Critics Slam LPGA for ‘Body-Shaming’ Women With New Dress Code

Michelle Wie of LPGA, pictured here
Michelle Wie at the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore.
REX/Shutterstock

The Ladies Professional Golf Association has issued a new set of rules pertaining to dress code that some say are “body-shaming” women. There has been much backlash, from tennis players to magazines, widely criticizing the changes, with some of the most glaring restrictions being the banning of plunging necklines, leggings or revealing skirts on the course.

Teen Vogue is one outlet that has been vocal with the critiques, with an article written by Suzannah Weiss stating: “As more and more pointless dress codes interfere with our daily lives, women are standing up for their right to wear what they want and not be slut-shamed. Apparently, the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) missed the memo about that.”

As of July 17, the stricter dress code is to be enforced based on an e-mail sent on July 2 from LPGA player president Vicki Goetze-Ackerman to golfers. The extensive list lays out specific clothing that will no longer be allowed on course or at professional-amateur parties on the tour.

Blair O'Neal of the United States follows her ball on the 14th hole during the Dubai Ladies Masters golf tournament in Dubai. Blair O’Neal wears a pink skirt with pink sneakers at the Dubai Ladies Masters golf tournament. REX/Shutterstock

Items in the adjusted dress code from Goetze-Ackerman’s email include the following:

  • 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

Athletes will face a $1,000 fine for a first offense of the new policy. Fines double for each subsequent violation.

Heather Daly-Donofrio, the LPGA tour’s chief communications and tour operations officer, told Golf Digest that the modified dress code was implemented on the basis of professionalism.  

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

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