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pga professionals

Can I return these tees? Pros tell us the daft requests they get from golfers

They’re the hub of the golf club and get bombarded with all sorts. In our From the Clubhouse podcast, we reveal some of the things members and visitors ask our professionals

 

Will the course be open tomorrow, pro? Can I return these shoes? If you’ve ever followed Secret Club Pro on X (and if you don’t, you really should) then you’ll be well aware of the odd requests our treasured club staff can get asked.

We talked about this on an episode of the From the Clubhouse podcast and Tom Irwin all but rang up every PGA professional he knows asking them to reveal, without putting themselves in job jeopardy, some of the questions they had been asked by members.

And now, we reveal them to you. If you’re guilty of any of these, it’s probably time to have a word with yourself. If you think they’re fine, then I’m not sure we can help you with your affliction.

Maybe you’ve heard some even stranger golf pro shop questions during your time at the club. Now’s the time to tell us. You can leave us a comment on X, formerly known as twitter, and we’ll probably discuss the best of them in another podcast.

Check out some of these silly golf pro shop questions

golf Pro Shop

“What’s the weather forecast?”

Tom: It’s an absolute jaffa, this one. I used to work in a pro shop at Shay Grange, in Shipley and Bradford, and people would legitimately ring up and say, ‘what’s the weather forecast? What’s the weather going to be like for tomorrow?’ I’ve got access to exactly the same information you have, mate.

During Covid, when people were kind of panicking about whether our NCG Top 100s Tour was going to be on, people would ring up and say to me, ‘what’s happening with the virus?’ I have no idea what’s happening with the virus.

Pros say this particularly happens when there is two feet of snow on the golf course and people ring up and say, ‘will the course be open tomorrow?’

“Can I return these, pro?”

Tom: One of pros I know say they once had a member who bought a bag of plastic tees. They broke a couple on the way round so they brought the tees back in, ‘I’d like to return these please. I think they must be faulty because they snap too easily’.

I think it’s just brilliant on lots of levels. How much is a bag of plastic tees? Maybe two quid?

“Am I right, or left-handed? You tell me?”

Tom: Another pro I know said he was once giving a beginner a series of lessons. They’d been three or four times, playing right-handed, and practising quite hard in between but it was not going very well. At the same time, they decided to give tennis a go and played that left-handed.

That must have gone pretty well because for their fifth lesson they turned up with a set of left-handed clubs – as if that would immediately be any better. Is that logical? It just seems unbelievable to me.

golf Pro Shop

“I think a new bunker needs to go in here”

Tom: This one comes into the overheard in the clubhouse category. And it’s about members who try and design the golf course. This is a massive thing. Why is golf full of these people? We’re all as bad as each other and I count myself in this.

It’s not just people who try and design the golf course, it’s people who try and give their friends lessons. Why do we do that? It’s not like you’d do it anywhere else. If you were trying to build an extension on your house, you wouldn’t try and design it yourself. You would get an architect.

I find the design thing very peculiar. It happens all the time where people say, ‘I think we should put a bunker in here’. The worst one is when people say, ‘let’s put a pond in’. That’s the QI alarm for member designs. They always say, ‘where that water gathers by the 7th green, what we should do is put a pond in.

“Sort me out, Jack. How hard can golf be?”

Tom: NCG’s resident in house pro, Jack, said that someone once turned up at a golf club he was working at 10 minutes before a shotgun start in a corporate day and asked if they could have a quick golf lesson because they had literally never played before.

It’s the equivalent of turning up at the start of a marathon and saying, ‘has anyone got any trainers?’. It’s pretty fundamental.

Am I going to accept this invitation to a corporate golf day? The decision tree is: do I play golf? Yes or No? If the answer’s no, then I’m not going. It was pretty amazing.

Now listen to the latest episode of the From the Clubhouse podcast

In this week’s pod, we get stuck into celebrity pro-ams, consider a new PGA report that could have some profound effects on the game, and reveal some of the worst etiquette fails we’ve ever seen or heard.

The From the Clubhouse podcast is produced in association with TaylorMade Golf.

What do you think about these golf pro shop questions? Let me know on X, formerly known as twitter.

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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