Category - Major Events
Winged Foot's Award-Winning Merchandiser Shares Her Favorite Ryder Cup Apparel Items
By Vinnie Manginelli, PGA
It happens every two years: the Ryder Cup.
Three days of international competition between the United States and Europe. It’s some of the most exciting golf we get to experience, hands down, and 2023 should be no different.
And one of the most fun aspects of the Ryder Cup and an absolute fan-favorite is the apparel. What are the players wearing and how do I get it?
At famed Winged Foot Golf Club in New York’s Westchester County, Katie Wiedmar is the PGA of America First Assistant Professional and Golf Shop Manager. She’s also the 2023 PGA of America Merchandiser of the Year for Private Facilities, the highest honor and achievement a PGA Professional can attain in the retail facet of the business. Who better to ask about Ryder Cup apparel than a retail and service expert like Katie?
I asked her to peruse the Official U.S. 2023 Ryder Cup Shop and tell me what she likes and why. What are Katie’s favorite items? Is it the colors, the styles, or the fabrics, perhaps? What makes one piece attractive and another less appealing to the consumer? Sure, it’s a matter of individual taste and preference, but getting the take of such a prominent golf and retail professional adds a whole lot of validity to our story.
Here's a few of Katie's favorites:
Katie's take: “I remember this solid navy piece from Whistling Straits in 2021 and am glad they updated it with a red and white stripe through the middle to differentiate the two pieces. I love the cashmere hoodies because you can wear them during your round or off campus with a pair of jeans.”
Katie's take: “I love the different pops of color on this piece and that it is a bit more trendy.”
Katie's take: “I think the knit hats with the pom pom on top are iconic and always a home run. I love how simple and clean they are. I can remember Jordan Spieth wearing a version of this one during previous Ryder Cup competitions.”
I asked Katie about Ryder Cup apparel from competitions of the past and her feedback is priceless:
“How on earth could someone forget those 1999 Sunday shirts," says Weidmar. "With the come-from-behind victory and Justin Leonard’s memorable putt to halve his match with Jose Maria Olazabal and win the Ryder Cup for the U.S., those shirts got plenty of air time (for better or worse). As horrendous as those shirts were, I did like that it was a bit of a statement piece.”
Ask any golf shop manager (like Katie) and they’ll tell you that almost 25 years after the big win at The Country Club in Brookline, hoodies of all things have become very popular at golf courses across the land.
That's thanks in no small part to another Ryder Cup competition, this one at Wisconsin's Whistling Straits in 2021, when Spieth, Brooks Koepka, Collin Morikawa and Justin Thomas all donned the “then” non-traditional golf attire in handily beating Team Europe 19-9.
“With the Whistling Straits cashmere hoodies, we saw an increase in sales right off the bat,” Wiedmar says. “Customers were coming into our shop asking if they were allowed to wear them on the course and what colors were available because they wanted to buy multiple pieces. I remember in 2006, the USA team had on very neutral colors. That didn’t scream USA to me!"
In Rome, that will not be the case.
"The biggest thing for me with the Ryder Cup uniforms is wearing the red, white, and blue color story."
Katie Wiedmar, PGA