The Course of Style: A Snapshot of Spring Fashion

Tiger Woods
Fred Vuich/SI
Tiger Woods was not only voted the Best Dress golfer in a recent Sports Illustrated poll of PGA Tour players, but his Nike hats are a hit too.

From the fashion point of view, it is instructive to know what is actually selling—what consumers are buying—as opposed to what styles are being pushed. At the peak of this spring golf season, here is a snapshot of what is happening at retail.

At Nike Golf, the company's Tech Basic polo, with moisture management technology, has been a blowout at $45. This is just a simple, classic-looking performance shirt, available in solids or stripes. No gimmicks, no color-blocking. Other top sellers include plaid shorts and pants, as golfers seem to be seeking bottoms with a bit of style.

Also scoring well with plaid shorts is Dunning Sportswear, which this spring is selling a new range of shorts with enhanced cooling properties (cotton Coolmax) and a distinctive prep look, in either gingham plaid or seersucker, $99. Puma Golf reports that checked shorts are big, especially their golf bermudas, $80, with a double-windowpane pattern, which are flying off the shelves. Oakley, the hip California sports company, is doing well with its Motion Polo 2.8 ($50), a simple striped golf shirt as well as with its hip Take shorts ($60), in solid colors with a big Oakley "O" at the waistline.

So perhaps golfers are keeping it simple on top, interesting on the bottom.

At Bobby Jones Golf, the sales leader is a "barstripe" polo, a thin-striped 100 percent double-mercerized cotton shirt with self collar and shell buttons, for $98, according to Lisa Wells, a company spoksewoman. The story at TaylorMade-Adidas is three stripes, as in the company's signature three-stripe logo, which turns up on its best-selling ClimaCool 3-stripe, 4-motion polo shirts, $80, and its 3-stripe shorts, $65. For the third straight year, the company is selling out of its Tour AG Hat, $25, like the ones worn by Sergio Garcia.

When it comes to toppers, Nike also says its Tiger Woods tour logo caps have been a major hit. "We added the VR club logo done in a really cool weld on the side of the Tour and TW [Tiger Woods] caps, and we are sold out," said Beth Gast, a Nike executive. "I think the added touch of bling has made the caps look super sharp, and there seems to be a fair amount of blogging with people trying to sort out that the VR stands for Victory Red and the new line of irons."

Woods wears red on tournament Sundays, where he often is strolling toward victory. Of course, anything Woods wears, according to Nike, sells out.

YOU, TOO, CAN LOOK LIKE JOHN DALY
John Daly made his own special kind of style statement at the Open de Espana in Girona, Spain, this week, appearing in the pro-am segment wearing lurid, superloud raspberry-and-yellow checked trousers. Daly, who tends to stand out in any circumstances, could be seen a mile away.

His electric argyle pants came from the aptly named LoudMouth Golf company, which specializes in old-fashioned, in-your-face golfing pants of merrily questionable taste: Hawaiian prints; "shagadelic" patterns; disco-ball designs; pink and green awning stripes; and Daly's raspberry argyles, which go for $89.95. The company's chief executive, Larry Jackson, said in a statement yesterday, "We're not your ordinary golf pants," said Jackson. "But then, who wants to be ordinary?"

The company's philosophy is "pants that go from fairway to party." Its founder, Scott "Woody" Woodworth, is a graduate of Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design who got fed up with the sedate state of contemporary golf style. With a name like that, he can't be all bad.

THE PROS ON PRO STYLE
Worth checking out—the eighth annual Sports Illustrated PGA Tour Player Survey. A group of PGA pros, including Tiger Woods, are polled on a variety of issues, from the size of their houses to who has the hottest spouse (Kristy McLachlin, wife of Parker). When it comes to who is best dressed, the golfers rated Woods No. 1 (with 41% voting for him); Adam Scott came in second (19%); and Tommy Armour III was third (14%).

One amusing sidelight on the fashion side: Ian Poulter and Jesper Parnevik made the list of both best-dressed and worst-dressed golfers. As ever, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. When it comes to worst-dressed, Steve Elkington topped the leaderboard (24 percent), with Poulter fourth (16 percent). Parnevik got an honorable mention on the worst-dressed list, along with Phil Mickelson.

POTUS PUTTS
Among the photographs released commemorating President Obama's 100 days in office was this one of the president practicing his putting along with Vice President Biden.

In the tradition of journalists asking the important questions, we have a few:
• Why is Biden playing the ball so far back in his stance—what does he think this is, croquet?
• And who is the shadowy figure playing the third ball, visible to the right of the president. Could it be Tim Geithner?

The administration has been keeping him out of sight since it seems every time he speaks the stock market goes down, but this is ridiculous.

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