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A note to golf club members: What’s your excuse now?

It didn't take long for the mask to slip. You can't blame visitors or societies, it's members who aren't repairing their pitch marks and it boils the Angry Club Golfer's blood
 

That love-in didn’t last very long, did it? For weeks we were gazing adoringly at striped fairways on social media and heaping praise on greenkeepers creating miracles with basically one person and a mower.

Then as soon as we’re allowed back on the course, plenty of you rush out and take a metaphorical dump on their hard work.

This is the reason we can’t have nice things.

It’s funny how some golfers can spot the outline of a Pro V1 in a dense forest but suddenly need their eyesight testing when they’re supposed to fix a crater on a green.

After surveying the crime scene following the return of golf over the last couple of weeks, I’ll bet greenkeepers wish a full lockdown was still in force.

If there’s one positive to come from the rash of complaints/desperate pleas from those who rightly resent their prized putting surfaces being turned into the moon, it’s that the truisms habitually spouted by members about pitch marks have now been exposed for the hollow rubbish they always were.

“It’s always the visitors,”

“It must have been that society…”

“Shame on them.”

No, shame on you. There’s no one else to blame. How many clubs have been members only over the last couple of weeks? Face it, you were always just as lazy and feckless but the smokescreen has cleared and we can all see it.

I don’t subscribe to the hanging’s too good for them brigade, though. It’s just going to rob clubs of money when they need it most.

What it requires is for the rest of us – the ones who spend 10 minutes tidying up on every green – to take the lead.

Make the act of course vandalism as morally heinous as dropping a ball down a trouser leg and watch standards perk up pretty quickly.

Because enough is enough. You’ve got a pitchfork, use it. After all your greenkeepers have done for you, it’s the least you can do…

Has the Angry Club Golfer got it right? Have your say in the comments or why not tweet him?

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Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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