Through Andy’s work contacts, we’ve been invited to the U.S. Open at the San Francisco Olympic Club. I am not a golfer, but my father was a lifelong afficianado (8 handicap) and I went to college surrounded by East Coast Preppies. So I know that “proper golf attire” — which is what the invitation mandated for the event and the dinner afterward — is not that easy to attain. If you golf at one of the more traditional clubs, you know that golf clothes are a genre unto themselves. There is no cross-sport dressing. What you might wear for playing any other sport will not be acceptable for golf. Maybe at some of the more casual courses in the West. But the Olympic Club, despite being in San Francisco, is really a suburb of Darien Connecticut. Traditional golf attire is required. I do know my traditional golf attire from years of listening to my father complain that golfers didn’t know how to dress properly any more. His home course was in Maine and his vacation course was in Bermuda, two of the few places where those exacting sartorial standards are still understood.
So you’ll understand, that when I was told to appear at the Olympic Club in “proper golf attire”, I panicked. Because, if you don’t golf, you will have nothing in your wardrobe that will be remotely suitable for such an occasion. Forget Bermuda shorts or slacks. The Olympic Club is one of the last bastions of Grumpy Old White Men. Ladies in “slacks” are NOT welcome. I have enough time logged in amateur theatricals that I really wanted to dress the part. As if it were an actual part. What I wanted was something that would feel right with a twin set and pearls. I was thinking Katherine Hepburn in Pat and Mike.
Turns out, they don’t make this sort of golf ensemble anymore. What I’m told would be acceptable was a “skort”, a modest skirt with built in shorts. Well, just try to find a skort these days. I ran through the resort wear collections in Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Ann Taylor and Talbots. Nobody had a skort. At least not a skort that I thought would be acceptable to the Olympic Club. [No, those tiny little minis that people wear running or for tennis would NOT get past the gate.]
Finally, after consulting with my Facebook Peeps, I was directed to Athleta. They had skorts. Just not skorts that I could see Katherine Hepburn or Babe Didrickson Zaharias wearing. I picked the longest one, which was still several inches above the knee, but at least it was in a suitable Preppie Lily Pulitzer pink.
So I think I finally have an outfit that will get me through the gate and onto the green. But then I read the additional rules and requirements, specifically what you CAN’T bring to the U.S. Open. No cell phones. I don’t mean you can’t have your cell phone on. You can’t get your cell phone past the gate PERIOD. Your cell phone will be confiscated at the entrance and returned to you when you leave. No cell phones? Hey, some of us blog, some of us Facebook, some of us want to live Tweet this event! It gets worse. Here’s what else you can’t bring:
“food, drinks, cameras, signs, banners, dogs, cats, lawn chairs, stepladders, weapons, or portable TVs and radios.”
I can just about figure out how I’ll get through this event without a stepladder. But no dogs? I have some terriers that would be excellent at retrieving stray golf balls from the rough. Of course, it would be tough to get them to relinquish those balls. And no weapons? If I can carry weapons to the Republican National Convention (albeit only in downtown areas), why not to the U.S. Open. Wouldn’t it be the same crowd?
So spare a thought for me Thursday. I’ll be terrierless, weaponless, without technology and in a skort.
This better be a bloody good show.