Thursday, April 30, 2009

And you thought a headcover was just an oversized sock...

What do you get when you cross an Asian-inspired name with Norwegian minimalist design influences, house your project in Utah and set out to simplify golf's simplest accessories? Well, you get Sumi-G. You may have seen them at the PGA show, you may have read about the way they've re-designed the headcover, (5 patents pending) you may have never heard of them at all, but Sumi-G is determined to change the way you think about playing the game.

Sumi-G ("Sumi" refers to the dense black ink used in traditional Asian calligraphy; the "g" refers to golf) took some of things we take for granted in golf and tried to make them more functional. The first and most note-worthy is their headcovers. I just watched a video with Sumi-G's founder Marius demonstrating how the headcover works and it looks pretty damn cool. Be sure to check it out - it may take Aleve right out of your pre-round routine.
How times have changed; when I was a junior golfer the coolest thing going was to turn the original rust-colored Taylor Made Burner-Bubble headcovers inside out - which revealed multicolored striped guts reminiscent of a hacky-sack.
Marius' take on the game is that "...the best golf tools are designed to fit the player's game, not the other way around. If the player has to change his routine to use a tool, the tool will be in the way of his process and it won't be as helpful as it was meant to be. Simplifying the player's process through these tools should help him relax, think more about the game, and find more enjoyment in play. And you still have to look good. Great design doesn't have to be a luxury or afterthought..." (Courtesy of Laura Kvinge)

I've been talking alot with Laura Kvinge at the company and they're extremely enthusiastic about the success they've had since officially launching in January. They're setting up an online shop very soon so you'll be able to buy the products online at their website. The details on the products are what have stood out for me. The belts (brown, black and white straps with solid or double-pronged buckles) are high-quality leather with red suede lining and removeable ball markers. Usually I'm not into gimicky stuff like that, but the sleekness and utter nonchalance of these products are very appealing. They also do hats, bags and other accessories, with plans to expand into more products as they go - all with the idea that quality and minimal interference is paramount. Sumi-G wants you to enjoy this damn game! What are you waiting for?

Taking a stand...

(AP Photo courtesy of Chuck Burton)

Everyone in the golf world is so obsessed with Phil's fashion choices these days; and the responses haven't been favorable. "His sleeves are too short and too tight" "His polos are 2 sizes too small," "What's he doing wearing that white belt anyway?" Lefty can never catch a break from fans for trying to experiment in the apparel and accessories department. Because we get comments and questions constantly at the KC, we feel the need to let everyone know our position on the matter and that stand is with Mr. Mickelson. Yes, that's right. We're on board with Lefty - the shorter sleeves, the big white gator belt, the full Cleveland, (white belt, white shoes) the semi-present "man boobs," all of it. We love it. We can't help it. I mean Phil takes crap for a white belt when 99 percent of the Tour is following suit. And don't say it's because he's a little bigger in the mid-section - plenty of larger gents have sported the blanco strap. The only guy not to don a white belt is Tiger and let's just say shall we that he isn't really into setting or following fashion trends.

Let's break it down; the polos. Gripers will tell you they're too small. The KC can certainly see this, I mean some of them look a little tight on the big fella. But although Phil is pectorally-challenged on certain weeks, he does have some guns - maybe he feels like showing them off. You know what, maybe he just likes tight clothing? We don't have an issue with that at the KC, in fact we like our stuff pretty tight too. (Granted we average a 30 waist and none of us have "man-boobs") Plus, the polos are gorgeous. They are maybe the best looking shirts anyone is wearing on Tour right now. And what's this BS with people hating the button-down/button-under collar? Are you serious? It's unique! I mean how much can you really do to a golf shirt at the end of the day? Any little feature you can add (military shoulders a la JL, button-under collar, BD collar, back-detailing) keeps things fresh. We happen to have more than a pretty good idea of who is making these polos for Phil and the quality is unsurpassed. The shirt he's wearing above with the blue piping- tell us you wouldn't want it...That's what we thought.

