Many people consider the game of golf and their time on the links as an essential part of their weekly routine. But for others, golf requires the kind of patience and practice, not to mention its relatively slow pace of action, that’s difficult to achieve or maintain.
Fortunately, there’s another version of the sport – mini-golf or “putt-putt golf’ – that’s faster-paced and only requires the use of a putter.
And in June, Swingers, a mini-golf course, opened in downtown D.C., (1330 19th Street NW) providing those 21 or older with a new form of fun and healthy competition that has quickly become a favorite among both local residents and visitors to the District.
Swingers, a London brand of mini-golf courses, since its opening in Dupont Circle, makes good on its promise to transport patrons to a world of verdant, undulating crazy golf courses. It features a 1920s English golf clubhouse, multiple cocktail bars with over 35 hand-crafted drinks, gourmet street food vendors and private event spaces.
The business started in 2015 as a five-month pop-up in London’s Shoreditch. Then in 2016, CEOs and co-founders Matt Grech-Smith and Jeremy Simmonds opened the first permanent Swingers’ location in London’s financial district and a second two years later in London’s Oxford Circus.
Grech-Smith spoke with The Washington Informer about Swingers and how the entertainment venue has adjusted to the unprecedented challenges they and other new businesses continue to face due to the ongoing pandemic.
Washington Informer: What kind of people are you attracting?
Grech-Smith: We get a broad range of people from couples on dates to groups of friends celebrating a birthday, to work social events and parties. With our wide selection of delicious street food and fun cocktail list there is something for everyone to enjoy at Swingers and who doesn’t love playing mini golf?
WI: When are things most crowded and does the venue provide an opportunity for social mingling?
Grech-Smith: Our busiest times are obviously around the weekend, so Thursday through Sunday. But we’re open every day, from the afternoon until late. We think Swingers is the perfect mingling activity and we say, “there is no social awkwardness at Swingers.” Whether you’re on a date or with work colleagues, the mini–golf and atmosphere of competition means there are never awkward silences and there’s always a lot to talk about.
It’s best to reserve a spot online: swingers.club/us/locations/washington/. However, guests can stop by for food or drinks even if they aren’t playing crazy golf. And we have a limited number of daily walk-in tickets while larger groups can book spots through our sales team. Did I mention that we serve cocktails on the course? We think a drink or two can help improve your golf score.
WI: Do people need to worry about social distancing, masks, etc.?
Grech-Smith: The health and safety of Swingers’ guests and employees is top priority, and we will continue to follow CDC guidelines for each city. With safety being of the utmost importance at Swingers for guests and employees, we will be constantly updating our safety practices.
WI: What led you to bring this from London to D.C.?
Grech-Smith: We started Swingers with a pop-up in London to test the idea and then followed it up with two permanent locations. The next obvious step for us was to move Swingers to the U.S. We looked at a number of different cities but D.C. offered a great culinary scene and a lively nightlife, making it the top choice. Our team is gearing up to open our second U.S. location in New York in early 2022.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit https://swingers.club/us. You may learn more about Swingers on social media at @SwingersLDN or @SwingersUS on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.