Do Dress Codes Bother You?

greenOak

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My only question is are they? If golf is hotter than it has been for more than 2 decades, in every measurable facet, is their slow growth of the game?
Golf is more popular then ever because it’s one of the few things you can actually do thanks to COVID. Moreover, at least in this neck of the woods, a lot of the private courses (which tend to have the strictest dress codes) are struggling financially. It’s the cheap public courses that are reaping the benefits of this influx of new golfers.

I have had friends tell me the primary reason they don’t golf is because they perceive it as an elitist sport - their reasons for why they think this include dress codes among many other things. So yes I’m going to say its slowin the growth of the game.
 

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Golf is more popular then ever because it’s one of the few things you can actually do thanks to COVID. Moreover, at least in this neck of the woods, a lot of the private courses (which tend to have the strictest dress codes) are struggling financially. It’s the cheap public courses that are reaping the benefits of this influx of new golfers.

I have had friends tell me the primary reason they don’t golf is because they perceive it as an elitist sport - their reasons for why they think this include dress codes among many other things. So yes I’m going to say its slowin the growth of the game.
Debatable, especially now, because the dress code didn’t keep people away regardless of activity allowed. Compound that while pockets may exist with private clubs down, as a whole they are up astronomically as well showing it’s not just a short term fix.

To say the game is slowing there has to be a measurable that says so and there currently isn’t.

I don’t have a dog in the fight, but I think it’s okay to have both, which exist now. Growing up if I wanted to play basketball in the gym or tennis on the courts I needed proper shoes (or apparel). For bowling I need the right shoes. For football I need pads and a helmet and cleats. For baseball I need a glove and a bat. I can’t think of too many activities sports or otherwise where there isn’t some sort of cost of entry that’s my reasoning behind it. I think calling it stuffy or elitist is taking away from the fact the choices exist, to allow for relaxed environments all over the place.

At least in this case the apparel can be used in every day life too.
 

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Golf is more popular then ever because it’s one of the few things you can actually do thanks to COVID. Moreover, at least in this neck of the woods, a lot of the private courses (which tend to have the strictest dress codes) are struggling financially. It’s the cheap public courses that are reaping the benefits of this influx of new golfers.

I have had friends tell me the primary reason they don’t golf is because they perceive it as an elitist sport - their reasons for why they think this include dress codes among many other things. So yes I’m going to say its slowin the growth of the game.
I really don’t follow what is elitist about asking people to wear a collared shirt and not jeans. Can you expand on that, if dress code is the primary reason for what makes all of golf elitist?
 

greenOak

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I really don’t follow what is elitist about asking people to wear a collared shirt and not jeans. Can you expand on that, if dress code is the primary reason for what makes all of golf elitist?
Basically, these people look at golf and think “This sport is probably filled with uptight personalities who are overly concerned with how I act, dress, and play.” I think they overestimate how big these problems actually are, but at the same time I dont think they’re entirely off base. I do think golf culture is more uptight than other sports.
Instead maybe they look at tennis. Even though almost everyone wears athletic gear, nobody cares if you show up in jeans to play. Nobody’s going to kick you off the court for playing in sandals. Its just a much more laid back atmosphere and people like that. Most of these people have zero intention of playing tennis in jeans and sandals, but just the fact that you can signals a much more laid back atmosphere.
 

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Basically, these people look at golf and think “This sport is probably filled with uptight personalities who are overly concerned with how I act, dress, and play.” I think they overestimate how big these problems actually are, but at the same time I dont think they’re entirely off base. I do think golf culture is more uptight than other sports.
Instead maybe they look at tennis. Even though almost everyone wears athletic gear, nobody cares if you show up in jeans to play. Nobody’s going to kick you off the court for playing in sandals. Its just a much more laid back atmosphere and people like that. Most of these people have zero intention of playing tennis in jeans and sandals, but just the fact that you can signals a much more laid back atmosphere.
Let me ask you this... are you really under the impression that there are no tennis clubs or locations that require specific attire to play?

if Not, I don’t see how it’s a good comparison because golf courses have a wide range of dress codes depending on location, quality, price, and etc.

Respectfully I think the people you are referring to are being a little bit jaded and/or not giving golf a fair shake.
 

greenOak

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Let me ask you this... are you really under the impression that there are no tennis clubs or locations that require specific attire to play?

if Not, I don’t see how it’s a good comparison because golf courses have a wide range of dress codes depending on location, quality, price, and etc.

