Since our last rant three years ago, golf shoe style has deteriorated even more precipitously than our distance off the tee. The April 2021 issue of Golf Digest features not one, but two pages of their picks for shoes only Dylan Frittelli should wear.
Acceptable alternatives are about as rare as salads are for Ian Woosnam, but here are a couple of options we like (for the most part).
Puma's golf shoe designs get weirder every year. This season there's a model better-suited for a domestic terrorist attack than a round of golf. Fortunately they continue to produce the OG, which is basically a waterproof Clyde with nubs on the sole. We're stocking up while we still can.
These are more than 2x the price of the Pumas, but we love the saddle styling of our dads' spiked shoes, and G/Fore golf shoes are famously comfortable. There is one caveat: there's a skull in the insole. In lieu of some Dr. Scholl's, this can be just between you and your club's locker room attendant. "Porterhouse!"
The result? Gaping holes has been blown open in our once-deep roster of $11 New Look and ASOS polos.
Two events to the rescue:
1. J. Crew's Bankruptcy
When J. Crew announced their bankruptcy in early May it sounded like they planned on keeping some stores open. Now it feels like EVERYTHING MUST GO.
Unfortunately even at 60 or 70% off, there's not much worth buying at the flagship, which perhaps explains their predicament. But at J. Crew Factory we've been watching the price of their excellent washed jersey polo go from $12.95 to $11.80 to $11.50 in just the last 3 days. By the time you read this they could be 10 bucks. It's ASOS price territory and these are better. Fits true to size.
2. Lacoste's Summer Sale
A Lacoste polo is going to run you $89.50. That's justthe price. That is until Lacoste has a summer sale and marks their iconic shirts down 30%. At $61.99 it's less than most eBay counterfeit versions from Hong Kong. As you likely know if you're reading this, fits one size small.
Getting into minimalist casual golfing lately. Find myself loving the game even more. Been using Driver, Hybrid, 5 iron, 8 iron, 50, 56, 60, and putter. What’s your set looking like these days? — Jack
A: Jack, depending on the size of your bag, with only 8 clubs they could each follow CDC social distancing guidelines. Very responsible!
Glad you're loving the game more than ever, but without a 3-iron how do you punch out from the woods? Or keep something beneath branches? We'd be lost without it.
Anyhow, to answer your question, here's what's in the bag, with occasional tasting notes:
Driver: Cleveland Classic 8.5°
Before Cleveland temporarily stopped making drivers in 2014, their masterpiece was the Cleveland Classic, the closest titanium has ever come to persimmon. You can still track this down on eBay.
3-wood: Titleist 906F2 15°
3-PW: Mizuno MP-18
We're Mizuno forged blade connoisseurs and this is the best set they've ever created. Almost too beautiful to actually use. Now that they're onto the not-as-good MP-20s, you can find them for ~$600.
52, 56, 60: Titleist Vokey Spin Milled
Putter: Ping Anser 3
Every year a bunch of goofy putters appear on the market, get Golf Digest gold listed, and disappear about as fast. We just stick with an icon, understanding that there is no $300 fix for pulls, pushes, the yips, and leaving anything low.
Recently we identified what we won't be wearing on the links in 2019 and beyond: Jim Nantz by Vineyard Vines. But it got us thinking, what is the Nantz antidote? What can we wear this spring to counter the effects of comfort-fit khakis and quarter-zip sweaters?
One answer: Canali.
We've had our eye on Canali — typically known for its Italian suiting — since the 2014 Ryder Cup, when Europe crushed USA in their ridiculously sporty plaids, while some members of Team USA actually thought it was OK to wear mock turtleneck compression tees under polos. Bubba Watson championed this look even more than Jim Furyk, and seemed more interested in dressing up like a Yankee Doodle Toolbag than competing, going 0-3.
Anyhow, 5 years later we've invested wisely enough to invest in a little Canali, like this mercerized cotton polo, and for the team photo this blazer that epitomizes nearly everything we've written about blazers over the past 11 years. Is this enough to counter the powerful effects of Jim Nantz and the Vineyard Vines marketing team? We're unsure, but we're certainly going to try.
Because lots of golfers want to look like a 60 year-old sportscaster with no history of being even vaguely stylish, here's Jim Nantz by Vineyard Vines. Available February in select pro shops and online.
