Wearing shorts causes a stir in professional golf

By Jason SobelOctober 12, 2012, 2:35 pm

Before you read this column, allow me to make a confession: I'm not wearing any pants.

Oh, come on. It's not what you're thinking. I've got shorts on. And no, those aren’t a couple of OB stakes under my desk.

Shedding leggings is a relevant topic this week, as the eight Turkish Airlines World Golf Final competitors were given an option and half of ‘em sold short on wearing long pants, instead showing off their chicken legs in Turkey.

Those who chose to go out on – and with – a couple of limbs provided observers with the naked truth. Seeing a pro golfer in shorts is sports' version of Scooby Doo and the gang unmasking a criminal. 'Oh, so that's who was really under there!'

The exhibition served as a stark contrast to the PGA Tour, where earning membership is like an invitation to the Pants Party.

Why can’t competitors show some leg in professional tournaments? The reigning rationale is that it looks unprofessional. Try using that excuse on your favorite lifeguard, UPS driver, mailman or NBA player. At the risk of sounding like a bumper sticker, those guys all do it with their shorts on.

So, too, do golfers. From juniors to collegians to amateurs of all levels, brandishing gams is part of the game. Even the pros get a leg up – when nobody’s watching. Phil Mickelson was photographed practicing at The Olympic Club this year in Bermuda shorts that looked a bit Bermuda rough. Last year, Tim Petrovic qualified for the U.S. Open in a pair of cargos that had more zippers than his golf bag.

When the cameras are on and the fans are behind the gallery ropes, though, there is no Celebrity Skin, to quote the alternative rock band Hole – obviously fervent golf fans with a name like that.

Irony of all ironies, an Internet search for “PGA Tour + shorts” procures a lengthy list of Size 38 pleated khakis that are currently for sale in the organization’s online store. Just don’t wear ‘em to the first tee the next time you find yourself competing in an event.

“We have no plans to change our policy on player attire,” PGA Tour executive vice president Ty Votaw says on the matter.

Pants are never an issue until a certain woman deems them too confining.

That woman, of course, is Mother Nature, who on any given day can turn up the heat and turn a nice pair of slacks into her own personal Easy-Bake Oven.

Prior to last year’s Viking Classic, longtime PGA Tour member Joe Ogilvie tweeted: “I've got 14 players and we are all wearing shorts during Viking Classic. Any other tour players with me? They can't DQ us all can they?” He followed with another jab: “114 heat index in Jackson, MS today, who are the idiots in long pants this week? Tour pros.”

Such a heated exchange from any player would have raised eyebrows, but it meant even more coming from one who fancies himself PGA Tour commissioner someday. Given a chance to cool off, Ogilvie explained his reasoning this week.

“I’m certainly a proponent of it for when we’re in Jackson, Miss., in August. I think that just makes too much sense,” he says. “I get the traditions of the game; I get why we don’t allow it in our full-field events. There’s something about the professionalism that gets lost. Now since I advocated for it in Mississippi, I guess you can call me a hypocrite.”

Or just hot and more than a little bothered.

Even so, the Players Advisory Council member since 1999 doesn’t expect any changes soon – even when temps soar higher than a hacker’s score.

“I think that’s way, way, way down on the totem pole,” he admits. “I don’t think anyone cares.”

It was only 13 years ago that PGA Tour caddies were first allowed to wear shorts – and even that was implemented because of a mistake. Caddying for John Maginnes in the third-to-last group at the sweltering Western Open, Garland Dempsey suffered a heart attack in the middle of Cog Hill’s 15th fairway.

“The Tour thought it was heat exhaustion,” recalls Maginnes, now an announcer for Sirius XM PGA Tour Radio. “So the next week at the John Deere Classic, where it was 400 degrees, the caddies were finally allowed to wear shorts for the first time.”

In professional golf, the shorts story is a short story. This week’s tourney in Turkey is an exception to the rule – or an exhibition against the cruel, as the case may be.

'It’s good fun,” explains Lee Westwood, one of the quartet who partook in the offer. “Something different.'

Just don’t expect it to become a leg-wide sensation.

As for me, I’m still depantsed and loving it. I intend to continue living by Albert Einstein’s theory that stated, “The legs are the wheels of creativity.”

I only ask for one favor. Please stop checking out my OB stakes.

Getty Images

Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.