DISCLAIMER: Firstly sorry for the selfie. I hate them, but didn't know how else to show what I was wearing to the golf club. As you can see I'm wearing one of our jumpers and a what I'd consider a fairly smart pair of black shorts, fairly simple.
PS Not looking for fashion tips, nor am I telling people what they should wear!
“Have you got something to change in to?”
“Yes, I’ve got my golf shoes”
“No, I mean do you have a collar?”
“Erm, no. It’s evening so I thought I’d wear a jumper.”
“Well you need a collar to play golf. I can’t let you out there.”
“Ermmm OK. Well I’ve just walked three miles to get here as I just told you.”
“I can’t. If I let you go out like that, I’ll have to let everyone go out. I’d be lynched.”
“Ah I thought golf was changing.”
“Well no, this is golf attire. Where do you normally play your golf?” (Condescending tone)
“I played the Brabazon at Belfry last week, you know that Ryder Cup one. Nobody batters an eyelid there.”
“Ah… well… maybe they’re not a member’s club.”
“I just spoke to a lad I know in the car park who’d just finished a club match. He was wearing one of those new Nike polos, they don’t have collars.”
“Yes, but that’s golf attire. You’ll have to go in the shop and buy one.”
Now let’s add a bit of context…
I’ve come down to Cornwall to help the old dear sell her house, whilst sat morning to night working in the house, cooped up a little bit.
Go through a bit of shit with the Mrs and I thought I’d just like to get out and chill on the golf course. I never play by myself but I find golf can be quite good for just escaping and taking your mind of things sometimes.
The course in question is three miles from my mum’s house and without a car there is no real way of getting there. But it was a beautiful Saturday evening and the walk is through lovely countryside and sand dunes.
I’ll just plug in my earphones and enjoy it. Will be worth the mini-trek to hit some nice shots and check out one of the most scenic golf courses in the country.
It’s an awesome Cornish late-summer’s evening and I’m smiling the whole way there thinking how lucky I am.
All very chilled.
That was until speaking to the manager of the golf club as above.
Now rather than chuck £60 at some shitty oversized Galvin Green polo shirt I thought I’d just leave, and it got me thinking about the absurdities of golf’s dress code.
This course is a beautiful and frankly underrated one which represents good value too. Look around the car park and its members are a real mix of the local community with taxi drivers, decorators as well as the standard doctors, dentists and local business owners.
No different to hundreds of golf clubs up and down the country. The majority of the members won’t be stuffy and they’d be lovely people.
And yet they persist with these archaic rules. You can’t single this one out because everyone reading this will know somewhere near them that would be exactly the same.
It just makes you think in a time when golf is struggling for participation and when clubs are fighting for every penny to survive that the image this kind of thing gives off really is counter-productive.
I won’t fall out of love with playing evening golf, having the craic with my mates on the course and crunching that rare 7-iron because of this.
But up and down the country every week there are beginners going to golf clubs experiencing exactly what I just went through… and being made to feel like shit at the same time. And each one of them will tell their friends…
We’ve been through this debate before and I’m sure people will say ‘Get over it, you knew the rules. Abide by them,’ but I refuse to do that.
It’s hardly Rosa Parks but I really do think we need to take a bit of action and wear what we feel comfortable in. The more that do it, the more it will be the norm and golf clubs and committess will soon move on and deal with more important things…
Dress code isn’t the biggest issue in golf, there are others, but it is an easy one to fix. Treat people with respect and move into 2017. I mean who really gives a shit what other people are wearing… as long as you don’t have your balls hanging out or have a swastika on your top I wish you all the best and hope you enjoy your game. Why wouldn’t you?
And if you want to wear traditional golf clothes too that’s absolutely cool, good luck to you too… and in fact I might join you this once.
Maybe I’m being a prick, maybe I care too much, maybe none of this really matters and nobody is put off playing golf because of the dress thing but so be it.
I’ll be the guy at Perranporth Golf Club wearing a £1.50 charity bin, three sizes too big, collared polo shirt, some ankle bashing trousers and odd socks just to prove a point.
I'm the Managing Editor at The Club. I like putting and Rioja. I dislike my low slice.