Equipment

Course of Style: From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

Bobby Jones Rugby Shirt

Depending on the person and the setting, golf style can go high or low. Let's begin with the sublime.

For the high golf type, the designers at Bobby Jones Golf have come up a special heritage collection to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Jones's grand slam (accomplished as an amateur). Among the luxurious items in this small collection are pique polo shirts, with tipped collars; nice tropical-weight gray wool trousers, flat front or pleated; cashmere-wool sweaters (70 percent cashmere); and rugby-striped shirts with a Bobby Jones signature sewn into the underside of the collars.

These are beautiful clothes for the classic golfer who appreciates quality, available at pro shops in June-July.

Flip-Flops for the Links
If you're the kind of guy who wears board shorts and rock t-shirts on the course (we know you're out there), here's an item that may stimulate your rave side: drugstore flip-flop sandals equipped with approved soft spikes to make your walk in the country an easy-on, easy-off kind of thing.

The men's sandals, nicknamed the "Spackler" (for the Bill Murray character in Caddyshack), go on sale March 1 ($49.99) and are fully waterproof (not to mention air conditioned).

"They're for somebody who is into complete foot freedom," noted Mike Ray, founder and designer (and "chief knucklehead" he added) of Golf Gators, the Beverly, Mass., company that makes the shoes. Ray recalled the genesis of his design: "I was playing in flip flops, and I said to myself, 'If only I had a little more traction.' To us golf is less serious, more fun."

The sandals feature soft spikes made by Champ Stingers as well as holes in the heel for holding tees. "We call 'em rocket launchers," Ray said. See what we mean by ridiculous? But in a nice sort of way.

Loudmouth Success
In a similar vein, in case any further proof were necessary that some golfers prefer the deliberately tasteless and outré, there is Loudmouth Golf, a burgeoning enterprise based on providing golfers with the loudest, most frenetic prints imaginable. The company made a splash last year when John Daly began appearing in their wild prints — especially their super-lurid pink-and-purple diamonds or harlequin-check trousers.

The interesting thing about Loudmouth is their apparent runaway success in a time of recession.

"Sales have been tripling, for three years running," said Larry Jackson, the chief executive officer of the company (in photo). "When the economy is down, people still have to buy clothes. They buy less, but they go for colorful items." The Loudmouth collection includes men's trousers ($95), shorts ($75), and women's skorts ($75), the last of which are flying out of stores, according to Jackson. The clothes can be ordered at loudmouthgolf.com.

The company looks favorably on Daly's recent weight loss. "I like him skinny," Jackson said. "It doesn't take as much fabric."

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