Q: I am trying to find something that I am not sure exists. I play tennis fairly regularly and I am looking for a performance tennis shoe that doesn't look like I just stepped out of an Academy. Currently I wear these (Asics). I like these a lot performance-wise, but I want something with a more vintage look like these (Nikes) or this (K-Swiss). Am I chasing a unicorn here? —John
A: John, those Asics you're wearing have "gel" in the model name, which we're pretty sure is a footwear prereq for enrollment into IMG/Bollettieri.
We play tennis year-round on clay, hardcourt, and even grass (see below) and have recently struggled with the same problem. For many years we wore the Rod Lavers — which are similar in style to the Nikes you admire — and while hardcourts shredded them faster than a 4.5 playing a 3, it was a small price to pay for their comfort and low-key iconicism.
Then in 2014 Adidas ruined the Rod Laver. They made them "freakishly heavy" with a sole that "feels like a 100lb slab of concrete," per the reviewers at adidas.com, with one critic adding, "If I could give a zero-star rating, I would." It's all true. Now they're discontinued entirely, which has led to the creation, naturally, of a Save the Adidas Rod Laver shoe" Facebook page. (BTW, please Like.)
But you didn't ask for a recent history of the Rod Laver. You want a performance tennis shoe with a vintage aesthetic, and we have it: The Puma GV Special. Now, Guillermo Vilas was no Rod Laver, and they were released a decade later than the Rods (1980), but they're far more rugged, and maintain compatibility with white Borg-inseam shorts and McEnroe headbands. Plus, if you look hard enough you can sometimes find them for about 35 bucks. Try 'em out and let us know what you think.
About those grass courts...
One of the many great treasures of our home state of Wisconsin is Sand Valley Golf Resort in Nekoosa. Besides 36 terrific walking-only holes (with 18 more coming in 2021), they have 9 grass courts. So along with your 3-wood and white balls, pack your woody and white balls.
When we go a couple of weeks without posting it's because we're lazy and drunk. This time, though, we've just been drunk, and busy in the lab concocting what we believe will be the most desirable golf bag ever created. Leather, naturally. Perhaps even more minimal than the Minimum Viable Wallet. All materials and construction Made in the USA.
What's taken the longest is designing the single side bag, which is in fact 3 bags in 1: a main bag for balls and tees, a valuables pocket for your phone and wallet and keys, and another one for your cashmere sweater or windbreaker.
It's going to be magnificent. Stay tuned for updates. Our goal is to have it ready to ship for Christmas. Just don't hold us to a specific year.
Cutting straight through the toolbaggery like a stinger 3-wood is the simple streetwear style of the Adidas adiCross Classic. Adidas even relegated the three stripes to the heel notch, which may be obscured if you wear pants. We haven't been this excited about a new golf shoe since the Adidas "Invader" launched in 2002. Highly recommended.
Fit tip: As is always the case with Adidas, these, too, run one size small.
This award goes to Henrik Stenson, Champion Golfer of the Year, who discarded his toolbag long-sleeve Hugo Boss synthetic mock turtleneck underwear on the 17th tee, just in time to hoist the Claret Jug in a polo. It's the best sartorial move in the 145-year history of the tournament. Well done Henrik.
1. Attire We don't always wear underwear, but we do when we're sitting on the sofa at 5AM on a Monday for 7.5 hours of British Open coverage, and we prefer CK One Cotton Stretch Slim Fit Boxers. Slim, yet unconfining, and discreet even under the shortest, tightest, and lowest-rise shots, these have been our favorites virtually since Seve won on a Monday at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in 1988. They're the best. 2 for $30 at calvinklein.com, but you can always find these at Teej for about half that.
Q: I have just inherited a family crest ring from my grandfather. How does MB feel about such rings. Should they be worn? —Phillip
A: There are certain things we'd happily inherit from our grandfather: His 1961 Jaguar E-Type. His Mizuno MP-14s. Money.
Then there are other things we'd rather not: Male pattern baldness. An elevated PSA. His third wife Mitzi.
Where does jewelry fall? Somewhere in the middle. Jewelry with a heraldic knight helmet? As our original logo attests, we have a soft spot for heraldic imagery. But when you put it on a big gold ring, we can't help but think this is what the 14th century version of Michael Lohan/Donald Trump would have worn. And that means that on our inheritability continuum, it's veering towards prostate cancer.
