This is one of *those* debates in golf that pops up every now and again. Today, a spirited discussion was sparked when my colleague (and big bro), Alan Shipnuck, tweeted about spontaneously popping by a driving range at a public course and being scolded because of his “inappropriate attire.”
How not to grow the game: on a whim I stop at the Bayonet range and the pro shop homey scolds me for wearing denim. It’s. The. Range.
— Alan Shipnuck (@AlanShipnuck) July 11, 2013
Honestly, for the most part, I really don’t care what people wear on the golf course, especially the range, at a public facility, no less. I wouldn’t wear jeans to actually *play* golf because I don’t think it’d be very comfortable, but I’ve definitely hit balls in them and I’m pretty sure my jeans were less offensive than 99% of what’s considered “proper” attire.
Let’s be real: Much of what you see golfers wear at your local club/course — and some pros — is probably quite abhorrent. And, generally speaking, for women, the clothes really just aren’t all that stylish (at least compared to what I consider “fashion” and what you see living in NYC). Now, obviously there are exceptions, particularly as of late, but it’s sporty chic, which makes sense.
But I digress. Jeans. Okay or not for the practice range? I say, yes, because, first of all, as Shipnuck pointed out, it’s the driving range, and secondly, it’s a public facility. And at the end of the day, I am more offended by slow play than someone wearing jeans.
Now, of course, this is just hitting balls casually at a driving range — not playing an actual round of golf, at, like, Cypress Point. Obviously, we’d all want to look our sportiest if we were playing Cypress or Augusta National, etc, and I’d have no problem with abiding by their club dress code even if that meant wearing Loudmouth head-to-toe.
I’m all about etiquette, but there’s a time and a place and I feel like it’s about making judgement calls depending on the circumstances. In regard to Shipnuck’s experience today, that’s just ludicrous and almost embarrassing for Bayonet.
We talk about growing the game and attracting more golfers, but the game has a long history and reputation of exclusion and there’s still so much snootiness, not to mention so many holier-than-thou rules, that sometimes it feels like the powers-that-be enjoy detracting and repelling the masses from golf.
I mean, I can’t believe I just wrote a 400-word post about a type of fabric.