The Niggle: Is the car park hallowed ground?

News & Tour

Reserved parking spaces, changing your shoes, mobile phones - is car park etiquette a whole load of nothing?

We’ve all been there. The car park’s jam-packed but the captain’s space, right beside the door, is empty. Isn’t it time to do away with the reserved parking space?

Or how about the visiting party who have just finished their round and are changing out of their shoes, banging them against a wall to get off the dirt and causing an awful racket?

Where does the line of course etiquette end and should the rules that govern the game on the course, apply in the car park?

Members of the team at National Club Golfer debate whether the car park remains hallowed ground.

Send us your thoughts by commenting below.

Jordan Elliott: I get annoyed by people in expensive cars who take two spaces to avoid scratches to their cars. 

Mark Townsend (MT): I do actually think there’s room for allocating reserved parking spaces for a handful of club members. If they are willing to spend years of their lives helping the club to run smoothly in their own time, then the least they deserve is a short walk to the pro shop. 

Besides I’ve got my favourite little spot, well away from the clubhouse where I can immerse myself in the zone and change my shoes in peace.

Karl Hansell: Banging shoes to get the dirt off them while in the car park is a personal annoyance. 

The car park is a visitor’s first view of the club and so to see a load of mud all over the floor, or even the ‘bang bang bang’ of someone trying to get the dirt off their shoes is just untidy and doesn’t give a great first impression. It’s like littering, but with soil…

MT: If you want to change your shoes in the car park then it’s fine. Relax, it’s fine. Nobody is dropping their trousers and bringing shame on the club, they’re just changing into their golf shoes.

Lots of us wear spikeless shoes where you can simply take your foot off the brake and, in one easy move, make your way to the putting green. You will then face the problem of being able to have a drink in the clubhouse after your round.

Tom Irwin: It is a car park. It should be subject to the same rules as other areas of non-inside space, so broadly speaking no heavy petting, but anything else is fine.

Reserved parking spaces make me think of Carry On-style packaging factories from the ’60’s where the MD parks his (second hand) brown Jag in his reserved spot before waddling in and have his secretary bring him tea and cake on a trolley, as he compliments her on her buns.

Don’t change your shoes, don’t park there – it’s all part of the picture of formality, rigidity and other things that belong in another era, and that is the unfortunate truth of how people perceive golf.
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