The game of golf has come a long way over the past few decades and golf clubs have largely evolved over time with the aim of attracting and satisfying a new generation of players with different outlooks and expectations.
The days of men-only bars and the requirement to wear knee-high socks with shorts are almost entirely over, but some clubs still cling to slightly archaic principles that are overly prescriptive and can feel discriminatory or retrograde. For golf to thrive in the future, clubs must offer full inclusion and remove all rules that make the sport feel stuffy and timeless. This is the image we must lose. Here are 6 golf club rules that are holding the game back.
Golf clubs really don’t need a prescriptive dress code anymore, although some guidelines might be helpful for those just starting out. The overwhelming majority of those who choose to play golf choose an outfit that is appropriate for an outdoor activity and whether that outfit has a collar, hood, tailcoat or Jacobean ruff, it really doesn’t matter. ‘importance. If someone chooses an outfit that is not suitable for their purpose, they will realize this quite quickly when they go out on the course and will not choose it again. If they choose to dress like a wally, that’s their prerogative. Same with old school:
Jacket and tie rules
If people like to come to the club in a jacket and tie and like to put on a jacket and tie after their game, that’s fine. They will look and feel smart and should be praised for their approach. But it shouldn’t be a requirement. This makes life very difficult for visitors who may be on holiday or touring and haven’t packed their tweeds. It can also be quite uncomfortable on the hottest days of summer. If jacket and tie were instead the preferred but not mandatory attire for certain clubhouse parties, many would adhere to it but those less prepared might still enjoy a drink and a bite to eat after their game.
Member Guest Rules
We need to attract more people to become members of the golf club and one of the best ways to do this is for current members to introduce guests for the round or for the day. But sometimes the rules on this seem restrictive and are immediately off-putting to potential members who see what the club looks like.
Members’ guests are only accepted after a certain period of time, members’ guests are only allowed to enter the clubhouse accompanied by the member who introduced them, only one or two members’ guests can be introduced at once… Members’ guests need to feel like a full member for the day they visit. This is the best approach to get as many people as possible to upgrade from member guest status to member status.
Juniors are the future of golf and, as almost any club will tell, we could have more. Something that will discourage golf juniors is facing rules that keep them from doing things and make them feel like naughty kids. Rules about when juniors can book times, rules prohibiting juniors from entering the bar unless accompanied by an adult – this does not encourage young people to get involved. Neither do the rules that prevent juniors from playing in adult competitions.
The Men’s Club Championship
The club championship should be just that – the club championship. Playing from scratch and from the same tees, the club championship should be open and available to any member – junior to senior – and he, she or they will be club champions for the year. Too many clubs still refer to the Men’s Club Championship as the Club Championship.
Rules on telephones and television
Let’s face it, the smart phone is a fundamental part of modern life. We bet on it, book flights on it, pay for things with it… It’s here to stay. If a club still has one of those signs hanging from an old cell phone with a red line through it, the younger generation would find it comical and a clear indication that they are somewhere they shouldn’t be, whatever share inhabited by ” old crusty.
Also, clubs with no TVs in the main bar or lounge. Will the youngsters want to pay to be members of a club where you can’t watch the final round of major golf events or, say, the Wimbledon final in the main seating area?