Members of golf club after golf club are reportedly blocking former-Victorian Premier Dan Andrews from joining their ranks, as angry players write letters and threaten to quit if the retired politician is allowed to join.
Andrews, who said he would be spending his retirement “playing golf” and “reading”, is reportedly seeking membership to a course on the Mornington Peninsula, near Melbourne. However, the golfing community haven’t forgotten Covid-era mandates that prevented them playing, and are making it clear he isn’t welcome. In a letter sent to Melbourne’s prestigious National Golf Club this week, members said that the former premier’s “qualities” did not align with the values of the club.
“I seek assurances for myself and fellow members that should Daniel Andrews express interest in joining the National Golf Club that his application would undergo the standard membership approval process,” the letter said.
“It is imperative that any potential member, including Mr Andrews, aligns with the fundamental values of our golf club – demonstrating good character, sociability, and a genuine interest in meeting and befriending fellow members.
“Regrettably, it is noted that Mr Andrews lacks these qualities, and his inability to recall scores for each hole due to poor memory further underscores concerns about his compatibility with our club.”
The “poor memory” quip is a reference to COVID daily press conferences, when various journalists accused him of memory loss over hotel quarantine.
The letter claims to have support from 100 members. Many members have reportedly gone as far as threatening to quit if Andrews is allowed to join.
Who knew golfers could hold such a grudge?
It comes after news last week that members had apparently tried to block Andrews from joining the Portsea Golf Club. However, the club later denied Andrews had applied, saying if he did, his application would be considered like any other.
Still, even the thought of him joining was enough to enrage some members, including shock jock radio host Steve Price who promised to quit live on air if Andrews was accepted.
“If Dan Andrews is allowed to join the Portsea Golf Club, I’ll quit, I’ll resign, I’ll tear up my membership and I’ll go and play golf somewhere else,” he said.
“This is the premier who stopped us playing golf for two years during COVID. This is the premier who locked down this community even though we’re 120km out of the city.”
The golfing tensions can be traced back to the COVID lockdowns, when Andrews shut down access to golf clubs during the pandemic.
Members said that clubs on one side of the Mornington Peninsula were allowed to operate, whereas they could not on the other side. There were also frustrations around remaining closed when outside gathering was being encouraged.
All this had not been forgiven, with one resident even telling media that “Dan is just toxic down here”.
For now, however, it looks like Andrews will be playing further afield if he wants to keep practicing his swing.