Jeremy Simmonds: The Institute of Competitive Socialising
Inspired by Britain’s insatiable demand for ‘kidult’ fun, the company behind Swingers has already given crazy golf the competitive socialising treatment - where will it go next?
Jeremy Simmonds, 35
Company: The Institute of Competitive Socialising
From Crystal Maze-style escape rooms to London’s sinister-sounding ‘Murder Express’, Britain is getting ever more creative when it comes to having fun.
The Institute of Competitive Socialising is in the vanguard of this ‘kidult’ revolution, providing all manner of quixotic alternatives to the old-fashioned booze-up.
Under the guidance of Jeremy Simmonds and his business partner Matt Grech-Smith, the Institute offers activities that combine a competitive (well, slightly competitive) activity with high-quality food and drink. Their core activity at present is a social crazy golf concept, provided under the Swingers brand name.
Swingers currently has two substantial venues in the heart of London. One is a five minute walk from Oxford Circus in the West End, the other nestled next to the Gherkin – perfect for Shoreditch scene-jumpers and City traders who fancy some friendly competition after work.
Combining an exquisitely manicured crazy golf course with a cocktail bar and street food stalls, each site offers a colourful compendium of modern culture, with decor inspired by the 1920s. The West End branch has a 3D photo podium perfect for post-activity selfies, and the City version has its own DJ every day of the week. And did we say that there’s also a gin terrace?
Simmonds, who ran a youth-focused communications agency out of university before opening Swingers, says the majority of his clients are aged between 25 and 40, eager to recapture the fun of their youth. Birthdays and work socials have enabled the business to build a raucous following.
Having carved a niche with their punk’s take on crazy golf, Simmonds and Grech-Smith now plan to take their clubs (and bars) over to Manhattan, with a view to cracking the American market.
As the market for quirky social activities gets ever more intense, they also plan to create a range of new activities to stay one step ahead…