How do you pick the best golf shirt? There is no single answer.
Sizing: The fit of a golf shirt can vary from one manufacturer to another, and even from one model to another within the same manufacturer’s line. So it’s important to measure your chest before you buy.
Fitting: Check the shoulder and arm seams, which should be parallel to the surface of your shoulders, and the width of your back collarbone at its widest point, which should be slightly below your shoulder blades. When you look down at yourself in a mirror, these seams should be straight across and not gaping open. A shirt that is too tight across the shoulders or back will make it difficult to lift your arms above your head when your arms are fully extended.
The sleeve length should also be about right for you—about two inches longer than your elbow. If it is too short, you won’t be able to lift your arms above your head; if it’s too long, it will ride up in the back when you move around.
It is fashionable to dismiss golf-wear as a faddish, even contemptible, activity. Golf is a sport for people who like to drink beer and play the ponies; why should it have a clothing industry?
But golf does have a clothing industry, and I think this one is interesting, partly because it contributes to the development of new ideas in fashion.
The clothes you wear on the course express your attitude toward the work you’re doing there. Of course, you can’t walk away from a golf game while wearing a dress shirt and pants; you’re obligated to play through to the end. But what you wear says something about how seriously you take that obligation.
That’s why men’s golf shirts are cool: they show that you take your sports seriously enough to get dressed up for them. They show that you know the rules of etiquette, and don’t want to violate them by walking away with your clothes strewn across a twenty-five-foot ravine. They show that you want everyone around you to know how seriously you take your profession.
Long ago this was an important part of what golf was about; it still is today in countries where formal attire is customary. But in America these days we tend not to feel so strongly about what
Golf is a sport for well-to-do men. It’s the golf club memberships that pay for the golf trips. They don’t pay for the bags, though. So it is still a good idea to bring your own bag, even if you are a member. Of course, if you’re in your early 20s and don’t have a job, it’s not really an option.
There are also other things to consider when you’re buying a new golf shirt: (1) Do you have a small or large chest? Your sleeves should be long enough so that your forearms aren’t visible when you bend your elbow to swing. (2) Do you have broad shoulders? If yes, get a knit shirt in medium or light weight. (3) Do you have narrow shoulders? If yes, get a knit shirt in extra-light or light weight.
Golf is a great game to play because it takes so little equipment. There is only one thing you absolutely have to have: a good set of clubs. The rest is up to you. If your game is good, you don’t need much else.
If you want to make any money playing golf, there are a couple of things you can do. You can play in tournaments and maybe win some money. Or you can give lessons and make money that way too.
A third option is to design and manufacture clothes for golfers. It’s not as easy as it sounds. There have been a lot of people who tried over the years, but very few have done well at it.
Golfers wear white because it reflects the sun, helping them to see the ball better. They wear white because they think it looks nice, and because it is a good contrast with the grass.
They wear white for all sorts of reasons, many of which are not about golf. The same looks good on white, so why not on blue or pink? White is a neutral color that doesn’t look old- fashioned, so why not make clothes in different shades like black or gray or brown?
Golfers wear white because that’s what they’re told to do. They wear white because they feel guilty about wearing any other color. They wear white because they think their favorite color is red and they want to be trendy.
They think other people will be impressed by their golfing prowess if they can walk into a pro shop and buy a $600 set of golf shirts in bright reds and greens with bright yellow stripes down the sides.
It is not a golf tradition to wear the same outfit on the course that you would wear off the course. For example, if I were playing in New York and wanted to look like a golfer on horseback, I would wear a polo shirt and khakis. If I were in rural northern England, I would wear a tweed jacket and vintage cutaway. If I was wearing a suit, I would also wear a flat cap.
But when you are playing golf, you can’t see what you look like at all times. You might be in Argentina or Singapore or Singapore or Singapore. You might be playing with your child or your colleague or your friend. And so you have to be able to change clothes very quickly in order to do anything that requires changing clothes.
If you are wearing traditional golf attire while playing golf, then your own clothing will restrict your movement, making it harder to move around and execute the shot you want to execute.
What separates top players from the rest is not their ability to hit a ball, but rather their ability to read the course. A good golfer can hit a ball straight into the rough off the tee, but he will still be able to score a shot if he has the right club for that particular hole. And because of his ability to read the course, he knows exactly where every hazard will be on any given hole-like moving sand or water hazards-and precisely when they will appear.
If you don’t read the course like that, you may hit the ball hard and straight, but you won’t know what to do next. You can’t afford to miss any putts or make any bad decisions in golf; if you do, you are going to lose.
A golfer’s reading of the course is not some ethereal thing that only happens in his head. It is something he learns by studying it: by playing lots and lots of golf, looking at other people’s shots, and learning through trial and error how certain things work in this game.