A golf resorts director has called for a “softening of views” over dress codes from “traditionalist” golfers.
Almarose, which owns seven resorts, has dropped its dress code for junior players after one of its coaches was criticised for letting children wear what they wanted.
“If youngsters want to learn in a hoodie and tracksuit bottoms they can,” said Almarose golf director Alan Foley.
“Junior golf should be relaxed, fun and easily accessible, with no barriers.”
Thomas Devine said club officials were “stuck in the 19th century” after he was questioned earlier this year for letting children play in tracksuit bottoms and hoodies.
Devine coaches at the group’s Oulton Hall, in Leeds.
“We were quite astonished by the response in some quarters to Tom’s approach at Oulton Hall,” said Foley.
“We hope to see more youngsters take up the sport and also hope to see a wider softening of views from, what might be called, more ‘traditional’ golfers,” he added.
“To be honest, I’ve been overwhelmed by the support I’ve had,” Devine said.
“I never imagined one simple picture on Twitter could create such a storm – but if we can make a change that will benefit junior golfers and, in the long term, the sport itself, then it will all have been worthwhile.”
Official golf rules only outlaw clothing which can give players an advantage but many golf clubs enforce dress codes to maintain the ‘tradition’ of the sport.
Golf authorities have said they are looking to modernise the game to make it more accessible and last year outlined new plans to widen the sport’s appeal with a £200m investment over the next decade.