Why Are Golfers Wearing Shorts On The DP World Tour This Week?

The lesser-spotted professional golfer's legs on show along with other wildlife at the Alfred Dunhill Championship

Ernie Els in shorts at the Alfred Dunhill Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There are always some incredible sights of various wildlife spotted when watching the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek, but this week golfing fans are being treated to a view of the lesser-spotted golfer’s calves on the DP World Tour.

Hot and steamy conditions at Kruger National Park led the DP World Tour and tournament organisers to make the decision to allow golfers to wear shorts during the competition rounds to make it more comfortable for them.

While we’re now well accustomed to seeing elephants, monkeys and all manner of safari animals going side-by-side with the golf at Leopard Creek – as well as big cats we’ve got the sight of the Big Easy in shorts with Ernie Els opting for them during the tournament.

Professional golfers these days are allowed to wear shorts on practice days, but getting their legs out in tournament rounds is a rare occurrence, although it has happened before at Leopard Creek.

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The 2019 event became the first on the then-European Tour to allow shorts to be worn during competitive play when temperatures in South Africa were pushing the mercury up at 40 degrees.

Shorts are permitted in the new LIV Golf series, with the more relaxed dress code being one of the ways Greg Norman’s new enterprise say they are improving the game and attracting newer, younger audiences.

Wearing shorts in competition may well be one of the ways the DP World Tour and PGA Tour try and prove they’re moving with the times to counter LIV Golf, but as of now players are still required to wear long trousers during sanctioned events.

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The sight of golfers in shorts was not the only big talking point from the first round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship, where Dean Burmester shot a seven-under-par round of 65 take a one-shot lead over Lukas Nemecz.

There was a hole-in-one in the first round as Martin Simonsen managed to make an ace at the short fifth when he holed out from 167 yards.

Thriston Lawrence almost followed Simonsen in when he hit a glorious tee shot on the par-three 16th hole, but the ball just slid by the edge of the hole and failed to drop.

Paul Higham
Contributor

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.