European Tour Golfer Takes His Shirt Off for Water Hazard Shot

January 8, 2016

Golf may have a reputation as being a stodgy, rules-heavy sport, especially when it comes to on-course decorum. Yesterday former Ryder Cup team member and English golfer David Howell proved that it doesn’t have to be that way: he went shirtless for his shot on the 10th hole at the South African Open.

Apparently Howell was afraid that he might get mud on his clothes as he tried to make it out of the greenside hazard. (You can see dirt flying in the photo below.) In any case, the stripped-down shot brought a moment of levity to the opening 2016 event of the European Tour.

Unfortunately, Howell didn’t play the rest of the round topless, and baring his chest in pursuit of keeping clean can’t match Henrik Stenson’s commitment; Stenson took off everything but his underwear at the 2009 WGC Cadillac Championship. Stenson said later that he was surprised at how much publicity the photo garnered and that people still ask him to sign it all the time.

The things golfers do to avoid dirty laundry.