First Cut: What Are You Wearing?
A quick guide to feeling and looking good on the golf course
Obviously, your golf equipment plays a huge role in performance on the golf course. But what most golfers fail to recognize is the fact that what you wear on the golf course is a big deal, too. Golf is a mental game. Simply put, the more confident we feel, the better we tend to play. If you don’t feel like a golfer, how are you going to go out there and perform like one?
But man, why is it so tough to find quality golf clothes that are both comfortable and functional? It’s not like they’re not out there. They’re in every half-decent golf shop around town. But in many cases, the amount of effort we put into purchasing something that is completely suited for our body type and golf swing is subpar. And in this case, subpar is not a good thing. Let’s face it, it can be tough to know just how comfortable a piece of golf clothing is until you are actually wearing it. So why do so many of us simply buy a shirt off the rack based on size without even trying it on? If you can go through a full club fitting before purchasing a new set, you can certainly take the two minutes out of your life to try on a shirt before you buy it. While you’re at it, don’t be afraid to really move those arms around. Take an imaginary golf swing. Tuck in that bad boy and see if you feel restricted. Make absolutely sure the article of clothing is going to accommodate your fluid golf swing instead of just complement your fabulous olive complexion.
Now, I like to compliment golfers on their apparel any chance I get. But nearly every time, bless their hearts, they delve directly into what they don’t like about the specific piece of clothing they are being complimented on. More specifically, they point out the fact that they bought the piece of clothing based on its appearance but have been disappointed in the functionality and performance.
“PANTS AND SHORTS MUST BE FLEXIBLE ENOUGH TO STRETCH WITHOUT LOSING SHAPE. DIFFERENT BODY TYPES OBVIOUSLY REQUIRE DIFFERENT CUTS, SO ONCE YOU FIND A STYLE OR CUT THAT WORKS FOR YOU, STICK WITH IT AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE.”
So at the risk of making this about me, I want to share a few factors that I consider when shopping for golf clothes in hopes that it will help you navigate your next purchase.
First of all, let’s talk color. Black is glorious and is my go-to because I simply feel most comfortable in it. Not necessarily because it is slimming (which is a plus), but let’s face it … seats on golf carts are not always clean. “Some of us” can be rather clumsy, tend to spill a lot … you get the idea. So dark colors offer one less thing to worry about, freeing up your attention so you can focus on the next shot, not what stains are suddenly showing up. In a nutshell, dark colors are our friend. Sure, extreme hot weather is a whole different thing. But it’s winter, and that is for another issue.
As far as tops go, I prefer the standard short-sleeve shirt. I don’t wear sleeveless shirts very often because I find that my shapely arm muscles intimidate the other players in my group. (Just kidding … my shoulders get sunburned easily.) Sun protection has become front and center for good reason, so whenever there is a chance to cover something up while maintaining comfort, take it. But the ability to swing without feeling impeded or restricted is key. This doesn’t just include material or fit that is too tight. It can encompass anything that is simply not comfortable, which includes being too thin, loose, baggy, or in places it shouldn’t be.
Pants and shorts must be flexible enough to stretch without losing shape. Different body types obviously require different cuts, so once you find a style or cut that works for you, stick with it as often as possible.
This sounds like common sense; so how come we all have at least one golf shirt that we have always hated by the second hole, but that we refuse to get rid of because someday we might miraculously find that we now love it?
The next time you wear something that is less than inspiring, pinpoint exactly what it is that makes your skin crawl. Be specific. I don’t care if the color makes your eyes pop. If it is itchy, toss it. Don’t be afraid to Marie Kondo your way through your golf wardrobe. Do you wish your pant pockets were deeper or in a different location? (Those tees can be sharp.) Do you wish your shirts were longer so your food baby (aka breakfast burrito, Jr.) wasn’t exposed in your follow through? And can we just agree that pockets (especially in jackets) that don’t have zippers aren’t really pockets? They are merely a cute decoration.
When you can get to the point where you feel good in everything you wear on the golf course, the next time someone says, “Looking good, player,” you won’t feel the need to point out all the shortcomings of your outfit. You can simply thank them and move on.