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Graphic created by Tournament Tracker to show professional golf's big issue

Most weekends around the country, when on a pub crawl, you’re almost guaranteed to see groups of students or friends out in force playing pub golf. Usually equipped in a see-thru plastic visor and a pencil behind their ear, their clothing usually consists of some makeshift plus-fours and some Pringle-inspired diamond patterned jumpers. This was the stereotypical look given to golfers in the 80’s and 90’s, mainly due to the success of the likes of Nick Faldo who wore Pringle clothing during the peak of his popularity.


Clothing in golf has changed a lot with the times over the years. Gone are the days where men had to wear shirts and ties, trousers that ended just under the knee, with long socks completing the look. Full length trousers have been permitted for many years now, and you’ll now see golfers on the course with much more sporty looks. Collars on t-shirts have almost been relaxed, although they’re still not that popular yet, jumpers have gone from lambswool roundnecks, to zip-up’s and even hoodies being the latest inclusion in golf fashion. Men’s and women’s golf clothing has become a huge industry, with retailers pocketing millions every year from golfers around the world buying the clothes seen on the world’s best golfers.


However, one thing remains a little inconsistent between men’s and women’s golf – the permission to wear shorts.


Women have worn shorts and skorts on the golf course for years now. The knee-length rule for men’s shorts doesn’t apply in the women’s game, but they are also permitted to wear them in tournaments. It’s safe to say that tournament directors chase the sun when choosing venues and dates for tournaments. This is all commercially done, as the sun will not just bring the best out of the golf course, but will bring the crowds to watch the golf too. So you will find the temperatures regularly over 20°C every week, with humidity also a factor in some events. Surely this must affect performance, with the players not able to keep their bodies cool by wearing shorts.


Recently, the PGA Tour and DP World Tour have relaxed the rules, allowing competitors to wear shorts in practice rounds, but have yet to allow them to wear shorts during the 4 day event. Playing the game myself, I find it unbearable to wear trousers in the summer, and the UK rarely have the level of heat we see in some of the PGA Tour events.


Golfers still look smart with the tailored look required when wearing shorts, and thankfully no longer have to wear long socks to accompany them, but not being able to wear shorts in tournaments must negatively impact the players from time to time.


What do you think? Should the DP World and PGA Tours now start to relax the regulation of wearing trousers in tournament play? Send me a message on my socials and let’s discuss.

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