With the U.S. Women's Open set to conclude Sunday at Trump Bedminster--Shanshan Feng has a two stroke lead, reports Golfweek's Beth Ann Baldry--a new or updated LPGA dress code takes effect tomorrow, reports Ashley Mayo at GolfDigest.com and discussed on Morning Drive. She is reporting off of a July 2 memo to players that seems oddly timed, with the inspiration and rationale not entirely clear. And as Stephanie Wei notes, this sound like it rules out much of Michelle Wie's current Nike wardrobe.
But why and why now when the LPGA is in the spotlight?
A few of the restrictions suggest the schlub alarms went off at a pro-am party, but most seem concerned about the edge-pushing by Symetra Tour and other young players of late. Still, as Mayo writes, the memo and it's all-caps "NOT" references looks like a pre-emptive shot at Instagram "golf babes" aesthetics coupled with some oddball inclusions.
In an era when Instagram "golf babes" are dressing more provocative than ever and consequently attracting more attention and sponsorships than many professional golfers do, perhaps the LPGA Tour is trying to set an entirely different tone in an effort to command respect and separate itself as a highly different, more professional product. Even so, why take away a golfer's freedom to feel like an athlete in joggers? Or leggings? Or racerback tops? These pieces of clothing can look highly polished when worn correctly, so why not encourage a more professional look instead of banning such pieces altogether?