Poll shows UK golfers are split over junior dress codes

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir June 26, 2019 09:12

A poll of UK golfers on whether children should adhere to dress codes when they learn or play golf has revealed an almost neck and neck divide.

European golf challenge company Million Dollar Hole in One asked its members their views on this debate following a story The Golf Business published about a junior golf coach a few weeks ago, and the results found that 51.3 per cent of respondents believe children should be able to dress how they want, while 48.7 per cent said they should follow the dress code and maintain the ‘tradition’ of the sport.

We published these results on our LinkedIn page and the comments we received confirmed that this is a divisive issue.

The original story focussed on a junior golf coach who was criticised for letting his students play in tracksuit bottoms and hoodies.

Thomas Devine, the director of Oulton Hall’s FUEL golf (FUture ELite) programme, sent a proud tweet of some of his young students practising their putting with the words ‘You let children play in hoodies and tracksuit bottoms? Yeah, we do! It’s the playing that’s important’.

It received more than 400,000 views and many comments – but not all were in favour, with the image drawing criticism from traditionalists for ignoring the sport’s dress code.

Million Dollar Hole in One director Martin Tyrrell said: “This result was quite extraordinary. It clearly shows the split between traditional golfers who feel that golf is a game of etiquette and history, and people that feel that youngsters should play in whatever they feel comfortable in and don’t mind what they wear, as long as they are playing and enjoying the game.”

On LinkedIn The Golf Business received dozens of comments from people who work in the industry, in which there was also a slight majority in favour of relaxed dress codes. However, as one golf club manager noted: ‘So we have our golf Brexit, great’.

The original LinkedIn post can be found via this link: https://www.linkedin.com/company/thegolfbusiness/juniordresscodes


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir June 26, 2019 09:12
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  1. Peter June 20, 13:37

    This is always a tough one, there are great arguments on both sides ! In general, except for those on the higher end of the value proposition scale, I think most dress codes are obsolete. While some clothing items should be banned, most are just fine. This was one issue, we took to the kids. After explaining rules, dress codes and traditions, they took a vote, Relaxed dress codes were fine, just no tee shirts or jeans. It made a difference !

    Reply to this comment
  2. Keith June 20, 16:58

    Neck and neck – but are turtle neck allowed! Sorry for the poor joke but perhaps these rigid rules are holding back golf and not helping participation. Golf clubs are going out of business and more will do the same or be turned into housing, retirement homes etc as planning allows. Time to wake up and smell the coffee – albeit the coffee has been on for quite a while!

    Reply to this comment
    • Alex June 21, 10:46

      I saw a GC website the other day that bothered to say that <4 year olds were ok not to adhere to their dress code ‍♂️

      Reply to this comment
    • Duncan June 24, 10:11

      It’s like watching a slow motion car crash…..Golf has to change its attitude and evolve to meet the changing needs & wants of new generations….it needs to happen sooner rather than later or the game will do itself irreparable damage… ( I fear it already has, unfortunately…)

      Reply to this comment
  3. David June 21, 14:44

    Too many old fashioned views still in golf, need to wake up to the future and encourage kids to play this wonderful sport by not prohibiting them with ridiculous rules on dress code. Once they mature and flourish to the game they will want to dress like the Pros!!! These youngsters are the future of golf clubs.

    Reply to this comment
    • Ollie June 24, 11:35

      Couldn’t have said it better myself, Dave. With golf on the decline, clubs can ill afford to discourage youngsters in any way, shape or form. Even as an adult I sometimes feel judged by the senior snobs at some clubs. Clubs need to drive the change so that the more stuffy members with antiquated views have no choice but to adapt or find another club. The kids are the next generation of members who will be paying the fees to keep clubs in business. Embracing kids, whatever they’re wearing and wherever they’re from is simple logic. On the few occasions I’ve brought my 3 year old to NHGC, we’ve played around on the practise area when it is deserted and those who we’ve bumped into have been nothing but enthused to see him exploring the game.

      Reply to this comment
  4. Chris June 21, 15:04

    Sad yet again golf ️‍♀️ wake up

    Reply to this comment
  5. Anthony June 23, 15:13

    At our academy we promote t shirts, shorts, sneakers, jeans, etc. makes the kids comfortable. As they get older and are more aware of their surroundings then we teach dress code. At that point we already have them as golfers. In fact I wear t shirts, jeans as well to make them more comfortable. Traditional codes are obsolete in today’s world. It’s just the way it is. Would you still fly if an airline forced you to wear a three piece tux like the old days? Doubt it. So stop acting like tradition holds its anchor when it doesn’t. Either chance or complain when they shut your doors out of business. Actually don’t change, that way I can steal all your business!!

    Reply to this comment
  6. Chris June 26, 10:45

    Change of heart

    Make golf ️‍♀️ elitist and something tough to get into

    We tried the other way does not work

    Reply to this comment
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