The white belt. What is the issue? Are people up in arms because Phil has a big waistline and the belt accentuates it? I heard a few comments from reputable sources and really, guys, I think at the end of the day you're all just looking to throw stones at Phil because he has the guts to be a 37-inch waisted golfing superstar and wear whatever the hell he wants. I mean let's be realistic: The guy is a few pounds away from being a human clothes you remember Phil in his junior golf and ASU days? The guy has a strong sense of style. And if Phil was European would we even be addressing this issue? Darren Clarke? Huh? Lee Westwood? Miguel A. Jimenez? The point is if Phil dropped a quiet 15 lbs. or went by Phillipe, this wouldn't be an issue.
Here at the KC offices we go back and forth on alot of issues and we've been on both sides of this camp, but it's time to put an end to it. There's no need to ask how we feel about Phil anymore, the KC thinks Phil is Ph**king Phabulous. Period.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The KC Mailbag

Here at the KC, we're a jolly and helpful bunch... or we try to be. If you have any questions about what to wear for the member guest this year, why J.D. was wearing those argyle monstrosities in Spain or why pros don't wear shorts...anything - direct them to the Khaki Crusader. We'd love to sit around the office and laugh at your..oh excuse me, is this thing on? ...We'd love to help you out! No but seriously, we would - and every week we will pick a question or two and answer it on Monday after the weekend's action. Just another reason to come to the KC, as if you needed it helps keep our minds sharp, you know, so they match our pants.

Spotted: April 24th - Serenity now...

(Image courtesy of Lisa Wells at Bobby Jones/Hart Schaffner Marx via Official White House Photo by Pete Souza )

The only weapon of mass destruction I''m concerned with is Obama with the flat stick. Roll that rock 44! Can't think of any better way to take a breather from the wild world of Washington than stroking a few on the White House lawn. O has to be worried about the Vice taking the chips though; Biden's 7 handicap trumps the LOTFW's 16. Obama has got the build to wear alot of what we feature on the KC. Someone send that man some cardigans...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Technical lightweight vests

(Photo courtesy of RLX golf)
(Photo borrowed from

I think something every style-conscious golfer needs this spring is a technical, lightweight vest. If you play early-morning golf on the weekends as many of us do, sometimes it's nice to throw something warm on for the trip to the course.

Here at the KC we prefer a vest over items like pullovers or a sweater, simply for its ease of removal - you can play the first few holes in it, un-zip, stuff it in your bag and move-on without breaking stride or removing items like hats and sunglasses - and its comfort of movement. Lindeberg just released a new vest, the Wilton (above) and it looks pretty great. The RLX Sawgrass vest from S/S 2008 was also a great one and the one above (top) is a Full-zip Fleece Tour Vest from the 2009 line.
Both vests feature a trim cut and cool detailing on the shoulders and back - trust me you'll be the toast of the first tee in one of these. Everyone appreciates a nice vest. Wear it with both shorts and pants... a very transitional and must-have piece for year-round.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Chucky, Chucky, Chucky, can't you see?

(AP Photo by Bill Haber)

Charlie Howell the Third, one of the KC's favorite to see the guy succeed. However, as I watched the final round of the Zurich yesterday afternoon, I just couldn't help getting a little teed off. (All KC puns are intended) The Ashworth duds just aren't you Chucky. Now, you may not be a Lindeberg lover anymore, but it looked a heck of a lot better on you than this stuff does. You're just not a sleeves past your elbow type guy, what do you weigh, 150 tops? And honestly the pants are too full on you. They don't quite look foolish, but they don't look good...I know you've bulked up a little in the gym over the past year or two - show it off. I'm not asking for you to go out there in skinny jeans, but the fits need to improve. I vow, as the golf style crusader that I am, to leave no carefully folded stack of pima polos unturned until you make a change. Not a change from Ashworth necessarily (I'm sure you have a pretty hefty deal...that being said, who can put a price on style?) but make them design you something nice and form-fitting. It would make us at the KC very happy and you don't want to turn your back on the fans, do you Chuckmeister? I remember when you stormed on Tour out of OSU, we had high, high hopes for you here at the KC. A rarity back then, as an American golfer with the build to sport European influenced looks with ease. Along with Jesper, you were a JL crusader...We hate to see you back in baggies after all you've done for the style landscape on Tour. You had some confused years swapping around apparel and sporting those horrible early 2000's Callaway shoes, but the shirts and trousers remained trim, the focus intact. We know you're buddies with Eldrick, but the pants are slowly starting to look like the World #1. A wise man once told me "Drive like Tiger and you will never hit first, putt like Tiger and you will never finish last...but dress like Tiger and you will never receive compliments..." Something to chew on while you're out shopping for new pants Chucky...

