Why European Tour golfers are wearing shorts at the Alfred Dunhill Championship
European Tour

Why European Tour golfers are wearing shorts at the Alfred Dunhill Championship



For the first time in the history of the European Tour, players are allowed to compete in shorts during a tournament round at the 2019 Alfred Dunhill Championship.

With temperatures at Leopard Creek Country Club in South Africa expected to topple 100 degrees during the opening two rounds of the tournament, the co-sanctioning European Tour and Sunshine Tour made the decision, along with the tournament host, to allow players to compete in shorts in the stifling heat.

Temperatures are expected to be over 100 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday before cooling off to 88 degrees for Sunday's final round.

Men on the European Tour -- and PGA Tour, for that matter -- are typically required to wear pants when they compete. Women on various high-level tours have long been allowed to wear shorts as desired, regardless of temperature.

"The temperatures will increase as the week goes on, which is uncomfortable and could be a health issue for the players," said European Tour chairman David Williams. "A lot of players were concerned about it. In these temperatures it can be pretty uncomfortable out there in trousers, so the feedback from the players has certainly been positive."

Allowing shorts is not an entirely unprecedented look on the European Tour. Since 2016, the tour has allowed players to wear shorts during practice rounds. Players then had to bust out the trousers for championship rounds.

The players generally saw the move as just doing the right thing.

"It is very nice when common sense comes into play," said Ernie Els, according to AFP. "It is going to get close to 40 degrees (Celsius) here and it is the right thing to do. It has been talked about for so long on all of the tours around the world. Johann Rupert (owner of Leopard Creek) is always a man who is forward thinking and I think this could be a game-changer for golf that could enhance the product."

The Sunshine Tour is hopeful more tournaments and host clubs will consider allowing their male pro guests to wear shorts when the weather permits.

"We are very grateful to the European Tour for supporting this decision, and we are excited about it," said Selwyn Nathan, Sunshine Tour commissioner.

"The game has moved on, golf fashion has moved on, and even the weather here in Africa has changed. We are playing under beautiful sunshine, and as long as the dress code conforms with that of the club, then I think it will look very good."

 

 

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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]thegolfnewsnet.com