After spending months browsing dusty warehouses, little curio shops and the distant corners of the internet shopping for golf’s crazy accoutrements, the last few weeks have seen Swingers come to life – and it’s stunning.
You might think that the leap from disused wartime bunker to overgrown country club might not be far, particularly when the architect-designed double-storey clubhouse, golf courses (yes, two of them), food outlets and no less than five cocktail bars had been built. But 19,000 sq ft is an epic space and the stark concrete walls and pillars have taken a huge amount of ivy and other creepers to hide.
Using almost every piece of artificial ivy we could find in the UK we dressed the venue to look like an overgrown secret walled garden. This theatrical planting runs through into the ante room, in the rockeries in the bars and even outside the venue as you approach. We’re particularly happy with how the wisteria-covered pergola has shaped up – transforming a drab safety-measure to stop high-speed ricocheting balls causing injury, to being an attractive focal point of the eighth hole on the Lighthouse Course.
We’ve had the artists in to do their thing too, with signage and this wonderful tromp l’oeil in the ante room.
We’ve filled the venue with details such as golfing trophies, graphic backdrops, scorecards and even bespoke cloakroom tickets to bring this golfing world to life. Our favourite addition has to be the classic golf buggy that we found hidden up in the Midlands. We had it shipped to Essex where it was first given a Swingers paint job, then sent off to the upholsterers, and finally to it’s new home in London. Then the fun really began, as the project’s biggest snag cropped up. The buggy weighed far more than we expected and it took a team of burly folk to ease it down the stairs into the lobby where it now sits like the trusty figurehead on a ship, proffering putters for punters and setting the tone for a evening of crazy golf related fun.
Swingers opened at noon on 27th May. They’re walk-up only from 27 May to 5 June (inclusive). For advance tickets and group bookings visit their website.
What others are saying
We think you'll find that it's it’s looking very good indeed. You could, in fact say it was: ‘above par’.
Swingers, the new, boozy, crazy golf course at the foot of the Gherkin that opens on Friday, wants to shake things up.