Shorts on the PGA Tour?

Golf - Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship - Abu Dhabi Golf Club, United Arab Emirates - 20/1/16
 England's Ian Poulter jumps in the air on the 1st fairway during the Pro-Am
 Action Images via Reuters / Paul Childs

by Josh StrukoffOffcourse contributor and owner of   

Shorts are starting to make an appearance in professional golf — finally. No, we haven’t seen shorts on the PGA Tour yet, but we may have come one step closer.

In last months EurAsia Cup in Malaysia, Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke convinced the European Tour’s chief executive, Keith Pelley, to allow players to wear shorts during practice rounds. To help illustrate the hot and humid conditions the players were faced with, Clarke had this photo taken at the opening ceremonies.

Darren Clarke campaigning to wear shorts on Tour

Photo source: Golf Digest

The shorts movement gained traction, and several players were spotted wearing shorts during practice rounds at the following week’s Abu Dhabi Championship. Since then, The European Tour has officially approved players to wear shorts during practice rounds.

“The players have embraced it,” Pelley said. “Shorts are a natural evolution to help modernize the game. It puts our players first and our fans first as well. The fashion of golf is something that the youth adopt. We will have strong rules, but there will be some fashion statements, and it’s a great start.”

The fact that it is 2016 and this is the first significant movement towards professional golfers being allowed to wear shorts at an event is nothing short of shocking — especially when it comes to practice rounds.

The movement has already been embraced by marquee players.

Rory McIlroy chimed in by saying, “I like it. I think it’s a good idea to let guys wear shorts in practice rounds. I probably just need a couple more weeks in the sun to get my legs out in public! I think all the guys enjoy wearing shorts, especially in practice, and especially if it gets hot, I think it’s a good idea.”

What does the #1 player in the world think? “I think it’s awesome. I think it will be something that I would love to see on the PGA Tour, as well.”, said Jordan Spieth.

A step towards modernizing the game can only be a positive stride for golf. The traditions of golf help make it unique and special, however, it’s important to adapt and represent our traditions in modern forms to keep our youth stimulated and promote long-term growth of the game.

They allow players to wear shorts at the highest level of junior and amateur golf, why not at the professional level? Not to mention the marketing opportunities on socks.

Bubba Watson wearing shorts

Bubba Watson wearing shorts in his junior days

Nobody is proposing cut-offs and tank tops on the Tour. Nobody is proposing a “suns out, guns out” policy. We’re talking about letting golf professionals wear golf shorts. Modernizing and growing the game aside, it’s just practical. Nobody wants to wear pants on the golf course when it’s sweltering out, why should we expect golf professionals to?

Time will tell whether we’ll see shorts on the PGA Tour, or if shorts will make their way from practice rounds to competitive rounds on any professional tour. Not only would our game appear more modern in the public eye, the professionals who are the face of golf will have the chance to be more comfortable while doing their job. Not to mention the added incentive they’ll have to not skip leg day in the gym.

Leave us a comment and let us know whether you’d like to see shorts on the PGA Tour or not!