Our suggestion: File this item in a high-quality ring box and pass it down to your progeny, so in 30 years he can Ask the MB about wearing a family crest ring from his great-grandfather. We'll be here.
In late December, the Dow Jones topped 18,000 for the first time. The U.S. economy is taking off like a Titleist driven by the invisible hand, arm, torso, and Ping G30 of Bubba Watson. Even President Obama's approval ratings are trending upward.
Why all this good news? Correlation does not equal causation, but we can't help but notice that Mr. Obama is dressing better on the golf course. Granted, he had nowhere to go but up. As we've covered in the past, the nation's Executive-in-Chief has typically looked more like a hapless mailroom schlub while walking some of the best links in the land. Baggy cargo shorts. Voluminous polo shirts that would like right at home in Walmart's 4-person tent aisle. And who can forget that awful moment in 2008 when a driving range swing launched his Blackberry into the atmosphere like a doomed space shuttle. NASA, we do not have lift-off.
Now, he's still nowhere near embodying the casual kinetic assurance that says, "Yes, America, I am leading you toward prosperity, security, and overall well-being, and I still have time to get in 18 holes on Sunday."
But at least President Obama has apparently ditched the cargo shorts. He's wearing slimmer-fitting polos that leave his elbows uncovered. In his new garb, he looks more graceful and assured — and that in turn leads to greater grace and assurance. The impact is personal — his golf game has improved dramatically. But there's a macro element as well. America sees a more commanding figure at the helm, and almost magically, gas prices start dropping, consumer confidence increases, the Dow starts climbing, etc.
Q: Hi, MB! What do you think of novelty cufflinks?
A: We're not unconditionally opposed to novelty cufflinks. But we are somewhat baffled by the current state of the market. The last time we posted about this — in 2007 — we advised a reader to steer clear of skulls. Seven years later, that prohibition still stands. And from what we can see, you are going to have to do an awful lot of steering — the cufflinks sections on the websites of most major retailers look like the Crypt of the Sepulchral Lamp remixed by Hot Topic. (Seriously, when did skulls start accessorizing so heavily?)
Has the Day of the Dead introduced a more formal dress code? While we understand that cufflinks offer a man a chance to signal his sense of style in a understated over-the-top way, and even encourage that, we're a little alarmed by this massive proliferation of skulls. A cufflink is not as permanent as a tattoo, but that shouldn't give you license to turn your sleeve into a black metal album cover from 1993.
Our advice: Stick with novelty cufflinks that allude to an interest in MB-approved pastimes like golf, tennis, sailing, skiing, or eating lobster. And even with those we have some caveats:
Q: Hey guys, was wondering if there's a new tie stock coming to the shop? Something for the in-coming wedding season.
Also Allen Edmonds is now offering made-to-order golf-soles on some of their shoes if you wanted a golfing McAllister. Thanks. —D. Holden
A: While our design and procurement processes remain somewhat "artisinal" — i.e., we are still a little too apt to negotiate with Shengzen factory reps when we've spent the afternoon testing Pourcast — we are slowly mastering the dark arts of product development and do indeed have some new things on the way. Including a tie that we believe will work well at weddings, bar mitzvahs, and funerals of those you loved very, very dearly. However, because of the artwork that will be featured on this tie's tipping — see image — we don't recommend wearing it if you're the groom. (Why start your honeymoon with a jealous wife?)
These ties will feature a bold heart-to-sword regimental stripe and are made of raw silk — perfect for spring, summer, and temperate climates throughout the year. The prototypes are done, so they should be in stock within a matter of weeks. Check back often.
Now, on to the golfing McAllisters. If we were stuck in jury duty in a courtroom with enough room to practice our chipping, we would definitely consider these. They are a handsome shoe — but given that we we find ourselves wearing sneakerized footwear even in places where we might have worn lace-up oxford dress shoes (court appearances, board meetings, IRS audits), we can't really imagine wearing lace-up oxfords on fairways, even if they have the sole for it.
Our current favorite golf shoes are these Puma Clydes, which deliver sporty style but maintain a comfortable distance from Ricky Fowler territory. We recommend them in Castlerock. But at the prices you can currently get them at Amazon — approximately $30 to $45 a pair, depending on color and size — you can buy a different color for every day of the week and still spend less than you would on a single pair of the the McAllisters.
