Suffolk golf clubs buck trend

By Sandy Driver
Golf Correspondent

Suffolk golf clubs are halting falling memberships by reverting back to their traditional values.

New criteria being introduced at a number of member clubs in Suffolk includes a reduction in women membership, Masons only on committees, and cutting out 70’s & 80’s discos (60s & 50s are ok).

Their clubhouses have now also banned Sky television, one-arm bandits and music – and they have all raised their beer prices.

Suffolk clubs favour old values

Swedish chairman of a Mid Suffolk golf club, Mr Upiss Owen Ars, said cheerily: “Ladies’ membership is now at an all-time low mainly due to the re-introduction of stag nights, including strippers and extremely blue comedians for regular men-only lock-ins.

“Husbands really do not want their wives following them to their club, and we are recommending if the women really are serious about playing golf, they should try some of the Norfolk clubs – making sure that they get home on time to do the ironing and cooking.

“An example of the issues faced recently was the local club which introduced a swipe-card system to tell you how much money you spend over the bar in a 12-month period. This was ridiculous – a friend’s wife found out how much he’d drunk and left him. Granted, he can now play a lot more golf, so it’s swings and roundabouts really.”

Juniors do not spend money

Another local club committee man, Ian Shanks said: “Clubs are now well aware that the juniors do not spend money over the bar and disappear to university before they earn any money to spend at the club, so we have decided to cut them out as well.”

Mr A Nutherputt, captain at a Suffolk links golf course, commented: “We have re-introduced a strict dress code to ensure the tradition of check trousers, plus fours, and tasteful Pringle jumpers is not lost, and we are able to continue to maintain the image that has served us so well over many years.”

He added: “Moreover, we really do not want members who are, to quote a useful phrase I once heard on an expensive cruise, ‘not our class, dear’. So we have re-introduced a large joining fee and maintained an above-inflation increase in subscriptions for the foreseeable future.

“This appears to be working well and we are losing the dross by the dozen, which will help at our future AGMs, eliminating whinging from the plebs who can’t afford to be members.

“There is also a need to increase the average age of members to 65 because these are the people who have decent pensions, can afford to pay their way and forget that they have already paid and pay their subscriptions up to three times a year.

“The only slight problem with these members is when they do remember to play they are very slow – but that is an entirely different subject.”

Overall the policies seem to be working with fewer people joining golf clubs as members – and the popularity of darts and snooker is again on the rise.

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