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Ladies Professional Golf Association sets strict new dress code regulations for players

Ladies Professional Golf Association sets strict new dress code regulations for players
July 24, 2017

The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) has taken the decision to enforce a strict new dress code, banning plunging necklines, leggings and short skirts, for professional players.

Detailed in an email from LPGA Player President Vicki Goetze-Ackerman earlier this month, the new regulations state:

• Racerback with a mock or regular collar are allowed (no collar = no racerback).
• 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.

Violations carry a US$1,000 fine for each occurrence.

With the game grappling to shed its sometimes stuffy image and engage with a new generation of golfers, the US-based organisation, which runs the global LPGA Tour, has often lead the way in making the game exciting to young players and fans.

LPGA caddies wear their players' Twitter handles on their bibs, players are sometimes mic’d up and interviewed mid-round, and the Tour generally has a fantastic reputation for giving fans in attendance an intimate experience relative to the PGA Tour.

A source at the LPGA said the new guidelines were something players provided feedback on, and have been doing so for some time leading up to the announcement.

Representatives from the LPGA confirmed that the policy changes had been a topic of discussion for a while, and weren’t the result of a top-down crackdown but were put forth by players.

In a statement, Heather Daly-Donofrio, LPGA's Chief Communications and Tour Operations Officer, advised “the dress code requires players to present themselves in a professional manner to reflect a positive image for the game. 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.

“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.” Nonetheless, some of the email’s language is raising questions about whether the LPGA is policing women’s bodies, as does the mixed response from current and former LPGA players.

Sandra Gal, an LPGA player who has worn less conservative styles on the course, told Golf.com, “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?”

Christina Kim, another LPGA player known for bringing some flair to her own outfits, expressed a different view, commenting “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?”

Image: LPGA Golfer Lexi Thomson has mocked the new dress code in an Instagram post. 

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