While lockdown reigned, golf participation by juniors, beginners and female golfers surged. According to the National Golf Foundation, 75 million more rounds of golf were played in the last six months of 2020 compared to the same time during 2019.
Additionally, equipment sales topped $1 billion in the third quarter of last year. Sales of women’s clubs leaped 84% at the PGA Tour Superstores, which also experienced a 50% sales bump in the starter sets.
Landlords noticed. A new indoor facility in Midtown, SSWING, will open in the next few days at 245 Park Ave.
Founded by Aussie golf pro, Scott Young, he and his staffers will provide advice on perfecting your swing.
“Buildings wanted more amenities and I felt there was a huge opportunity to plant a flag there,”
said Young who founded the 4,000-square-foot location without a broker.
The space has eight 175-square-foot simulator rooms, a central 944-square-foot putting/chipping green, an exercise area and a welcoming reception minibar.
Package memberships range from $120 per month to $450 per month which include a complimentary golf lesson. For those that prefer a more pint-sized experience, the British import Swingers will be an adults-only mini-golf concept that can putt you into play.
Planned for the lower level of the Virgin Hotel at 1227 Broadway, Swingers will open sometime in early 2022 in a 22,000-square-foot swath of the basement.
Founded in London in 2014 by Matt Grech-Smith and Jeremy Simmonds of the Institute of Competitive Socialising, Swingers combines “crazy golf” — the UK phrase for mini-golf — with cocktails, curated local food and music. “This is an upscale, engaging version,” said Nick Franklin, global head of private equity for Cain International, a private investment group that provided funds in London and now pumped in another $20 million to lease locations in Washington, DC and at the Virgin, as well as drive an expansion to other US urban cities. “Coming out of the pandemic … there is pent up demand to get up and do things.” The huge space has 20-foot-high ceilings and will include two courses surrounded with seating and bar areas specifically designed to host groups. Forget the tacky mini-golf of yore: You might still see ramps or a windmill but it’s done with hand-finished wooden fixtures created by the company’s production facility in the UK. The American Dream mall in New Jersey also has two distinct new mini-golf courses.
First, show off those bright white teeth in the Black Light course. Then spread your wings in the wacky avian world of Angry Birds (Not So Mini) Golf Club. In their quest for birdies, golfers can wend their way through a 20-foot-tall Bird Island mountain, a 67-foot-high Bird Aviation plane along with holes on Pig Island, Eagle Island and, of course, themed merchandise. A slingshot tee contraption helps balls get off to a good shot.