I don’t meant the actual stick things I mean the club itself. The building. I cannot think of a more intimidating place to be. Ever. I would rather be in a communal changing room with a bunch of super models than in another golf club.
Mr B had a golf lesson on Saturday, about an hour away, so I decided to go along for the ride (and in the vain hope he might suggest a pub lunch after it. He did. Hoorah). Since the lesson was only half an hour I thought I could sit in the club house and have a coffee, read a magazine and have half an hour to myself on a Saturday afternoon.
Well I wandered into “Reception” with no sign for a bar or a restaurant, just the name of some probably long dead but revered Captain above a door. Seeing people the other side of the glass I thought “Sod it”, stepped out of my comfort zone and pushed it open.
BAM I was in the middle of the bar and about fifty old duffers (sorry, but they were) all turned round and glared at me. Like I was some interloper who had no right to be there. It took me back to my days in Saudi and there being separate sections of restaurants.
Was it a men only club? Was I not supposed to be there on account of the fact the contents of my pants were sadly lacking? I was wearing relatively smart stuff (see above note about hoping for a pub lunch) and carrying an expensive handbag.
Standing at the bar I was ignored several times whilst, what I can only assume were, members were served ahead of me. Making me feel more and more as though I shouldn’t be there. I was finally served and grabbing my diet Coke I sloped out to sit outside.
And it struck me that I a relatively easy going kind of gal. I am comfortable in most situations, and have been in many varied ones over the years. From private boxes at the Albert Hall to the private member’s dining room at the Houses of Parliament, to sitting with Royalty. So what is it about a bunch of men in Rupert Bear trousers with pastel coloured cashmere jumpers slung over their shoulders that reduces me to a quivering mess?
Where else in the world would there be a rule about your socks? And in fact not one rule but two: long socks can be any colour but short socks must be white. That you must have a collar on your shirt? That the shoes you were to do thing you are there are to do cannot be worn inside the place you go to relax afterwards? That you can wear shorts but they have to be “tailored”. Shirts must be tucked in, despite the fact there is clearly no room for excess material inside some of those waistbands.
That the Captain would have his own parking space? The Heads of my children’s schools don’t have those. None of the CEOs in any of the companies I have been too recently have that. Why golf club captains?
Is it these rules that intimidates me? Makes me feel at 44 that I am about to get a tap on the shoulder and hear the immortal line of “could we have a word outside please?”
I don’t know.
But I do know I don’t like them and will be in no hurry to return.