Style On & Off The Fairway

There are few high profile sportsmen that embrace a flamboyant wardrobe in the way that golfers gamely do. Indeed, if you like to make a statement with your fashion on the fairway, then you can take inspiration from some very famous names in the game, when watching the US Masters this weekend.

With most questions of style, it’s good to have examples of how not to dress on the course, as well as following the fashions of those who triumph at tee-time. Donald Trump showed how vastly wrong golfing attire can go when images of him in an ill-fitting golf outfit went viral earlier this year.

As for those to admire, Darren Clarke has always been at the forefront of golf style. Staples in his wardrobe are smart polo shirts, chino trousers, well fitted cardigans and lightweight knits. The yarn, weight and style of Peter Gribby knitwear, in particular the Peter Gribby merino range, are perfect for both the course and the Clubhouse. Clarke stepped up his fashion game last year, when he selected a pair of the iconic Ian Poulter tartans and our brightly coloured Meyer trousers are perfect for championing this bold look.

You can’t address matters of on-course style and leave out the two-time Masters champion, Seve Ballesteros. His approach to dress was simple and polished, but commanding. Yet, whilst he often found himself in the sartorial spotlight, he preferred to let his talent do the talking.

“I don’t want people to watch the way I dress.”Ballesteros once said of the interest generated by his classic seventies style. “I want people to watch the way I play”.

Well, sorry Seve, but we did both and the golf media loved you for the legend that you were; a master of both style and swing.

Clarke and Ballesteros provide two enduring examples of simple golf chic, but for the more directional dressers among you, look to the ‘retro’ tailoring and traditional collegiate style of Justin Thomas and his partnership with Ralph Lauren for inspiration.

As Royal Birkdale’s best dressed golfer last year, Thomas tee’d off in a cardigan and tie, which was ironically a little too radical for the traditionalists! Amateur golfers might find the idea of crisp shirting on the 18th hole a little eccentric, but you can easily swap in a neat polo shirt, or short sleeved Oxford shirt, such as the Farah, or Ben Sherman Oxford worn with a lightweight cardigan, such as the Peter Gribby Merino Cardigan. The Ralph Lauren signature look is easy to emulate with brands such as Gabicci,Farah, Meyer and Peter Gribby and don’t forget to accessorize with a Harris Tweed flat cap to increase your style status.

Telegraph Men's Style Editor, Stephen Doig, offered his take on Thomas' attire, saying:

“It might not seem the easiest get-up to perform in while playing golf, but Justin Thomas’ Polo Ralph Lauren outfit at The Open today (Thursday) is a nod to the era of gentlemanly dressing in sports.

His shirt, tie, cardigan and chinos combination - worn with ice-white shoes and cap - is an old-school interpretation of golfing uniform, which itself is perhaps the most maligned of sports in terms of fashion.”

Maligned, misunderstood and mismatched, golf fashion can certainly leave some in the sartorial bunker, but as Claude Harmon III, who coaches American golfers Dustin Johnson and Brookes Koepka says:

"I think we're in a cool time with clothes and a bunch of the young guys express themselves through the stuff they wear."

We agree. It’s a great time for menswear and the fashion scene on the fairway right now and you’re about to see the best of the best when the ‘Masters’ class begins.