With the US Open in full swing down at Pinehurst, we’re bringing you a look at some lesser-known, completely absurd and wholly incredible pars from around the world.
There’s a special place in our heart for the most stylish trophy in sports: the Masters Tournament green jacket.
But when the players take to the course for the championship rounds this weekend, don’t expect an entirely dapper affair. Nowadays you’ll see more neon tech fabrics, white belts and oversize logos than slim-cut polos and pressed slacks. Which is a shame.
Over the weekend, the Pebble Beach golf course held its annual pro-am tournament featuring a who’s who of bold-faced names in sports and entertainment: John Daly, Phil Mickelson, Tom Brady, Jeb Bush, Kenny G… the list goes on.
But the brightest star of the weekend was undoubtedly Clint Eastwood—because he saved a man’s life.
When the British Open tees off tomorrow, a few things are almost guaranteed:
—The wind will blow.
—Phil Mickelson will not win.
—Mike Tirico will wax rhapsodic about the Claret Jug.
—Someone will be called for a ridiculous, and probably unjust, penalty. He may even call such penalty on himself.
Call it a hunch, but sometime this summer you’re going to find yourself out on the golf course.
It could be this weekend while visiting the in-laws for Father’s Day. Or an impromptu invitation by the boss on the office retreat next month.
Whatever the case, you should be prepared–and have a few tricks up your sleeve—especially if you’re not exactly a clubhouse regular. So we’ve put together a handy little guide on how to take your next round of golf to the next level. (We’ll spare you all the old-fashioned etiquette rules, like keeping quiet during backswings and not stepping across putting lines on the green.)
For every new technological development in sports gear, we seem to lose a little handsomeness in the process. (As a quick flip through any vintage issue of Sports Illustrated will confirm.)
But there may be hope yet, because Americana favorite Allen Edmonds has teamed up with legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus to make some seriously handsome golf shoes that have just landed online.
The three styles keep the classic look of what a 1930s Southern gentleman lawyer would wear while winning tournaments in his spare time, yet they’re packed with all the latest technology—from the sports-shoe-like insole, the stability-rim tread and the custom shoe last Allen Edmonds and Nicklaus perfected over the past two years of development. The one thing they have forgone: the clunky spikes that usually turn the post-round clubhouse drinks into a bit of an ordeal.
So at least you can take solace in knowing you’ll be acing the 19th hole, regardless of how the first 18 went.
It’s easily the most stylish trophy in sports: the Masters’ green jacket.
Coincidentally, a green blazer also happens to be the perfect spring accomplice—especially if you can find one in an airier weave, with softer shoulders and in a less glaring tone than the mostly ceremonial number slung over the winner’s shoulder each April. Luckily, with a little digging, we’ve found a surprisingly plentiful spectrum of solid options out there right now, from pale to Rockham green, Gucci to Woolrich, that you can wear today, without having to beat out Tiger in a shootout down the back nine. (Though we’re not saying you couldn’t.) So, without further ado:
With the Masters set to tee off tomorrow, we’d like to take a moment to celebrate the legacy and style of its cofounder, golf legend and all-around dapper Southern gent Bobby Jones.
He lived a life of mythic proportion by dominating the game of golf while never even going pro—by profession, he was a lawyer, and golf was his very serious hobby—all while wearing a tie and tweed trousers.
He won the four major tournaments of his day by age 28, “retired” from golf and went on to codesign America’s most prestigious golf course (Augusta National) and cofound the game’s most prestigious tournament (the Masters) all in his backyard (Atlanta). His style was as fluid as his swing: silk ties tucked into his shirts, cricket sweaters, three-piece suits. Stuff that puts our modern-day tech-fabric-wrapped players to shame. To really understand it, you’ll have to see it for yourself…
With spring golf on the horizon, it’s about time to fish out the clubs and give them a good sprucing.
Your first step: some new head covers, like these handsome American-made leather ones from Stitch Golf—founded by a PGA pro and a former designer for Callaway.
The duo started off with some custom jobs for the likes of US presidents, and now they’re taking their North Carolina–based (and stitched) operation mainstream with two new designs based on 1950s race cars and the stripes of yacht sails. The supple leather and strategic padding work together to keep your clubs safe while being more lightweight in your bag—something you, or your caddie, will appreciate on the long par 5—and, more importantly, should help make your overall game a lot better-looking.
