All's Fair In Love And Golf

By Stina Sternberg Illustrations by John Ritter
January 07, 2009

Q: My buddy says LPGA Tour players are allowed to wear shorts because women are more likely than men to pass out from heat exhaustion. I'm not buying it. I say it's a marketing gimmick to attract viewers.

A: Neither one of your theories is correct. Although I'm sure players on the LPGA Tour are grateful that they don't have to wear long pants when it's hot and humid, they're no more likely to faint from the heat than male players, says John Adam, athletic trainer for the LPGA Tour and former medical coordinator for the PGA Tour. In fact, Adam says women are usually better at drinking fluids to stay hydrated during a round.

I also don't think LPGA Tour players wear shorts, skorts and skirts simply to attract attention. These women are athletes, playing a professional sport for a lot of money. They wear what helps them play their best. I get a lot of mail from readers criticizing the short skirts worn in professional women's golf, but I really don't see what the big deal is. Sure, golf is a game of tradition, but this is the 21st century, and golfers need to adapt to the times, just like athletes in other sports. You never hear anyone complain about the miniskirts worn by female tennis players during Wimbledon, or the body-clinging track suits worn by female runners.

No matter the sport, athletic clothing should be functional and comfortable, not cumbersome.

Q: Why are so many women offended when a guy calls the forward tees "ladies tees"?

A: Because it's an outdated term -- like calling a flight attendant a stewardess. It might have been acceptable years ago, but today it's insulting.

Tees should have nothing to do with gender and everything to do with the golfer's skill level. If you're a short hitter, you should play from the forward tees, no matter your age or gender. It pains me to watch men who can't hit the ball 200 yards tee off from the whites -- or, heaven forbid, the blues. The reverse is also true: Long hitters should move back, even women. I know many men who cringe when they play against a woman who bombs it from the reds. It's a huge advantage.


The reader response to my relaxed position on wearing hats indoors (January issue) was almost unanimous: I don't know what I'm talking about.

Bob Kneisly of Honolulu writes: "The tradition of men removing their hats has to do with the fact that food is served. It goes back to the days of wooden Navy ships. During battle, the mess hall served as the medical station. You removed your hat out of respect for the dead and dying. Some traditions are worth saving, and this is one of them." Well put, Bob.

To submit comments or questions, e-mail Stina at