|DENIM JEANS ON THE GOLF COURSE?
What, exactly, is golf etiquette? Here’s an OVER THE TOP GOLF perspective. If someone were to ask me to define the term, my answer would be that the level of golf etiquette varies from course to course but should always include courtesy, integrity and having cash available to pay off your bets. Other golfers have different thoughts on the subjects of slow play, the wearing of denim jeans on the course and offer solutions to these issues. Bans on denim are becoming a point of disagreement in country clubs. Tie Required signs and tennis whites are long gone in most places, but no-jeans policies remain common.
“People wearing denim jeans have no golf etiquette? While slow play is a major issue, people who put a premium on pace get up and play early. In my opinion, another $75 course would be the last thing we need, in fact it needs the opposite, more $20 or less executive golf courses with limited hazards, trees, bunkers that get them on and off in a reasonable time. Jeans welcome of course!”
While many golfers feel differently, others can lampoon the situation.
“Yea cuz nothing ruins my golf more than somebody not wearing a collared shirt.”
Another school of thought says that more costly golf courses, private country clubs in particular, serve to weed out those denim jeans-wearing, slow playing golfers.
“You can talk about raising dues, and it isn’t as emotional as a conversation about denim jeans.”
The cost factor serving to eliminate denim jean-wearers works to a point. Younger members of exclusive country clubs have lobbied for more relaxed rules regarding attire. About 10% of all private clubs, due to economic downturns, have either closed or gone public. Most are feeling pressure to stop the decline in memberships. While slow play will always remain a problem, there is less of a social stigma to wearing jeans than previously existed.
“When courses are cheap (under $50 for 18), you will end up with a lot of riff-raff and a very slow round. Beginners and casual golfers will play the cheaper tracks, while more serious golfers would be willing to pay more for a better course and faster play. We need more serious courses (around $75 a round) so more serious golfers can also enjoy the day. I’m viewing this from a regular golfer’s prospective and not a casual player’s.”
We’ve opened a slow play – jeans on the course can of worms, it seems. All of us have been irked by something or another that we’ve considered to be bad golf etiquette. Does the level of etiquette increase with the cost of a round of golf, though?
“Sounds like you need to take your Bentley and caviar and join a private club. “Serious golfers” playing over-priced courses? Please. They’re still bad, slow players who can’t break 90, they just dress better.”
My rule of thumb is that anything horrible should be considered bad golf etiquette. Slow play is horrible. Cheating is horrible. Being a sore loser is horrible. Wearing denim jeans on a golf course? My apologies to golf purists but that’s not actually horrible. In fact, I think that they look kinda’ nice on girls.