Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Final Pairing at the US Open: When Opposites Attack

(AP Photo by Matt Slocum)

--I like this shot by Matt Slocum - it's a rare side-by-side comparison of what I'll refer to as 90's golf fashion versus the more progressive styling we're seeing "today." I'd note that Ricky Barnes, especially with this look, is a perfect example of the "new crop" - not an example of everything we're seeing on Tour, but a good guinea pig for several of today's on-course trends: white belts, military caps, trim/fitted trousers and non-traditional "polos." This gives me an idea and I'd like to elaborate at a later date, or to a later date if you're interested in dinner with a golf clothing freak...
--But I digress...Lucas in this photo is a perfect example of mid 1990's golf fashion; white polo with long full sleeves and chinos. He's the golfer's golfer, not ruffling any feathers, good ol' southern boy, lanky build, lanky game. You see 100 guys like him hitting balls at any club-pro tournament in Everytown, USA. "But, KC, he's the U.S. Open Champ"-- I know, but I'm bored...
--Lucas would look great in Polo. Everyone from the South does. Luke should take tips from Drew Weaver. That kid was rocking it this week. I'm going to do a post on him. He's like a Love III/Watson hybrid with just a touch of Kuchar's boyishness.
--I'm feeling out of sorts today - back to Ricky - I really liked his trousers in the final round. (Feel free to drop any "they cut off the circulation to his brain" jokes here.) They, for me and other tight-trouser wearin' fools, were the perfect width and cut. So much better-fitting than the fuller, checkered trousers the day before. I wanted a pair, which is the ultimate compliment I can give in this space.
--White belt was done effectively, paired with the white cap - Ricky doesn't look bad in these hats, but they are a finicky thing. I posted on Geoff Shackelford's site that you need a certain amount of edge to carry the military cap and I think Ricky has it. Edfors definitely has it, so does Ryan Moore. Camilo looks better in a traditional baseball cap like he wore this week, but he can pull it off too. You need long hair, a beard, several gruesome looking tattoos or all of the above. If you went to an Ivy league school or grew up in Fairfield County, don't wear a military cap. Trust me.
--Many people have a problem with a white belt when it flies solo. I think a white belt can be effective without the matching shoes, if incorporated somehow into the look. I'm fine with leaving half of Cleveland uninhabited. (Get it?) Call me crazy, but you wouldn't be the first.
--The shirt I am not a fan of, but we are seeing non-traditional polos pop up here and there on Tour. Ricky is wearing a zip-neck Oakley shirt that technically has a "collar." If you want a nice example of these shirts, look for Oliver Wilson, the Brit, who wears Hugo Boss variations similar to Ricky's zip-necks. Sergio likes his Adidas zip-necks, but those have traditional collars, which he wears flat.
--I could talk jive all day, the point is: this is a cool photo and lets you directly compare the influences of modern style on the modern-day golfer. Granted, the guy on the right with the boring gear finished first - doesn't hold out a lot of hope for lost golf fashion souls like me, does it? How will I live with myself...



Anonymous said...

I have to say Barnes sharpness comes and goes, depending on the Oakley selection. I liked his plaid on Sunday, but I agree the pants were a bit too full.
I could take or leave the hat... however I was surprised the amount of hate it was getting across the internet and among fans. Everyone I heard called it a painters hat and I must admit it had more of a round top than say Camillo's Cobra hats, so perhaps that accounted for some of it. Don't see what the difference was, but people sure didn't seem to like it. Maybe it's his look and like you say you have to be Euro or have some sort of ethnic background, or just have a beard like Moore.
Finally, on the "Full" vs. "Half Cleveland", I also noticed. I would have probably gone with the white shoes, but I don't object to it. On the flip side I notice Hunter Mahan used some restraint, and went with a black belt, even though he had on his black and white spectators and had sharp white accents in his shirt. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut and some days the white belt doesn't quite do it for you.

Anonymous said...

I really do have mixed feelings about this one... but I have to ask the question, when do we get to the point where golfers are looking too casual?

While Glover might not be able to to pull off Ricky's look, I personally feel that Lucas is a bit more suited for the golf course. Barnes could walk off the green and into a Bicardi add.

If he were a guest a someones club and no one knew who he was, they might ask him to change into something more appropriate.

There are a number of players who have adapted a modern style without looking underdressed or too casual for the course. After all this is golf.

The Khaki Crusader said...

Anonymous I absolutely hear you out. If someone asked me what I think of Ricky's overall style, I'd definitely says its a bit too 'X-Games' for me. I was more interested in the comparison, using Ricky as a super aggressive example of modern on-course style versus Lucas in what we've come to think of as classicly 'golfy' attire. I am a firm traditionalist in many ways, but I like to see the traditional lines bent to include new ways of doing old favorites. Would I buy a shirt like Ricky's here? Never. I like my golf shirts with prominant collars and would never wear anything else to play. If you read this blog, you'll find mocknecks make me sick. I love your talking point on when golf becomes too casual and I think it starts with the lack of a proper collar.

Nada Klu said...

"Camilo looks better in a traditional baseball cap like he wore this week, but he can pull it off too."

That fell short of a news flash, KC.

Camilo works out regularly. Surely he has the strength to pull off his own damn baseball cap, even though he's out of his league, so to speak.

Skullcaps, on the other hand, can be real sticklers to pull off. I sometimes have to ask my sister Naria to assist with the yanking.

As to other articles of apparel, I find straitjackets the most confining, by far. Call me crazy, but it's almost like they're designed to restrict you. And I've yet to play to my 57-handicap in one of those things.

And here's a good tip for avoiding hats flying off your head: Don't throw away old sunglasses with cracked or missing lenses. Simply wear such specs on top of your head, thus securing your headwear while accessorizing.

For more fashion tips you can reach me at NadaGoodIdea.net.

TXQ said...

Early on I was rooting for super-sweaty Rocco Mediate to win, if only to post my "To the Victor Belong the Soils" headline.

Anonymous said...

Interesting discussion about the casualness of golf attire. The problem is most of it comes down to personal opinion. However if they allow this apparel on the PGA, I don't think you can argue against it; the precedent has been set. I disagree with anonymous I can't imagine a CC asking someone to change in Ricky's outfit.
That being said I was unsure what to think about Edfors with his untucked shirt all weekend.

The Khaki Crusader said...

FP, I'm with you on Edfors. No interest in staring down his "treasure trail" all week. I think I did a post on here a while back telling him to tuck in his shirt. Guess he can't read good.

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not really liking what theyre wearing...
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