Should you be able to wear what you want on the golf course?

The Scoop

Will anyone really care if we abolish dress codes at golf clubs? The NCG team put their heads together in The Niggle

England Golf chief executive says it is time to abolish golf dress codes. So, what say our Niggle team?

Alex Perry: I’m very much in the “you should be able to wear what you want on the golf course” camp.

Steve Carroll: Same.

James Savage: I wouldn’t dream of telling anyone else what to wear.

Mark Townsend: I haven’t worn a pair of branded golf trouser for at least three months now and it’s given me a new lease of life. I genuinely think there is a huge gap in the golfing clothing market for decent clobber with more than a little nod to the 1970s.

Steve Carroll: Bay City Rollers or The Jam?

Mark Townsend: My new range would be headlined by Raymond Floyd’s 1976 polo and then go back through all the big major wins…

Jack Nicklaus and Raymond Floyd

Alex Perry: I love those polo shirts. Penguin still do them like that.

Steve Carroll: I find myself increasingly wearing golf shoes at very odd times and places.

James Savage: One day on a recent holiday I noticed I was wearing four pieces of golf clothing – to the beach.

Alex Perry: Golf clothing off the course is one thing – but what about proper non-golf attire ON the course. If dress codes were abolished at your club and someone rocked up to the tee in a Manchester United shirt, you’d bite your tongue?

James Savage: I’d have no problem with people wearing anything at a golf club.

Dan Murphy: What is ‘non-golf attire’? What does that even mean? We are mired in the language of it all.

Alex Perry: Jeans? Football shirts? Generally things that are barred from a golf course.

Dan Murphy: There’s no such thing. Only in the imaginations of golfing dinosaurs. Nobody else cares.

Alex Perry: As I said, I’m playing devil’s advocate, but go on the website of literally any golf club and you’ll see a heavily detailed section on what you can and can’t wear.

Mark Townsend: Slight twist on that: What are your apparel no-nos? I’ll start with a gilet…

Alex Perry: Not the gilet!

Mark Townsend: I can’t differentiate a gilet from people in Made in Chelsea. With a half sleeve it’s sort of OK but then that’s probably not a gilet. Which is all quite odd as the tank top might be the most underrated item of clothing on the planet.

Steve Carroll: Isn’t a gilet and a tank top pretty much the same thing?

James Savage: I’m not a gilet fan. If it’s cold enough, why not just wear a jumper? Why keep your chest warm and let your arms get cold?

Alex Perry: A gilet provides the warmth or a jacket and the swing freedom of a polo shirt. Perfect.

James Savage: Except your arms aren’t covered up? Doesn’t anybody else notice this? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.

Branden Grace

Steve Carroll: Shorts, shorts and shorts. And stupid trousers. And gilets. And white belts.

Alex Perry: I’ve made my feelings on shorts very well known.

James Savage: I don’t mind a white belt – can brighten up a dull outfit. I’m not having white trousers though.

Dan Murphy: Chinos with trainers, a look perfected by Jim Furyk, is up there.

Alex Perry: I’ll add shoes that look like football boots.

Steve: Visors. An affront to headwear. And those trainer socks that don’t even reach the ankle. What are they all about?

Alex Perry: Nothing wrong with a sock that doesn’t cover the ankle, Grandpa Steve. Looks much better than those that come half way up your calf.

Steve Carroll: Both are, frankly, horrendous.

Tiger Woods in shorts

James Savage: What does it matter if you’re never wearing shorts? Shorts with long socks pulled up is not a good look.

Steve Carroll: I can see them when you’re wearing those slim fitting trouser things that ride up to your knee. Essentially shorts, I suppose.

Mark Townsend: I fold my ankle socks down so they are basically invisible, think Martin Kaymer on a Wednesday but without the glistening forearms. The club where I grew up insisted on only white socks and up to the knee. On a warmer day we looked like the cast of It Ain’t Half Hot Mum. So nobody under the age of 60 ever wore shorts.

Alex Perry: Why does anyone think it’s a good idea to turn up looking like Rickie Fowler circa 2012? He grew out of it years ago, why haven’t you?

Dan Murphy: Less a fashion statement than it is to show what a fun person you are on the golf course. No, I am detecting a very different vibe.

Alex Perry: Well if I’ve learned one thing, it’s that we’re a forward-thinking bunch.

More on dress codes

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