Lee Westwood regularly accommodates four adverts on his cap alone. This is small beer compared to his polo shirts that can carry collar flashes for Dunlop and a plug for both the parcel delivery company UPS and a really big Dunlop logo across the chest. Squeeze in another on the back collar, two more on the sleeves and Lee is minting it in promotional revenue terms. The trouble is 11 adverts sported on two items of golf wear simply does not look terribly smart. In fact it looks just like what it is, a fabric sandwich board of adverts.
Stellar players, such as Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, who have have signed gigantic contracts with Nike just wear the swoosh logo on their shirt and cap which is a whole lot classier but there are other curious fads sported in the name of golf fashion that have left many of us confused and some of us appalled.
Firstly, what is the point of those strange little slits at the bottom of golf trousers that look as though they have just come apart at the seam? Ian Poulter, a man who can, single-handed, wage war on aesthetic sensibilities despite having his own design label, is a huge fan even though they seem to have been of little assistance when it comes to him mounting a serious challenge for a major championship. And, despite his Ryder Cup heroics, Poulter is remembered equally for having turned up at the Open Championship at St Andrews sporting Union Jack trousers that prompted so many complaints. Classy they most definitely were not.
John Daly has been forced into wearing trousers that look as though an alien has landed on them having enjoyed a giant pizza with extra chilli and mozzarella and been sick, but Big John has lost an awful lot of money on gargantuan quantities of liquor; presumably in an attempt to cheer himself up having frittered away what he reckons is between $55m to $57m in gambling. Anyway he still has to pay the bills so he wears the trousers. And many of us will be glad when the bills are finally paid.
Then there are the new, big, baseball style golf caps that Ricky Fowler is so fond of. Ricky is a young, talented and refreshingly bold competitor but he still looks like a cross between the school nerd and Justin Bieber in one of those caps. And please, Ricky, do ditch that last day Day-glo orange even if it is the colour of your old university- you look as though you have just been pulped.
The latest trend is for clothing manufacturers to release what their sponsored players will be wearing over four days of a competition assuming, that is, they make the cut. How long will it be before journalists are driven to despair by non-committal and bland answers proffered by pros at a tournament and ask, simply, ‘What are you planning to wear on Sunday?’
Mind you, even though the Ryder Cup spares us players swathed in adverts it has been responsible for some pretty garish outfits over the years. Those hideous checked jackets the European team wore at Medinah in 2012 were enough to have any self-respecting tailor sobbing over his work bench although the oversized chess board design they appeared in on the eve of this year’s match were certainly no better.
And leaving Spieth and Reed out of the Friday foursomes whilst benching Mickelson on Saturday were not the only mistakes poor old Tom Watson made over his week at Gleneagles. Those blue team jumpers the USA wore with the Ryder Cup emblazoned on looked like the sort of unfortunate Christmas gift one’s grandmother knitted having discovered a golfer in the family. Team USA’s jerseys with the stars and stripes emblazoned on were scarcely an improvement.
But for stellar vulgarity nothing can match, and hopefully nothing ever will, those oversized, dirty burgundy polo shirts with framed pictures of past Ryder Cup sides that Team USA sported during their 1999 victory.
They really put two thirds of ugh into ugly! And what the pros are wearing today, many club golfers will be wearing next week which for the majority is not an attractive look at all.