Q: What's up with the lack of postings lately? You've had two so far for the month of September, which sported a grand total of five words. I've taken to reading the SB (who has 8 posts in the month, with more words than I care to count) just to have something to do while I'm supposed to be working. Am I right to be concerned? —Tim
A: Our in-house masseuse thinks this has something to do with blockage of our third eye chakra. We think it has more to do with replacement refs, abundant tee times, and excessive MB Cocktail indulgence.
Whoever's right, we still have a lot to say — although never more than the SB — and will be back to a more regular posting schedule someday.
Just 10 days after we published The Golfing Toolbag, Adam Scott suffered one of the worst-ever major meltdowns, handing the Claret Jug to Ernie Els. Coincidence? Yes! But still not a good look on a man with good style otherwise.
Early last year we wondered if Bubba Watson was a toolbag with MB tendencies or vice versa.
Now we're pretty sure it's the latter.
This season Watson combined a pink head with his pink-shafted Ping G20 driver to support Breast Cancer Awareness (Ping donates $300 for every 300 yard drive Watson hits), and at the Masters he just won he wore the same white-on-white outfit for four days to raise money for Fresh Start, a California charity that provides cosmetic reconstructive surgery for children with physical defects.
Now Watson clothing sponsor Travis Mathew is selling a $200 white polo and belt package with 100% of the proceeds going to Fresh Start. If they sell out, an additional $50,000 will be donated to the California-based cancer research center City of Hope.
While both the polo and belt badly violate the MB principle of legible clothing, we're in, and the Pulaski Goodwill soon be receiving a NWT Travis Mathew polo shirt and belt.
A: We absolutely love the idea behind Arnie Wear — who doesn't want to look like Arnold Palmer did in the '60s — it's the execution we have a problem with, with too-long sleeves on the polos, too-long inseams on the shorts, and far too much nylon and quick-dry polyester on everything.
The King never wore quick-dry polyester.
One item we'll be trying out, however, is the Leaderboard dress pant in (mostly) cotton, with a low rise and gentle boot cut (inset). Good golf pants are hard to find, and it looks like you could wear these into the office after a round (unless you get them in Lemon). Plus they'll go great with the Sambas.
Long before Arnie Wear came along, what we've done to put our twist on the '60s Palmer look is find a pair of casual white pants on YOOX, a slim-fitting banded-cuff polo from J.Crew (always on sale), and a fine-gauge cashmere-silk cardigan usually by Cruciani. Add a $4.99 plain white visor from e4hats.com and you are Palmer personified (except for his game).
This took way longer than it should have, but Adidas finally just threw some soft spikes on a pair of Sambas and instantly made the coolest golf shoe on the market. They've even created a limited-edition (only 1,950 pairs) green and gold Masters Packers shoe for fans of the greatest major team.
If we ever get around to writing The Magnificent Bastard Guide to Life, one of our foundational pieces of advice will read something like this:
It's easiest to take the high road when you're winning, so always take the high road when you're winning. That way, when you're faced with taking the high road in more challenging scenarios — and you should always take the high road — you'll have some experience to fall back on.
Surely, Steve Williams, Tiger Woods' caddie for 13 years and 13 major championships, could have used this advice on Sunday. After his new boss, 31-year-old Aussie Adam Scott, won at Firestone this weekend, Williams had this to say to CBS's David Feherty: "I've been caddying for 33 years and that's the best week of my life ... and I'm not joking ... honestly that's the best week of my life; I've caddied for 33 years, 145 wins now, and that's the best win I've ever had."
Now, it may be that Tiger Woods is such an awful person to work for that what Williams said was true: Winning the Bridgestone Invitational was actually better than winning the 2005 Masters (who can forget the chip-in on 16?), or the 2008 U.S. Open (possibly Woods' last major). But why shift attention away from your new boss on his big day, just to send out a subtle fuck-you to your old boss? Especially if it truly is the best week of your life? If you still have room for petty grievances in the best week of your life, then it's not the best week of your life.
