in 2014 by Matt Grech-Smith and Jeremy Simmonds, Swingers is a young company with big opportunities. We caught up with the founders to talk golf and the future of Swingers.
Why did you choose golf and not a different form of competitive socialising?
Jeremy and I have a background in marketing and events. When we sold our last business, we were looking to get back to being entrepreneurial. We could see how the experience market was gathering pace but at the time there were only a few activity bar concepts – you could play ping pong or go up-scale bowling. We had the idea of opening the first crazy golf bar. Crazy golf is a really accessible activity, anyone can play and score a hole-in-one on their first try. You can also do it with a drink in hand, you don’t get sweaty and you don’t have to change your shoes. It’s perfect! There’s also an amazing heritage that surrounds golf, which we have drawn on for our venues.
Tell us about what inspired you to create the concept of Swingers?
Having decided that we wanted to open a crazy golf bar, we developed the Swingers concept. Firstly the name – one you’ll never forget! We wanted the venue to be theatrical and immersive and feel like stepping into a different world. That’s why our venues are often themed like English country golf clubs, with plants, trees, undulating greens and a Clubhouse for drinking cocktails in. We also made sure that the cocktails are amazing (we work closely with Diageo) and that the food is delicious, which is why we work with some of the best street food brands, including Patty&Bun and Pizza Pilgrims in London.
What makes Swingers quintessentially British as a brand?
Our venues take quintessential settings like an English country golf club (City, London and Dupont Circle, D.C.) or the English Riviera (West End, London). We take all the most fun elements of those worlds, combine them with a bit of golf heritage and create truly unique spaces.
We know that you already have opened a venue across the pond in the US, do you also plan to open new venues in other cities around the UK?
The US is our focus at the moment – Washington, D.C. opened in June and Manhattan, NYC will open early in 2022. We’re always looking for exciting opportunities in the UK though!
Have any plans been made to include some of the food from the US into the UK venues?
Our food mix tends to be burgers, pizzas, tacos and desserts whether in the UK or the US so they aren’t dissimilar already. We try to work with local brands where we can. Saying that, our food partners make such delicious food, we’d love to help launch them either side of the pond!
What is the record score at your venues?
We don’t have umpires checking the guest scores but we see the scores that they enter onto the Swingers app, and I’m not sure they are always truthful! There are quite a few claims for 9 holes-in-one in a row! Our caddies get the best scores as they work on the courses and they know them inside out. Some of them can do 9 holes in 15 shots.
Were all about fun here at Luxuriate Life – what’s next for Swingers? We’re imagining maybe a hole in a dark room.
Not sure about golfing in the dark – we wouldn’t want our guests to spill their cocktails. We are always developing cool new course installations. In our most recent DC venue, there is a 30ft grandfather clock that stands on the course and players must put through the pendulum.
Have you considered crazy golf speed dating?
We have done some events in the past and they sold out fast! Crazy golf is the perfect date.
We are bad at normal golf but good at crazy golf after a few tequilas – why is that?
No-one knows! Maybe it’s just the way the body relaxes after a few drinks? We bring you a cocktail or two and suddenly your swing improves and you’re scoring holes-in-one all over the place… It’s the magic of Swingers.
To discover more, visit: swingers.club
Imagery courtesy of Swingers Crazy Golf
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