CHARLOTTE, N.C. – If the sight of players wearing shorts during practice rounds this week at the PGA Championship is a little disorienting for fans, imagine how it’s been for players.
“You have guys walking down the fairway and you're like, even though there's one carrying the bag that has shorts on, and the other, I don't know, it's hard to recognize them at some point,” Rory McIlroy laughed on Tuesday.
The European Tour began allowing players to wear shorts during practice rounds last year and considering the temperatures that could have arrived this week at Quail Hollow it made sense for the PGA of America to be the first to allow them at a major.
Although there has been some push-back on social media to the move, the players largely are in favor of the change and have taken advantage of the policy, with at least half the field wearing shorts for Tuesday’s practice rounds including Phil Mickelson.
For many, however, it’s a sign of how golf is trying to become a more mainstream sport.
“Nice to see golf coming out of the dark ages. Shows everyone in golf and outside of golf that you don't have to wear pants to be professional,” Billy Horschel said. “Believe this is a small step in progressing the game forward and getting younger kids involved in the game.”
Some, however, decided to stick with pants for a variety of reasons, including Henrik Stenson who was asked why he wasn’t wearing shorts. “My legs are too sexy for shorts,” he smiled.