Are my golf clubs going to fit in the boot?
John Coleman will attempt to tell you I'm a next-generation "woke-a**". My car and country club habits have begun to tell a different story.
There are two days in a weekend, Saturday and Sunday. I don't work either Saturdays or Sundays. That makes my weekends extremely enjoyable. They're normally full of drinking and frivolity with friends. And then last year, COVID19 happened. COVID19 put an end to my typical weekend frivolity and replaced it with me sitting on a couch playing Call of Duty only breaking for a 40 minute run so that my belly doesn't balloon out.
Last July on a Saturday morning I'd gone to get my morning coffee and sit down as I had every Saturday prior to find none of my friends are online. How could this be? What else could they be doing? Exercising?
I called my closest mate to get the lowdown. "We're teeing off at 11 am," he says. "What? You're playing golf?" I reply. "Yes, we're going to be out here for the next 5 hours".
And so it began, I sat there on my own for 5 hours thinking about how I hadn't touched a driver in a decade. Sunday that week I found myself at the driving range for hours attempting to loosen my swing to what it was when I was a teenager and every week since I've been practising 2-3 times a week, obsessed with getting my golf to a point where I'd be considered a professional akin to those I watch on the PGA Tour.
I've also played golf every single weekend since that Saturday. In fact, I played twice over the weekend just passed. I've been on holidays 4 times since then and I've golfed every single time I've been away. My partner loves it, she gets the house to herself every weekend. The only thing she can't understand is the $3,500 bill for new clubs, apparel and accessories.
There has been another negative to my newfound obsession with the sport though. I've begun to understand the famed question that old people ask a car salesman in a dealership. "Do you think it has space for a set of clubs?". It's awful because all I can do when I hear that question asked is cringe and yet having looked at multiple cars last month to replace our Range Rover I've been subtly measuring the rear boot of SUVs wondering whether clubs can fit diagonally.
It gets worse. All of the friends I play with all have the same rich, private-schooled, expensive car upbringing that I do. So when I park at our local club I get out of my BMW alongside a Mercedes E-class, Porsche Macan S and a Jaguar XKR. I feel like I should be getting out of the car and getting my walking frame out of the back and yet we're all late 20-something-year-olds getting golf clubs and carts out.
I feel like we get stared at in the country club car park as well. Most golfers aren't young and that isn't a stereotype it's just solidly true. The amount of time you need to put in to become a good golfer makes it difficult for a full-time worker to get there. Retirees like my father on the other hand have an abundance of time and money to spend on professional lessons.
So when my possie does pull up at a golf club we have a bunch of 64-year-old men and women looking at us. And they're all speaking paragraphs with their eyes. "That's got to be against the club rules. You aren't allowed to be so young with such an expensive car playing on a Tuesday,"
The club which we play also has the restaurant and bar overlooking the 18th-hole so those same older folk are sitting there with a pint assessing our short game as we attempt to get up and down after striking the fairway on the first shot.
Now by the sub-heading of this article, you would've presumed that my car needs to be an expensive European SUV or sedan to fit in with the expectation of a country club. I'm beginning to believe, however, that I need to go the other way. I need to go back to a WRX or a Ford Ranger so that the old fuddy-duddies on course think I'm age-appropriate. So I don't show their sons and daughters who have decided they prefer a career selling rich people watches in Melbourne up for not taking the reigns of the family business.
I'm beginning to believe I will never be properly accepted on a golf course until I look like a complete pleb with a terrible set of golf clubs. That is the only way I won't be stared at and judged.
I haven't applied for a membership yet with the possibility lingering that I may indeed be rejected for my success. That I may need to go to a public golf course and apply for a membership there. A place where carpenters who love the sport get a pint on a Friday night and talk as if they're at a pub. Where my BMW won't be judged and only looked upon with awe.
Then again, the other option is I could go one step further. I could just not care about the judgement and look to troll the clubhouse-codgers. I could go and buy a BMW iX3 or a Tesla Model X. That'll really annoy them.
Maybe John Coleman was right, maybe I am woke-a**. What I can tell you is I definitely don't want to end up a 60-something-year-old white man sitting in a country club on a Tuesday eye-coaching that poor 28-year-old who just wants to give the sport a go. I definitely do want to play golf.