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PGA Championship 2023: Why do players wear their hats backwards in the rain?


Darren Carroll/PGA of America

There's nothing less fun than playing golf in the cold and rain, but nothing more fun than watching pros have to deal with it.

Pros, indeed, had to deal with it on Saturday at the 2023 PGA Championship. The rain poured, but never enough for play to be called. And when it did, we didn't just see lots of predictable bogeys. We also saw something unexpected: Players turning their hats around backwards.

If you're wondering why, you're not the only one. Lots of golf fans on social media were asking the question, and the answer is simple: When the rain gets heavy and players' hats get drenched with water, the water starts dropping down the brim of their hat. That, simply put, gets annoying when players are tilting over their ball at setup. It's hard to focus on the ball you've got water drip, drip, dripping down in front of it.


Kevin C. Cox

And so, the hat goes backwards. Tiger Woods was the first to do it — the first time I can remember him flipping the hat backwards was during his infamous 81 at Muirfield during the 2002 Open Championship.



Why not take the hat off all together? Some do, but for most golfers, wearing a hat is simply more comfortable — even if it's the wrong way around.