Golfer Pacific

Are golf clubs too strict or too lenient when it comes to their dress code?

Posted in Australian Golf,Golf,Golf Dress Code,Golfer Pacific by golferpacific on May 27, 2009


By Michael Court 

AM I just being an old fuddy duddy? Am I single-handedly helping drive people away from the game?

Maybe I am. But if I’ve learned, why can’t others?

I took a telephone call from a concerned reader the other day and his thoughts gave me a bit of a wake-up call.

He said that unless we drastically altered the dress rules at some of our golf clubs then we’d be driving people away from the game – and they would just go play some other sport instead.

Maybe he’s right.

Certainly many of our private clubs have strictly adhered to dress rules and calmly relay their message ‘those socks are not allowed on this course’ to many players before they get the chance to tee off.

I played at one private clubs a few months ago and before the corporate day began the secretary-manager welcomed everyone to the club and told them that ankle socks and socks with any logo other than this golf club’s logo were simply not permitted on the course.

And if they played in them they would be politely asked to leave the course.

Of course there was a rush to the pro shop as everyone who didn’t want to miss a game queued up to buy a pair of the club socks.

Even the host of the day’s activities, who would – or should – have been briefed before the day on the dress rules, was forced to fork out the $15 for a new pair of socks.

He didn’t complain though, and commented that it was actually a marvellous revenue maker for the club.

And true to his word, the sec-manager did appear on the course to ensure that everyone had adhered to his ‘order’.

Fair enough – it’s a private club – and they can do what they like.

But this caller told me his club was making members stick to their dress rules but was dropping their standard when it came to corporate days and what corporate players were being allowed to get away with – jeans, sneakers, board shorts, you name it – had been spotted at different times on these self-confessed part-timers playing golf.

That may be fair enough too – the corporate dollars are important and keep many clubs afloat.

Still you cannot have one rule for one and another for visitors now, can you?

I had a game at a country course on the north coast during the school holidays and when we came up behind an eight-ball of rugby league players, they were wearing boat shoes, footy shorts, singlets and one player even stripped off his singlet and jumped into a pond after hitting his ball in there.

I suppose he only did it for a stir – but you’ve gotta love that footy culture. And they were drinking beers in the hot sun.

And besides, they were at a sea-side country at a holiday resort town. So what can you expect?

It’s the middle-of-the-road clubs that appear to have the identity crisis. The clubs who would love to be able to afford to go private and bar public players from their links – but they cannot afford to.

I took my nephew for a game at the country course I just mentioned and thanks to his own Sydney club educating him – at the age of 14 – I was proud to say he looked like a golfer when he arrived on the first tee.

And subsequently he played like one too.

If learning the game of golf means learning how to dress as well, maybe it’s not such a bad thing to police the dress regulations that most clubs choose to ignore.

It’s all part of the education process … and everyone has to draw the line somewhere.

  • Are golf clubs too strict or too lenient when it comes to their dress code? Tell us your thoughts by clicking on the comments link below.

Slow play needs a quick fix

Posted in Australian Golf,Golf,Golfer Pacific,Slow Play by golferpacific on March 26, 2009

OK, so what constitutes slow play in golf these days and where do we draw the line?

Admittedly, the problem isn’t nearly as bad as it is made out to be in competition golf.

But for those having a social bash, like I did at the weekend, this problem is becoming increasingly worse and course marshalls need to do their job.

Groups of four or more, slow walkers, intoxicated hoons, people scoring cards on the greens – not the next tees – and those who feel the need for a few practice putts after they have already holed out…aarrrhhh! It does my head in.

Like most of you, I have had some bad experiences playing socially.

But on the weekend I encountered by far the worst of these.

I got stuck behind a group of nine….YES…. NINE!

This extended family of friends felt the need to all pair up in a nonet (that’s a group of nine by the way).

Throw in six motorised carts, 123 air swings and a dash of no idea and you have the recipe for possibly the most ridiculous tee grouping of the year.

I sat with my playing partner on the tee for nearly 20 minutes while this group of morons tried to locate their balls, strolling ever so casually across the fairways, back-and-forth to grab clubs.

Truth is – they could have used toothpicks – it wouldn’t have mattered.

One bloke had five air swings then backed that up with a shank onto the next fairway.

The result?

A few laughs and an extended conversation about how he accomplished such a feat, without moving in a forward direction.

Throughout this marathon these pillocks were constantly looking back to see us and a growing trail of golfers banked up behind…but no….no need to panic or even wave to let us play through.

Instead, they were more than happy to continue their motorcade to the 19th.  

After seven unsuccessful phone calls to the clubhouse at 4.30pm to try and get an official to get off his high horse and push these guys along, we surrendered and tried another tee.

It appeared it was an early knock-off day for the pro shop, but not for me and my playing partner.

As it was, we walked off the course in pitch black darkness after completing just 13 holes.

I’m willing to give the club the benefit of the doubt – they simply wouldn’t have been stupid enought to allow a group of nine tee-off together.

But they should have monitored the situation to ensure they didn’t slow down what was a busy afternoon of bookings.

As for the green fees I paid…thanks for nothing.

I won’t be back for a while.

  • What’s the worst case of slow play you have experienced?