After a late Tuesday night meeting held by European Tour executives, it has been decided that golfers may wear shorts during the Tuesday and Wednesday practice rounds prior to a tournament. Darren Clarke, the 2011 Open Champion, was able to convince the Euro Tour’s brass that it’s time for a change in the golf world. The policy was passed unanimously.
Golf is one of few sports that hold true to it's traditional routes. For example, golfers still use a caddy to lug their clubs around the 18 holes rather than riding motorized carts like many amateurs do today. Caddies are already allowed to wear shorts on the course during tournaments but this has not always been the case. Caddies were not given this luxury until 1999. European Tour executives view the change as a way to modernize the game and appease the players.
Many of the players at this week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship are embracing the change, including Clarke. Lee Westwood was also seen wearing shorts and even played a practice round with Clarke.
Ian Poulter showed his support for the new policy in a series of tweets:
Jordan Spieth, one of America’s greatest players likes the idea and hopes the PGA Tour adopts the change. He did not get the memo about the change until he was at the Abu Dhabi golf course and therefore, wore the traditional pants. This change could eventually pave the way for golf to fully move to making shorts optional during tournament play. But then again, some traditions should always be kept in place.
By Matt Nadworny