Tiger Woods didn't make golf cool. Arnold Palmer did. The King's good looks helped. So did his bold shotmaking. And so did his clothes: clingy polos, pressed gabardine trousers, sensible sweaters. The man did for the cardigan what James Dean did for the leather jacket. "I'd like to think that people are attracted to my style because it's simple and neat, much like my father's," says Palmer, 82. "I stick to the standards."
Those stylish staples are coming to a store near you in the form of the "Arnie" clothing line. Palmer has teamed with the Canadian apparel company Quagmire Golf to produce retro golf gear inspired by his wardrobe of the 1950s, '60s and '70s, albeit with a decidedly modern edge. "It is not trendy," Palmer says of the line, "but, rather, it adheres to the basics that were in style those three decades. Nothing flamboyant or dated, just the timeless fashion that can been seen throughout each era." Turn here to see for yourself.
TAKE IT FROM ARNIE: "My father, Deacon, was a greenskeeper at Latrobe [Pa.] Country Club, and I always admired him for his sense of style, when he was working and when he was not. Regardless of whether he was going to the golf course or out to dinner with my mother, his slacks always carried a sharp crease that could cut your hand, his shirt was pressed and his shoes were shined. He was always very conscious of his appearance, and that greatly influenced me growing up and throughout my career. I know that while I was playing early on, my shirt tail would creep out of the back of my pants, but when I walked onto the first tee or into a dining room, I liked to look neat and clean."
TAKE IT FROM ARNIE: "Although styles evolved over those three decades, there were consistencies throughout: clothes fit well, and were neat, crisp and comfortable. It's hard to pinpoint a specific decade that was my favorite, because I like how styles have evolved over the years. But I always enjoyed watching some of the greats of the game as I was growing up. Bobby Jones, Gene Sarazen, and Byron Nelson all had a great style and were impeccable dressers on the course and off."
TAKE IT FROM ARNIE: "I certainly do not want to be critical of today's players, because there are a lot of neatly dressed guys out on Tour today. But some guys do not seem too conscious of what they're wearing and how that reflects on them. Also, I've always been pretty vocal about the importance of being clean-shaven. I suppose that is part of my upbringing, and I realize that times have changed, but I'm not a fan of guys showing stubble on the golf course."