Women seem to be continually defending their clothing choices right now. We’ve seen instances from high school graduating seniors, mall shoppers and even female reporters in the House Speaker’s lobby, all of whom have stood up to the backlash and body shamers while promoting change in the process. But according to news from the Ladies Professional Golf Association, the organization is on a mission to reverse its players’ dress code by banning shirts with “plunging necklines,” racerback tank tops, short skirts and even leggings.
According to Golf Digest, it all started with an email sent out on July 2 from LPGA player president Vicki Goetze-Ackerman to female golfers on tour. In the message, it spelled out every new wardrobe restriction to go into effect on July 17.
- Racerback with a mock or regular collar are allowed (no collar = no
- 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
Also in the email Goetze-Ackerman makes it known that players are responsible for working out these new restrictions with their clothing sponsors and if they fail to abide by the new guidelines, the penalty for violating the dress code is a $1,000 fine, which will double with each offense.
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Heather Daly-Donofrio, the tour’s chief communications and tour operations officer, provided a statement to Golf Digest saying: “The dress code requires players to present themselves in a professional manner to reflect a positive image for the game,” she says. “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.”
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Golf caught up with pros after the U.S. Women’s Open, which took place over the weekend, and reported that many received the news with mixed reviews.
“The only point I agree with is that there should not be low-cut tops, but I’ve never really seen that be an issue,” said Sandra Gal, a pro golfer on the LPGA Tour. “I think racerbacks look great on women and I think short skirts have been around forever, especially in tennis, and I don’t think it’s hurt that sport at all, considering they play for the same prize money as the men. Our main objective is clear: play good golf. But part of being a woman, and especially a female-athlete, is looking attractive and sporty and fit, and that’s what women’s tennis does so well. Why shouldn’t we? I’ve talked to a few other players and, like me, they don’t agree with it, either.”
Fellow pro golfer Jane Park explained that she thought the email was targeting a specific group of golfers. “Most of us keep things pretty conservative, so this only really applies to a few people. Honestly, I don’t see why everyone is making such a big deal about it,” she said.
Pro Christina Kim gave some detail on who those specific golfers may be that could benefit from a stricter dress code. “I may sound like an old fuddy-duddy, but this is our place of business and I think players should look professional. Do you really need ventilation for your side-boob? It’s not going to make your score better. There were a couple of events earlier this year where we didn’t have our strongest fields and some players came from other tours or developmental tours and they’re not necessarily under contract with clothing companies and so there was some non-traditional outfits. Hopefully spelling out what is considered appropriate will help those players.”
What do you think of the restrictions?