• "It was a lot bigger story than I thought it would be"
• McIlroy, Spieth and Poulter among those to back the move
European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley has admitted his surprise at how well one of the changes he implemented has gone down.
The Canadian, who assumed his role in the middle of 2015, made a bold move by allowing shorts to be worn during practice rounds on the European Tour starting at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship two weeks ago.
And he revealed he totally underestimated the type of reaction it would receive, with a whole host of players and media outlets waxing lyrical about how much of a step in the right direction it was.
"It’s more than just the players that are enamoured with it, it’s the staff as well" - Keith Pelley
“Shorts was a lot bigger story than I thought it would be, but it is something that the players have certainly embraced,” Pelley told bunkered.co.uk on Tuesday at a press conference in the R&A clubhouse regarding the Senior Open going to the Old Course. “We’ve also now extended it to our staff and I’ve received a number of pictures of our staff in Dubai in shorts. It’s more than just the players that are enamoured with it, it’s the staff as well.
“As Martin and I discussed earlier, the history of the game and rich tradition is critical. But at the same time, we need to look at modernising the game in areas that we can that doesn’t jeopardise the rich tradition and majesty this game has.”
Numerous high-profile players have backed the move by Pelley, no less than world No.2 Rory McIlroy, who said: “I don't think it should be too big a deal. You look at every other sport and people are allowed to expose their legs, so I don't see why we're not allowed to do that either.
“I don't think it takes anything away from the tradition of the game or etiquette or how guys look on the course.”
Ian Poulter also backed the step with this tweet.
I hope so.. It's 2016 not 1990. Get rid of the stuffy old rules that hold golf back. Make it more fun everyone. https://t.co/ekMFQJQwkD
— Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) January 20, 2016
While world No.1 Jordan Spieth was so impressed with it, he’d like to see it implemented on the PGA Tour as well. “It's awesome,” he said. “It will be something I would love to see on the PGA Tour. Guys seem to all love it over here. I've not heard one person, one player complain about it.”
Keith Pelley :: Shorts a good move?
Were you pleased to see the European Tour allow shorts for practice rounds? And would you like to see them during tournament rounds too? Leave your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below.