Dear Joan the Shopper –
1. Q. Collared Golf Shirts seem to be a uniform at Ocean Reef. I’m a 40-year-old man with a 13-year-old son, when and where must we wear collared shirts?
A. The Ocean Room requires a collared shirt at all times. After 5 p.m. all other OR dining venues (with the exception of the Burgee Bar and the Raw Bar) expect you to arrive “collared”. Long pants or walking length shorts should also be part of your uniform. This goes for your son as well as you since all dress code rules apply to children over 12… Collared shirts (tucked in) are also required at the OR practice range and golf courses.
2. Q. I have no objection to jackets and ties, I’m just confused about where I should wear them?
A. The CH Prime restaurant in the Golf Clubhouse requires a jacket in season (November until Memorial Day). Recently the rule has been modified so that during the summer months, only a collared shirt is required at CH Prime… Jackets are suggested for the Grand Seafood Buffet and other special dinners in The Ocean Room… There is no rule that says you must ever wear a tie, though I personally feel a tie or an ascot add a nice creative touch to a gentleman’s attire.
3. Q. I am a 58-year-old woman who, thanks to Pilates and our wonderful Fitness Trainers, favors a bikini for beachwear. I am confused by the Dress Code term “full-coverage” bathing suit, what exactly does that mean?
A. The ORC Board has clarified that rule stating women may “wear one-or two-piece suits with appropriate coverage.” I think that means that your bikini tops should not be too revealing and the bottoms should not be too scant. Keep the forbidden thong in your bureau drawer and remember to wear your cover-up before lunching at Palm Court.
4. Q. I’m a guy who loves to jog at Ocean Reef and I never understood the rule in the Dress Code that says “shirts worn by gentlemen within the community must have sleeves.”
A. You aren’t the only one to question that rule. Happily, it has now been changed to sleeveless shirts manufactured specifically for athletic activity (e.g. jogging, biking, working-out) can be worn in the general areas of the Club’s outdoor space. They are a “no no” in restaurants and at any other ORC indoor facility (with the exception of the Member Fitness Center and the Marina Fitness Center).
5. Q. I’ve seen a few young men here at The Reef for Spring Break and they are wearing those awful tank top undershirts. I hope Ocean Reef is banning those.
A. An amendment to the Dress Code says that only tank tops manufactured for athletic activity can be worn at the pool, beach and Beach Grill areas of Buccaneer Island. And if you are caught wearing any style tank top after 5 p.m., the Dress Code Police will turn you into an Iguana. (Just kidding about the consequences but not about the rule.)
6. Q. What’s the latest official word on wearing jeans at the Ocean Reef Club?
A. Nothing has changed. Only smart long denim jeans, no cut-offs, rips or tatters… (Grandmothers’ alert: be sure to tell your young granddaughters once again that their “short short short” shorts will not cut it at Ocean Reef.)
7. Q. My cell phone is my most important accessory, but I have heard that it can’t be used in any of the Club’s restaurants. Suppose I have an important call.
A. If your cell rings and it is a call you feel you must take, leave your table, walk out of the dining area and answer your phone… Also please remember to treat the Fitness Center like a restaurant. Talking on your phone is also prohibited there.
8. Q. I just learned to play Pickleball. Any special OR policies about what to wear on the court?
A. Unlike the Dress Code for Tennis, which specifies appropriate tennis clothing and footwear, you can play Pickleball in fitness attire and footwear. Swim trunks and non-tennis tee shirts are not allowed. Pretty much anything else goes – unless you are playing croquet (which always involves wearing white).
9. Q. I’m a relatively new Member and I just wondered what exactly is the purpose of having a Dress Code at Ocean Reef Club?
A. I like that question, maybe because when we moved to The Reef in 1999, I failed to understand why there should be a rule about the length of my shorts or a requirement that my husband Arthur wear a jacket to the Seafood Buffet. Then a tennis friend, a longtime Member of OR, told me that I should be grateful for those restrictions. “You aren’t at a Caribbean resort,” she said. “Ocean Reef is a club and clubs have standards and rules. Part of your identity as a Member is that you follow them. A club without traditions is a resort.” … That answered my question. I hope it answers yours.