Let them wear shorts!

2013 09 Westwood
As I write this, I'm just about to leave Portugal where I've just spent a fantastic couple of days on the Algarve with TaylorMade.

They flew me and just one other British journo out there to show off their brilliant new SpeedBlade irons, as well as some other new kit I'm to allowed to tell you about just yet - all will be revealed next month.

The trip included a round of golf on the magnificent South Course at Quinta do Lago. It has hosted the Portuguese Open on eight occasions, is really is a stunning course, and is all the more fun to play when the weather is nice. Which brings me, rather laboriously, to my point.

It was bloody hot over there. The temperature topped out at 30C, although it felt considerably hotter than that. As a result, I was left with no option. I had to wear shorts.

Now, here's the thing: shorts and I have an awkward relationship. I hate wearing them. They make me look like a kid on his first day at school. And that's on a good day. My skinny, white legs were made to be hidden from view.
If players want to wear shorts, they should be able to. For one thing, it's just common sense.

But sometimes needs must. It was either that or suffer the sticky discomfort of trousers. You know, like golf's top players.

For some reason, the professional game has not so much an awkward relationship with shorts - like me - as no relationship at all. Players are to wear trousers and that's that. Remember the furore when the eight guys playing in last year's oddly-titled World Golf Finals in Turkey were allowed to bare their legs? It seemed everybody had an opinion on it.

I do, too, and my experiences in Portugal re-affirmed it. If players want to wear shorts, they should be able to. For one thing, it's just common sense. When it's hot, you want to feel as comfortable as possible. You wouldn't wear trousers to go to the beach when it's a roasting hot day, after all. Players cutting about in places like Dubai or California wearing breeks whilst the sweat drips off them is just daft. Amateurs can wear shorts all day long if they like but pros seemingly can't. It's just plain silly.

More to the point, golf is an athletic game now and athletes, by and large, wear shorts. Maybe golf would appeal to a wider demographic if people could more easily see that quality and subliminally align the game more closely with things like football and rugby.

Some people think shorts look scruffy or untidy. Personally, I can't see the problem. The very acknowledgement of that opinion points to a snobbery that golf needs to rid itself of. In any case, dint the game's forefathers wear shirts, ties, waistcoats and jackets to play the game in their day? Something clearly changed. Maybe it needs to do so again.

Now, where's the fake tan?

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