Every Wednesday we’re giving you a deeper look into what makes the minds behind Kempt tick. We call it: The Kempt Five.
Every Wednesday we’re giving you a deeper look into what makes the minds behind Kempt tick. We call it: The Kempt Five.
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…
Golf, it has been said, is 90% mental. The other 10%: choosing your shirt wisely…
Enter adidas Golf and their new FASHION PERFORMANCE gear, a handsome selection of polo shirts, shoes and pants that are so dapper, you’ll already be dressed for the 20th hole (the 19th hole is so 2011).
The good news, beyond sharp looks: these threads are still designed with the game-enhancing technology you’ve come to expect from adidas. For a good idea of what the stuff looks like in action, check out PGA Tour pro Jason Day.
Consider us your sartorial caddie.
The world lost a veteran newsman and the most lucrative painter in America this weekend. Also, we’ve got the most beautiful shot of the Masters and the story of an unusually optimistic cruise ship that’s retracing the exact voyage of the Titanic. (Except for, you know, the iceberg part.)
Now that our celebration of baseball has drawn to a close, we thought we’d turn our attention to golf—specifically one bygone golfer by the name of Sam Snead. (“Slammin’ Sammy” to his friends.)
He was a giant in the pre-Arnold Palmer days, but we’re more interested in his remarkable faculty with bright red polos and straw hats. He was already color-blocking 60 years ago, and there’s more than a few things the gentlemen of today could learn from the man. Starting with those polos…
Tiger Woods usually sticks with a close-cropped buzz, right in line with his preferred image as an expert technician, but for a few ill-considered months in 2001, he went blond.
It’s a weird move under the best of circumstances. But in this case, it was also an early peek at a moody, attention-seeking Tiger nobody knew existed yet—which just made it weirder.
The bleach didn’t work for one simple reason: he’s no Dennis Rodman. Even now, Tiger has more in common with Dennis Rodman’s accountant. The rebel posture just seemed fake—so fake that it was hard to connect it with anything we knew about him. The face was the same endearing nerd as before, but the hair looked like it was about to start sexting porn stars.
A few months later, he was back to the natural black… but his indiscreet streak was just getting started.
A polo, wool pants and a cardigan. They’re all simple items, but they were practically a uniform for Arnold Palmer in the ’50s. It was one of the tricks that carried him to icon status, and a surprisingly easy one to pull off today. So naturally, we were a bit curious about exactly how the glorious trifecta looked up close.
It turns out, it looks pretty good.
We recently got a peek at the original items, straight from Mr. Palmer’s closet (courtesy of the fine folks at his clothing line, Arnie). And as you might expect, it was glorious.
Because they don’t deliver newspapers where you woke up on Sunday morning, Kempt brings you The Reentry:
WHO CARES ABOUT THE AMES STRAW POLL?
Michele Bachmann won the Ames Straw Poll, during which 30,000 Iowans ate barbeque and voted on presidential candidates. According to history, this poll doesn’t really matter — but after this weekend, Tim Pawlenty wants out and Rick Perry wants in. Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post breaks down the rest of the field here.
Golf is not, in this day and age, a stylish game. But it wasn’t always so. Once upon a time, it was a paradise of slim-cut polos, pressed slacks and summer sweaters. And presiding over it all, there was a man named Arnold Palmer…
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