After Friday’s sweltering heat, should the PGA Tour allow shorts? Pros’ answers may surprise you

Jordan Spieth wipes his face with a towel on the 11th green during the second round of the FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind on August 11, 2023 in Memphis, Tennessee.

It was a different kind of hot Friday in Memphis.

Getty Images

In case you haven’t heard yet, Friday’s second round of the FedEx St. Jude Championship was hot, and we don’t just mean the scores.

The heat index (also known as “apparent temperature” or “real feel”) at TPC Southwind reached 111 degrees — the hottest round of the season. It was so hot, Harris English’s caddie had to be relieved after 11 holes.

“Ahhh, it’s not that bad,” Tommy Fleetwood said sarcastically before having a laugh and quickly correcting himself. “I’m only joking. It’s hot.”

Jordan Spieth said he was “humbled” by the sweltering conditions.

“It’s just a different kind of heat,” said Jordan Spieth. “It felt like it was just coming off the ground. Like you could just feel the water coming off the ground.”

Spieth said he’d likely bring a second shirt to change into at the turn Saturday when a heat advisory will still be in place in Memphis and heat indexes are again forecasted to reach into the low triple digits. However, the weather has prompted another question regarding the PGA Tour’s dress code: Should pros be allowed to wear shorts on the PGA Tour?

“Probably,” Fleetwood said. “You know, it might have been nice.”

That was only after he kind of threw playing partner Denny McCarthy under the bus.

“I’ve never seen trousers like Denny McCarthy’s today, he was sweating so much,” Fleetwood said. “He looked like he had just jumped in a pool.”

Fleetwood was the only pro who made an outright endorsement of wearing shorts on a day like Friday.

Jordan Spieth
‘What was I thinking?’ Jordan Spieth’s decision-making clouded by debilitating heat
By: Jessica Marksbury

In fact, Spieth even offered a reason against wearing them.

“Sure, if they gave us the option, I would have worn shorts, but I don’t think it would have made that much of a difference. You’d have just seen the sweat dripping down my legs instead of having dark pants on,” he said after a 68 that put him one off Lucas Glover’s 36-hole lead of 10 under. “My shirt made me weigh five more pounds today. I don’t think the pants added much to it.”

Tom Kim went viral for rolling up the cuffs on his pants Thursday but ended up wearing them normally on Friday. He said that was simply to keep his pants clean after he fell into the marsh earlier this season at the PGA Championship.

When asked if he thought about rolling his pants up again Friday because of the heat, Kim said he did, but didn’t pull the trigger because of the social media reaction to Thursday’s ensemble.

Shorts, of course, are somewhat of a controversial topic on the PGA Tour, and even more so in recent years.

Harris English
Extreme heat caused pro’s caddie to quit mid-round. Then, a spectator stepped in
By: Jessica Marksbury

Since the dawn of time — seemingly — the PGA Tour has had a moratorium on players wearing shorts in competition. The policy was altered slightly in 2019 — following the lead of the then-European Tour and PGA of America — to allow players to wear shorts during practice rounds.

The issue came back up last summer when LIV Golf commissioner Greg Norman announced the ability for players to wear shorts during all rounds at LIV events.

And when the PGA Tour comes to muggy Memphis in the middle of one of the hottest global summers in recorded history, it’s again a hot topic (pun intended).

However, the players asked about it Friday were generally in agreement: shorts wouldn’t have made much of a difference.

“It’s not something— trousers, shorts. Just playing golf, it’s going to be hot either way,” Fleetwood said.

Jack Hirsh Editor

Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at GOLF. A Pennsylvania native, Jack is a 2020 graduate of Penn State University, earning degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. He was captain of his high school golf team and recently returned to the program to serve as head coach. Jack also still *tries* to remain competitive in local amateurs. Before joining GOLF, Jack spent two years working at a TV station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as a Multimedia Journalist/reporter, but also producing, anchoring and even presenting the weather. He can be reached at



Watch, play, win. Chirp Golf is your home for the best of real money Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and Free-To-Play games.

Watch, play, win

Chirp Golf is your home for the best of real money Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and Free-To-Play games. Featuring simple to play. easy to learn, and fun games. Chirp Golf has something for every golf fan.

Scan to Download:

Google Play Apple Store