#GCW Responds to Dress Code article comments...

We did this article yesterday basically talking about whether golf clubs really need a dress code in 2016. If you didn’t read it have a quick look above and come back here (Should take two minutes and link will open in new window)

As expected the issue is divisive which is cool. Lots of comments show a great passion for the game we all love, which can only be a positive thing… I think!

So we thought we’d come back to some of your great comments. We've intentionally picked only the comments who tended to disagree with our article for balance... No point just blowing your own trumpet!

And please remember this is an opinion piece. Nobody's will be the same... Because that would be boring wouldn't it?!

 

What's wrong with my polos and chinos?

Nobody is coming for your polo shirts and chinos. Nobody is forcing you to wear a tshirt, jeans and a snapback. In fact it's quite the opposite.

This one is an odd one for me. There seems to be a feeling amongst some that 'traditional golf clothes', namely a polo and chinos carry some kind of smartness.

You can look smart wearing these kind of clothes but you can also not. You can look smart wearing shorts and a tshirt, and you can not. It is very subjective either way.

My issue is the arrogance that if you don't wear what we want then you shouldn't play. It's like some kind of laziness to make the effort to dress up for golf... or more likely dress how we want you to dress.

And the assumption that people don't get put off playing the game by the dress code and style. Non-golfers simply do. 

Golf DOES have an image, especially from the outside, of being stuck up, non-inclusive and uncool. Dress code plays a huge part on this whether we like it or not.

An open push or a movement to say yes we can all co-exist on this golf course together, wearing different things whilst being respectful of each other, would be cool. It would be progressive and it would be a positive step for golf's image. Especially when the sport is competing for attention against loads of other sports.

It's not saying let's get rid of traditions, it's not saying you can't wear your golf clothes. It's saying let's portray a positive image.


The game loses respect

Apparently the game would lose respect by relaxing or abolishing a dress code. I mean I don't know who is thinking this? 

Are people outside of golf or in other sports going to go 'Ah, I used to have a lot of respect for golf but now people are wearing tshirts that's it for me!'

Or are people that play the game going to lose respect for it and give up? They'll forget that feeling of crunching a 7-iron, forget the fun they have with their friends or the challenge of lowering their handicap? They'll forget all that because there is now no respect because some dude on the eight fairway is wearing different socks to them?


The attack of the chavs

This is a worrying, ugly and sometimes hilarious viewpoint. The idea that if dress codes are abolished there will be some kind of swarm of football shirt wearing chavs ruining it for everyone!

Like down and outs who are sat in Wetherspoons are going to spend their job seeker's allowance on golf now. 'Ah Steve, want another pint of Stella mate? Or shall we spend all our money on a sport we've never played?'

Ridiculous.

But jokes aside it's an ugly response. It's not a stretch to assume golf dress codes were introduced to keep the 'riff-raff' out but surely in 2016 we are a bit more progressive as a society? And if we are honest golf may have to be.

Judging people by how much money they make, what job they do or what clothes they wear is quite frankly horrible... and is often extremely inaccurate.

Most right-minded people can agree you get arseholes from all jobs, salaries and classes, it is not exclusive to these things.

Poor people can be, and are, just as respectful as rich people on a golf course and I have seen no evidence to prove otherwise.

So assuming golf needs to keep a tight dress code to stop certain types of people from the game is old-fashioned and deeply prejudiced and unfortunately plays in to that same old bad image of golf as mentioned before.

So why not attempt to change it?


It won’t make a difference/standards

Another response was that of standards, maintaining standards in and around a golf club, which somehow leads to how people act on a golf course.

There were a lot of people who suggested people that don't want to dress in 'traditional' golf clothes are 'lazy' or 'scruffy' and that these kind of people are more likely to not adhere to other etiquette.

Seemingly people believe that wearing different golf clothes will lead to people dragging trolleys across greens, not repairing pitchmarks or replacing divots?

But I fail to see the link. Perhaps somebody could provide evidence?

No doubt some places have an issue with this and it should certainly be enforced and new people to the game should be educated on how to respect the course and others sharing it. Perhaps even if clubs spent less time policing the length of socks they could help educate people on the need to rake bunkers?!

Once again though these comments are toxic from an image point of view. Assuming the way someone acts based on their clothing comes across as ignorant, old-fashioned and snobbish.

Golf is a fantastically unique sport in that it has such a huge range of ages that can play it. This is positive for potential participants but also comes with its own problems. A 16-year old will deem something as smart or fashionable that an 80-year old won't, which obviously creates issues when creating something like a dress code.

Unfortunately something like a dress code comes from a different age and is more than likely ran by the older members of a club.

When respect is a major issue then surely this has to work both ways with adults and juniors alike granted the respect and right to dress how they deem fit?


So...

Yes golf has other issues, and many that are more important and pressing. But this is one, the fact there is a healthy debate proves this whichever side of it you're on.

Golf needs to be way less insular in its thinking and assume a lot less.

As someone who spends their whole life speaking to people who don't play golf and hearing their opinions, golf has a lot to overcome outside of its bubble... Ignoring that could well be self-destructive.

And especially with younger people, who are more image conscious than ever before, whether we like it or not golf has to be cool to attract them. Whether that be through fashion or a concerted push to treat people more equally and with more respect... which is cool in its own way.

Unfortunately golf needs to do work harder than other sports due to warranted and unwarranted beliefs and misconceptions built up over centuries and decades.

Most of the people reading this will be united by a mutual love for the game and a passion for its well-being.

But as Einstein, who incidentally wore some shocking gear, once said...

'The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.'

Let's change and not go insane!

 

PS If we picked out your comment, thanks for contributing!

 

 

I'm the Managing Editor at The Club. I like putting and Rioja. I dislike my low slice.