A Quick Round with Marty Hackel


With the conversation so serious of late in golf, with Tiger Woods’ doctor charged in a drug investigation and European Tour pros grinding their teeth over changes to the Wentworth Club in England, we seek relief.

We turn to Marty Hackel.

We turn to Golf Digest’s Mr. Style and the man who can make us laugh even as he takes us to task for our lack of fashion.

In a Quick Round, Hackel gives us his take on Rickie Fowler in orange, Paula Creamer in pink, Ian Poulter in just about anything and Paul Goydos as Mr. Comeback in the golf fashion world:

So what did you think of Rickie Fowler going head to toe in orange on that Sunday at the Quail Hollow Championship?

It’s like what I’ve said about Paula Creamer in all pink. It’s too much. Stop. Enough already. We got it the first time, back off a little bit. This is like orange overload. Either move to Florida, or stop wearing all orange. Look in the mirror before you go out.

You’re a big believer in the power of mirrors, aren’t you?

Looking in the mirror is one of those things people don’t do. Generally, Rickie dresses great. The only time he makes a mistake is when he goes this way [with orange].

Why is fashion important?

It’s important to feel good. If you look good and feel good, then you have confidence. A big part of this game is confidence, so when you are feeling good about yourself, feeling good about the way you look, that’s an absolute positive.

Who is on your list of best dressed men on the PGA Tour?

Ian Poulter always has it together, because he’s creative, and he has imagination. Imagination is a very, very good thing to have. And he has confidence. A lot of times, it’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it. If you wear it with confidence, you can sell a lot of things. It’s very important. I have the Freddy [Couples] shoes on. You’ve got to be able to sell those puppies. Freddy’s on that list. Lee Westwood’s on that list. I think Davis Love III looks great all the time. Brian Gay, who wears Sligo, he looks terrific, and he wears a lot of color and he has a lot of fun and he pushes the envelope.

So whose confidence really sells their clothes?

Luke Donald, Adam Scott. No matter what Adam Scott wears, he looks terrific. He could take out the garbage looking terrific.

Who needs the most help?

There are a number of players who I would like to send a full-length mirror and only ask that they look at themselves in the mirror before they go out the door. If they do that, it’s all I need. They know who they are, and there’s a bunch of them out there. But there are reclamation projects out there. I think Paul Goydos has really picked his game up in the last year. I think he’s looking pretty stylish in that department.

Did you help him?

No, I had nothing to do with that. It’s Paul’s manager, Bobby Kreusler. I did a makeover for Billy Mayfair, and six months later he was back wearing his favorite things. He’s very superstitious. A lot of these golfers are superstitious. Billy won the U.S. Amateur wearing khakis and a white shirt, so you see him every Sunday he’s in contention with khakis and a white shirt on. He’s one of the few guys left on the Tour wearing khakis.

Do players ask what you think?

A lot of players have fun with that, but I get players who will call me and say, “Where do I get this?” Or, “How do I get that?” Whether it’s tailoring their Augusta green jacket so it looks absolutely perfect, or finding the best socks.


Let me tell you something, you’re on your feet all the time. You better make sure your shoes and your socks work and they fit and they’re comfortable and you’re not thinking about them and you’re not feeling them. If you do that, you’ve got the right formula.

What’s the big fashion thing in golf these days?

Patterns. You don’t see them so much on Tour, but you definitely see them with golfers every day. That’s plaid and stripes and checks. You see a lot of that in shorts.

Are the 70s coming back in golf?

A little bit. It’s a little classic coming back, absolutely.

Any last bit of advice?

If I were going to tell people how to pack for a golf trip, I would say pick one color, a central color, and work your whole wardrobe off of that. If you decide it’s going to be blue, pack everything that matches blue. It keeps it really, really simple. I see people wear diverse colors every day. They must have the biggest suitcase in the world. If you’re in doubt, go with white pants, if your waist is under 34 inches, because white will go with everything. If your waist is over 30, go with black bottoms. Black will go with anything.