Friday, 16 November 2007

Leeches and larks

A great week in the media following the Daily Telegraph's snippet of golfing news (on its front page no less), reporting that many clubs are being swamped by older members. These are described as 'leeches' for playing a disproportionate number of rounds in relation to their subs. Such was the response to this, that the paper followed next day with a whole page spread, mostly occupied by rabble rouser Tom Cox but also carrying comments from Mike Harris (editor of Golf Monthly) and a glamorous lady golfer I didn't recognise (but hey, at least they had one).
I always thought that reduced subs were only offered to members who played off-peak (e.g. week days only) but apparently in some clubs they get a discount on a full membership, and those with long service may become honorary members. It seems to me that if clubs are losing out financially because more seniors are playing, they would be right to rejig their subscription categories.
Still, the argument is still raging, with another article in today's Telegraph from Martin Johnson (More power to old men of the tee) and Golf Monthly forum members split over whether seniors are the salt of the earth (and reliable repairers of pitch marks) or annoying course-hogs who would be better employed holding up in the queue in the post-office.
What larks. And if this whole thing was engineered by the Telgraph in order to brighten up a no-news week, I applaud them for shoving politics and finance out of the way in favour of something really important ;)
It has also been a great opportunity to point out some of the really bad behaviour that takes place on the course, whether it's old fogeyism or plain bad manners. But for the record, here's the article in 'Golf Club Secretary' that started it all (it's actually about demographics!)

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