What to sport as a golf spectator

By Win McMurryJune 12, 2011, 2:42 am

“What do you wear to watch golf?

It’s a question I hear a lot working in the golf industry.

Right before The Masters, a girl friend from college sent me a frantic message saying she didn’t have the slightest clue what to wear and needed advice on how to look chic as well as practical at Augusta National. As we near the year’s second major, many in the greater D.C. area may be asking the same question as they prepare to visit Congressional Country Club for this year’s national championship.

Honestly, you see it all out there. That’s probably because many people have no clue what they’re venturing into when they attend a major championship or a PGA Tour event. It’s not a football game. It’s not a tennis match. It’s not the Kentucky Derby. It’s a golf course made up of 18 holes that spans some 7,000 yards and you are expected to walk. It pains me to see women wearing sky high heels and trying to walk the course. That’s an instant giveaway that it’s her first time to a golf tournament (and maybe even her first time on a golf course).

So it’s fitting that No. 1 on my wardrobe list for golf tournaments is comfortable footwear! It’s a challenge because it’s not easy to find cute yet comfy shoes that coordinate with the rest of your spectator outfit.

Elizabeth Noblitt, founder and CEO of www.shishiputter.com, an online ladies golf magazine for golf fashion, equipment, and travel, advises that women, “Please wear the right shoes to watch golf! If you must wear heels, be sure they are wedges so they don't get stuck in the grass.”

In her opinion, a better option is to wear ballet flats so you don't slide on the grass and take a pair of heels to change into later.

For women, I prefer sandals with a comfortable sole and arch support. They must have a back to them that wraps the ankle so you’re not constantly scrunching your toes to keep the sole to your foot. Thus, flip-flops with flimsy soles are a poor choice. And, I can’t believe I’m writing this, but please do not go shoeless … or shirtless, for that matter.

“Being that it's a televised event, looking and acting your best is always a smart move,” says Noblitt. “Dress and plan for the weather. Wear sunscreen, your favorite sunglasses and bring an umbrella.”

“In the case of bad weather when grounds can be muddy and goopy, pair your outfit with a great pair of wellies. And if weather is gorgeous for your days as a spectator, try cute wedges (not too high) but please no white sneakers,” says Sharon Sunoo, co-founder of women’s golf apparel line Birdy & Grace.

Clean non-flashy tennis shoes or sneakers (not basketball shoes) are appropriate for men. If you’d like to step it up a notch, a sporty loafer is okay as long as it has a durable soft sole.

For men, as well as women, Leif Sunderland of the designer golf wear company Travis Mathew says there’s nothing worse than seeing spectators wearing spikes. “Seriously, do not wear golf shoes unless you’re inside the ropes!”

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t take cues from the pros. It is appropriate to wear similar attire to what you’d wear playing golf. For men a nice pressed polo and khaki pants or shorts are the norm. Make sure your clothes are ironed, your shirt is tucked in, and your belt matches. Light colors and earth tones are the best choices for color to keep you cool and to avoid being a distraction. If the weather is not too scorching hot I also favor nice button down shirts with the long sleeves slightly rolled up at the cuff. You see this look frequently in the spring at Augusta National and the Quail Hollow Club, host of the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, N.C.

“Wear something that will keep you cool but looking sharp,” Noblitt says.

For women, the golf-course-appropriate look that’s both cool and sharp ranges from shorts and polos to tasteful sundresses. Jeans, for both men and women, are acceptable, however I suggest avoiding them as many elite golf course venues frown on denim worn inside the clubhouse. While clubhouse access during golf tournaments is usually off-limits to the majority of spectators, you should dress to be appropriate anywhere you may find yourself on the grounds, thus leggings and other tight fitting sportswear are also a poor choice.

For some outfit ideas Noblitt suggests women look to designer Toby Tucker Golf. “The clothes are sophisticated enough that you'll be comfortable (no matter who you might meet), appropriate for the occasion, and fashionable.”

She suggests something like this red and black striped Putting Skirt (http://tobytuckergolf.com/look.cfm?id=42). “The A-line cut looks great on nearly everyone and it's cotton to keep you cool,” says Noblitt. “Pair it with the black Roll-Sleeve shirt for an easy summer outfit.”

Similar to Toby Tucker Golf, Birdy & Grace combines a classic golf look with hot trends and functionality for the lady spectator.

“Our Long Sleeve Air Polo or our Trinity Polo offer a slick and sexy look while providing sun protection,” says Sunoo. “Each piece has a fabulous mesh piece along the under part of the arms to offer a cool look while also keeping you cool.”

To complete the look, Sunoo suggests coupling outfits with a great hat like a fedora and short shorts or a skirt.

Hats are vital, especially if you’re sensitive to the sun, but they should not be distracting. For men a golf cap is appropriate, and for women a broad-brimmed hat or fedora is a nice alternative. As for other accessories, remember that large bags are not accepted through the gates and onto the grounds at tournaments. Besides, you do not want to be lugging a large handbag anyway, nor do you want to be holding a clutch all day. I suggest a small purse, no larger than 8x8 inches, with a comfortable strap that can be worn across the chest to keep it secure to your body. Many PGA Tour players’ wives opt not to carry a bag and instead wear a tasteful belted wallet that can be found at Louis Vutton or Gucci.

Cell phones are now accepted, but cameras, video recorders, coolers, and backpacks are not so leave them at home. It’s a good idea also to dress in layers. Carry a light jacket, pullover, or sweater. For women, a pashmina or similar type of scarf is also a great option since it is easy to wrap around your neck when you don’t need it on your arms.

Bottom line when it comes to dressing for watching golf is to be practical, comfortable and respectful.

Here is the Travis Mathew list of 'DOs and DON’Ts' for the U.S. Open or any other PGA Tour event.

 

Don'ts

1. Do not wear golf shoes unless you're inside the ropes

2. Do not wear pants that have multiple colors or other geometric shapes

3. Do not wear any colors that require fellow spectators to wear sunglasses

4. If you're a guy, do not wear tank tops (or t-shirts for that matter) with your favorite saying or sport's team on it

DOs

1. For females, do wear heels and sundresses. Look to Phoenix Open and Byron Nelson for examples.

2. For males, you can't go wrong with black, white, gray or various earth tones. For example, any color that Travis Mathew uses in their collection.

3. Do leave your mock turtlenecks, fanny packs and periscopes at home.

4. And finally, only one person should wear red on Sundays.

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Rahm (62) fires career low round

By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

@tommyfleetwood_1

A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.

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Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.

The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.

It added up to a 2-under 70 at La Quinta Country Club, typically the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week, and left Mickelson eight shots behind Jon Rahm.

"It was fun to get back out and be competitive," Mickelson told reporters. "I for some reason am stuck on 70 here at La Quinta, whether I get off to a good start or a bad one, I end up shooting the same score."


Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.

Mickelson will now head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course with the Stadium Course on tap for Saturday's third round. While there were several low scores Thursday at La Quinta, Mickelson remains bullish about the birdie opportunities that still lie ahead.

"This isn't the course where I go low on," Mickelson said. "I feel more comfortable on Stadium and Nicklaus. Neither of them are nearly as tight and I tend to score a lot lower on those other two than I do here, historically."