Flower Golf Polo

Golf Fashion can be traced as far back as the 1500’s but fast forwarding to the 1990’s, what changes did we witness from the previous 20 years?

You only have to look at photos of Lee Trevino, Jack Nicklaus and Johnny Miller to get an understanding of what golf fashion was all about in the ’70s. Brown trousers, usually made of polyester, mock turtlenecks and houndstooth patterned shirts were in fashion.  

Enter the 1990’s and this is where we see the first examples of sponsored clothing in golf. One glance at footage of Tiger Woods in action during the ’90s will see him wearing mostly block colours but with the Nike logo on show. Tommy Hilfiger was another leading clothes manufacturer which got involved in golf fashion design in the ’90s with other sporting brands such as Head and Le Coq Sportif.

Speaking of Tiger Woods and as Professional golf reached new audiences thanks to the increase in live television coverage, his red shirt which he always wore on a Sunday quickly became famous. This led many amateur and recreational golfers to follow in the footsteps of Woods by wearing a red Nike shirt when in action on the golf course. With more and more people watching golf on television it became a great opportunity for clothes sponsorship.

However, the overall trend on the golf course, especially in the early 90’s was loose fitting attire. One could go as far to say the fashion was essentially baggy clothes. Tom Watson, Paul Azinger, Nick Price and Corey Pavin are all examples of golfers who wore clothes on the course that were often so baggy, they could fit inside them twice. The trousers especially were not the most flattering but that is not to say the players did not experiment with different colours. Whether it be bold block colours or stripes, polo style shirts were very much the rage, with smart collars and hemmed sleeves.

Despite the trend, there was one man who retained the vintage golf look throughout the 90’s until his sad death in 1999. Payne Stewart teamed plus fours and stockings with newsboy caps and he was a sight to behold on golf courses around the world.

In many ways it is a shame golfers in the 2000’s did not continue Stewart’s theme ( Bryson DeChambeau to some degree and tributes as the exception) but as we entered the new millennium, performance became paramount in golf fashion design. In comparison to the 90s, the garments were lighter and moisture-wicking, keeping the golfer cool and dry in hot conditions. The transition between the late ’90s and the early 2000s was when we saw the movement from clothing which was being worn by golfers and clothing which was being designed specifically for golfers. To check out some of our golf fashion items manufactured in South Africa using premium quality performance fabric designed for golf fashion trendsetters view our shop.

Between 2000 and 2010 especially, golfers started to wear clothes which were functional and designed for the sole purpose of playing golf. Several sports brands got involved in designing golf clothing, much of which was created to allow players to perform at their best, regardless of the conditions. Maximum golf performance was the overriding factor but things started to change again as we entered the next decade.

Baseball caps have become more common place, along with tapered fit trousers and polo shirts. Not only are these garments designed to allow players to reach maximum performance but they are designed to look good on the golf course. Some players choose to maintain a relaxed fit to their attire but that may have something to do with body shape rather than a dislike of the current golf fashion trends. The large belt buckle on show is another recent addition to the wardrobe of some golfers. Whereas golf sponsorship has been a big deal on hats for many years, the addition of sponsorship on belt buckles is something new and again coincides with television coverage.

Into 2020 and many of the leading golf fashion brands like to showcase what their players are wearing for every tournament, especially the majors. This includes footwear and some golfers, such as Rickie Fowler, for example, choose to wear golf shoes which look more like trainers or sneakers.

There is no doubt, over the past 30 years, golf fashion has changed dramatically. The increase in television exposure and in some respects the diversity of people playing the game have contributed to the current trends. Have you seen the J Warrior professional golfers and their golf fashion looks? If not, have a peek into the den for insights.

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