Golfers flash their legs - finally!

IT HAS been a time-honoured tradition for generations of Essex golfers.

Russell Claydon

IT HAS been a time-honoured tradition for generations of Essex golfers.

On any summer day since the 19th Century, those packing their clubs for the greens would also dig out their long socks to wear with knee-length shorts.

But last night bare legs were on show at Frinton Golf Club for the first time in its history, after a meeting of the committee voted to allow short socks below the knee.

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The revolutionary move, which left Frinton as one of the last clubs in the area to relax their socks rules, has divided opinion amongst its 600-strong members.

Some of the older players feel standards could slip as a result, whilst those who voted in the shorter socks felt it was time to accept that times have changed.

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Philip Robinson, 83, president of the club for the last seven years, said: “I have always been against it in the past but I think it is time we moved on with everyone else. As long as we can maintain high standards I am quite happy with it.”

Over the last few years visiting teams would also have to adopt the rule, which led to one team even having to buy socks at the golf course to be able to play.

Alec Rowley, a former captain at the club who has been a member for nearly 40 years, is against the move but can see why it has gone ahead.

He said: “Naturally old people and older members like to stick with the older traditions. It is an age thing.”

Arthur Havers is still the most well-known name to have regularly plodded round the Frinton club in long socks, but the East Anglian born player, who won the Open in 1923, might have found it hard to foresee the tradition ever being dropped at Frinton.

Nigel Jackson, the current captain, was instrumental in the new dress code, which states that a player can wear socks below knee length, as long as they are white and come above the ankle.

“At one time everyone here had to play in collar and tie,” he said. “We have always held out on the sock rule before now but we have one of the largest junior memberships and young people do not want to wear long socks.

“For a lot of people at Wednesday's meeting it was a head and heart type thing. Their head was for financial reasons and giving people a choice.”

He joked: “Frinton is normally 20 years behind everyone so had to be the last people to do it.”

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