Why Can’t Golf Pros Wear Shorts?

Have you ever wondered why golf pros can’t wear shorts?

It’s a good question because watching them on TV battle it out in humid, muggy conditions looks brutal. But the dress code for golfers – both men and women – has a lot of tradition in this sport. 

While they might not wear shorts on the PGA Tour, they’ve come a long way from shirts, ties, and jackets. Let’s explore why most professional golfers can’t wear shorts. 

Why Golf Pros Wear Shorts 

It is believed that the reason golf pros cannot wear shorts is because of a dress code that was put in place by the professional golfers’ Association (PGA). Some people believe that the reason for this policy is that golf is seen as a gentleman’s game and shorts are considered to be too casual.

Others believe that the PGA is just trying to sell more tickets by making the players look more professional. Whatever the reason, it looks like we’ll just have to keep watching golf pros in their pants for the time being.

The PGA Tour’s policy says that players must wear pants in competitive rounds.

Tiger Woods in particular has been vocal about his desire to be able to wear shorts on the course. In an interview with Golf Digest, Woods said, “I think it would be nice if we could wear shorts. I don’t know why we can’t.” 

He went on to say that he thinks the PGA is “a bit old-fashioned” when it comes to its dress code. 

Charley Hoffman, a professional golfer on the PGA Tour, has also spoken out about the dress code. In an interview with Golf Channel, Hoffman said that he thinks the policy is “ridiculous” and that it’s time for the PGA to “come into the 21st century.”

However, a recent change was made a few years ago for dress code in practice rounds.

Shorts in Practice Rounds  

This policy changed in 2019 when the PGA Tour allowed players to wear shorts in practice rounds and pro-am events.


The memo sent to players read, “Effective immediately, the PGA Tour has approved a change in our player appearance guidelines. Players will be allowed to wear golf shorts during practice rounds and pro-am rounds. 


Shorts must be knee-length, tailored, and neat in appearance. Compression legging worn underneath must be solid in color. Long pants are still required for competition rounds.” 

There has been much debate over whether golf pros should be allowed to wear shorts during competition, but as of now, the PGA Tour does not allow it.

Dan Rapaport offered this argument for why pro golfers should be allowed to wear shorts (and think it’s pretty convincing) in Golf Digest

“Virtually all of today’s tour players are athletes by any definition. They have fitness plans and nutrition regimens. Athletes wear shorts. 

It sounds simple, but try to think of another sport that requires its participants to wear pants. There aren’t any. Actually, cricket does. But there’s a reason we don’t play that one in America.”

LIV Golf 

While the PGA Tour doesn’t allow shorts in competition, LIV Golf is a different story. The newly launched professional tour is nothing like the PGA Tour in terms of format, pay-outs, 54 holes vs. 72 holes, and a different dress code too.

Not only do LIV players make more money in each event (with no cuts) they can also wear shorts in practice rounds and competition. This dress code change was very controversial in the golf world and the policy has remained since its inception.

As the PGA Tour and LIV are set to join forces in the near future, only time will tell if players can wear shorts or must wear pants. 

Closing Thoughts 

It looks like there are a lot of golf pros who would like to be able to wear shorts during the competition, but as of now, the PGA Tour does not allow it. So, for now, we’ll just have to enjoy watching the golf pros in their pants.

Do you think professional golfers should have to wear pants in competition?

The Golf Bandit
The Golf Bandit

Hi, I'm Jan. I love golf and I have been playing for a while now. I really enjoy trying out new golf clubs and equipment, and like to review them on my blog. I consider myself lucky as I have access to the latest clubs and gadgets, so I can get a feel for how they perform on the golf course. I also like to share my tips and tricks on how to improve your game, so if you're looking for help with that then look no further! Thanks for visiting, and I hope you find something useful here.

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