Q: I have a bit of an issue with polo shirts. I'm 5'6 with an athletic/weight-trained physique. I normally wear either a L or XL golf/polo shirt...my issue is, the length of short sleeve. Some of these shirts come down past my elbow. Could you recommend a golf/polo shirt with a shorter length short sleeve? I'm not liking the thought of having to take them to be tailored down. Your thoughts? —Stephen
A: We've spent $20 to have sleeves shortened on otherwise-perfect $10 t-shirts, so we know and appreciate the importance of precise sleeve length. (For tees we're not quite at Brando cap-sleeve territory, but within an inch or two.)
As for polos, anything that comes down past the elbow are for old people (top). But if you really like the shirts that have longer sleeves, pay for their shortening surgery. You won't regret it. If you're looking for shirts that already come with short sleeves, Lacoste is an obvious choice if you prefer banded sleeves, like The King used to (bottom). If you prefer no logo, J. Crew's vintage tailored polos show just enough bicep to verify your absence of a barbed-wired tattoo. Wyatt, which makes our favorite polo shirt at the moment and, as far as we can tell, is only available at bluefly, offers a similar cut with open sleeves.
First Obama killed Osama bin Laden sporting a Nike golf jacket, now he's negotiating debt ceiling deals with golfing partner John Boehner in a Nike golf shirt and Nike golf socks. One logoed Nike thing at a time, Mr. President, or you'll blow your cover!
Also, if you won't trim the budget, can you at least right-size your shirt? We're pretty sure Paul Ryan would try to make a week's worth of garments out of that blousey tent you're wearing.
Meanwhile, in spectacular un-fashion, Rory McIlroy lifted the Oakley curse by being the first Oakley-sponsored player to win a major championship.
Earlier:Camelnot. Obama vacationing in Martha's Vineyard.
Yesterday at 3:08PM ET we, along with the three major US tours, observed a moment of silence for the death of Seve Ballesteros.
He was one of our favorites, less for his swashbuckling golfing style and more for his understated sartorial style.
Nearly 20 years before Tiger Woods adopted the Sunday red, and before Ricky Fowler and his Sunday orange were even born, Ballesteros invented the Sunday uniform, choosing a white, artfully disheveled polo underneath a blue v-neck and dark pants.
Hoisting the Claret Jug after winning the 1979 Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club.
Few things go well with the green jacket, but this worked in 1983.
He was ahead of his time with the fist pump, too, winning the Open at St. Andrews in 1984.
The last of his majors, again at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club in 1988.
In what no doubt qualifies as the greatest product placement of all time, President Obama shows off the business casual versatility of a Nike golf jacket (model not yet identified). He started the day
wearing it at the Andrews Air Force Base golf course, where he got nine holes in before cutting his game short to set up camp in the White House Situation Room and watch U.S. forces take out Osama bin Laden.
This was reportedly the fifth weekend in a row the President spent golfing. Given the outcome of the mission in Pakistan, we think he — and everyone else involved — earned the right to play a full eighteen this weekend.
In addition, we also think the President deserves a better golf jacket. Mr. Obama, if you're reading, we’d like to buy you a Kiton reversible as thanks for a job well done. (Wear the plaid side when you're out on the links. Then, when you need a more sober, official look that's better suited to overseeing a bold military strike against America's most notorious enemy, switch to the tan side.)
In this part of the country, The Masters is the unofficial start of golf season (even though courses aren't open 'round here yet). With that in mind, we've got a few equipment recommendations to keep your style out of the Woods.
A disposable nylon stand bag this is not. Hand-crafted in Portland, OR, from leather with stainless steel hardware, this is the last golf bag you will ever own. A side pocket for balls and tees, another for a windbreaker (or just leave empty), it's as simple — and as good — as a golf bag gets.
As the soft vs. hard golf travel case debate rages on, MB comes down firmly on the side of hard. An SKB travel case may outlast your MacKenzie golf bag. These things are as solid as a rock and SKB's customer service is second to none. After about 20 years of use a wheel broke off one of ours last year and they send a free replacement wheel via 2-day shipping. (NB: Only order the small SKB travel case if you have a small bag, like a Jones or a MacKenzie.)
These days, finding a traditional pear-shaped driver that doesn't come with an instruction manual is as rare as a Tiger Woods Tour win. Even longtime MB standby Titleist has gone high-tech with its SureFit™ adjustment system. Speaking of Woods, while he's got a terrible eye for strippers and porn stars and clothes, his eye for golf clubs is superb, as he's largely responsible for the design of Nike's best clubs, like this one.
