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Skins game: Tour OKs shorts in practice, pro-ams

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Skins game: Tour OKs shorts in practice, pro-ams
7:06 PM ET

  • Mark SchlabachESPN Senior Writer

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    • Senior college football writer
    • Author of seven books on college football
    • Graduate of the University of Georgia

Leg day will have an entirely new meaning on the PGA Tour.

The PGA Tour has relaxed its player attire guidelines and will allow players to wear shorts during practice and pro-am rounds at its events, starting with this week’s WGC-Mexico Championship and Puerto Rico Open.

Golfers must continue wearing long pants during competitive rounds.

The players’ shorts must be “knee-length, tailored and neat in appearance. Compression leggings worn underneath shorts must be solid in color.”

PGA Tour Player Advisory Council (PAC) co-chairman James Hahn announced the relaxed attire rules to fellow players on social media on Monday.

As the new Player Advisory Council Co-Chairman, I have an announcement to make. #ShortsGame

cc: @pgatour pic.twitter.com/Mk5uaGAmoh

— James Hahn (@JamesHahnPGA) February 18, 2019

Shorts will be permitted during practice and pro-am rounds that take place at PGA Tour events; players were permitted to wear them during practice rounds at the PGA Championship the previous two years. The European Tour made a similar rule change in 2016.

The best news: the attire change comes just before the PGA Tour’s Florida swing, which starts with The Honda Classic from Feb. 28-March 3 at PGA National Club, Champion Course in Palm Beach Gardens.

Several PGA Tour players, who have long argued for the attire change, applauded the new guidelines on social media.

The @PGATOUR just announced that shorts are allowed for pro-am and practice rounds. Word is they saw my Insta-structionals in shorts and felt this move needed to happen. Well played, Sir. Well played!😎 pic.twitter.com/vGCM36EoEF

— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) February 18, 2019

As the other PAC Co-Chairman, I approve this message. #ShortsGame https://t.co/9hYlpgxYwT

— Kevin Kisner (@K_Kisner) February 18, 2019

In a Facebook Live with Bridgestone Golf in May 2018, Tiger Woods said he supported players wearing shorts during Tour events.

“I would love it,” Woods 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.”

In 1999, Woods helped prompt the Tour to soften its attire guidelines for caddies. At the Showdown at Sherwood, an exhibition match against world No. 1 David Duval, the caddies wore shorts because it wasn’t an official event.

A Tour rules official instructed the caddies to change to pants, even though temperatures were near 90 degrees. Woods’ then-caddie, Stevie Williams, refused to change. The Tour official told Williams that if he didn’t change, he would be banned from caddying on the Tour.

“Guess I’ll be playing in Europe next year,” Woods told the official.

The Tour changed its rules about caddie attire in July 1999, after a caddie collapsed during the Western Open on a day when the heat index had reached 106 degrees.

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