Respectfully I think the people you are referring to are being a little bit jaded and/or not giving golf a fair shake.
Of course I can find private tennis clubs that are just as snooty as golf clubs. Doesn’t change the fact that on average tennis is a more laid back sport than golf. This is especially true if I go out to the nearest public golf course vs going out to the nearest public tennis courts.

And yeah these people aren’t giving golf a fair chance, but it’s almost lIke images matter. Not any different than the golf course not giving the guy dressed in jeans a chance to prove he’s an upstanding individual.
 

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I don't have a bit of heartburn with the concept that dress codes can and should be scaled, and can evolve with time. Hell, if you look at the past, men played golf in dress shirts, ties, and wool trousers and jackets. We're to the point where we can play in leisure shorts, casual polos and golf sandals (and yes, even t-shirts and jeans on some courses), so nobody can say that things haven't evolved.

I'm not an elitist by any stretch, but I'm completely against this whole societal thing of bringing everything down to the lowest common denominator so nobody's feelz get hurt. "Inclusiveness" or "accessibility" shouldn't mean a total abandoning of all standards and a complete free-for-all.
 

greenOak

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I don't have a bit of heartburn with the concept that dress codes can and should be scaled, and can evolve with time. Hell, if you look at the past, men played golf in dress shirts, ties, and wool trousers and jackets. We're to the point where we can play in leisure shorts, casual polos and golf sandals (and yes, even t-shirts and jeans on some courses), so nobody can say that things haven't evolved.

I'm not an elitist by any stretch, but I'm completely against this whole societal thing of bringing everything down to the lowest common denominator so nobody's feelz get hurt. "Inclusiveness" or "accessibility" shouldn't mean a total abandoning of all standards and a complete free-for-all.
Fail to see how jeans and tank tops leads to a free for all.
 

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Of course I can find private tennis clubs that are just as snooty as golf clubs. Doesn’t change the fact that on average tennis is a more laid back sport than golf. This is especially true if I go out to the nearest public golf course vs going out to the nearest public tennis courts.

And yeah these people aren’t giving golf a fair chance, but it’s almost lIke images matter. Not any different than the golf course not giving the guy dressed in jeans a chance to prove he’s an upstanding individual.
I’m curious as to why your response had to do with “snooty” instead of dress code. It seems telling to me.

I also really struggle to agree that a local public course can’t be as laid back as a tennis court... or more accurately a local gym club since we could make the argument that a casual tennis experience is more comparable to a driving range than a course.

I also don’t think it’s about “not giving a guy a chance” —- because if he respects the dress code (which isn’t a big ask) he’s probably more than welcome.
 

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Of course I can find private tennis clubs that are just as snooty as golf clubs. Doesn’t change the fact that on average tennis is a more laid back sport than golf. This is especially true if I go out to the nearest public golf course vs going out to the nearest public tennis courts.

And yeah these people aren’t giving golf a fair chance, but it’s almost lIke images matter. Not any different than the golf course not giving the guy dressed in jeans a chance to prove he’s an upstanding individual.
1) A public tennis court is an entirely different thing from a public golf course. It's a concrete slab with a net, some fencing and some paint. It doesn't require acres of ground, it doesn't require a maintenance crew and regular watering, fertilizing, mowing, aerating, repairing, etc. There are no divots or ball marks to repair, no bunkers for people to traipse through without raking, no greens for people to park their carts on, and two idiots playing tennis don't slow up the whole day for everybody else. Putting up and maintaining a public tennis court costs an infinitesimal fraction of what building and maintaining a golf course costs, and requires an infinitesimal fraction of maintenance by comparison. There's a lot more vested interest in keeping idiots off a golf course than off a public tennis course. That's not comparing apples and oranges, it's comparing apples and aardvarks. It's like saying a public beach is more laid back than a golf course, because of course it is.

2) It has nothing to do with giving a guy a chance to prove he's an upstanding individual. It has to do with the fact that they have rules and he's not conforming to them. Their rules don't say you have to be an upstanding individual, they say you can't wear jeans on the course - whether you're an upstanding individual or not. I'm not sure how they could institute a character test to decide who gets the chance to wear jeans on the course and who doesn't, and that would open a whole 'nother Pandora's Box in itself. It's better if they just straight out say no jeans for anybody, and if you want to wear jeans you can go play at another course that allows them - but we don't here. (Although if golf courses made rules that only upstanding individuals could play there, they'd certainly be a hell of a lot less crowded!) :ROFLMAO:

It's like when you get stopped by a police officer for speeding. It doesn't matter what an upstanding individual you are, you broke the law. You don't get a chance to prove you're an upstanding individual - you get a ticket whether you're the pastor of your local church, a Fortune 500 CEO, a father of 6 adopted orphans, or a broke, drug addicted deviant who steals from your mom, fluffs your lies, takes breakfast balls and mulligans, and grounds your club in the bunker.
 
