Getty Image / Richard Heathcote
Tiger Woods is famously part of the reason that caddies can now wear shorts on the PGA tour even though the golfers themselves have to wear pants. During the 1999 ‘Showdown at Sherwood’, Tiger Woods played in an exhibition match against then #1-ranked golfer David Duval.
It wasn’t an official PGA Tour event so the caddies wore shorts. That was until a rules official ordered the caddies to change into pants but Tiger’s caddie Steve Williams refused and Tiger stepped in on his behalf, telling the rules official “guess I’ll be playing in Europe next year.” Later that year, the PGA Tour changed the rules and caddies were allowed to wear shorts.
Fast forward to present day, and PGA golfers are still forced to wear pants. There are some events where the players are permitted to wear shorts during practice rounds but not during the tournaments. Weighing in on why PGA pros should be allowed to wear shorts on the golf course, Tiger Woods had this to say during a Facebook Live steam with Bridgestone Golf (via Golf.com):
“I would love it,” he said. “We play in some of the hottest climates on the planet. We usually travel with the sun, and a lot of our events are played in the summer, and then on top of that when we have the winter months here a lot of the guys go down to South Africa and Australia where it’s summer down there.
“Also, a lot of the tournaments are based right around the equator so we play in some of the hottest places on the planet. It would be nice to wear shorts. Even with my little chicken legs, I still would like to wear shorts.” (via)
This isn’t exactly an ultimatum like the young Tiger Woods issued in 1999, at a time when he was the most famous athlete in the world. And while Tiger’s influence is immense, he might not have the sway with PGA rules officials that he used to. Still, it has to count for something when Tiger Woods speaks out against a rule that only exists for vanity purposes.
I live in Florida, was born and raised here. I played on the golf team in H.S. where we had to carry our own bags and walk the course. I cannot fucking imagine how miserable life would be trying to play golf here while wearing pants. It’s never crossed my mind at any point in life. Florida’s so unbearably humid and hot throughout most of the year that most golf shops don’t even sell golf pants. Tiger’s correct, golfers should be allowed to wear shorts.