Golf Style in the News

(Photo of John Paul Newport borrowed from the Wall Street Journal)

Here at the KC we were getting piles of emails this weekend - due to a golf style feature by John Paul Newport in the WSJ and a golf "makeover" in this month's GQ. Newport's remarks on the state of the style game on Tour start out discretionary (bad plaids and "full Clevelands") but culminate with the fact that young pro's fashion choices are creating both a wider audience for the game and a higher level of marketability for themselves. Amen. Let it also be said that the KC is slightly offended we weren't interviewed for the story - We dropped J.P.N. an email and hope he gets on the KC train next time around.

GQ's contribution to the golf style universe this month was part of their regular feature: Project Upgrade. In this case, the genre was golf style and the upgradee was Hayward McEver, an Atlanta based insurance broker, who made Lee Janzen's pants look like Dior Homme. Anyways, you know the routine, GQ swoops in and outfits Hayward in some slim Lacoste trousers (nice fit by the way) Adidas Porsche design shirt and instantly his sartorial idiocies are a thing of the past. The thing I found most interesting and most true about the article is Hayward, like so many players, had purchased apparel only from his club's respective pro shop and fit is an afterthought. One of the reasons I created this blog is to let people know that there are so many other places to get great golf apparel besides golf shops. And you don't need a Rubinacci on speed dial either - Hayward was shocked to find out that you can buy an off the rack pair of pants that fit like gold. I think Hayward learned his lesson and you should too.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Throwback: Proper pant length never goes out of style

(Photo courtesy of Ron Watts Private Collection-Edwin Watts/AP Photo by Kim Ho Chun)

Robert-Jan Derksen and Doug Sanders: Brothers in arms....or I guess legs....Both sport trousers slim and tapered enough to sit perfectly on the shoe at a nice height. Golf shoes arent always beautiful, but every shoe deserves a chance to shine! No bunching makes you look taller, leaner - plus it adds 20 yards off the tee. I swear. "All my buddies switched drivahs and I just went to see my tailah!" That was the KC's best Rodney Dangerfield. Or do you prefer Al Czervik? 85 in Manhattan this weekend, you know where I'll be...KC out

Jazz and Blues

(AP Photo courtesy of Patrick Semansky)

If you are a frequent reader of the KC, you probably know how much I love blue. David Toms put on a how-to-pair blue with blue clinic in the first round of the Zurich in New Orleans with his powdery tones. David is from Louisiana, so you know he likes the blues...or maybe he doesn't. But that would really ruin this post so stop being an a%*& about it...


Really well done...

(AP Photo courtesy of Claudio Cruz)

I absolutely love this combination of yellow belt and denim colored pinstripe pant. As I was posting this, I realized this was the first time a lady had graced the pages of the KC, so congratulations are in order for Ali Miyazato. Rarely do I see something that I like this much, I just think the tones are perfect for one another and the light belt brings out the pant/short detail beautifully.

This is the second time in a week I've made a mental note of yellowish/orange belts, in the Style section of the NY Times there was a cool web belt this color paired with a dark suit I believe. I was also at Lindeberg the other day and saw a trouser almost exactly this color. Is my sartorial instinct trying to tell me something? I don't know, but I like it...


Thursday, April 23, 2009

I'm going to do it...

(Photo courtesy of Puma Golf)

Here at the KC it's been FJ, FJ, FJ since the beginning of time. In fact, I've never strode to the tee in anything but a pair of Footjoys. That being said, I may just have to take the plunge on the new Swing Crown GTX from Puma. I feel a little guilty, like I shaved a few shots at the GHIN computer... I've been on the Puma site debating and going back and forth to to look at Classic Dry Tours and Premieres. I'm close...I mean I already have a plethora of Classics and Footjoy is coming out with new shoes this wouldn't hurt would it? Am I turning my back on tradition? Can I have some advice? Geoff, you out there? Can you sell me on them? I've heard good things...I've got a great idea. All you Puma reps out there send the KC some free Swing Crowns...Shhh. Don't tell...Ah, hell with it, I'm undecided. Anyone own a pair of these?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Long Plackets - Yay or Nay?

Is Ryuji's collar in danger of the dreaded flop?
Luke in a 2 button RLX polo

A 6 button shirt from IJP Design

Ian wearing one of his 6 button designs at the 2009 Masters

Phil at Augusta in a custom 4 button polo (little tight in the neck?)

