Steve Carroll: Sat in a meeting a couple of weeks ago, I found myself tuning in and out of yet another debate about whether players should have to don a jacket and tie after a match.
In this pre-war utopia, sticking on a shirt rights all the world’s wrongs.
It harks back to a better day – a time of respect. When you didn’t have to lock your front door. When Britain really was Great…Yawn.
It’s all about etiquette, don’t you know?
‘A jacket and tie will be required in the Dining Room after 7pm’. I’ve seen this sign at so many clubs. Nothing makes me swing on my heels and walk out of the door quicker.
I hate grandeur for the sake of it. I’ve come to play a round not eat at The Savoy.
Clubs, of course, are entitled to do what they want on their own premises. And if I don’t like it, I know what I can do.
But is it then a surprise we can’t attract more young people to the game if we are living in a fantasy where it’s still the early 20th century?
So this week’s topic for The Niggle is this: should I respect rules and regulations and put on my neckwear without complaint, or is it time for golf to join the modern age?
Mark Townsend: I have the same dress policy for in the clubhouse as I do on the course – if you want to wear a pair of tanga briefs then that’s fine by me.
I find it offensive to be told how to dress. I’ve got one suit, the one I got married in, so I only expect to get it out on very special occasions. And not to sit down to eat a side of beef with all the trimmings.
Dan Murphy: If a group of members want to dress in a certain way then who am I to stop them.
The problem comes when visitors are tutted at (or worse) for failing to conform.
It’s hard sometimes to reconcile the differing demands of members and visitors.
I’m afraid I find it hard to accept that I can’t enter a certain room in a clubhouse without a piece of striped silk depending from my neck.
James Broadhurst: I think clubs should ditch the jacket and tie, but ultimately they can do what they want.
Nothing would put me off going to/joining a club more than being made to wear a jacket and tie after a match. It’s just stuffy and being formal for no real reason.
An end-of-season presentation evening would be the only occasion I would want to wear a jacket and tie at a golf club.
SC: I’d expect nothing else from the guy rocking the white sneakers at Bradford…
JM: How many clubs who don’t have a waiting list or aren’t affordable still enforce this?
JM: So be it. I have no problem with it. There are plenty of clubs who don’t enforce this as well. It wouldn’t put me off joining a club though just because you have to look smart.
MT: I don’t look smart when I wear a suit, I just look (and feel) uncomfortable. In some clubs they will even tell you when you can remove your jacket.
And probably when you can begin your soup, and then have a sip of your wine, and, before too long, go to the toilet…
JM: Don’t get yourself down Mark, I think you look brilliant in a suit.
James Savage: The obvious answer to this is yes.
But if I have to wear a jacket and tie in order to play somewhere like Swinley Forest and enjoy the carvery after then so be it.
It’s wrong, it’s out-dated, it puts people off from taking up the game but it’s up to clubs to make their own rules. Hopefully it will phase out over time.
Joe Urquhart: Being a casual golfer I wouldn’t particularly mind having to get suited and booted for somewhere that I would pay top dollar to play and enjoy a meal.
But similar to Mark I don’t really want to be told I have to wear this or that otherwise I can’t have my soup and sandwich after a round or even go into that room because I have the wrong shoes on.
I think it’s something that can put off a lot of people wanting to get into the game or wanting to become members at clubs. That’s not really something that should be a barrier.
Having said that, I tend to turn up, get on with the golf and go home. I don’t tend to bother with clubhouses for this exact reason. The fear of upsetting the locals is very real.