When Women Playing Golf in Shorts Was Controversial

A story recently hit about former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and the recently deceased Rush Limbaugh, a story involving Michelle Wie's panties. Or, rather, what those two creepy old dudes thought were Wie's panties. Long story short: Those two creeps were following Wie around a golf course because they thought they were getting a look up her skirt. In reality, Michelle wasn't exposing anything other than a pair of shorts underneath her skirt. She was wearing a skort, in other words, and the creepy old guys were getting their jollies imagining they were seeing something else.

Creepy old guys have always been part of golf and, alas, likely always will be. Men have long, in every walk of life, tried (often successfully) to be the arbiters of what women can or can't wear. I ran across the Giuliani-Wie story just about the same time I ran across the story below, a story that appeared in the USGA Green Section Journal in the late 1950s.

The short story is about the USGA asking competitors in the U.S. Women's Open to refrain from wearing shorts at Winged Foot, because the club, at that time, did not allow women to wear shorts on its golf courses. Skirts were the appropriate attire for women golfers, Winged Foot (and the USGA) said.

"The controversy over shorts has been raging now for 23 years," the brief story reports. And, I realized, as a society we really haven't come very far at all.

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