The game of golf has long struggled to modernize and shed its stuffy public image.
A new edict by the LPGA tour won't likely help that perception.
According to a report by Ashley Mayo on GolfDigest.com, LPGA pros were sent an email on July 2 with strict new dress code rules. The email, which reportedly came from LPGA Player President Vicki Goetze-Ackerman, used somewhat harsh language to detail the new regulations, which come with a hefty $1,000 fine for each violation. Here they are:
—Racerback with a mock or regular collar are allowed (no collar = no racerback).
—Plunging necklines are NOT allowed.
—Leggings, unless under a skort or shorts, are NOT allowed.
—Length of skirt, skort, and shorts MUST be long enough to not see your bottom area (even if covered by under shorts) at any time, standing or bent over.
—Appropriate attire should be worn to pro-am parties. You should be dressing yourself to present a professional image. Unless otherwise told “no,” golf clothes are acceptable. Dressy jeans are allowed, but cut-offs or jeans with holes are NOT allowed.
—Workout gear and jeans (all colors) NOT allowed inside the ropes
—Joggers are NOT allowed
The news is surprising coming from the LPGA because that Tour has often lead the way in making the game exciting to young players and fans. LPGA caddies wear their players' Twitter handles on their bibs, players are sometimes mic’d up and interviewed mid-round, and the Tour generally has a fantastic reputation for giving fans in attendance an intimate experience relative to the PGA Tour.
A source at the LPGA said the new guidelines were something players provided feedback on, and have been doing so for some time leading up to the announcement. Players were expecting the 'slight changes' made to the existing policy, which take effect July 17.
In a statement, the LPGA's chief communications and tour operations officer downplayed the changes:
"The dress code requires players to present themselves in a professional manner to reflect a positive image for the game. While we typically evaluate our policies at the end of the year, based on input from our players, we recently made some minor adjustments to the policy to address some changing fashion trends. The specifics of the policy have been shared directly with the members," she said.