Look like Pro even if you don't play like it

By Mike Bailey
Published on

Most recreational golfers can’t play like the pros, but almost anyone can dress like one. In fact, looking good on the course is half the fun of golf.
One of the easiest ways to look like a pro is to emulate what’s on TV, which would mean lots of Nike (Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Michelle Wie), adidas (Dustin Johnson, Jessica Korda, Danielle Kang), Puma (Rickie Fowler) or perhaps Under Armour (Jordan Spieth). But you can make your own statement, too.
While the above mainstays are doing fine, the trends these days for both men and women continues to be styles and fabrics that are a blend of sharp and casual that’s comfortable as well.
Erik Wilson, PGA Head Professional at The Grand Golf Club at the Grand Del Mar in San Diego, is seeing a lot of success with brands like Peter Millar, TravisMathew and boutique names like Turtleson Golf, johnni-O, Stitch and Linksoul. These stylish lines look sharp and perform and feel great.
“They don’t look golf specific,” says Wilson, the 2018 PGA Merchandiser of the Year in the Resorts category. “You can wear this on and off the golf course.”
These are brands that fit any kind of personality. TravisMathew, for example, looks sharp and feel great. Its shorts fit really well. Linksoul, co-founded by John Ashworth and based in Oceanside, Calif., is gaining a loyal following with its super comfortable casual look that not includes polos, shorts and slacks, but pullovers, hats, belts and even sunglasses. And whatever your brand, Wilson recommends smart layering with quarter and full-zip pullovers as well as vests (no windshirts, please) to fit the climate, weather and time of year.
Female golfers are also looking for golf apparel they can wear on and off the course, but they want it to be athletic, too. Brands like FootJoy Leisure, Tory Burch and Jolfino are really hitting the mark in those areas with their beautiful prints and solids that are appropriate in almost any setting.
As for hats, wide brim sun hats continue to be popular among both sexes. Among the baseball-style cap offerings, mesh-back hats that breathe continue to sell. And if you really want to go old school, check out the Lee Trevino “Super Mex” hats from Criquet Apparel out of Austin, Texas.
As for shoes, they are much like the apparel. Golfers are going away from cleats and opting for shoes – whether they are Nike, adidas, FootJoy or Ecco – that don’t look too “golfy” and have nubs on the bottom. That way, when you leave the course you can go straight to the car without changing shoes for a quick getaway to dinner or to the house.