Most pro athletes, especially those within our favorite American sports leagues, have very specific uniform guidelines and rules. The NFL hands out tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of fines each week for uniform violations. Each MLB uniform style guide is pages long, with notes on color combos, kerning, and spacing (bonus points if you can name the MLB team with the most number of belt loops – it’s also the only team that features a color on the road unis that doesn’t show up in their home unis). The NBA will be the first of the 4 major sports leagues to allow advertising on their uniforms starting in 2017-18. The world of sports attire is typically a well-regulated one, but the pro golf scene is like the Wild West. There are rules, both on the PGA and European Tours, but not really uniforms. The outfits are usually, and hopefully, put together with a plan in mind, either by the golfer or his sponsors. Some of those plans work out – some of them definitely do not.
Let’s take a look at some of the best and worst looks from Round One of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open (5/19/16). I thought about choosing the AT&T Byron Nelson, but golf in the UK usually involves some weather and where’s there’s weather, there’s usually weird foul-weather wardrobe choices.
Kristoffer Broberg: Dapper
Consistent branding, a simple black-and-white look, and a Callaway-branded neck scarf thingy? Pretty cool, if you ask me. I know most people aren’t fans of the flat-brimmed hats, but I am. And it’s impossible to confirm from this photo alone, but I’d say there’s a 50% chance he has a mullet – bonus. I can’t say I’ve seen Broberg play a lot of golf, but he looks better than the 74 he carded in the first round.
Joost Luiten: Damper
If you’ve got really weird, terrible hair, you should wear a full hat. I think most golfers look bad in visors – Joost here is no exception.
Ross Fisher: Damper
He actually looks fine, but a long-sleeve compression shirt with grey piping under a short sleeve tee under a vest? That’s a fairly insane layering choice.
Matthew Fitzpatrick: Dapper
The head-to-toe Under Armour guys –Jordan Spieth and Gary Woodland – always look good. That’s what you get when your main sponsor is a shoe and apparel company. Guys like Hunter Mahan screw it up by wearing UA shirts and PING hats. Fitzpatrick looks prepared, comfortable, and athletic.
Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston: Damper
This guy’s all over the place. White panels, blue panels, red panels, black panels. He’s potentially wearing like 11 layers – odd choice for a big fella, especially one with the endearing nickname ‘Beef’. This is mostly a case of terrible rain gear, I think, but even then his hat doesn’t match his red/black shirt. Bad. Neat beard, though.
Rory McIlroy: Dapper
Rory always looks like a cross between a guy playing professional golf and a guy on his way to a cross-fit class. He’s Nike head-to-toe, as always, and everything ties together nicely.
Søren Kjeldsen: Damper
I get it. You’re a cool little Danish guy with awesome hair. But it’s not the 90s. And you’re not filming a beach-set music video for NKOTB. It’s so hard to look cool wearing a visor, even with that cool Danish hair.
Paul Dunne: Damper
What color is that sweater, tawny? Buff?
Danny Willett: Damper
I’m hoping the all-grey trend is dying down. I love the color grey, but when it’s all you’re wearing there’s a chance it’s going to look like you’re wearing a body suit – especially if you’re in the gallery and you see these guys walking down the fairway from 300 yards away.
Dr. Michael Smurfit: Dapper
This is the guy who owns the K Club, where the tournament is being played in County Kildare. Look at that hat. This guy is legit.
Callum Shinkwin: Dapper
This is a good look; I generally like the all-black look as long as there’s some element of color being pulled through. The hidden striped undershirt is a nice touch and the bright red collar stands out. This is a clean good look on a guy with a really interesting name.
Thorbjørn Olesen: Dapper
Speaking of interesting names. I love the grey in the collar and zipper – it’s a great match and a great fit. I wish he had gone all-out and used a hat with a grey swoosh, but I love the flat-brimmed hats on guys that can pull it off. Even his golf bag is looking stylish. Good work by Thorbjørn.