We can’t promise the same for your scorecard.
Yesterday we learned that the turtleneck can be your friend. Today we’re tackling an even more perplexing item: the sweater-vest.
Lately, a lot of #menswear ink has been spilled over the down vest—especially regarding the relatively novel idea of wearing one under your suit jacket or blazer. Aside from bringing up some fit issues, it reminded us of the original under-blazer vest, usually knit in an argyle or fair isle pattern (like this one). Donning an armless sweater can be treacherous waters—not helped by the fact that its most recent champion was one Rick Santorum. Luckily, we’re here to help with this handy guide:
Our love for Americana is well documented, and we’ve already gushed about the incomparable charms of fall golf…
So naturally, we were pleased to learn of a Dallas-based shop combining the two, by the name of Pebble + Pine. It’s one of those ideas that feels novel, but at the same time surprising that it hadn’t been thought of before (the brick-and-mortar shop has been peddling American-made golf paraphernalia to Dallas locals for a few weeks now, but they’ve just launched e-commerce this week).
Think of it as the latest addition to the spate of heritage all-American menswear shops we’ve been seeing, like Chicago’s Haberdash or a permanent version of New York’s Pop Up Flea—but with golf balls. Here, the fleece vests are from Woolrich, the books were written by Ben Hogan and you can even pick up an exclusive cologne scented like moonshine—should your regular 19th hole not provide you with enough.
The heritage ping-pong emporium cannot be far behind.
Fall golf: the most underrated golf.
The air is crisp, the ground is firm, and the heavy stuff’s not coming down for quite a while (said the greenkeeper to the bishop).
Given what happened to the bishop, though, we decided to call upon teaching pro and 18-year PGA member Tom Gleeton, director of golf operations at the Country Club of Waterbury in central Connecticut, to get us up to speed on some fall golf essentials.
They’re calling it “The Miracle of Medinah”—one of the greatest comebacks in sports history, as Europe snuck the Ryder Cup away from the Americans, who had dominated the competition for most of the weekend.
It ended with Martin Kaymer jumping into the arms of his teammates, the singsong “Olé, olé, olé”echoing across Medinah Country Club.
A hat tip to the boys across the pond. But for God’s sake, it’s time to update that factory, son…
Clothes hangers. They’re everywhere: men’s shops, trade shows, your closet…
Yet, for whatever reason, they’ve been overlooked for years as merely wire-and-wood triangles that keep your fineries off the floor. Until we saw this snap from NotCouture of hangers made from repurposed golf clubs. It’s pretty ingenious stuff from Rag and Bone Man (not to be confused with the non-human clothing label), and it’s got us wanting more hanger innovation. The double-breasted hanger cannot be far behind.
Dean Martin, Bing Crosby and Groucho Marx, Palm Springs, CA, 1954
It may prove a bit tricky to duck out of the office this week for a twilight round of golf, given that we’re coming off a 10-day Fourth of July sabbatical. To tide you over, we now present, in no particular order, 18 photos of style icons spoiling a perfectly good walk.
Lawrence Berra was nicknamed “Yogi” by Bobby Hofman, who thought Berra resembled a Hindu yogi—solemnly seated with arms and legs crossed—after losing a game.
When Kansas City Athletics owner Charlie Finley saw Jim Hunter pitch for the first time in 1965, he knew he’d signed a legend. The only problem, according to Finley, was the name—“Jim Hunter” didn’t sell tickets. The next morning, Finley called Hunter into his office and informed him that his name was now “Catfish.” Jim was understandably confused, and while the conversation was not recorded, we’re almost positive his response was, “Um… why’s that?”
That’s because baseball players, like all professional athletes, are first and foremost entertainers—and entertainers aren’t named “Jim.” Unfortunately, guys like Charlie Finley are a bit of a dying breed. The perfect nickname used to be steeped in lore, metaphorically connected to athletic prowess, an inside-out joke that made children of all ages—particularly the nickname-ee—grin. Now, it seems, the “-Rod” generation simply resorts to hyphenated pig latin of sorts.
As Hunter left the office, he asked his new owner what he should say if and when people asked about the origin of his new nickname. Finley replied, “You came back from the river on your 10th birthday having caught six catfish and handed them to your old man. Sell it. Goodbye.” On that note, we now present the very best nicknames in sports…
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