As Tiger calls for a rule change – it's time to let the pros wear shorts

The Scoop

Caddies have been able to wear shorts for the best part of two decades, but the players are still not allowed. That needs to change, writes Alex Perry in Dialled In

When my colleague James Savage, NCG’s equipment editor, threw together a piece about the best shorts your hard-earned can buy, it got me thinking.

Isn’t it utterly ridiculous that professional golfers are STILL not allowed to wear shorts in tour events?

We’ve written plenty on dress codes at club level over the years – try these efforts from Messrs Dan Murphy and Tom Irwin on for size – but I’m here to campaign for our heroes. We’ve already seen ramifications in the ladies game – despite a few embarrassing stumbling blocks – and now it’s time for the men.

Anyone who has played golf on a scorching hot day will tell you there’s nothing worse than slogging it up a hill with your bag on your back in a pair of slacks.

The rules have been relaxed recently. On the European Tour players can wear shorts in practice rounds and pro-ams, while the PGA Championship allowed players to wear shorts in practice for the first time last year.

But will either tour allow players to wear shorts in competition? Tiger Woods has thrown his weight behind the idea.

Woods, you’ll remember, was involved in an infamous incident during the first of those Monday Night Golf exhibitions that never really took off. In the 1999 match between against then World No. 1 David Duval, dubbed the ‘Showdown at Sherwood’ – it was held at Sherwood Country Club, see? – both caddies wore shorts as it was not an official PGA Tour event.

When a rules official told them to change, Duval’s caddie obliged but Woods’ bagman, Steve Williams, refused. Legend has it he was told he could be banned from caddying on the PGA Tour and Woods chipped in with a quip about “playing in Europe next year”. Williams was allowed to keep his shorts on and within a year the rule had changed to allow caddies to wear shorts.

Greatest shots in Open history

Fast forward the best part of 20 years and the GOAT says he would “love it” if players were allowed to wear shorts in competition.

Speaking on a Facebook Live with Bridgestone, he added: “We play in some of the hottest climates on the planet, usually travelling with the sun, and a lot of our events are played in the summer.

“And then on top of that when we have the winter months here a lot of the guys go down to South Africa and Australia where it’s summer down there.

“Also, a lot of the tournaments are based right around the equator so we play in some of the hottest places on the planet.

“It would be nice to wear shorts. Even with my little chicken legs, I still would like to wear shorts.”

I really couldn’t have put it better myself. And if Tiger Woods says he wants something to happen, it almost certainly will.

Tour officials: Release the legs! Chicken, or otherwise.

Seriously, who would it really offend?

Who needs enemies?

My daughter, hasn’t quite taken to golf just yet – she’s only 1, she’ll get there – but I imagine it will go a lot like this…

Wait… Where?

An actual conversation I had with my girlfriend on Sunday morning:

“What shall we do today?”

“We could go to Wentworth?”


“Yes. There’s lots for Olivia to do there – it’s got a small farm with animals.”

I mean, if you don’t see where this is going by now…

Fact: I’ve lived in South Yorkshire for almost 18 months now and I didn’t know there was a small village about 20 minutes from my house called Wentworth.

Question: What golf club could we describe as the Wentworth of the North? Answers on a postcard.

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