Nothing can ruin everything we've discussed so far faster than using the logoed polyester headcover that came with your driver. Throw it in the garbage. Jan Craig has been making hand-knit wool headcovers in Chicago, IL since 1962. If they were good enough for Nicklaus and Watson, they're good enough for us. (Get the 8" pom.)
There isn't a more beautiful piece of forged steel on earth than the Mizuno MP-11. Except for maybe the MP-14. Or MP-9. Or MP-29. You get our drift. If you've got game, there is nothing quite like the feel, not to mention look, of vintage Mizuno forged blades.
No one shops harder for cool golf shoes than Magnificent Bastard. In what's turned into a quest, each season we look at every shoe from every golf shoe manufacturer, and usually just end up wearing old Adidas we stocked up on five years ago. This year, however, we discovered two pair worth your consideration: The Nike Air Range in dark grey, and the black/white/cherry tomato Puma Club 917, pictured. Best prices online are at shop.pgatour.com, and both run small. Size up one.
Are you fucking kidding? Unless you have a note from your doctor, or dictator, this game is walked.
Q: Dear MB: How does an MB rock shorts? I know, I know, a real MB shouldn't wear shorts, but in some parts of the country summer gets too hot for pants. 115 degrees. Looking back at your earlier posts about shorts, the MB short has an 8"-8.5" inseam. Thanks for the help. --Larry
A: In the S/S issue of Another Man, Tom Ford offers five easy lessons on how to become a modern gentleman. Fifth on his list: "A man should never wear shorts in the city. Flip-flops and shorts in the city are never appropriate. Shorts should only be worn on the tennis court or on the beach."
As a rule, dictators tend to favor tanks or MercedesBenz, but Muammar Gaddafi is not your average dictator. Yesterday the Libyan strongman took to the streets in a strange golf cart hybrid (the mostly electric cart appears to derive additional power from a bunch of sweaty guys in suits).
Given that Gaddafi presides over one of the most oil-soaked countries on earth and counts more than 3000 gas stations in Europe as part of his vast portfolio of international investments, we take this as a canny attempt to appear more progressive -- clearly he's concerned about climate change and doing his part to combat it. And if you're not, well, he just might shoot you in the face.
When it's a little chilly on the first tee, we recommend a white cotton turtleneck. When it's downright cold, a cashmere version like this flannel grey Harrison* (on deep discount) should do the trick. When it's snowing, as it was at the Accenture Match Play Championship in Tucson this weekend, we suggest you book a flight to somewhere where it's not snowing and play there. (There are plenty of nice courses in Maui, where it shouldn't start snowing until at least 2013.)
Whatever you do, though, never wear what Martin Kaymer, the world's newly crowned top-ranked player, was wearing this weekend. On Sunday's broadcast, we learned the hideous scarf-like accessory assaulting his neck is a UV Fishing Buff by artist and retired Florida Keys fishing guide Vaughn Cochran.
The UV Fishing Buff is made from Coolmax Extreme fabric and features a black fly fishing lure pattern that we're pretty sure is guaranteed to actually repel oysters and mollusks, not to mention creatures with actual eyes. The only time to wear such a thing is if you're skippering the S.S. Toolbag. Never ever wear one a golf course.
* Harrison's quality is as variable as Bubba Watson's golf swing. Some of their sweaters are our favorites; others barely make the Vietnam Veterans clothing donation bin. Inspect carefully before committing.
Golf is a gentleman's game. If you work up a sweat, you're working too hard. Go back to the driving range and smooth out your swing. There's no need for performance polyester polos, ever.
For thirty years Bill Murray has been quietly -- albeit in a visually loud way -- preaching this gospel. As far as we can tell, he is the only golfer of note -- pro or amateur -- who consistently wears long-sleeved wovens on the course. Don't let thehats that even Tyler Perry wouldn't wear distract you. Don't be put off by the fact that he invariably looks like a sack of dirty laundry when teeing off. Style-wise, he ends up in bunkers and hazards more than Charles Barkley, but his allegiance to the long-sleeved woven -- starting with his iconic turn as Carl Spackler in Caddyshack and continuing through his first Pebble Beach victory yesterday -- is as straight and true as a Tiger Woods drive (back when he was good).
