Shades of Elegance: Copy Els and Woods for a stylish look on the course

Thursday October 28th, 2010
COLORING LOOKS: Rickie Fowler (right) turns heads with his orange-on-orange look, but Tiger Woods (left) shows that there's always a place for classic style.
Woods: Kohjiro Kinno/SI; Fowler: Fred Vuich/SI

It's a rare treat to see professional golfers attired in classic style, with soft sweaters, crisp shirts, and full-cut, pleated trousers, all blended carefully in closely related colors.

These days, it's all about contrast and graphic snap. Clothes tend to be stretch-fitted, sometimes almost glued to the body. There have been some notable exceptions, however, including the Ryder Cup uniforms that Team USA wore this year, and the fluid, flattering, almost monochromatic apparel worn by veteran stars such as Tiger Woods and Ernie Els.

Woods was at his most elegant in this year's U.S. Open at Pebble Beach [top left], where he was attired for one round in a beige crewneck pullover, white shirt, flowing ivory trousers, and sparkling white golf shoes. This outfit — courtesy of the folks at Nike, who pioneered the athletic performance look — was a lesson in the visual power of well-draped, well-chosen golf clothing. Meanwhile, Adidas has devoted an entire collection to this minimalist look, called AdiPURE, which is made up of mostly solid colors in beautiful fabrics.

While golf clothing is notorious for its bold colors and strong patterns, the simple monochromatic look conveys a kind of sartorial ease. While younger Tour players like Rickie Fowler have brought a hip-hop style to a game that's sometimes unfairly described as staid, Woods and Els show that the classic links look is always a winner.

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