The Long and Short of it

The latest “Thank goodness THIS is finally being addressed” problem rearing it’s head around the golf world actually has more to do with players’ tails. More specifically what and how much fabric is covering them.

it looks like the European Tour is giving the thumbs up to allowing professionals to wear shorts during practice rounds AND pro-ams. Just in case you’re new to this whole pro golf thing and don’t know what a pro-am is they are the days during the tournament week in which amateur golfers like you, me and corporate CEOs pony up boatloads of money to play golf with, and largely get ignored by, Tour professionals.

Sartorial standard bearer Ian Poulter is all for it and now so is, not so much sartorial standard bearer and current world number one, Jordan Spieth. Playing in Abu Dhabi instead of the California desert this week the newest next Tiger Woods said of wearing shorts, “I think it’s awesome, it will be something that I would love to see on the PGA Tour, as well. I’ve not heard one person complain about it.” (The quote comes thanks to the reporting of Alistair Tait).

Well then Jordan allow me to be the first to complain. Remember me? I’m the card carrying member of the “get off my lawn” club and I say keep your legs to yourself. Believe it or not I thought about this in September of 2014 while watching professional tennis players in collarless shirts. I wondered what happened to decorum and good taste? Then I asked a few friends, professional golfers and professional golfers who are friends if they were a “yay” or a “nay” on professional golfers sporting short pants.

i asked 13 guys (I know not a huge sample size) and 7 gave me an unequivocal YES, including Jerry Foltz, Colt Knost and Dave Stockton Jr. An eighth said yes but added “reluctantly” and a ninth said yes but if he were in charge “he wouldn’t let them do it”. Three others said no and one said “Hell No!” If you’re counting at home that’s 9-4 in favor of untanned, hairy, legs on display.

I did the “study” then forgot about it until Poulter and Jordan, among others, made me think about it again. One argument for shorts is, “I’d rather see shorts than guys sweat through their slacks on hot, humid days”. Something tells me guys who sweat through moisture wicking pants are going to sweat through shorts too.

Another argument on the affirmative side is that “the girls and ladies of the LPGA get to wear shorts so why shouldn’t the guys?” To that I say many women wear dresses to their offices everyday and my guess is those dresses are more comfortable than suits and ties but I don’t think men in similar offices should wear dresses to work.

Bottom line for me as a viewer and fan is that this is their job and I think they should maintain an air of professionalism and wear appropriate attire (by that I mean long pants). But by the looks of my, now dated and tiny sample size, poll what I think may soon not matter.

What say you?


About Keith Hirshland

My name is Keith Hirshland and I am a four decades television veteran who has spent time both in front of and behind the camera. During nearly forty years in broadcasting my path has crossed in front of, behind and alongside some of the best in the business... And some of the worst. Many of those people I count as friends while others wouldn't make the effort to spit on me if I was on fire. This television life started early watching my Mom and Dad found, fund and run a local affiliate TV station in Reno, Nevada. As a teenager approaching adulthood I worked for them, first as an on-air sports reporter/anchor and later as a director and producer. Jobs in the industry took me across the country and then to many places around the world. Sports is my passion and putting it on TV has been my business. Production credits include auto racing, baseball, basketball, bowling, college football, field hockey, soccer, volleyball and water polo but the majority of my time "in the chair" since 1990 has been invested in the game of golf with both ESPN and The Golf. Channel ( I was one of the first forty people hired by TGC in 1994 ). I am a fan and I watch TV sports as a fan but I also have hundreds of thousands of hours watching from inside a production truck. I think that makes me qualified to comment, my hope is you agree. I have written four books, Cover Me Boys, I'm Going In (Tales of the Tube from a Broadcast Brat), a memoir that is a tribute to my parents, the hard working, creative people who started ESPN2 and The Golf Channel and a look back at my life in television. Cover Me Boys was awarded the “Memoir of the Year” in 2017 by Book Talk Radio Club. In February of 2019 it was released anew by Beacon Publishing Group. My second book is a novel, Big Flies, and is a mystery that tells the story of a father and a son with four of the world's most notorious unsolved robberies as a backdrop. Big Flies was named “Solo Medalist” in the True Crime category by New Apple Awards. My third book, another mystery titled The Flower Girl Murder, was published in 2018. Book number four might be the most fun I ever had on a writing project. Murphy Murphy and the Case of Serious Crisis is a mystery, a love story, and an homage to good grammar. It is both the Book Talk Radio Club BOOK OF THE YEAR for 202 and a TopShelf Awards first prize winner in the mystery category. All four are available at Amazon. Book five is in the capable hands of the good people at Beacon Publishing Group and should be available soon. I look forward to sharing new thoughts about golf, golf television, sports in general and the broadcast industry with you. The views expressed here are mine and mine alone. They are not connected to nor endorsed by any other person, association, company or organization.
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1 Response to The Long and Short of it

  1. Williams says:

    I agree with you here. I believe a greater part of golf is the professionalism attached to it, and that includes proper attire.


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