(All photos courtesy of the Associated Press/Chris O'Meara/Ian Poulter Designs/Fairway Styles)

How do you guys feel about long plackets on golf polos? (The placket is, by definition: the opening or slit at the top of a [shirt] that facilitates putting it on and taking it off - aka where the buttons are positioned) Poulter makes several shirts with 6(!) button plackets - very 70's looking. Personally, the KC feels the same way about a 6 button placket on a golf shirt as we would about a single-breasted 6 button suit like you might have found on Deion Sanders circa 1998. I think 2 or 3 buttons are ideal and 4 is acceptable. Beyond that it's quite iffy.
Of course you have to take in to account the positioning of the second-to-top button no matter how many buttons you have, because you want to allow the perfect amount of space, not too tight so that it chokes you and not too loose so that it loses its prominence. Check out the Phil photo above, even though his top button is undone, the second to top button is positioned in such a way that he still appears to be a little uncomfortable. On the flip side, I've found with some 2-button polos that the space created between the buttons opens too much for my liking and begins to turn the collar out and look messy. (See Ryuji Imada's photo from the side for an example of the beginning of this.)

To each his own placket...what do you wear?


"Spotted": MAJ's leopard accessories at Augusta

(Photo courtesy of the Associated Press)

Title of golf's greatest eccentric? Any takers? Going once... going twice... sold to the 'Mechanic!'

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

KC named a "Style Ambassador" by Paul Stuart

Our man Sean was named an "Ambassador of Style" by Paul Stuart's Phineas Cole team. Check him out, listed second. Yes mom, he knows he's slouching... Sean has been walking around the KC offices all day saying how he hates the picture, but we knows he's just being his modest-self. Phineas Cole hits the greens via the KC very soon, stay tuned.

And the Canucks Rejoice...

(Photos courtesy of AP/Mary Ann Chastain)

Canadian golf apparel manufacturer Sligo has got to be pleased with Brian Gay's winning tendencies since signing with them in early '08. Gay has two wins while sporting the "bright is right" brand that touts technologically advanced materials and fashionable cuts. While we here at the KC will admit that the fit seems to be quite nice, I just can't get past the overdone look of the whole package. Sligo is one of several companies on the apparel scene that shamelessly frolick in Lindeberg's wake, taking each lime green and electric orange scrap as it comes. We just don't find it progressive in any way. It's cartoony. On the website, Sligo talks about Brian Gay blending both contemporary and classic looks. I think most would agree with us when we ask "Where is the classic?" I see the whole, let's wear loud pastels until we throw up thing (I guess contemporary?) but I don't see anything classic. The best looks from Sligo are the more understated ones like Gay wears above (dark shirt, plaid trouser) but those, to us, end up looking like they could have come from Penguin, Quagmire, even Poulter Designs. There is just very little experimentation, it seems like if you're churning out predictable plaids, pastels and firm point collar shirts, someone is going to buy it. I don't mean this to be a rant on Sligo, they really do have nice-fitting clothing. We at the KC just know these guys could churn out something more unique, more progressive and mo' bettah. Bar set.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Throwback

(Photo courtesy of Ron Watt's Private Collection/Edwin Watts Golf)

And you were wondering why they called it a reverse "C" finish... Well played Mr. Faldo. Simon Hurd's interview below got me thinking about Nick and I nabbed this photo of him in the Open Championship in '84. Like the fit of everything alot here. Stylish fellow in his day for sure, got progressively relaxed as he grew older, the bad sweaters came out, the windbreakers. No one looked better in a turtleneck and a V-neck sweater than Nick did at his height. Loved the socks last year at the Ryder Cup opening ceremonies. For those that missed it, Nick had his Brit-whimsy turned all the way up, sporting socks the color of the EU flag, which really set him apart next to 'Zinger's dull getup. Here at the KC, we like whimsical things. I mean we do spend an awful lot of time discussing golf clothing. We aren't your average blokes. If we were, you wouldn't like us...You do like us right?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ah the memories...

