European Tour lets golfers wear shorts for first time ever at Alfred Dunhill Championship

On Thursday, golfers at a European Tour event were allowed to wear shorts for the first time ever. The decision at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa was made after rising temperatures hit triple digits, according to the Associated Press.

European Tour CEO Keith Pelley, tournament host Johann Rupert and players at the event discussed the matter and agreed that, for the sake of everyone’s health, shorts would only be allowed at this particular event.

With temperatures expected to hit 104 degrees at the Leopard Creek Country club later this week, tournament director David Williams believes it was the right call.

“We felt that in this situation it was a good move,” he said. “The temperatures will increase as the week goes on, which is uncomfortable and could be a health issue for the players.”

He added that the golfers were vocal about their worries over the heat.

“A lot of players were concerned about it. In these temperatures it can be pretty uncomfortable out there in trousers,” he said.

Ernie Els, a four-time major winner, said he hopes this “common sense” move is done again in the future for similar tour situations. 

“It’s the right thing to do,” he said. “It’s been talked about for so long on all of the tours around the world… I think this could be a game-changer for golf which could end up enhancing the product.”

The European Tour let players were shorts during practice rounds and pro-ams in 2016, but has never allowed it during a tournament. In February, the U.S. PGA Tour made the announcement of the same rule change. 

“I would love it. We play in some of the hottest climates on the planet,” Tiger Woods said of allowing golfers to wear shorts at events.