The Niggle: What’s the silliest thing your committee has done?August, 2015
What gets your goat about the decisions taken at golf clubs?
You see some pretty strange things at golf clubs up and down the land. Clubhouses should surely be a communal resource but are sometimes treated as one man’s front room, complete with idiosyncrasies.
What gets your goat about decisions you’ve seen made by committees either at your club or any others and what would you like to change?
Our team have got some strong opinions on the subject.
Christian Maiden (CM): I won’t name and shame the club in question but they had come off the back of a season of absolutely torrid greens, which had been put down to a disease that pretty much burned away all the grass. When this was bought up with the committee, it was decided that they didn’t have enough money to fix the greens and they would just see how they got on over the winter and pray. That apparent same meeting it was then decided they would spent £10,000 on some new toilets next to the 10th tee (bear in mind the 10th tee is no more than 100 yards away from the clubhouse).
End result, the toilets were never finished due to irrigation issues and they were under-budgeted so just a shed was left (which you could have got for £100 at Argos). The greens stayed diseased and they lost £10k.
All hail the committee!
Mark Townsend (MT): In a word, socks. Some of my most awkward exchanges with pros/secretaries have been, bizarrely, over socks.
I recently turned up somewhere in a pair of, wait for it, black ankle socks when the club ruling was ONLY white socks could be worn.
And then there was a mini stand-off when it was made clear that I wouldn’t be allowed to play unless I bought a pair of white socks. Maybe a better solution would be ‘that’s fine today but this is the rule so next time you visit…’
Even more ridiculous are clubs that insist on knee-length socks which defeats the object a bit of playing in shorts.
And also makes you look like something out of It Ain’t Half Hot Mum.
I genuinely couldn’t give a monkey’s what anybody else wears on the course but suspect I’m in the minority.
Tom Lenton (TL): I had a similar situation: on the 1st tee in an inter-club foursomes match.
I’m lining up my drive in white ankle socks and the pro stops me mid-routine to tell me I must wear socks covering the ankle.
He fetches me some from the shop and I then hit my ball into a fence post, it bounces across the 1st and 18th and into bushes OB.
When I went to hand them back after losing my game he grinned and said keep them as a memento.
**I threw them in the changing room bin**
"I have a real problem with dedicated car park spaces in prime positions" Dan Murphy (DM): I have a real problem with dedicated car park spaces in prime positions for captains, junior organisers and the winner of last year’s christmas draw. By all means have a staff car park tucked away for paid employees.
But what a dreadful message it gives for newcomers and visitors to see a hierarchy rammed down their throats at the moment of arrival.
Plus I invariably think I’ve found an unlikely space on the front row only to see one of those dreaded little signs and then I have to do a full lap of the car park to where I originally came in.
TL: Myself and a friend, as juniors both aged 16, won the men’s foursomes competition. The winners get to represent the club in a regional knockout against winners from other clubs.
A month later, there was no word from the committee as to who we had to play.
Two weeks further down the line we see the club competitions secretary and his regular doubles partner playing two members from another club in a foursomes match.
We’d been well and truly shafted.