Back in February, the PGA of America created a new policy where professionals are allowed to wear shorts during practice rounds at all member and major championships within the organization, including this week’s PGA Championship.
The European Tour announced a similar rule change in 2016, but at least some of the American based organizations are trying to keep up. The USGA also allows shorts in some competitions, but respects the PGA Tour’s ban of the clothing item at the U.S. Open.
Players on Monday took advantage of the new ruling, showing up to the practice rounds in shorts. One of the pros to put their knees on display was defending champ Jimmy Walker.
— PGA Championship (@PGAChampionship) August 7, 2017
Other pros included hopeful winner Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Paul Casey and William McGirt. Both young and older players wanted to let their legs breath in the North Carolina heat. The weather this week is predicted to be hot and humid with probability of rain storms. Let’s hope delays don’t burden the Major.
While many decided to sport the knee baring garments, a few decided to keep the slacks on, showing that the pros wear what they’re comfortable in. This brings up the topic of controversy regarding the new LPGA dress code enforced during the Women’s U.S. Open a few weeks back.
Golf is one of the only sports to not have a true uniform. Sure, there’s the collared shirt and slacks, but compared to baseball or any other major sport, this is nothing. They aren’t given a specific shirt and pants to wear, they’re given liberties to wear what they want along with the help of their sponsors. If the Tour truly wanted to dictate what the players wore on the course, they should have uniforms.
Instead, they write these rules and policies within the sport that keep changing, giving players and fans whiplash with each amendment. Does it really matter if the players wear shorts or pants? Does it really matter if the LPGA players wear skirts that don’t reach their knees? The rulings come off archaic and sexist, rather than just implementing a simple uniform for each Tour.
— Gina McCrae (@GinaMcCrae) August 7, 2017
Most of the fans don’t care what the players are wearing. They are focused on how the players are, well, playing, not if they can see their patellas. Plus, the players are wearing what they feel comfortable in, so if they’re wearing shorts it’s because it’s freakin’ hot. And if the PGA Tour allows Jason Day and Rickie Fowler to wear joggers, how is it fair to ban them from the LPGA?
The lack of consistency within the running organizations is troublesome. Let the players wear what they want or don’t, but getting stuck in the middle is tricky territory.