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

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

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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.