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On The Course | Golfing History And The Contemporary Man

Golf is synonymous with a very particular style. A style which has been curated throughout the ages, adapting but never straying too far from the original. From the early players in the Scotland to the modern man on the course today, the golfer is a true testament to the combination of sport and style…

The History of the Golf Outfit

The Early Years


Due to the brisk Scottish wind, the original golf outfit was made from tweed. A thick fabric, that though may not have been successful in terms of allowing smooth movement, at least kept the players warm. Plaid in fact, reminiscent of these tweed origins, remains a strong feature of golfing outfit.

A key aspect of the look is of course the knickers, the cropped trousers worn with high knee socks. These came from the knee breeches of the English court dress that worked their way into the golfing attire.


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Entering Into The Mass Market

The knickers evolved into the plus fours, the trouser which lies four inchs below the knee. The game was becoming liberalised. It remained a gentleman’s sport but it began to seep into the mass market and the outfits looked a little more relaxed – still maintaining the key tie accessory and business look.

This period also saw the introduction of the two-tone ‘spectator’ shoes. A piece of clothing that came to have a long lifespan – in fact it’s a piece that Justin Thomas will be sporting this week at the British Open.

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The Interwar Age

This period saw the introduction of the flannel trouser. This new long-line is far more reminiscent of what we see on the tour nowadays yet still continues to take inspiration from work attire, which has been evident from the very beginning.

Sturdy shoes with spike soles were also added into the golf staple wardrobe. It was a time in which the practicality and technology of the game started to combine with style.

The Swing of the 1950s and 1960s

This postwar boom saw colour enter the equation. Gone were the duller colours of the Scottish tweed and bright colours became the norm. This was worn in the form of the polo shirt which itself seeped in through from the world of tennis. Lacoste had developed his tennis polo shirt emblazoned with his crocodile motif, and it was this that was adopted by golfers of the time. Arnold Palmer, the charismatic style icon of the game, is the king of how to wear this look.


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Entering into Modern Day

As time went by, the golfing game entered into the age of sponsorship. This presented itself most clearly in the introduction of branded clothing. Nevertheless with the introduction of brand names into the sport there has been a slight toning down of the primary colours which reigned in the postwar era.

The looks may have been mellowed but the principles of business-casual that hark back to the beginning of the game remain.


The contemporary man on the course...

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the open 2017

Each golf outfit should be built around the inevitable polo shirt. This green jacquard polo shirt has the bright colours reminiscent of the 50s and 60s colour injection but still maintains a smart, simple look. These trousers and jumper are a great foundation to the outfit, their deep muted colouring adding a timeless edge to the brighter shirt. The shoes finally are a true classic; the two-tone shoe is something which has been evident from the interwar period.


...and the modern woman

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the open 2017
the open 2017

This outfit is a true classic. A monochrome look that is modern, this is an outfit that will never look outdated. Pair this polo shirt with this jumper, making sure that the collar of the shirt is on show for added interest. These more delicate golf shoes and white trousers then add a base which is effortlessly smart.

Simple, reverent and still modern these are the ideal contemporary looks for the golf course.

Add extra style points with The Sestino Card Score holder and the Farini holdall…