My early days in golf were spent on public courses where the dress code was much more relaxed than at private clubs which, from my perspective at the time, were manicured, green paradises behind iron gates that prevented access to the likes of me.
To be honest, I didn’t really think all that much about whether I could or couldn’t play those sweet layouts that I heard about from buddies whose parents were private club members.
We were just happy to play 18 in running shoes and shorts that could be anything but the denim cutoffs that were so popular back in the ‘70s. I had a few polos, a cheap set of clubs and the only dining room I knew was the halfway house, where we would have a Coke and a hot dog if we could afford it.
It turned out that private clubs weren’t inaccessible after all and, being in the business that still occupies me, I visited many of them over the years on various assignments, including one in which I was invited to play golf, much to my delight.
About a week before I was scheduled to tee off, I received a note from the club that explained the club’s dress code and that no non-golf advertising would be allowed, shirts must be tucked in and shorts must be regulation length and worn with long socks. I wore long pants just to avoid that getup.
Since that day many years ago, I’ve played countless private clubs in shorts that are usually a longer style anyway so I can hide my ghost-white chicken legs, but nobody seems to mind me playing in ankle socks within the golf shoes I do own now.
Dress codes have been relaxed somewhat in recent years, especially with the arrival of so many edgy, fashion-forward lines that caused a lot of commotion when they first began to appear.
I remember one woman telling me about 10 years ago that she would never wear any of the shorts that were coming out at that time because modesty would make her uncomfortable while bending over to pick up a ball.
On the other hand, designers will say that many people in their 50s and 60s are now very fit and can quite nicely wear the technical fabrics and fashion-forward lines that are so popular these days without any concern for their physiques. These styles are not just for young people anymore.
There has indeed been an evolution in golf apparel the past decade or so and while some have been shocked by the styles, others have said it’s about time.
What do you think? Have you relaxed your dress code in the past few years in order to accommodate these fashion-forward lines? That’s the question in the new GNN Poll now on the home page.
If you would care to expand on that question, start that topic in the GNN Forum if you’re a member. If not, it’s easy to sign up and chat about whether the designers have gone too far with their designs, or commend them for coming up with designs and technical fabrics that keep golf on pace with the times.
FUNDING FOR EVERYBODY:
Our last GNN Poll asked readers if they thought that the recreational infrastructure funding made available in the most recent federal budget should be open to all golf courses or just municipal/public facilities.
All are equal for consideration, according to the poll, as 69 per cent of readers thought it should be open to all facilities, while 31 per cent felt that it should be money only available to municipal/public businesses.
If the feds were to go by that result, the size of the pie in front of golf would stay the same, but there would be more people with knives and forks wanting a piece of it. It’s all academic right now because the feds have yet to clarify if any golf businesses are eligible for the funding.
You can continue to cast your vote for this poll by clicking on to the archive section on the GNN home page. As it is with the current poll, you are also welcome to expand on your thoughts in the GNN Forum.