“We have all the components you need for an unforgettable social experience.” Swingers London
I visited a new place in the heart of London called Swingers. I know what you are thinking, Swingers !?! I thought exactly the same when it was suggested to me, especially as it was over 18’s only, but rest assured the only swinging that goes on at Swingers is the swinging of a golf club. This indoor crazy golf venue, which opened at the end of May, is super popular right now, in fact it’s so popular with city folk that hoards of crazy golfers are queuing up daily to play after advance bookings sell out rapidly online.
Located right next to the iconic Gherkin tower, Swingers offers guests two crazy golf courses, three top quality street food outlets and five bars (including a gin terrace) serving all manner of beers, wines, cocktails and shots, in fact it’s a perfect combination of competitive and fun entertainment. Opened by entertainment company ICS (Institute of Competitive Socialising) Swingers is based on an old school 1920’s golf-club complete with bespoke artificial greens decorated with foliage and tricky wooden holes on the Lighthouse and Windmill nine-hole courses.
The former World War II bunker has been transformed into a fun sporting venue with a centralised two-storey clubhouse lined with golfing memorabilia, a 10th hole shots bar, golf cart, caddies, changing rooms aka the toilets, the stylish President’s Committee room bar and even a winners podium for that all important social media photo opportunity. Capitalising on the success of similar London venues that combine sport with boozing such as Bounce (table tennis) and Flight Club (darts), Swingers started as a pop-up in Shoreditch last year before finding it’s permanent subterranean home right in heart of the city. Clubhouse DJ’s set the vibe and those extra competitive folk can download the Swingers app to add their scores to the public leaderboard.
Drinks are permitted on the course, in fact they are encouraged with drinks shelves on each hole and even shots served during the game if you so desire. Teeing off in five minute slots golfers are limited to a group of four with a maximum of six shots per hole permitted. Rounds take about forty-five minutes with all clubs, balls and scorecards provided. As champion of last summer’s Putt in the Park outing in Wandsworth Park I was pretty confident about defending my crazy golf crown, a hole-in-one on the first hole of the Lighthouse course only increased my confidence. Seems that was just a lucky fluke and things went downhill pretty rapidly after that (there were a lot of six’s on my column of the score card), in fact I finished last out of our group of three, taking my place on the third step of the podium.
Three of London’s first-rate street food vendors sell their fare from colourful kitchens in the dedicated dining area. Patty & Bun serves its famous burgers, chicken wings and fries, Le Bab offers kebabs (including a fancy lobster variety) and salads and a range of tasty Neapolitan pizzas including a Nutella version are available from Pizza Pilgrims. I opted for the pizza based on sampling it at last year’s Abu Dhabi Street Food Festival and again at their Kingly Court pizzeria, my friends each tried the burger and kebab options. Thumbs up all round from all of us for the speed of delivery and quality of the food served.
Perfect for after work drinks, company events, private birthday parties and tourist entertainment, Swingers is great for golfing, lots of laughs and indulging in a tipple or two. Non-golfers are welcome too for drinks and food, get your tickets online or in person in advance like us to avoid disappointment.
Swingers – The Crazy Golf Club
Location: 8 Brown’s Buildings, London EC3A 8AL (right next to the Gherkin)
Telephone: 020 3846 3222
Cost: £13 per person per round (entry is free to non-golfers)
General admission tickets are in advance online here. Tickets up to 30 November 2016 are now on sale. Tickets are released 3 months in advance on the 1st of the month, so all December dates will go on sale on 1 September. Half the general admission golf tickets are available for purchase on the door, on the day – daytime tickets can be bought from reception from midday and evening tickets from 6pm onwards.
Opening hours: Monday: 12 noon-11pm, Tuesday: 12 noon-12 midnight, Wednesday: 12 noon-1am, Thursday: 12 noon-1am, Friday: 12 noon-1am, Saturday: 12 noon-1am, Sunday: 12 noon-11pm
All views are my own based on my experience. Unless otherwise stated all photos © Jo Brett 2016. All rights reserved