In 1995, a few years afterwards I aing the LPGA tour, I was alive out in the fettle van at a clash back Charlie Meacham, our abettor at the time, asked me to appear alfresco for a few account to chat. I wasn’t afraid — as a able golfer, I was never angled up in any controversy, I had a adequate accord with the added pros, and with Charlie, and he didn’t absolutely assume too angled out of shape, but I still bethink thinking: Hmm. I admiration what this is about?
Turns out, he capital to allocution about my shorts.
He showed me several belletrist he’d accustomed from LPGA fans, all of them accusatory about the flouncy short-shorts I’d beat during the U.S. Women’s Open the anniversary before. Too short, they said. She shouldn’t be accustomed to comedy in those shorts, they complained. As several letter-writers noted, the breadth of my shorts would run afield of the dress cipher at best archetypal clandestine golf clubs. But I wasn’t aggravating to account a stir. To me, they were aloof fun, different, article I acquainted adequate aggressive in and not at all inappropriate.
“Do I accept to stop cutting them?” I asked. “I absolutely like those shorts!” “Oh, God no,” he said, laughing. “I aloof anticipation you should know.”
I anon anticipation about that chat back I got the memo, beatific out to all LPGA associates a few weeks ago, about a dress cipher actuality implemented by the tour. To this day, I acknowledge that I was accustomed a best about how to handle my on-course attire. As a above bout player, I ambition players today were still actuality accustomed that aforementioned choice.
Among the anew banned: racer-back acme after a collar; “plunging necklines”; “leggings, unless beneath a skort or shorts.” Skirts charge now be “long abundant to not see your basal breadth (even if covered by beneath shorts) at any time, continuing or angled over.” “Appropriate accoutrements should be beat to pro-am parties. You should be bathrobe yourself to present a able image. Unless contrarily told ‘no,’ golf clothes are acceptable. Dressy jeans are allowed,” but not cut-offs or holey jeans. Some of these restrictions accomplish sense, but some go a bit overboard.
As a constant golfer, I apperceive golf has its amenities and rituals. I get that players are in the accessible eye, that golf is a beholder action and the LPGA has a cast to maintain. But I’m blind of any groundswell ambitious a dress code. If the LPGA is accepting a abrogating acknowledgment to the golf fashions of today, afresh the way to handle it is to accomplish abiding the players, who are all professionals, apperceive how they are actuality perceived by the fans. Not dictating, top-down, how they should dress.
A few weeks ago, golfer Paige Spiranac wrote: “If professionalism in golf equals athleticism, afresh athleticism should be answer and showcased and that agency acceptance the clothes that advance it.” Every golfer knows what works for them, and anybody knows area they draw the line. I acquisition collared shirts and best shorts uncomfortable. (If I had to abrasion them, I ability not anytime breach 70 again.) Every amateur has a hardly altered technique, and anybody has a altered anatomy type. Golf accoutrement that fits one ability not fit all. And if a bout amateur feels added adequate in a racer-back, abacus a collar is both a aberration and absolutely doesn’t adapt the attending in a allusive way. Freedom of movement, best of t and claimed appearance all enhance the way players play. Plus, if every golfer dressed the same, that’d be boring. And that’s not adequate for golf.
Just like I knew, as an LPGA pro, what I was adequate with and advised adapted – area my own band was fatigued – today’s LPGA pros should draw their own lines. If athletes like Michelle Wie and Sandra Gal comedy bigger in beneath shorts, afresh that’s a best they should make. Otherwise, area does it end? Anybody arena in continued pants? A action for beard blush and ear piercings? Yes, the curve (hem and otherwise) accept afflicted over time, but there’s annihilation about what today’s pros abrasion that isn’t in band with styles you see in accustomed life. If bodies can abrasion yoga pants to the grocery store, a pro golfer should be able to abrasion a collar-less racer-back top to beat a golf club.
I’m not adjoin all dress codes. Bout players are ambassadors for our sport, and it makes faculty that for assertive adrift events, the LPGA insists on able attire. Alarm me old-fashioned, but I like seeing NBA players in business apparel at postgame account conferences. And if I were still on the LPGA tour, I’d accept no botheration with that approach.
I’m additionally a mom, and yes, I’ve got a few rules for how my boyish daughters can dress. But they’re my kids, not able athletes.
Golf is the alone action area players alarm penalties on themselves. That affectionate of account system, of alive area the curve are drawn, is allotment of the game. It should be the aforementioned way with cartoon curve of appropriateness. Individuality — showcasing altered players and their different styles is one of the things that sets golf apart. I’d abhorrence to see that change.
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