Are Players Allowed To Drink Alcohol During PGA Tour Events?

The PGA Tour’s alcohol policy for 2024, which can be found in the player handbook, lays out strict rules surrounding alcohol use during tournaments…

john daly champagne spray
PGA Tour players have to be careful when it comes to alcohol consumption
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Golf can be a stressful game at times and many of us choose a beer instead of a tea or coffee at the halfway hut after an untimely double-bogey at the 9th hole.

It’s also common practice in amateur circles to have a couple of pints before teeing off and drink alcohol on the way round – whether via beers packed in pockets, coolers in golf buggies or summoning over club-sanctioned refreshment carts. 

But what’s the situation in the professional ranks and on the PGA Tour? Is a player allowed to take the edge off his first-tee nerves by drinking pre-round? What about taking a swig from a hip-flask after a bad hole? 

John Daly admitted to downing five beers during one LA Open and Chi-Chi Rodriguez saw off a bottle of rum prior to his Masters debut and recorded the ‘happiest 83 of my life’.

In more recent times, Justin Thomas chugged a beer on the first tee of the 2021 Ryder Cup, but he wasn’t playing that afternoon and the Ryder Cup comes under the jurisdiction of the PGA of America, which has its own rules and regulations.

So what does the PGA Tour player handbook say about alcohol consumption in 2024? It’s detailed as follows:

“Any member found to have violated any of the following provisions relating to the use of alcohol shall be considered to have engaged in conduct unbecoming a professional and shall be subject to a significant penalty: 

A. Consuming an alcoholic beverage during any practice round or tournament round (whether a pro-am round or a tournament competition round), on the practice tee or putting green. 

B. Moderate, responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages after play or during social functions is permitted. But players should know that alcohol related unprofessional incidents will constitute conduct unbecoming a professional. 

C. A PGA Tour member’s responsibility to conduct himself in a professional manner and lend credit to himself and his organization extends beyond the time that the member is engaging in tournament play at the tournament site. Accordingly, the Membership should be aware that, depending on the circumstances, being under the influence of alcohol at any time in a public place, whether at a tournament site or otherwise, may constitute conduct unbecoming a professional. 

The Commissioner will conduct such inquiries and investigations as shall be appropriate to determine whether a member has violated the alcohol policy or any interpretations thereof.”

So, players are permitted to have a drink on the premises after a tournament round or if they’re engaged in a social function – whether a sponsor dinner, private meet-up or something else. 

Interestingly, the PGA Tour expects its members to conduct themselves in a ‘professional manner’ outside of official tournament weeks, though one suspects any public ‘under the influence’ indiscretions would have to be pretty serious for the tour to take any action.

Players found guilty of engaging in ‘conduct unbecoming a professional’ are ‘subject to fine, suspension and/or permanent disbarment from tournament play as provided in these Regulations’.

Nick Bonfield
Features Editor

Nick Bonfield joined Golf Monthly in 2012 after graduating from Exeter University and earning an NCTJ-accredited journalism diploma from News Associates in Wimbledon. He is responsible for managing production of the magazine, sub-editing, writing, commissioning and coordinating all features across print and online. Most of his online work is opinion-based and typically centres around the Majors and significant events in the global golfing calendar. Nick has been an avid golf fan since the age of ten and became obsessed with the professional game after watching Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel win The Masters and PGA Championship respectively in 2003. In his time with Golf Monthly, he's interviewed the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Billy Horschel and has ghost-written columns for Westwood, Wayne Riley, Matthew Southgate, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell. Nick is a 12-handicap golfer and his favourite courses include Old Head, Sunningdale New, Penha Longha, Valderrama and Bearwood Lakes. If you have a feature pitch for Nick, please email with 'Pitch' in the subject line. Nick is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade M1 Fairway wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Hybrid: Ping Crossover Irons (4-9): Nike Vapor Speed Wedges: Cleveland CBX Full Face, 56˚, Titleist Vokey SM4, 60˚ Putter: testing in progress! Ball: TaylorMade TP5x