ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – The European Tour approved a new rule that will allow players to wear shorts during practice and pro-am rounds.
Players wore shorts during practice rounds last week at the EurAsia Cup and some went with the more relaxed look this week at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.
“It was something that came in dialogue with a number of players. I asked the question, why don’t we wear shorts? Nobody could give me an answer why not,” said European Tour CEO Keith Pelley. “I think shorts are a natural evolution to help modernize the game. The fashion of golf is something the youth adapt.”
Pelley said there was no discussion regarding whether players should wear shorts during tournament rounds and he stressed that the European Tour doesn’t plan to push all of professional golf’s envelopes, but the move has been quickly embraced by the players.
“It's a good idea to let guys wear shorts in practice rounds,” Rory McIlroy said. “I probably just need a couple more weeks in the sun to get my legs out in public, that's what it is sort of pale Irish skin doesn't go so well.”
World No. 1 Jordan Spieth, who is playing a desert swing event for the first time, even went so far as to suggest the PGA Tour should consider a similar rule change.
“I think it's awesome. It will be something that I would love to see on the PGA Tour, as well. Guys seem to all love it over here,” Spieth said. “I've not heard one person, one Tour player complain about it. And most of the guys that are really talking highly of it are the older guys oddly enough.”
It appears the PGA Tour has taken notice of the rule change according to John Paramor, the European Tour’s chief rules official, who said, “They asked where we were going with it.”