Swingers brings British-style “crazy golf” to Manhattan

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Swingers brings British-style


Swingers, a “crazy golf” club from London, has just opened in the basement of the towering, still-not-quite-finished Virgin Hotel on West 29th Street and Broadway. It’s a massive, decked-out space complete with multiple bars and lounge-y areas, a food court, lots of colored lights and twirling things, and three elaborate nine-hole courses on which to putt away a night out on the town.

Crazy golf is what Brits call mini-golf, though Swingers co-founder and co-CEO Matt Grech-Smith told Gothamist that “we add in a few loops and twists and jumps and slightly more interesting moving obstacles” than what you might remember from your childhood tournaments.

It’s also a lot more luxurious. The random roadside spots we went to on family vacations were definitely not going after Swingers’ look of “a bucolic English countryside and the golf clubs of yesteryear.”

And the courses at Swingers are pretty nifty, with each of the nine holes throwing a uniquely tricky obstacle in your way. I won’t spoil the surprises, but my scores ranged from a hole-in-one — unfortunately not on the 9th, where an ace earns you a spin on the free-stuff wheel — to a humiliating six.

But if playing a round of crazy golf is your primary purpose here, eating and drinking are close seconds. Swingers is very much a bar — you have to be at least 21 to get in, and it stays open until 2:00 am on weekends — with $17 cocktails (and beer, wine, hard seltzer, etc.) served in four locations throughout the space, or delivered directly to you out on the course by your “caddy.” Live DJs add to the party vibe, and with a capacity of more than 500, there is definitely the potential for this sprawling 23,000-square-foot place to get loud.

The food vendors are all very solid, serving the goods from four take-out windows in a sort of communal dining area, though servers will take your food order from any of the bars and lounges spread throughout the space. Miznon offers about a half dozen varieties of their specialty pita sandwiches (the Lamb Kebab and Falafel Burger are particularly good), and the Lower East Side pizza mini-chain Sauce slings slices and pies.

Fonda handles all of your taco and guacamole needs, and one of the city’s best bakeries, Mah Ze Dahr, has things like cheesecake slices, chocolate explosion cookies, donut holes, swirls of soft serve ice cream and a brownie sundae.

Mostly though, Swingers offers up one of the city’s most valuable commodities: something new to do. With a bunch of friends. on a date As a workplace “team outing.”

Grech-Smith, unsurprisingly given his position, sells it well.

“It’s a very immersive experience,” he said. “You hit the crazy golf course, you have some drinks, it’s ‘analog’ fun; you’re putting your phone in your pocket, you’re connecting with your friends. And then hopefully you’ve won, and you’ve got a feeling of great jubilation.”

Swingers is located at 35 West 29th Street, at the corner of Broadway, and is open Wednesdays from 4:30 pm to midnight, Thursdays from 4:30 pm to 1:00 am, on Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 2:00 am , and on Sundays from noon to 10:30 pm Reservations for tea times, which start at $22 a person, are strongly recommended, though you can come here just to hang out and drink; swingers.club



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