Hoodies and golf

Unless you have been under a golfing stone, you will not have avoided the debate that is taking place over the choice of attire of the latest BMW PGA Championship winner, Tyrrell Hatton.

So let me start by telling you a little bit about the most recent tournament where this drama took place. One of the most famous venues of golf is Wentworth Golf club which has been the home for the most prestigious golf tournament in Europe for over 90 years.

I'm told it's £125k to be a member at Wentworth and then an annual commitment of about £16k per year. You can imagine the members of the club. Their wealth dictates their ability to join the club at all but their passion for golf must be equal to entertain such fee's. So, also imagine how those members may feel when on the first tee, which is overlooked by the beautiful properly, is the latest wave of golfing talent who has rocked up, changed his shoes in the car park and is taking his stance... in a hoodie. I don't know about the members at Wentworth, but I do know that attire would be enough to send the seniors at my local club into meltdown and I hear one golf club sent all of its members a letter making it clear that a hoodie was not an acceptable item of clothing for their golf course.

There have been many articles and blogs written about Hatton's choice of clothing, enough to even shock our Tyrrell himself who is amazed at the noise it has created as he quite rightly points out that he's not the first golfer to wear a hoodie - although he may indeed be the first to win a major tournament in one.

I've read a lot on the debates for both sides of the argument and both make salient points. 'Tradition' has been thrown around as well as 'respect' and my ultimate favourite quote "golf represents a better version of yourself". Well right now that means I can wear pretty much anything which improves on my pyjamas which seem to be my staple outfit during lockdown. But there is such a difference of opinion for people who otherwise agree on most things golf and if nothing else, have complete passion for the game.

Personally, I am very much pro the development of this amazing game which respects tradition but also allows the game to develop in a sporting and practical way. Women's golf for so long has taken the spot light with regards to dress code with short skirts and vest tops all being hailed as inappropriate but not because of the sporting aspect, on the contrary anything that reduces restriction on your rotation or swing should be embraced not condemned, but because of the tradition of the game.

It remains and interesting subject to me which undoubtable divides us but one thing remains. The hoodie wearing Hatton was the best player in the tournament by 4 shots. Whether it was the freedom and movement in his comfortable sporting clothes that aided his victory is in question, but his talent and performance is not.

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