(Photo courtesy of Harbour Town Golf Links/

When the PGA Tour stops in Hilton Head every April following the Masters I tend to get a little nostalgic. I spent a year in the post-graduate program at the International Junior Golf Academy in 2001-2002 and it was easily one of the best times of my life. Along with all the friends I made and the times we had, I also got exposure to how stylish a game golf could be. Besides having an ex Tour-pro with a penchant for exotic-skin shoes as a coach, alot of my newfound mates were really into clothing. I was seeing a wide range of color on the course that I hadn't experienced growing up in Maine. It was in Hilton Head I learned the finer points of Polo Golf, pastel shorts, plaids, white FJ classic Dry Premieres (blems for 150 bucks in Savannah!) tailored golf trousers and accessories of all kinds. One of my buddies' mottos was "If you look good, you play good..." and my roommate, given the opportunity, didn't hesitate to pick up a pair of black and white patent leather Classics spectators...What a crew. I quickly went on a buying frenzy to make up for lost time - Lacoste at Belk, Polo Golf at every tournament stop the IJGT took us to. I remember vividly playing at a tournament at ChampionsGate - just outside Orlando - I had played well (75 in the pouring rain and wind) and was positioned in the top-15 going into the final round. We were supposed to always wear our IJGA gear when we played in tournaments, so being wary of protocol, I wore my student's pique polo (heinous) to the course, but right before we were set to tee off, I ran into the bathroom and came out looking like DL3 in my new striped Polo Golf shirt and slacks. Unfortunately, I didn't play so well that day, but I felt amazing. From then on, we all wore what we felt like wearing in tournaments. I actually still have a bunch of shirts given to me by one of my roommates that year. (Possibly borrowed and never returned...) Wil, if you're out there, thanks buddy! Anyways, while the Tour guys are out striping it around Harbour Town today, I'll be at my desk in Manhattan, kicked back, very likely dodging deadlines and dreaming of those days when my only professional demand was showing up for golf practice at 1:30 every afternoon. FML? Yep. Sounds appropriate to me.
-The KC

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The word from Hurd

(Photo courtesy of Druh Belts and Buckles)

Simon Hurd, Creative Director at Druh Belts and Buckles and Asian Touring professional, attended his first Masters this year. The KC tracked down the globe-trotting "Hurdy" for a few quick reflections on the trip.

KC: What was your favorite thing about attending the Masters? Who did you come over with?
HURDY: Just appreciating how hilly the course is and how hard the greens are to read.I stayed with Ian Poulter in his house all week, 8 lads good fun. And luckily flew on Justin Rose's jet back to Lake Nona.
KC: Did you meet anyone you'd been hoping to meet? Who were you rooting on?
HURDY: I was there to see Robert Karlsson to give him some belts and speak with him.I met Arnold Palmer also that was a thrill to chat with him.Rooting for all Europeans but mostly Poulter and Rose
KC: Other than Druh belts and buckles, what is the most stylish/smart accessory you saw players wearing at Augusta?
HURDY: There is a company that makes belts in the USA, (House Of Fleming) they are $500 each and they are fantastic but only a very few can afford them.
KC: Before you became a professional golfer, what golf apparel brands did you buy?
HURDY: Pringle was the style 18 years ago, because of Nick Faldo, so i was wearing that.
KC: Masters Champ Angel Cabrera, stylish player?
HURDY: He has ordered some belts from DRUH so a bit of style. Stylish? No, not really just looks like an [average] golfer not a stylish one.

Thanks to Simon for the time. Cheers and good luck.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

In praise of "Azalea" red

(Photos courtesy of the Associated Press/David J. Phillip/Mory Gash/Rob Carr/Chris O' Meara)

We at the KC have never been huge into red. We like it on others, but rarely on ourselves. Something about the finality of true red. We much prefer a pink, a fuschia even - red is so definite. So fire engine/sports car red is out. But this... this we can handle. For lack of a better term (come to think of it, what could be better?) we're going to call this gorgeous color "Azalea" - as both Geoff and Camilo at times blended right in with the Masters' official flowering shrub. This color is so full of punch - it's bright, its flattering, it certainly isn't boring old red. In the middle of this post, we went to the Puma online store to try to find Geoff's shirt and there it was. And you'll never believe what Puma is calling it....yes....Azalea. We swear we didn't peek. Cross our green jacket and hope to die. Azalea it is. And with a shirt like that, you don't need much else to pop. We like how both Geoff and Camilo paired a very light pant with it - although we give a slight edge to Ogilvy's black accessories over Camilo's whites paired with a red belt. We think it gives the look more balance, but that's just little old us. If you need a nice new shirt for Spring, "Azalea" is calling your name...

