I had an experience at my club a few weeks back that made me question the “country club lifestyle” and wonder if it’s really all it’s cracked up to be. I’m lucky enough to live right on the course where I’m member, so it’s hard to complain about the convenience it provides, but one evening, while out practicing before dark, I had a run in with another member that left me slightly ticked off, to say the least.
My club doesn’t have a full driving range, just a netted area with mats, so if you want to actually practice hitting off grass, you have to do it on the course. So I’m out minding my own business on hole 10, hitting a few approach shots from about 130 yards, when I hear a voice from the houses that line the fairway. “This is not a driving range” the voice yells. I look up to see some guy standing on his back patio, with his hands on his hips, looking down at me. Slightly shocked, I reply back “What?”…to which he says again “This is not a driving range you know”…
I yelled back up to him that I understand this isn’t a driving range and for him to mind his own business. So I went back to what I was doing and walked up to the green and retrieved my 3 balls, fixing my pitch marks in the process. Now I understand that if I had dropped a shag bag full of balls in the fairway and proceeded to tear the course to shreds, that this guy would have some right to yell at me, but where in the Club rule book does it say that you can’t hit 3 balls from the fairway??…Oh that’s right, it doesn’t because I checked. Heck, a normal foursome will do more damage to a fairway than I ever would with my couple practice shots.
….so I continue on my way, do a little chipping around the green, some putting etc. all the while, Mr. Course Monitor is watching the situation with a stern eye…I stare back at him and finish my practice and leave….
I knew the address of that house so I went home and tried to find this guy in the club directory, just to see if he was member, and he was..which brings me to the point of this story; First off…was I wrong in what I was doing on the course? Nothing is mentioned about hitting a few balls for practice. And secondly, does this angry member have the right to yell at another member for what he perceived to be some infraction of club rules. Was this guy entitled to have the “Country Club Attitude”, just because he’s been a member for half a century, or should mind his own business and take it up with the club board if he believes an impropriety has occured?
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy being a member at my club, but I treat everyone with the respect they deserve. I would never think to outwardly yell at another member for anything, let alone, something as harmless as practicing their golf game in a benign manner. After all, if I wanted to get yelled at for something golf related…I’d just go home!