“If you’re going to dress like that, you’ve got to have the game to back it up!” You may have heard that said to someone playing golf who was dressed like a pro but whose game didn’t necessarily measure up. I especially remember hearing that when Payne Stewart was on the scene, wearing his custom knickers and classic flat cap. While flamboyant for the time, his appearance hearkened back to a time when a similar style of dress was customary. A two-time winner of the U.S. Open (’91 and ’99), he certainly had the game to back it up.
When you dress for golf (or any other pursuit, for that matter) in ways that stand out, that diverge from what is customary, you will draw attention to your appearance. That may be your desired effect. If the look is appropriate for what you are doing, and fits with your personality and the way you carry yourself (perhaps the way you swing a golf club), then it will enhance your confidence and stature. If not, then you will run the risk of looking foolish or like you’re trying too hard.
While there are about 16,000 golf courses in the U.S.A., and roughly 75% of those allow for public access, many courses and clubs retain a country club element, including a definite dress code. The primary requirements are a shirt with a collar, no denim, and proper shoes with soft spikes or other modern equivalents. A very few private clubs still don’t allow men to wear shorts, and still more have some restrictions on the kind of shorts that they will allow. Weather permitting; the overwhelmingly popular choice for the recreational golfer is to wear shorts.
When Tiger Woods entered the public consciousness in the 1990’s, like everyone else, he was wearing over-sized shirts (mostly from very plush cotton fabrics) and pleated pants – clothing that is nearly the antitheses of what most of us are wearing today. Just because the shirts of that time were “roomy” didn’t mean that they provided optimal performance (though Tiger did win the Master’s in record fashion while wearing that clothing.) To allow for more freedom of movement, Tiger developed a method of raising up and tucking the armholes on those over-sized shirts. Before long, several other golfers were doing the same thing. Well, hardly anyone is wearing over-sized clothing anymore, whether for golf or business, so that tuck trick is no longer necessary. Everything is trimmer and closer fitting. And because of numerous technological advances in fabrics, especially for athletic pursuits, the trimmer fitting clothing is actually more comfortable, looks better, and is enabling better performance.
Advanced knitting techniques that create multi-directional stretch, and finishing techniques that include anti-microbial technology and UV protection, are allowing designers to create clothes for golf that wicks and manages moisture, is easy to care for, protects from harmful UV rays and keeps you smelling as fresh as just cut green grass (at least I like that smell), and enables an increase and ease of movement. I know. All that from a shirt and pair of shorts? It’s for real, trust me!
All of those features add up to clothing that really fits and looks great, providing amazing comfort, muscles that don’t tire as easily – especially your back, and overall better performance. Among the best of the modern tech apparel, brands such as F&G Tech from Fairway & Greene are making great looking clothing that will keep you cool, dry, and comfortable. In their own words, “At Fairway & Greene, traditional colors in haberdashery patterns are cut to fit the modern gentleman. When wearing Fairway & Greene you belong on any first tee in the world.” F&G Tech definitely has your back.