"59" Buckles

Danny Lee's "59" Buckle makes him... wanna dance

(Images courtesy of Press/Chris O'Meara/Mory Gash/David J. Phillip)

Now as rabid a consumer as I can be, I've never really caught the whole "buckle craze" that has taken over the tour in the past 2 years. That being said, "59" belts has alot to offer the buckle fiend in your foursome. You may have seen "59" buckles on the waists of several young players at the Masters. Both Danny Lee and Rory McIlroy were seen sporting these solid steel, individually made pieces that initially made a splash on the LPGA Tour. The coolest thing about these buckles, to me, is that there's no minimum order. You can get a custom belt buckle made with your logo or initials without a huge upcharge and the headache of having to rationalize buying 3-5 pieces at once. Their pre-designed buckles are well thought out and often patriotic: The Union Jack "Bobbie" buckle in copper (above) is any Brit's dream.
Straight outta Sin City, "59 Belts" also offers a good selection of hats, belt straps and other accessories. Definitely worth a look for all you country club cowboys out there. Yee-frickin-haw!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Shingo's Asics

(AP Photos courtesy of Charlie Riedel/David J. Phillip/Rob Carr/Mory Gash)

All the buzz in America is always about Shingo Katayama's cowboy hat, but personally, I was staring at his kicks...I'm a classic shoe guy myself, but there was something about the super aggressive Asics design I liked. I did a little research and I don't think you can get your hands on them in the US just yet, but they have a great little story behind them.

Apparently, cricket players in Austrailia would wear Asics' "GEL Bowral" cricket shoes on the golf course. People took notice and inquired as to how they could get the new "Asics golf shoe." Asics, realizing the demand, put out the "GEL Albatross." They are now available in Asia and Austrailia and were on the feet of Shingo in Augusta. And that my friends is how babies are made...

Sergio in Shades etc.

(Photos courtesy of the Associated Press/David J. Phillip)

I can't find a good report on why Sergio is sporting shades now. I only hope it's a medical issue, because they look awful. Has anyone else noticed Sergio slacking this year in terms of apparel choices? My best guess is he's fed up because half the Tour started dressing like him (see multi-colored alligator belts, bright pants and stripes)- but the answer can't be found in overly sporty selections from Adidas that look more like gym gear or soccer warm ups (futbol if you prefer.) Personally, I thought Sergio rivaled Camilo, Luke Donald and others in 2008 for the tour's best dressed, but I'm not liking the new styling at all.
I think Sergio is probably going through one of those phases -everyone who enjoys clothing has felt it - where getting dressed feels uninspiring and even dull. I've heard in the news he's had some personal issues going on off the course. If that's the case, the KC wishes Mr. Garcia a speedy mental, physical and sartorial comeback.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday Throwback: Masters Edition

(Photos courtesy of Augusta Chronicle File and Lee Downing)

KC fans get not one, but two photos this week...The Masters always makes me feel generous. Had to post the photo of John Cook in '79 because I couldn't believe that was him. Love the hair. I never get tired of old photos of Arnie because he was just so damn cool. Just hangin out in my green jacket, enjoying a butt. 3rd Masters was was fun...
-Happy Easter, Happy Passover and Happy dang Masters! (That's for you Billy Payne)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mr. Green Jeans

(All photos courtesy of AP/Chris O'Meara/Morry Gash/Charlie Riedel)

Just like last year's first round, green trousers are everywhere on Master's Thursday. The KC doesn't blame the world's best for sporting Augusta's official color...When in Rome...
In fact, maybe your skin will get so used to green fabrics the Golf Gods simply won't allow for anything less come Sunday evening...ya dig?
(Ryo (top) is pictured from Wednesday, but we couldn't leave that pair out could we?)

You can't hide your 'Lion' eyes...

(Images courtesy of Deadspin/AP Photos by Daron Cummings)

Big J.D. isn't in the field, but he's still pocketing a few quid this week...What kind of stuff do you think is for sale in there? Koozies? Cigarette cases? Girdles? Autographed Hooters menus?

All the KC knows is we smiled when we read this. As long as the sun stays beating down on weary spectators, plastic beer cups in hand and "You da mans!" at the ready, John will be one form or another.

