Golf fashion has gotten a bad rap for years. Except for the 1970s, when nearly everyone was making epic fashion blunders with big collars and bell bottoms, golfers have been stylish figures. Here are our picks for the best-dressed players of all time.
By Farrell Evans
10. If Camilo Villegas were not one of the best golfers in the world, he could be a famous Colombian model. Although he's a tad short for the runway at 5-foot-9, no golfer exudes more fashion confidence than this 25-year-old star. Villegas is outfitted by J. Lindeberg.
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2. Although Jimmy Demaret, left, with friends John Geertsen, center, and Bing Crosby, won three Masters and 20 other tournaments in his PGA Tour career, he is best known for revolutionizing golf style. When he joined the tour in 1927, all the players wore the same thing: heavy brown or gray slacks, brown or black shoes, a white dress shirt, a tie, and sometimes a fedora. After a trip to New York's Garment district in the late 1930s, Demaret began wearing bright colors and lighter materials. In 1947, Demaret told Time magazine that he had been offended by sloppily dressed golfers when he was caddying as a boy. "I think there is no more beautiful place in the world than a green golf course ... and I want to dress for it," said Demaret. A Fifth Avenue tailor made him sports clothes in electric blue, bottle green, canary yellow and vermilion.
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3. Perhaps it was his lean 5-foot-7 frame, but no golfer has ever worn clothes better than Ben Hogan. Impeccable tailoring added to his formidable mystique as one of golf's all-time grinders. His ever-present cigarette was as much an accessory as a woman's broach. Hogan's dress was the model for the country club golfer that emerged shortly after World World II.
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4. Doug Sanders came out of the tradition of Jimmy Demaret. The 20-time PGA Tour winner liked flashy colored slacks and shirts. In 2003 Sanders told a Golf Digest reporter: "Clothes make the man. I went to great lengths to blend the colors of my clothes just right." He continued to say that he found his best colors at the pharmacy and would send capsule combinations to the clothing factory, where his outfits would be colored the same way. He even had his underwear and socks dyed to match the outfits.
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5. Teddy Rhodes, second from right, was an African-American golfer who won more than 150 tournaments on the United Golf Association, the golf equivalent of the Negro Leagues. Rhodes had a hipster style with influences from jazz greats such as Dizzy Gillespie, Cab Callaway, and Duke Ellington.
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6. Give the late Payne Stewart credit for daring to wear plus fours and a tam-o'-shanter during the 1980s and 90s when nobody in professional golf was doing it. Stewart made his debut in 1982, his first full year on Tour, wearing pale lavender knickers. "My father always said the easiest way to set yourself apart in a crowd is by the way you dress," said Stewart.
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7. Ralph Lauren's golf designers must have Davis Love III in mind when they work. The elegance, fine tailoring and class of Polo clothing are ready-made for Love's tall, slender frame. All he needs to add are a blazer and loafers, and he's dressed for dinner.
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8. No one in pro golf is more serious about clothes than Ian Poulter. At the 2004 British Open he wore Union Jack trousers. That same year he wore stars-and-stripes pants at the PGA Championship. He sported an Arsenal football jersey during the third round of the '06 Abu Dhabi Golf Championship in Dubai. At this year's Masters, he wore green trousers and a white fedora. Poulter has started his own clothing line to bring his brash style to the world.
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9. In 1997, Jesper Parnevik began wearing the clothes of designer J. Lindeberg. Golf had not seen such tight-fitting pants, thick belts, loud colors and floppy-collared shirts since the 1970s.
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1. Walter Hagen, an 11-time major champion, was named to a list of the best-dressed Americans during his playing years. He was a sporting man and a clotheshorse who wore plus fours and two-tone shoes. Hagen traveled by chauffeured limousine and is said to have had a second limo exclusively for his clothes.
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