Having worked in the golf industry for over 10 years earlier in my life - and now as a golf writer/blogger - I have had the opportunity to witness the various behaviors and candid whisperings from country club members from an outsider's perspective. As a bag room employee at my local club in Illinois growing up, I would routinely assist members with preparing for their rounds, cleaning their clubs, and organizing golf outings for our membership.
When working with the club's female members, a few characteristics were commonplace. Many of our female members had either just recently picked up the game or would seldom come out to the course to practice, which did lead to some longer rounds of golf. On average, this specific country club's female demographic was also a bit older than the much larger male membership count (our Ladies' Club Champion was in her 60s for most of my time there). There were also a few ladies who seemed to be a bit more "demanding" in their customer service requests in comparison to others, but nothing out of the ordinary. Every so often a "Mrs. Havercamp" joke would be exchanged among the male members, but for the most part everyone got along quite nicely.
Our male membership exuded more... interesting qualities rather frequently, which included:
- Excessive swearing and shouting, even while in the presence of junior golfers
- Displays of public drunkenness that would sometimes result in my having to retrieve a golf cart from a creek
- Overly-aggressive hacks at a missed putt on a green out of anger that often resulted in gaping divots taken from the putting surface
- Incessant chauvinistic comments and gestures towards female waitresses, employees, and lifeguards that went above and beyond sexual harassment
- Failure to maintain even the most fundamental etiquette while on the course, such as replacing a divot or repairing a ball mark
- and, to top it all off, issuing constant complaints to the Pro Shop about the female golfers "playing too slow"
Try as we might to promote equality within our private memberships and premium tee-times, a few misinformed loudmouths continue to cast stones in the direction of female golfers for simply trying to enjoy perhaps the greatest game in the world. In most cases, these same individuals could learn a lesson or two from our female counterparts about how to respect the game.
(The above article was originally posted by the author for Waggleroom.com)