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Women pro golfers are facing a ‘slut-shaming’ new dress code

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Moya Crockett
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The Ladies’ Professional Golf Association (LPGA) has come under fire for a new dress code which bans female golfers from wearing certain styles of clothing.

The LGPA is an American organisation for female pro golfers, and is known for welcoming elite female golfers from around the world to its LGPA Tour tournaments. However, from Monday 17 July, the Tour may feel like a much less hospitable place for many female athletes.

Golf Digest reports that a draconian new dress code was sent to Tour players earlier in July, in an email from LGPA Player President Vicki Goetze-Ackerman.



The rules are pretty extensive – and restrictive. The following points were set down in Goetze-Ackerman’s email:

  • 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
michelle

US pro golfer Michelle Wie. Under new LGPA rules, the length of golfers' skirts will be strictly monitored.

Goetze-Ackerman emphasised that players who break the dress code will be punished severely. Athletes who dare to wear, say, a racer-back vest without a collar (gasp!) will now be slapped with a £765 [$1,000] fine – a penalty that will be doubled for every further time they violate the dress code.

Tour golfers were also that it was their “job” to make sure their clothing sponsors provided them with appropriate athletic wear.



The decision to restrict women’s clothing choices during the Tour was met by criticism online. Teen Vogue accused the LGPA of ‘slut-shaming’, while Ashley Mayo at Golf Digest pointed out that jogging bottoms, leggings and racerback tops “can look highly polished when worn correctly”.

“Why not encourage a more professional look instead of banning such pieces altogether?” she asked.

Watch: How do British girls really feel about sport?

On Twitter, @AllGolfEverything wrote: “Maybe it’s not the dress code that’s an issue but the camera guy’s angle when the ladies pick up a ball… just a thought!”

Others pointed out the old-fashioned language used in the new dress code.

Heather Daly-Donofrio, the LGPA Tour’s chief communications and tour operations officer, suggested that the new dress code had been subject to feedback from some of the athletes themselves.

“The dress code requires players to present themselves in a professional manner to reflect a positive image for the game,” she said.

“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.”

Images: Rex Features

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Moya Crockett

Moya is Women’s Editor at stylist.co.uk, where she is currently overseeing the Visible Women campaign. As well as writing about inspiring women and feminism, she also covers subjects including careers, podcasts and politics. Carrying a tiny bottle of hot sauce on her person at all times is one of the many traits she shares with both Beyoncé and Hillary Clinton.

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