It’s always weird writing about golf in the dead of winter, but the snow from Snowmageddon has melted, and a groundhog says we’ll have an early spring, so if that’s not optimism I don’t know what is.
While watching the West Coast swing on the PGA Tour (I’ve had the pleasure of playing the TPC Stadium Course back in 2013; I was happy to see it return to the rota of courses they use for the Palm Springs/Palm Desert event), the European Tour announced that players could wear shorts during practice rounds.
To that, I say this- why not let them wear shorts whenever they want to?
I wear shorts whenever I play (even when it’s cold, and that’s down to the fact that I’m an idiot) because it’s my choice. Why not let the players make the choice for themselves? Seems to me we had this discussion years ago with caddies (who until the late 1990’s had to wear long pants) before the USGA, and finally the PGA Tour relented and allowed caddies to wear shorts. So why not extend players the same courtesy?
There’s no practical reason for the PGA Tour (or the European Tour) to have these outdated rules about long pants v. shorts. Players aren’t under contract to the tours (they’re independent contractors), and no player is going to embarrass their sponsors by looking ridiculous at a tournament. During the summer they routinely play in 90F temperatures or higher. Let them wear shorts. If you look at Mickelson, Poulter, and Els (below), you’ll notice they’re wearing shorts that you’d see at just about every golf course on a summer weekend. Limit the length to X inches above the knee, and we’re fine.
Think of yourself…especially here in the DMV during the summer. Do you know anyone who wears long pants in June or July (much less August)? Unfortunately I see these people, and universally they look miserable (they usually walk and think 6 hour rounds are acceptable). Don’t be that guy! Wear shorts?
Admittedly, my legs are hideously ugly tree stump looking things, pockmarked with various scars that tell of various poor decisions I’ve made. But I wear shorts, because I’m more comfortable playing in shorts.
If you took a confidential poll of players I’m sure a majority would want to wear shorts. If you want a comparative, the LPGA already permits their players to wear shorts. When it’s warm they wear shorts (some players choose to wear long pants) if they want. If it’s cold like yesterday at their stop in Florida, most will opt for long pants. So if we’re being equal, then the men should be able to choose long pants or shorts.
And if the IOC hasn’t done so, please let players in the Olympics wear shorts if they choose (although the Outbreak suits may be more appropriate).
So let them wear shorts I say!