Time for Lauren's blog:
This week I have been exploring the history of the Golf Club and learning more about the social community golf clubs provided and continue to provide today to its members. As I am not a golfer myself, this community was unfamiliar to me and I was keen to get a sense of what it meant and indeed means, to be a member of a golf club.
Through reading Wray Vamplew’s article 'Empiricism, Theoretical Concepts and the Development of the British Golf Club before 1914', I have come to understand that golf clubs were ‘more than a means of leisure’. I the early days of golf, clubs provided a ‘living space’ and work for the local community. The golf club also provided a social environment for its members, in particular through the clubhouse. Members could meet with other members of similar occupational backgrounds and use the clubhouse as a place to network and make business contacts.
The Clubhouse was also a ‘ haven from work and family where they [members] could settle in their favourite chair and enjoy a drink or participate in a hand of cards or a game of snooker.’ As I am particularly interested in the history of women’s golf, what was most striking is that the clubhouse was traditionally ‘a male preserve’, from which women were often excluded.
Of course golf clubs continue to be extremely important today. What does being a member of a club mean to you? Please share your thoughts and experiences!