Alex Perry isn't a member of a golf club. And with restrictions in place at most, getting 18 holes in hasn't been as simple as it normally is
I don’t have a golf club membership. Why? Because I don’t want one. Why? Because I, like millions of others, enjoy the nomad golfer lifestyle.
There, I said it. It’s also odd, given the rigid structure I follow in the rest of my everyday being. But I get my golf fix by either joining friends at their clubs or throwing a metephorical dart at a map and trying somewhere new.
And I’m OK with that as I’m still the right side of 40 and in a job where I am in the incredibly privileged position of playing some of the best tracks in the world and calling it work. Plus other commitments mean I can’t really play at the weekend. That’s probably enough reasons.
That will change one day when a golf club sweeps me off my feet and we fall in love and settle down. But, for now, can you understand why the past three weeks have been torture?
In the pre-Covid era I had played the grand total of 19 holes in 2020 – 18 at Alwoodley and one at Rudding Park. It’s rained a lot this year, hasn’t it? And who could possibly have predicted what was coming next?
Then we waited all that time for courses across the UK to open – first in England, then Wales, Northern Ireland and, finally, Scotland – but only in groups of one or two and hey you – yes, you – don’t even think about trying to book without a golf club membership.
Before you all head to the comments section to start one-finger typing a furious response – I am completely on board with this. The members, after all, are the people that keep golf clubs afloat and, in a world where there are effectively half the number of tee times there used to be, it is the fairest system.
But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt.
I spend a lot of time on social media – partly because it’s my job and partly because how else would I know my parents’ political standpoints? – and the worst thing about this past few weeks is a constant stream of golfers out on the course.
It’s like seeing photos of your ex with her new fella. Yeah, I’m happy for you, but also I hate you. All of you.
So spare a thought for those of us without a golf club membership. We’re golfers too and an important source of income and we’ve gone from having no problem getting a game to having the door slammed in our faces.
Our sport’s real challenge now is to make me and my nomadic brethren sign up for a golf club membership, because taking that plunge has never been so appealing.
But that’s a discussion for another day. I just found a tee time at a local muni…
If you’re a nomad golfer like me who has (or, indeed, hasn’t) been struggling to get a tee time, let me know in the comment below or you can tweet me.
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