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I just finished playing with a hoodie on (it's cold here right now). And my polo was untucked, underneath it! :oops:

If the gods of everything golf and otherwise proper/respectful were angry about it, they didn't seem take it out on me. One guy did mention it though, even though it's allowed there, and coincidentally or not, he's the one no one likes to play with...
 

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1) A public tennis court is an entirely different thing from a public golf course. It's a concrete slab with a net, some fencing and some paint. It doesn't require acres of ground, it doesn't require a maintenance crew and regular watering, fertilizing, mowing, aerating, repairing, etc. There are no divots or ball marks to repair, no bunkers for people to traipse through without raking, no greens for people to park their carts on, and two idiots playing tennis don't slow up the whole day for everybody else. Putting up and maintaining a public tennis court costs an infinitesimal fraction of what building and maintaining a golf course costs, and requires an infinitesimal fraction of maintenance by comparison. There's a lot more vested interest in keeping idiots off a golf course than off a public tennis course. That's not comparing apples and oranges, it's comparing apples and aardvarks. It's like saying a public beach is more laid back than a golf course, because of course it is.

2) It has nothing to do with giving a guy a chance to prove he's an upstanding individual. It has to do with the fact that they have rules and he's not conforming to them. Their rules don't say you have to be an upstanding individual, they say you can't wear jeans on the course - whether you're an upstanding individual or not. I'm not sure how they could institute a character test to decide who gets the chance to wear jeans on the course and who doesn't, and that would open a whole 'nother Pandora's Box in itself. It's better if they just straight out say no jeans for anybody, and if you want to wear jeans you can go play at another course that allows them - but we don't here.

It's like when you get stopped by a police officer for speeding. It doesn't matter what an upstanding individual you are, you broke the law. You don't get a chance to prove you're an upstanding individual - you get a ticket whether you're the pastor of your local church, a Fortune 500 CEO, a father of 6 adopted orphans, or a broke, drug addicted deviant who steals from your mom, fluffs your lies, takes mulligans and grounds your club in the bunker.
To be fair, as a drug addicted local pastor who runs a fortune 500 company on money I stole from my mom, I rarely get tickets.

It's probably because I don't ground my club in bunkers.
 

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To be fair, as a drug addicted local pastor who runs a fortune 500 company on money I stole from my mom, I rarely get tickets.

It's probably because I don't ground my club in bunkers.
The more I think about it, I'm getting behind this "upstanding individuals" thing. Because if that was the case, we wouldn't have spent most of our nearly five-hour round today stuck behind two foursomes of White Claw drinking, Insta-ho'ing bruhs who were playing two tees further back than they should have been, flogging the carts like rental cars, not fixing divots or ball marks, and joined up as an eightsome for the last two holes.

They sure were dressed nice, though. :ROFLMAO:
 

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Nope does not bother me at all. The course can set the dress code for whatever they want. If i want to play there i can follow the code it is not hard to do.
 

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Doesn’t bother me in the least. Heck most of the clubs around are aren’t very strict to begin with and even allow jeans in colder weather or the driving range. Good thing to because on days like today where I have some time to kill and a course is nearby I don’t have to worry about having jeans on to stop and practice.
 

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2 Years ago I revamped the dress code at our office. We were business casual already, but our industry has changed so much in the last decade that we rarely ever have a client in the office anymore. A good sales guy from a competitor left his employer and I asked the reason. He said we can't even wear jeans in the office! That was a clue to me that it may be time to revamp ours. I basically added jeans and more casual footwear. Had a great , positive impact on the staff.

Received some pushback from a co owner. He was still under the impression that the proverbial "million dollar account" was going to walk through the door at any moment. I asked when was the last time that a million dollar account walked in? Needless to say, he was fine with the new dress code.

The point I am trying to make is that change is hard, but I think it is necessary at times. Ties used to be a regular part of the golfing outfit...
 

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2 Years ago I revamped the dress code at our office. We were business casual already, but our industry has changed so much in the last decade that we rarely ever have a client in the office anymore. A good sales guy from a competitor left his employer and I asked the reason. He said we can't even wear jeans in the office! That was a clue to me that it may be time to revamp ours. I basically added jeans and more casual footwear. Had a great , positive impact on the staff.

