Today's Golfer (UK) - - FIRST TEE -

As some­one who had to wear a uni­form for over 30 years be­cause of my job, I have al­ways had a prob­lem with forced for­mal­ity. I do, how­ever, see the point of uni­for­mity in dis­ci­plined ser­vices and al­ways toe the line. Why is it, then, that golf clubs take plea­sure in cre­at­ing lists of ridicu­lous rules around the type and style of cloth­ing that can be worn, both on and off the course? I started to play golf as a naive 24-year-old in the 1970s and, even all those years ago, I thought the dress codes and club­house rules were out­dated. Fast for­ward four decades and lit­tle has changed. On the course, I’m told to wear a par­tic­u­lar style of shirt, socks which match my shorts and heaven help me if I tuck my trousers into my socks to stop them get­ting dirty on a par­tic­u­larly muddy course. In the club­house, things have moved on a lit­tle, but in the event of a match, the dress code for post-golf re­fresh­ments is of­ten jacket and tie... It’s mad­ness! I can eat at smart restau­rants in nor­mal ‘smart ca­sual’ at­tire and rightly be treated as a wel­come cus­tomer. If I step out of the sar­to­rial line at a golf club, my stand­ing is less than that of some­one whose be­hav­iour is com­pletely un­savoury, but who has a piece of cloth knot­ted around his neck!

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