Am I the only one that feels that even as fashion progresses, as we try to learn from past sartorial errors, that male golfers are simply incapable of avoiding poor attire on the links?
I was struck with this realization recently as I began contemplating a belated return to what was once one of my favourite pastimes.
Although I played golf regularly in my mid-to-late teens, as I became more involved in university I began spending more time in the gym, occasionally worked on school assignments and spent a significant number of prime weekend golf mornings in hangover recovery mode.
Golf was no longer in the cards.
Now, as my focus shifts back to the most frustrating game ever created by man, I’m only reminded of the dearth of decent fashion role models in the golf world.
I’m looking to impress on the course, but knowing that I suck, I understand that looking good is about the only way I can redeem myself between the first and 18th holes.
I’m also reminded of the absurdity of the game itself.
It’s the only game in the world where a man is encouraged to drink heavily while typically he’s playing alongside a cute, siren-esque blonde cart girl with an “i” at the end of her name, who only seems to drive vehicles weighed down by beer bottles.
This is the only game in which dressing like a Scottish pimp is considered de rigeur, one in which people pay hundreds of dollars per round to chase a dimpled white ball hundreds of yards while toting clubs worth a month’s mortgage.
Then players get pissed if they can’t snag a Saturday morning tee time at their favourite course so they can drop even more cash!
Those points aside, golf is about bonding, spending time in nature and accomplishing the seemingly impossible — putting that little ball IN THE HOLE!
So I began looking to the pros for sartorial inspiration.
Some of the younger guns on the PGA Tour such as Jesper Parnevik, Camilo Villegas and at times Sergio Garcia, utilize the help — and in some cases, the sponsorship — of haute-couture designers to look good at work.
Then there are the top guns.
Tiger Woods — possibly the greatest golfer in history — at times dresses as if he was preparing for a shift at Blockbuster.
Incredibly hot Swedish nanny wife and hundreds of millions of dollars in endorsements or not, the man who sports his own line of Nike clothing typically looks as though he just stepped out from behind an office cubicle.
Say no to buttoned-to-the-top golf shirts Tiger! You help design the Nike line, buddy, add some crazy striping, maybe a hint of unexpected colour. Hell, dye your hair blonde again. We’ll take any glimpse of fashion hip-ness at this point.
Then there’s Phil Mickelson, who hides his man-breasts with a shirt big enough to fit three trophy wives. Other top golfers such as Vijay Singh, Ernie Els, even Canadian Mike Weir, offer little or no guidance in the fashion department, either.
And their collective sartorial faux pas has made its way into the common fashion repertoire of most weekend warriors.
There is hope, however — labels such as Puma, Burberry Golf, J Lindeberg and even select Nike items are turning apparel-conscious golfers into fashion forces to be reckoned with.
Of course, none of these designer options are cheap, but when you’re not spending money on lessons to make the cut at Q-school, you may as well pour your cash into your wardrobe.
You may never drive like Tiger, but you can at least dress like you have his money.