Miniature Golf Becoming a Billion-Dollar Business in the US

Swingers, known as the UK’s premier crazy golf club, announced its expansion into the U.S. last week

Jungle Safari Golf in South Carolina
The Jungle Safari Golf mini-golf course in South Carolina.
Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty

In just the latest example of miniature golf becoming big business in the United States, the UK’s premier crazy golf club Swingers announced its expansion into the U.S. last week and will open a location in Washington D.C. in June followed shortly after by a course in New York City.

Offering mini-golf set amidst elaborate interior decor, stunning cocktails, gourmet street food, live DJs and multiple bars, Swingers began in 2014 as a pop-up but has grown by leaps and bound and recently raised $20 million from investment firm Cain International, according to Front Office Sports.

“What started out as a five-month pop-up in a London warehouse in 2014 has since grown into two permanent venues in the UK and an exciting development pipeline to come,” Swingers CEO and co-founder Matt Grech-Smith said in a press release. “Our expansion to the States was a natural next chapter. We’re thrilled to put a stake in the ground in two of the most influential cities known for their electric nightlife, diverse culture and prominent hospitality industry.”

Also announced last week, Callaway Golf completed its all-stock acquisition of flashy driving-range chain Topgolf International. Callaway, which already owned a 14% stake in the firm, issued about 90 million of its shares to Topgolf stockholders in the deal, according to The San Diego Tribune.

“Callaway and Topgolf are just better together,” said Callaway chief executive Chip Brewer. “Callaway’s leadership in the global golf equipment market and geographic diversity, combined with Topgolf’s revolutionary technology platform and access to golfers of all abilities, will allow both companies to accelerate growth and create competitive advantages.”

In addition to the recent moves by Callaway and Swingers, Tiger Woods-backed golf scorekeeping app PopStroke is expanding its reach, and Rory McIlroy-backed high-tech mini-golf brand Puttery plans to launch in Dallas this summer.

More than 130 million people play mini golf each year, and annual revenue across the industry has grown to exceed $1 billion, according to FOS.

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