Rejecting the Global Golf Uniform in favor of Style & Comfort

Here’s a boredom-driven multipart question. Yes, in fact, multipart questions are the only kinds of questions I ask.

  • What’s your preferred golf uniform? Do you always or usually wear purpose-made golf shirts, slacks and shorts?
  • Do you change the style of what you wear to where you play? In other words, do you wear better looking clothes when you play better (read: more expensive) courses or do you pretty much wear the same kind of threads no matter where you play?
  • Has you golf attire changed over the last few years?

I ask the last question because I’m starting to make a big change. I’m rejecting what I see as the Global Golf Uniform. Pretty much every male tour player the world over wears it. You know the look. I don’t have to detail it here. I don’t know why but it’s especially loathsome when I see this getup worn by skinny 10 year olds and fat guys over 50. The mere sight makes me want to take up bowling.

Rors looking fit & dapper in his Nike GGU

One last question: Has your choice in headwear changed? Me? I’m getting ready to dump the ubiquitous baseball style hat (who ever found that style of hat functionally suited to golf anyway?) in favor of something befitting the dignity of my rapidly advancing years.

Yes, I’m thinking bucket hat.

A few years back I wore this uniform: Shorts year round and irrespective of the weather. Hey, I live in Los Angeles; it’s easy. The shorts are Patagonia and I have pairs in medium tan and medium gray. They’re just standard cotton shorts not golf shorts. Last year I started wearing dark gray Kuhl shorts because of the slimmer fit and the very clever phone pocket it has.

I used to prefer Travis Mathews and Adidas golf shirts and an occasional Nike (they always seem to have good, simple back shirts).

I have come to hate fully 90% of the paper-thin synthetic crap that pretty much every golf shirt company is peddling these days. Not only do they look like crap on nearly everyone they also have a hyper-synthetic feel to their coal-based or polymer-based fabrics.

No, I’m not pining for the days where every tour player wore pleated Docker-styled slacks and wildly oversized cotton polo shirts (usually made by Ashworth back in the day).

Our 45th president out on the links in high rise, pleated slacks. Thumbs up to you, Donald!
woods garcia
Woods & Garcia back when cotton was king and the polos were huge.

This is where I’m really bucking the system. Where doable, I’m ditching the golf shirt. I have a great collection of non-collard casual shirts that I’ve come to prefer over the scads of black, blue and red golf shirts I’ve worn when out hacking in the past. The change has brought a palpable relief to my psyche and sense of style. I’ve hated the me-too formulary of the golf uniform for long enough.

If a course requires a collared shirt, and I really want to play there, I’ve got it covered. But, the fact is that I may end up asking myself if I really want to play a course that requires me to wear something I don’t like wearing.

Yup, I’m swimming upstream on this one while I’m still walking the golf course and carrying my sticks on my back. Life’s too short to wear polos and a baseball hat every time I play golf.

It’s gonna take some guts to actually put that bucket hat on…I admit it.

Rejecting the Global Golf Uniform in favor of Style & Comfort

The Scars of Sergio Garcia

I’ve followed Sergio Garcia since he won the British am and contended in the US am. To me, he’s a very compelling if sometimes confounding player (and person?) to watch.

After The Players someone asked Garcia how he liked playing in that arena. Garcia was vague in reply but made it clear there had been some heckling and went on to say that it’s worse when he’s in contention. It was clear that it was not a subject he was comfortable discussing and he ended the interview rather abruptly.

That got me thinking about the source of Garcia’s off and on relationship with galleries. From 1997 until the 1999 PGA there was none of that; he was the eyes-closed darling of the fans and the media.

But then…

Looking back, here’s what I think soured things:

—The 1999 Ryder Cup at The Country Club. 16 years later no one will deny that the galleries were brutal to the European players. I’m sure this got to Garcia more than many of the older players. He played his own stupid-kid card when he sat down in the middle of the fairway to show that he wouldn’t be rushed.

—The 2002 US Open at Bethpage and the Garcia re-grip epidemic. Again, I’ve never heard anything but that the galleries really zeroed in on Garcia.

—Garcia is relentlessly European. He’s never lived in Texas like K.J. Choi and likely never will. In 2014 he played in 16 events on the PGA Tour and 17 on the European Tour. Though it’s likely not helped his game or increased his shot at a bagging a major, he’s remained loyal to his continent and tour.

From 1997 to 1999 Garcia seemed on the verge of embracing the US. He learned English very quickly and did interviews without translators as soon as he thought he was able to pull it off. Now, I’ll bet Garcia wished he had never learned to speak much English, like Angel Cabrera.

I used to think Garcia had been beaten down by his place in the Tiger Woods Era, but now I don’t think that’s it. I think the US fans beat him down. Surely he has deserved some of it, but much of it was a simple case of grinding a guy for the sake of grinding him.

It would be unfortunate if Garcia became the successor to Colin Montgomerie. I’ve followed both players in person and I can tell you that I never saw Garcia do anything but keep his head down and play his game. Monty on the other hand quite nearly seemed to be looking for a confrontation. It was weird; Monty acted like he was under attack when he wasn’t. When I looked at Monty the word jerk came to mind. Garcia doesn’t look like a jerk to me. And, he always seems very well liked by other players, true, most of them are Euros, but the ability to get along is the ability to get along. In that way, Garcia can do something that Patrick Reed and Bubba Watson can’t.

In the end, I didn’t think Garcia would win The Players. He had lost his inner Spaniard somewhere. And, there were too many ghosts floating above the 17th green, and the lingering image of his ball coming up short against Woods, for him to go flag hunting like Fowler and Kisner. In a odd way, it was almost as if even the announcers found a way to dig at Garcia, with Dan Hicks mimicking Garcia’s accent and Miller opining that Garcia looked like he needed a siesta as Garcia watched Kisner’s putt on the 72nd hole.

That, was not something Garcia brought on himself. Hicks and Miller did that all by themselves and they may not even be aware of it.

I hope Garcia finds whatever it is he has lost before too many more pages of the calender get turned.

The Scars of Sergio Garcia