There are too many barriers to playing sport, to getting active. Most governing bodies recognise this, and bit by bit they are being stripped away as everyone connected to sport tries to make it as accessible as possible. On this blog we do what we can to highlight initiatives and other ways in which people can get involved in sport – it is vital that sport is accessible to all…which is why a recent row about dress codes in golf piqued our interest.
Time to Modernise Golf’s Dress Code
Thomas Devine, the director of Oulton Hall’s Future Elite golf programme, recently posted a picture on his Twitter of some of his young students playing in hoodies and tracksuit bottoms – which attracted a whole load of comments, not all of them favourable, and publicity. Many traditionalists within the game criticised Devine for flouting the game’s strict dress code.
Golf has a reputation for an elitist conservatism that it would do well to shed. According to Statista, by the year 2020 over 84% of golfers in Europe will be over 40 years old, which doesn’t bode at all well for the sport’s future. In our view, golf, probably more than most sports, needs to modernise and move with the times to make it as inclusive and as accessible as possible, otherwise its future could be pretty bleak.
Devine, who teaches more than 170 juniors, aged between five and 16, every week, said:
It’s important when these youngsters are six, seven, eight, that any barriers to them feeling interested in or enthused about golf are removed – and that involves the way they dress. If they feel comfortable in trainers and a hoodie then that’s the way we should allow them to dress.
At that age they just want to play. What’s more, I believe we should remove the barrier of cost by allowing children to wear their everyday clothing. We are coaching 21st-century children – we are not stuck in the 19th century and only accepting the offspring of the privileged classes.
The irony of these people using a 21st-century technology to criticise those of us who are moving with the times and embracing change appears lost on them.
We will continue to allow the youngsters to wear what they’re comfortable in, whether it’s trackie bottoms and a T-shirt or tailored golf trousers and a £60 branded polo. thomas devine
Removing Barriers to Participation
Golfing etiquette on the course is right and proper, but you don’t need to be dressed a certain way to learn and observe that etiquette. We’d even go so far as to scrapping rules like ‘no caps in the clubhouse’. If you can wear them on the course – and nearly every golfer does these days – why on earth can’t you wear them in the clubhouse? If golf clubs continue to enforce such draconian rules, it seems fairly certain to us that kids will turn away from the sport in their droves.
One of the barriers to participation in golf is its base expense, which sadly precludes vast swathes of the population. As if equipment isn’t expensive enough, forcing youngsters – indeed any golfer – to wear ‘£60 branded polos’ seems entirely counterproductive. It is the playing the counts.
KUDOS golf wear
This is not to completely dismiss golf wear – far from it. Making golf more accessible simply means opening it up and removing any barriers to prospective participants. Golf wear – polos, slacks etc – will always be a part of the sport, it just shouldn’t be compulsory in our view….especially for children.
We believe KUDOS golf gear – polo shirts, jackets – finds itself in that happy place of being technically correct but also modern, stylish and relaxed, and doesn’t look out of place off the course. If your club is looking for new teamwear and a fresh alternative to the usual suspects, check out our one minute kit designer and have a play around. Our polo shirts and jackets look great and feel great, and will help you stand out from the rest. And, when golf finally modernises and allows hoodies and tracksuit bottoms, which we’re fairly sure it will – you know where to come!
KUDOS SPORTS – A LEADING SUPPLIER OF CUSTOM TEAMWEAR
KUDOS supplies made-to-order teamwear to a range of sports clubs across the globe. We supply bespoke custom kit that is built for performance and worn with pride. Use our one minute kit designer to design your kit today.