Received some pushback from a co owner. He was still under the impression that the proverbial "million dollar account" was going to walk through the door at any moment. I asked when was the last time that a million dollar account walked in? Needless to say, he was fine with the new dress code.

The point I am trying to make is that change is hard, but I think it is necessary at times. Ties used to be a regular part of the golfing outfit...
An interesting story, and some good changes came about because of it. Just the same, how much more casual can golf courses become than what they are today? I wear jeans in the off season on public courses, for the warmth, and there isn't a problem. Although, in the scoring season I wear golf shorts & shirt. It really can't be much easier then that, as golf shorts and shirt are so casual and laid back. A large number of public courses let most anything go, which brings us the the OP's question. Is a golf course trying to exclude people with simple dress codes, I don't see it. I just played a course where any clothing was ok (within reason, no bareback) and the course condition somewhat matched the dress code. Putting green in terrible shape, cart paths had unrepaired pot holes, greens were not in great shape, and neither were the fairways and tee boxes. Now this same course, just 5 years back, with different owner, had a dress code and the course matched the dress code in condition. As we were waiting to tee off the other day, five 4somes in front of us were loading big plastic bags filled with ice and beer, getting ready to play. It all sort of goes hand in hand. So I am a believer that the dress code is not just a matter of respect for others, it's a respect for the venue. The dress code often times matches the condition of the course. If a course doesn't care what it's patrons look like, they surely aren't going to care what their course looks like.
 

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An interesting story, and some good changes came about because of it. Just the same, how much more casual can golf courses become than what they are today? I wear jeans in the off season on public courses, for the warmth, and there isn't a problem. Although, in the scoring season I wear golf shorts & shirt. It really can't be much easier then that, as golf shorts and shirt are so casual and laid back. A large number of public courses let most anything go, which brings us the the OP's question. Is a golf course trying to exclude people with simple dress codes, I don't see it. I just played a course where any clothing was ok (within reason, no bareback) and the course condition somewhat matched the dress code. Putting green in terrible shape, cart paths had unrepaired pot holes, greens were not in great shape, and neither were the fairways and tee boxes. Now this same course, just 5 years back, with different owner, had a dress code and the course matched the dress code in condition. As we were waiting to tee off the other day, five 4somes in front of us were loading big plastic bags filled with ice and beer, getting ready to play. It all sort of goes hand in hand. So I am a believer that the dress code is not just a matter of respect for others, it's a respect for the venue. The dress code often times matches the condition of the course. If a course doesn't care what it's patrons look like, they surely aren't going to care what their course looks like.
I guess it depends on the dress code and where you play. I did not advocate doing away with dress codes. It is such an individual thing. The dress code sometimes reflect the quality of the course but it often does not. You can make a lot of arguments for and against. Why is it ok to wear jeans in the winter? You can wear khaki dockers.

I play at a club that requires proper golf attire on the practice range. I think that is a little excessive personally, but them are the rules.
 

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Dont care honestly. If they require it i happily abide, if they don't im good with cargo shorts. Really not a big deal.
It’s not a big deal for you guys in the US when the only options are wear ‘golf attire’ or there’s no dress code at all. Believe me, in the UK when you need to get changed out of your golf gear and put on a shirt and tie to go in the clubhouse after a round it’s a big deal.
 

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Their course, their rules. You may not like them, but respect them.

I'm okay with dress codes.

Typically, I wear polos, slacks or shorts. Sometimes, I keep them in the trunk of the car just in case I am going by a range.

Over the years, our dress standards have relaxed. I see gym shorts and t-shirts once in a while and while I notice it, and it's not generally accepted by the GC, I ignore it. Yes, tank tops and jean shorts are a bit much, but it's not frequent.

We had some PGA Pros live in the neighborhood who once used the practice area, and they complained. But they seem to have moved.
What about when you have to wear a collared shirt and tie before stepping foot in the clubhouse like many places here in the UK? Could you write that off as ‘their course their rules’?
 

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What about when you have to wear a collared shirt and tie before stepping foot in the clubhouse like many places here in the UK? Could you write that off as ‘their course their rules’?
Dave: That does seem excessive. I am surprised that the members still put up with that and have not voted in a change. At least allowing you to go in the grill room without a shirt and tie. Is it a case of 200 years of tradition unimpeded by progress?
 

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