Tuesday, February 2, 2010

He’s not welcome

When I started writing Hooked, I decided that I wasn’t going to pull my punches. There are some 350 golf courses on this island, so there are going to be world-beating greats and there are going to be bottom-of-the-barrel tanks. That’s the way it is and any course worth its salt is going to appeal to a certain – and sometimes niche – audience. There are enough of us out there that we look for different things from a golf course.

I won’t deny that I have insulted several clubs that are either too big for their boots, make claims that are ridiculous, have a superiority complex, or are of poor quality, but my reviews are my opinions. Mine and mine alone.

I have heard (first hand) that a member of Greystones, my home club, was berated by a lady at Elm Park Golf Club recently as if she was responsible for my comments. It got a bit heated, apparently, and the Elm Park member insisted that I receive the message that I wasn’t welcome at their course.

Somehow I’ll live with the pain, but I apologise to all Greystones GC members who visit Elm Park and receive such treatment. I did not mean to put you in the firing line.

In fairness, I did give Elm Park a hammering. They were unlucky because I have played the course a few times and whenever I visited I encountered the type of attitude that visiting golfers abhor – the ‘you’re not welcome’ attitude. It might only have been a few club members or a few members of staff having a bad day, but it happened every time. At the entrance gate, in the car park, in the clubhouse and on the golf course. That is too much of a coincidence – in my opinion - and that's why it's in the book.


  1. Well said Kevin. What an absolutely appauling way to behave, especially from a member of such an esteemed golf club.

    I can only agree with you on the "welcome" you all-too-often get when visiting Elm Park. They've done some great things in that club, with the Special Olympics a few years ago, a very succesful hosting job of the Junior Cup also around that time and have a good Senior Cup side, among other admirable points.

    But to go and taint it all with the dreadful attitude that visitors are all too often presented with is a real shame. I've played it a number of times, and have had similar experiences to you, where staff and members have been everything from slightly impolite, to down-right rude.

    My last visit was on a charity day, and having ducked out of the apres-golf just after dinner to make a phone-call in the car park, was coming back up the steps to the main door after the call. A silver-haired male member was exiting and saw me as I approached, yet allowed the door to close behind him. Now as it turns out, the door locks when closed, and you need a code to re-enter. When I asked him if he'd mind letting me back in, he eyed me suspiciously, and was half-way through a "who are you" type question, when thankfully the door opened once more from the inside and I slipped in. The fact that the door locks like that in the first place says it all.

    That's just one little example but it really is a regular experience there.

  2. Hey Sheet, always comforting to hear somebody else has had similar experiences.

    You made the same mistake I did: it was Elm Green that hosted the Special Olympics, not Elm Park. I signed up for the S.O. thinking I was 20 minutes from the course, only to discover Elm Green is a lot further away.