It's now OK to wear shorts on the European Tour, at least during practice and pro-am rounds.
The tour's chief executive, Keith Pelley, announced Wednesday that a vote of the tour's 15-person Tournament Committee approved the change in wardrobe requirements.
The alteration (get it?) came a week after EurAsia Cup European captain Darren Clarke asked tournament organizers to allow them to wear shorts during practice rounds in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Tournament officials declined Clarke's request, leading Clarke to go right to Pelley, who said it was OK provided players wore pants during competition days. Several players, including Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter, adopted the shorts last week and continued wearing them at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.
Rory McIlroy is on board.
“I think it’s a good idea to let guys wear shorts in practice rounds,” McIlroy said. “I don’t think it should be too big a deal. You look at every other sport and people are allowed to expose their legs, so I don’t see why we’re not allowed to, either.”
World No. 1 Jordan Spieth, who is making his Abu Dhabi debut this week, would love to see the same thing on the PGA Tour.
“I think it’s awesome,” Spieth said of the new policy. "It will be something that I would love to see on the PGA Tour, as well. I’ve not heard one person complain about it."
The Texan didn't find out in time, however, to put on minus-twos ahead of the Wednesday pro-am.
“I did not get the memo or I would not be wearing pants right now,” he said. “It’s a great move. I just wish my hotel was closer. I would have gone back.”
Spieth shouldn't get his hopes up for an imminent change on the PGA Tour. In a statement to Golfweek, PGA Tour official Ty Votaw said their no-shorts policy remains in place.
Meanwhile, with the shorts barrier broken, players appear emboldened to wonder if shorts could be worn during tournament rounds. McIlroy wouldn't mind..
“Why not?" McIlroy said. "I don’t think it takes anything away from the tradition of the game or etiquette or how guys look on the course.”