It’s been said that “what goes around comes around”, let us look at fashion trends in the golfing world that came and gone, as well as some that has resurrected.
The Future Substituting the Past
Fashion has in recent years been influenced by the past and is being incorporated in the modern style of dressing. Of course, the younger generation found the old-school way of dressing quite boring hence the new look of the likes of Ricky Fowler and Rory Mcilroy being regarded as cool.
This was partly influenced by recent global fashion trends with comfort as another major driving factor. We’ve learnt that golfers, both pros and amateurs do get injuries which possibly explains transitions such as classic golf shoes being replaced by sneaker-like golf shoes.
Breaking Rules vs. Trend Setting
It was interesting to see the same mock turtleneck shirt Tiger Woods wore when he won the tournament in 2005 being sold out almost everywhere in the world after his comeback win at Augusta in 2013. The shirt also triggered conversations about its appropriateness at golf clubs. A typical golf attire has historically, even to the non-golfing community been known as the most formal of all sporting codes. This has however taken a drastic change, as the dress code has arguably become more and more casual.
Tiger Woods’ debut of the mock turtleneck shirt in 2013 triggered mixed responses before it went on the shelves. Some said, “Tiger is breaking the rules just because he’s the big deal”, perhaps because he held the world number one back then. Eventually the shirts went on the shelves and people were a bit sceptical, thinking they might not be allowed to play with them.
Fast-forward to 2017, golf brands were on a rise, releasing their newest and latest trends. Even the Nike Golf brand introduced another controversial Blade Collar polo shirt. Traditionally, a golfer would not be allowed to tee it up without a proper collared shirt. Meaning, round and V-neck shirts are prohibited on the golf course. Blade Collars were now being worn by tour players which sparked a debate, as the shirts looked like a round neck shirt with buttons. I must admit, I also felt the same since in my younger days I once wore a similar style shirt on the golf course and was told not to wear it again as it’s not a proper golf shirt.
History Revisiting the Future #throwbacks & #flashbacks
Seven years later, Nike brought back the mock turtleneck shirt. Even after Tiger’s win, you still find some golfers who insist that the shirt is not allowed in some clubs. I must say, Tiger Woods was not the first golfer to wear an out of the norm kind of shirt on the professional front. Just like Knickers (plus fours) were worn in the 1920s, which were later revived by the late Payne Stewart on the PGA Tour in the 90s, so is the mock turtleneck worn in recent times. Retired English professional golfer, Tony Jacklin who was the most successful British player in his era and was seen on tour with the mock turtleneck collar. Even our very own Black Knight, Gary Player would play with a roll-neck cashmere.
So it’s clear that the dress code rule which states that, “only collared shirts will be allowed on the golf course” is a myth. It’s therefore safe to say that any shirt can be worn regardless of who wears it, as long as it has a collar. Like they say, “fashion comes and goes”.
Hope you enjoyed reading this piece, please feel free to share your views on golf fashion, style and trends in general.
Until next time