Golf Fashion Is Par For The Course
You may putt for dough but it's time you dress for show
Teeing up at the final hole of the 2020 Master’s Tournament with a five-shot lead, Dustin Johnson, clad in fitted navy Adidas performance wear, looked as sure as his short game.
Johnson’s style, he said in a recent interview with Golf Digest magazine, can be the difference between a good day and a bad day on the links.
Clashing colors make him “feel all messed up” and unable to focus on his game. A scuffed shoe is unacceptable. “Black, white, grey, blue — that’s about the extent of the color palette in my closet,” Johnson said. “I’ll wear a little bit of color every once in a while, but I always have to match.”
Though his new Masters green jacket will offer a welcome pop to his wardrobe, Johnson’s penchant for the monochromatic is consistent with much of the apparel available at your local pro shop.
“Everything in the past few years has been so muted and grayed-out,” said Alan Watson, owner and operator of Golf Plus in Panama City Beach. “But, this spring, I’m looking to see more color. We already saw some brighter patterns at the Masters, so I think we’re finally starting to lean toward the more bold and vibrant.”
Still, Watson suggests that golfers adhere to the aphorism, “a little goes a long way.” Think Tiger Woods’ signature red Nike polo, which the golfer typically pairs with a solid black pant, cap and shoes. All-over print polos and sweaters, no matter their hue, can be dressed down with traditional khaki, grey and black neutrals for a modern, sophisticated look.
At the Scenic Hills Country Club Pro Shop in Pensacola, PGA Professional Rick Gorman, too, has seen a resurgence of flamboyant designs.
“Bold prints with splashes of color are very popular for both men and women,” he said. “And everything, from shirts to shorts, are made of performance-enhancing, moisture-wicking materials.”
So while the loud patterns of argyle sweater vests and tweed knickerbockers may be making a comeback, heavy fabrics and knitted creations are not.
“It’s all about softer, thinner, more comfortable fabrics,” Watson said. “Most people want something that feels breathable.”
Performance fabric, Watson said, has even made its way to shorts, skirts and pants. Stretchy, sweat-wicking material supplies easy ventilation, while sticky, silicone-lined waistbands keep shirts tucked in and secure through even the most powerful tee shots.
Gorman has also noticed a significant demand for zipper-fronted tops for both men and women, as they allow for the easy adjustment of air circulation throughout the game. Nike, Antigua and FootJoy apparel, he said, are among Scenic Hills’ best-selling brands and incorporate the latest activewear technology in their apparel.
Watson also counts FootJoy among his favorite suppliers at Golf Plus.
“Golf shoes have greatly improved in the last few years, as they’re moving toward more of a comfort, sporty trend that looks and feels like running shoes,” Watson said. “The FootJoy Flex is our best-selling shoe; it’s lightweight, offers support and is very stylish. I like to call them ‘lifestyle shoes’ because you’ll want to wear them both on and off the course.”
While only a few including Johnson have a multi-year deal with Adidas, we do have the freedom to mix and match brands that best suit our body and play. Find which lines work for you, and don’t worry about committing any fashion faux pas with clashing logos.
“Nike and Puma are going to push for more color and style, while Peter Millar relies on quality fabric and tradition,” said Watson. “I think a lot of people pick up fashion cues from their favorite golfers on tour, but at the end of the day, it mostly boils down to who you are and finding your own personal fashion.”