In Short, You Look Silly

In 1964, Ken Venturi defied doctors orders and slugged his way through 36 brutal holes on a Saturday at Congressional Country Club to win his lone major, the US Open.

He was wearing pants.

Now look, I’m not anti-progress, or common sense. The fact that the US Open once had players grind through 2 rounds on Saturday to keep the Lord’s day free and clear, is not something I would advocate to make a return (sorry, God.)

But every now and then, lines in sports… must be drawn.

I’m drawing my line, at the knees.

The PGA of America’s decision to allow players to wear shorts during practice rounds is a mistake. Plain and simple. Anybody who loves golf, should be able to look at these pictures of Tour stars with their pale walking sticks on full display, and admit it.

Stupid. Save that for home, at the club, fellas. You are on STAGE – at a major, no less! – and the fans don’t want to see you looking like the “A” flight at a member-guest. It’s akin to the letdown when you see Scarlet Johanssen caught by the paparazzi in her Sunday sweats, dashing out of a Starbucks without makeup and her hair all-a-mess.

Boo! I don’t need that visual. And I don’t care to hear that it shows how ScarJo is “just like you and me.” She’s not! She’s a goddess of the big screen!

As a golf nerd, Tour pros are that way to me too. When they are playing a Tour event, I want them in proper battle gear, even on a Tuesday. I remember going to the Kemper Open as a kid in the early 80’s, and just marvelling at how crisply pressed Lanny Wadkins looked. You could cut yourself on that crease in his pants!

Today’s fabrics are light-years ahead of the heavy linen drapes that I am sure Venturi had to lug around in 1964. Thanks to the fitness of modern players, and better synthetic fabric underwear, the documented cases of swamp-ass on Tour have been reduced to nearly zero.

Plus, you know goddamn well… if any of their half-dozen-fucking-corporate-logos were stitched below the knees, these guys would wear pants through Dante’s fifth circle of hell.

Hell, it was 78 and raining on Tuesday in Charlotte. These babies wore shorts for one reason: take ground whenever it’s available. And they’ll be coming for more. Trust me. The next move will be for Tour players to lobby to wear shorts at any time they like: including competition rounds.

And if they could get away with it, they’d ask to ride carts.

The “what’s the harm” crowd will say: “So what? Shorts don’t affect play. What do you care?”

Fine. If your next airline pilot rolls into the cockpit with sneakers and a Tommy Bahama shirt, you okay with that? If your doctor explains your test results in his office, wearing a Florida State sweatshirt, that cool?

Uniforms in sports, and life, almost NEVER affect the functionality of the job or sport at hand. That’s not their point! Uniforms are about conveying an image of professionalism, and presentation that signifies you are in the big-leagues.

The waiters at a fine steakhouse, don’t ditch the crisp white shirts for a t-shirt just because “it’s only the lunch shift.” Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go sit in my lawn chair and yell at passing traffic.

Aug 8, 2017; Charlotte, NC, USA; Phil Mickelson tees off on the third hole during a practice round for the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

About the Author

Steve Czaban is a 25 year sports radio veteran, who hosts an afternoon drive show in Washington D.C. He also appears on "Bob and Brian" in Milwaukee. "Czabe" also writes and edits his own commentaries for www.czabe.com and other on-line and print publications. He can be reached at czabe@yahoo.com.

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14 Comments

  1. I am more concerned about the early twenties former Disney girls in the Snicky Throw Down. I didn’t know who they were so I Googled them. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go erase my browser history.

  2. Czabe, I usually agree with you, but I think you’re off on this one.

    “It’s easy to sum up when you’re just talking about practice. Not a game, not a game, not a game, we talking practice.” – A. Iverson

    Let the guys relax, be more comfortable and connect with the fans. All the examples you use apply to professional services that could affect your health and well-being. This is entertainment. If the masses don’t like it, they will vote with their wallet and the policy will change back soon enough.

    Hope you enjoyed your round on Whistling Straits!

  3. Football players and baseball players don’t wear their full uniforms when they are warming up before the game. No idea why this is a big deal.

  4. Totally with you on this. It’s a matter of decorum. The stuff I see even at the local munis on Sat and Sun, on Fri afternoon — uggh.

  5. I love the game and all of its history, but frankly, it looks fine, Czabe. This is the kind of snobbish and elitist attitude that drags this sport down, and makes it a little less appealing to Joe Couch Potato…. “Get out of my country club, you shabby dresser!”
    None of those examples you showed would I necessarily call “pale walking sticks”. As long as it’s tasteful, get over it. Bermuda permits “shorts” in all facets of business, and it’s a wonderful place.

  6. I agree with Czabe, but then again I am an old man who has been yelling a clouds for years now. If you okay with shorts, how about T-shirts some of them are more expensive than polos. What about muscle shirts or half shirts that might get the wife to watch. It is a big deal because it sends the sport down a path that we shouldn’t want it to go.

    1. lighten up guy no one’s advocating tank tops and muscle shorts. a nice pair of golf shorts with a golf shirt tucked in on a PRACTICE day is not the end of the golfing world.
      sheesh,,,,,

      1. Lighten up. No one said it’s the end of the golfing world. It’s rational to think about what it will lead to. Loosening standards usually leads to more of the same.

  7. I will never wear pants to play golf. I will also never shoot below 90. I want these guys to be better and greater than me. Why else am I watching them on TV???

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