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Around 6 million people tuned in to watch the iconic golf match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, where Mickelson was the hot topic due to his massive calves being broadcasted for the world to see.
Displaying your legs in golf is only possible due to the attire choice (short shorts), and many people have been joking on social media about Mickelson’s calves making him look like Adonis.
Although players have some choice in the matter of attire, many choose to wear shorts because of the freedom of movement possible and due to hot weather conditions.
Caddies were only allowed to wear shorts in 1999, and this was met with some resistance because many of the officials of the PGA Tour thought that cargo pants were more professional.
Let’s explore some of the details around wearing shorts for golf.
Can Players And Caddies Wear Shorts in Golf?
After Woods and Mickelson faced off against each other in competition wearing shorts, millions of viewers were enthralled by their performance, which begged the question, ‘why aren’t shorts the go-to attire for golf?’
Initially, it was a little strange because people were not used to it. Still, it quickly gained popularity after viewers noticed the ease with which the game gained momentum, attributing it to the effects of the comfortable attire.
Golf is a sport that requires a lot of movement in various angles, which cargo pants that cover legs fully do not restrict, but wearing shorts seems to be the obvious choice.
The tour’s policy dictated that players and caddies alike are not to wear shorts in competitive rounds but adjusted their policy later in 2019 to allow both players and caddies to wear shorts under the condition that they are knee-length and tidy in appearance.
Mickelson and Woods’ match settled the debate due to their demonstration that players can appear ‘high-end’ while wearing branded shorts, which eased up some of the restrictions, and caddies followed suit.
In August 1999, caddies were not allowed to wear shorts even when the temperature was recorded at 91 degrees during the match between Woods and Duval.
However, rules and regulations regarding attire slowly became laxer as viewers showed that there was no problem at all, i.e., there was no drop in professionalism due to the introduction of shorts in the game.
Williams and Knox were the two caddies in the match between Woods and Duval and had rocked up to the game wearing shorts, which the official objected to, causing Knox to head to the pro shop nearby and buy a pair of pants.
Knox, clearly annoyed, rolled up his pants to his ankles.
The official, Moise, warned Williams that he would not be able to caddie if he did not follow the rules regarding full-length pants.
This led Tiger Woods to step in and proclaim that he’ll be playing in Europe if his caddie was not allowed to wear shorts during the tournament.
Rules of Golf
Golf is a traditional game that follows some rules strictly, but other rules are simply head-scratchers and make no sense.
An example of this is having grown men wear long pants covering their legs fully in hot weather conditions during games that can last up to 5 hours.
Some people prefer wearing pants, but why not allow them to choose what’s best for them?
Charley Hoffman, the advisory committee chairman, was against wearing shorts because he thought it looked more professional to wear pants in a golf game.
Although he’s not personally opposed to it to the point where he never wears shorts, he feels that it’s more professional to wear pants.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with either argument since players have the right to choose what’s most comfortable for them, but you should note that it is purely subjective, and there is no objective truth to the matter.
Since many players do prefer wearing shorts, the option to choose should be granted, especially since many viewers have become accustomed to seeing players and caddies wear shorts in pro-ams and practice rounds.
Comments by Players on The Decision Surrounding Golfing Attire
Brandt Snedeker thinks that players and caddies should have the right to choose what to wear and is opposed to the views of the traditionalists, whose ideas may be out of date.
He goes on to state that when temperature conditions continue to soar, it will be a huge bother to players and caddies alike to continue wearing pants. People get used to anything, so it doesn’t contribute to a bad reputation if golfers suddenly start rocking up in shorts.
Comfort should be prioritized for all golfers and caddies so that they are able to give an incredible performance, which is what golf is about at the end of the day.
Shaun Madigon is also not opposed to the concept of shorts. He goes on to say that shorts aren’t the equivalent of wearing thin-fabric potato sacks anymore, what with the rise of designer brands and many sports brands like Adidas providing excellent choices.
Madigon believes that the players’ point of view is crucial and should be considered because the vast majority of golfers would choose to wear shorts if they were given the option.
Apparel companies would also seek to benefit, as many famous golfers would advertise their brands by wearing their apparel, which would drive innovation in developing even more sophisticated pieces of clothing, i.e., shorts.
Despite many golf pants being more comfortable than they used to be, Grant Knudson has pointed out that the average golfer is opting for shorts when the weather conditions are hot and temperatures are soaring.
Allowing apparel companies to step in with their innovative new products can drive more back-end sales, which are important for the game of golf.
The question ‘can caddies wear shorts’ has been answered in recent years by golfing authorities, which have made the rules laxer according to public opinion, but there is still some resistance that is yet to be addressed.
Players have a say in what they choose to wear, and some of the major influences on this topic have been Tiger Woods and many other famous players who see no problem with the allowance of shorts in important tournament games.
Golf is traditional in some of its rules, but attire choice should no longer be a gray area because it has been received well by the public and fans, who understand the need for a slightly more revealing clothing option.