Pick us up somethin' nice would ya?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Mr. Imada's Masters

My man Ryuji is playing in his first Masters this week and keeping a diary for ESPN. Although, Ryuji, I must say that Am Runner-up Drew Kittleson's diary is kicking your diary's a**. Sorry buddy. Make sure to check that out.

But back to Ryuji, as most readers are aware, I love the experimentation. This look is an example of why. He wears all different kinds of pieces, some, like the trouser above (notice the button-flap) you won't see on anyone else. He does different variations with his belts - braided etc. But what I like most about the look above is everything looks good together without matching. Nothing kills me more than an overly matchy outfit, which is fairly prevalent on tour in the last few years. I don't need the color of the stripe on your shirt to perfectly match your pants, show me a little knowledge of the color wheel here.
Ryuji is in all muted tones above, with just a little blast of soft green at the neck. We all know there are plenty of bright colors on the fairways and sometimes it is nice to see the volume turned down. (Not to say that bright colors aren't great in their own way...) The point is, it's refreshing to me and Ryuji consistently mixes between different styles and still always makes them decidely his own. I would say that when I see a guy looking like this I'd refer to their look as an "Imada," but I guess what is so cool about him is the fact no one ever does...Now work on that diary Ryuji! How about a fashion diary of the Masters...If I was there, that's what I'd be working on...Why isn't Marty doing that? Yeh, I'm calling you out Marty....

Savor the Flavor

(AP Photos courtesy of Charlie Riedel/Chris O'Meara/Rob Carr/David J. Phillip)

There's something about looking at photos from Monday through Wednesday at the Masters that gives me the chills. (And it's not the ever-present winter hats and layers) There's so much access. As someone who hasn't spent nearly as much time as I'd like around the tour, the practice round days at the Masters lend such a human quality to my golfing heroes. The practice round pairings, the par-3 contest - all are in the interest of togetherness, before the seriousness of Thursday unfolds. Like any exclusive club, the field invited to Augusta every year are all so happy to be there and the joy just spills over into comraderie. It's the first blowout of the year on the PGA Tour Social Calendar and man, does it look fun.
I've always thought of the second week in April as a pause of sorts, a re-evaluation of whats-what in the golfing universe. I saw an ad for the other day for the return of the MLB season and it was a shot of Fenway Park, reading: "Here, we celebrate New Years in April..." Even though the PGA Tour season is more than 3 months old, I find it's no different here: A new beginning, a new opportunity. Jim Nantz's hearty "Welcome friends..." Dave Loggins "Augusta" that I've heard even non-golf fans say is the most soothing tune they can remember. All point towards something special about to unfold and unfold it always does.. But until the first official ball is in the air, let's try to savor the preceedings, shall we?...It always moves a little too fast for my taste.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Boyz to Men

Danny (L) and Ryo (R)
(Photos by AP/Rob Carr/Charlie Riedel)

Clearly, it's all about the Young Gunners this week at Augusta. Never have there been more sub-20 somethings with a legitimate chance to compete. On Ryo, on Rory and don't forget Danny - what a badass bunch. At 54 combined years on earth, they're collectively as old as Greg Norman. Good thing their games have a maturity-at this age-unlike any we've seen. All three have won pro events, Rory and Ryo have pro cards, while Danny is an amateur through the end of this week. (Playing the Masters as US Am champ, he'll turn pro on Monday after the event.) The best thing for golf fans is all three are real personalities. Ryo is a 300 yard drive blasting Brangelina in his native Japan, over here he laughs and regales us with his love for cheeseburgers and colorful pants. (He and Poulter played a practice round Monday.) Danny too is brimming with enthusiasm, but at times realistic - He says he's learned from watching his hero, Tiger, that you need that assh*le streak to be successful on the course, but he's got more of a X-Games attitude off it. And Rory, the cabbage patch kid. The elder at 19 years, he's got the best chance to not only make the cut, but make an impact. Soft-spoken and seriously talented, he's known more for his Noonan-esque bush of hair and toothy smile than any one-liners he's delivered in the press. One thing is for sure, all three Muskateers will leave Augusta a little wiser in the ways of what it takes to win a pro major; Not to mention becoming familiar characters to millions and millions of worldwide fans. If there's a secret to any success they may have this week, we may just have found it back in that last sentence...characters... that's for sure...all three of 'em...