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Grandstand at Royal Portrush

CODE GREEN

Shorts Approved

This year, players are allowed to wear shorts during practice rounds at The Open

By Jim Gorant

Shorts Approved

By Jim Gorant



Never say the R&A doesn’t have a sense of humor. 

This April, after 147 iterations of The Open Championship and a 68-year absence from Northern Ireland, the Royal and Ancient announced it would allow players to wear shorts during practice rounds. For those who have not experienced summer in the British Isles, the average July temperature at Royal Portrush, which sits at the northern tip of Ireland, hard against the North Atlantic, registers at a toasty 60 degrees.

The forecast for this week’s practice days through Wednesday, showed a high of 63, with rain expected two of the four days. No wonder that at the time of the announcement defending champ Francesco Molinari told the media, "I don’t think it might be a priority in Portrush.” 

Still, Molinari welcomed the change, which follows a similar decision by the PGA Tour in February and by the trailblazing European tour in 2016. Perhaps sensing the momentum, Molinari pushed for freedom from trousers during tournament play, too. “It would be a change in golf but I don’t see why not. There are people playing golf in shorts all around the world. I don’t see why we should be different.”





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