Forrest Fezler Bio: The Golfer Who Dared to Wear Shorts

Forrest Fezler was a pro golfer on the PGA Tour most associated with the 1970s, and with a dress code protest at the U.S. Open.

Full name: Forrest Oliver Fezler

Date and place of birth: September 23, 1949, in Hayward, California

Date and place of death: December 21, 2018, in Tallahassee, Florida

Significant Wins
1974 Southern Open

That was Fezler's only win on the PGA Tour.

In the Majors
Forrest Fezler had only one Top 10 finish in a major championship, and that was a second-place showing at the 1974 U.S. Open. Fezler finished two strokes behind the winner, Hale Irwin.

Notable Notes: Forrest Fezler has one of the best names in golf history, even if he isn't one of the big names. His most prominent years on the PGA Tour stretched from the early 1970s into the early 1980s.

But he's probably best remembered for his "dress code protest" at the 1983 U.S. Open. Fezler believed that in hot weather — and it was very hot that year at the U.S. Open — players should be allowed to wear shorts. The PGA Tour and the USGA forbade shorts, requiring golf slacks. So on his last hole of the tournament, before teeing off, Fezler changed out of his slacks and into a pair of shorts (using a portable toilet as a changing room). He played the final hole in shorts, becoming the only golfer to play in a U.S. Open or PGA Tour tournament wearing shorts.

Fezler was runner-up in four PGA Tour events from 1972-74, before finishing second at the 1974 U.S. Open. ... He finally won later in 1974 at the PGA Tour's Southern Open, but that proved to be his only tour victory. ... He lost in a playoff at the 1974 American Golf Classic. ... In 1973, Fezler finished 12th on the PGA Tour money list.

In high school, one of Fezler's teammates on the golf squad was future PGA Tour player Roger Maltbie. ... In 1969, Fezler won the California State Amateur Championship. ... Another pro tournament he won was the 1975 Confidence Open, a non-tour event at Pebble Beach that is still played today under the name Pebble Beach Invitational.

Fezler retired from tournament golf in 1984, taking a club pro job. He never joined the Champions Tour. ... He did start a new business in golf course construction and business beginning in 1994.

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