Course of Style: Italy's Newest Fashion Plate

Matteo Manassero, Castello Masters
Stuart Franklin/Getty Images
Matteo Manassero, 17, won the Castello Masters to become the youngest player to win a European Tour event.

He's not old enough to drink (or drive), but Matteo Manassero, the youngest golfer (at 17) ever to win a European Tour event, is hot enough to represent the cool style of RLX by Ralph Lauren, which this week unveiled a group of clothes designed especially for him.

Manassero, who won the Castello Masters last week, joins Luke Donald as a sponsored player of the RLX line, the younger, more performance-based Polo brand. (RLX stands for "Ralph Lauren Extreme.") The Manassero RLX clothes are based on the Italian tricolors — green, white, and red — and include polo shirts, trousers, and outerwear. Manassero is already wearing them, but they will be available to consumers beginning in January.

Toward a Spike-free World Taking their cue from the relaxed style of Fred Couples, golf companies are expanding their offerings of spikeless shoes. (Couples, you may recall, wore ECCO's spikeless Street Premier shoes for his run at the 2010 Masters.) This month Adidas Golf introduces the Traxion Lite, a sporty, ultralight, treaded golf shoe incorporating the company's low-profile technology, to bring the golfer closer to the ground for greater stability. Said Dave Ortley, the Adidas shoe guru, "We've seen the spikeless market grow," adding that the Traxion design does not sacrifice performance while enabling most golfers to wear them off course — without worrying about leaving spike marks anywhere. They're also relatively inexpensive: $80, at retailers now, in the colors shown, with more colors beginning next February.

As golfers age, and their backs and joints become creakier, spike-less shoes are becoming increasingly important. They also come in quite handy when you want to go directly from the course to work or other activities without clattering and wobbling around.

Got a Brand New Bag At Nike, the "air" technology so important to the company's footwear is being applied to its golf bags, including its newest one, the Nike Performance Carry Bag. The bag has a ventilated back pad, to provide better air flow, according to the company, and a redesigned strap system that curves the "air bag" within the strap to fit better on the shoulders. The bag also has lots of pockets (10), including a lined cooler pocket (presumably for something cold and wet). It will be available at golf shops November 1 and cost $240.

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