For about a year now the place where I have played golf for 33 years and myself have had differing views for about the last 24 months. They are making some irresponsible financial moves to cover up the irresponsible moves they made financially for 10 years prior. These were exposed by CV-19. If CV-19 didn’t hit they would have done the same thing again expecting a different result. Sounds strangely like the definition of insanity doesn’t it!
Over the last five to seven years we have had a definite shift in out culture. We were once a working man’s Club where guys showed up in pick up trucks, and affordable cars like Sunbirds, Celebrity’s and Corollas. Now they show up in Beamers, Audis, and Mercedes. Our mantra was cold beer and a great cheeseburger that doesn’t cost $25! Now, our membership is more interested in how good a wine list is and what type of organic salads that we have.
I have become increasingly frustrated and at times this frustration has come out as petty and annoying to some club officials. After last years AGM where I asked some pointed and some could perceive as potentially embarrassing questions I got an e-mail from a club official who noted that my ” view of of the Club is widening from that of the Club.” They were right, but I still could find the exact reason as to why. Sure, there was a lot crap going on that fueled the frustration but they were just symptoms and I could not find the reason until all days Mother’s Day.
After dinner with my Wife and Son somehow the conversation shifted to golf and the Club. Again I was venting until my Son said Stop! “Dad, you are a golfer and you want a Golf Club. These people you who you are at odds with want a Country Club!” The Holy Shit moment had arrived. Somewhere in the last 10 years we shifted and it happened very subtlety. The yearly increase in dues, as it was pointed out to me by a friend, which I thought was inflation and some Club improvements, were really improvements targeted for our new Country Club culture. I missed it. Plain and simple. I have always been about the golf and the golf course. A cold drink and a good burger is all I ever needed after the round. Our Country Clubbers play golf, they are not golfers. As long as they have the latest and greatest toys in the bag they will think they are golfers, but in reality they still have the same shit swing with a preschool mindset in playing a game that requires intelligence. A little harsh, ah no.
In the 1950’s and 1960’s these people were called “White Shoes” because at the Club these people were the ones who worked at firms that had influence in business and politics, but never got their hands dirty. Also at social events they wore white shoes! In our case the “White Shoes” are business people who are used to getting what they want and are very skilled in circumventing the rules and the process. I witnessed this first hand last year as the “White Shoes “pushed through a motion that will have a profound impact on the future of the Club and its financial viability. If it fails they will do two things : throw more money at it and put the Club in an even more stressful position or put on the Teflon jacket and deflect and blame others. If successful they strut around like prize Rooster’s at a County Fair. My money is on options one and two. I have lived this already as I was a member at “White Shoes” club for 12 years and left for that very reason. I joined my Club because it was all about the golf and they were building something special. Every year the course got better, we attracted better players, and the level of competition within the Club was amazing. We produced Championships and Champions. Every Club wanted to know how we did it. We became a victim of our own success.
In our quest of constant improvement “White Shoes “worked its way into the process and very few people including myself saw it coming. I was so focused on golf and making the course better I missed it. No excuse! Before we knew it chaos hit and the Club was in serious financial trouble.
Ironically, the country club got its start because the mostly British-descended and Canadian wealth of the post WW1 era, who tried hard to adopt the manners of the British aristocracy. I our case “Work Boots” wanted to become “White Shoes”. The Club leaders were not comfortable with who they were and where they came from. Our Club has lost its competitive edge and culture and will never get it back. The BOD has pissed off long standing members who helped build the Club. In doing so it attracted “White Shoes ” and not realizing what they brought with them. “Work Boots” got kicked to the side. What is interesting is that only one member of the rudderless ship called the BOD has picked up the phone to speak with me. For the most part we are looked upon as old and grumpy ( partially true) . However, I am not unintelligent and have forgotten more about the Club than they will ever know. And there more like me out out there. The BOD, all 18 “White Shoes members “fail to see the resources available to them. There loss.
There you have it. I now have an answer as to why I was so frustrated, so I guess I can get peace from that. How I go forward remains to be seen, but first we need to get out this CV-19 lockdown and start to play the game that I love.
To my friend I apologize, you were right I was wrong. I guess I was in denial.
To the “White Shoes” from a “Work Boot” I hope you enjoy the Wine list and the salad!
Until next time!
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