Yesterday Bubba Watson won the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. He has a driver with a hot pink shaft and buttons his polo shirts like he should be wearing a tie (note the N-2 rule), but give the man credit for recognizing the value of wearing a visor when one has a full head of long hair. This look (bottom) is at arfully disheveled as his golf swing.
Q: Hello! I'm sending my mother and father to the San Francisco Opera for Wagner's Ring Cycle and it has been formally requested that all men wear tuxedos to opening night. This has sent us on a search for the perfect tuxedo. Now, we already know that you recommend a double-vented jacket for maximum bastardliness, but on the matter of the pants: pleated or plain? Thanks so much for your magnificence! --Amanda-Louise
A: In Apocalypse Now Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore had his boys play Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries because "it scares the hell out of the slopes!," but it shouldn't scare your father from flat front trousers. Middle age is no excuse for pleats. Like smoking grass leads to heroin addiction, they're gateway attire to sweatpants, followed closely by full-on tracksuits.
Q: No comments about Tiger's Nike sunglasses at the Masters? I hope they enhanced his game, because they did nothing for his already lacking MB-ness. --Nate
We know Woods spent the last few months in sex rehab, but based on his appearance at the Masters, we're wondering about the cure. To our eye, it looks like his therapists have simply stuck a pair of super-dark blind-guy glasses on him in the hope that they will prevent him from spotting trashy blonde blabbermouths in the gallery. And fed him a lot of donuts. On the bright side, he's wearing a collared shirt. And every day you can stay off the mock turtlenecks is a good day.
The Masters Green Jacket is without a doubt the most shapeless piece of poly-blend, gold-buttoned hideousness we would happily wear. As ugly as it is, however, if you devote 99.9% of your life trying to keep the putterhead square through impact, there's a good chance you can make it look even worse.
#5 Bernhard Langer, 1985
First, Berhnard Langer spent 18 holes looking like history's only Aryan Temptation. Then, he donned the green jacket and transformed himself into history's largest elf.
#4 Larry Mize, 1987
What's the golf equivalent of showing up to the Oscars without a speech written in case you win? Wearing a striped purple polo that you might have to combine with a green blazer.
#3 Tiger Woods, 2005
The only thing that can make Tiger's text messages to porn star Joslyn James seem relatively tasteful: his toolbag casual mock-n-blazer combo. ("You are my fucking whore. Hold you down while I choke you. And make you stare at my stupid Nike shirt until your eyes puke.")
#2 Ben Crenshaw, 1995
Ben Crenshaw does his best impression of a golf nut's bulletin board.
#1 Nick Faldo, 1990
The most convincing case we've ever seen for a five-button Green Jacket? Nick Faldo's argyle fireman sweater.
Maybe Gatorade was right to drop Tiger Woods as a sponsor. He's making his dramatic return to golf at the Masters next month, and yet tickets are readily available. So readily available, in fact, that you can get a day pass at Costco for only $850. It's seriously worth your consideration. You get your choice of attending Thursday-Sunday, and have full access to the The Lodge on Magnolia which is about an 8-iron from the entrance. $850 + travel is a lot of bread, but trust us: If you haven't already, this is one thing you need to do.
Q: I need to buy a new pair of magnificent golf shoes, but I don't really know where to look. Any ideas??? Thanks! --Blake
A: Unfortunately golf shoes have followed in the footsteps of running shoes and gone all ugly space-age (top), when MBs just want the golf shoe equivalent of New Balance 574s (bottom).
It's difficult to offer suggestions in such a depressed golf shoe environment, but last season's Puma Club Shoe works and is on sale for $70. Also keep your eyes on eBay for Adidas and Puma models when they were cool, like back in 2008.
Not so MB: This ain't Wimbledon! White visor, white shirt, white belt, white glove, white pants, and white shoes (not pictured: white undies and white socks). Even Colonel Sanders (inset) knew enough to mix in a black string tie and pocket square.
Very MB: Newly-crowned PGA champion is 37 years old with a headful of dark hair and chooses the perfect headwear to highlight its existence.
Q: I'm always looking to swap out my golf gear for better, more MB-ish accessories (simplify, simplify, simplify). I am currently looking for the best golf bag and towel. What is the stylish gear the leggy-model in your banner is carrying? --Your Supplicant, Kevin
The Bag:The Original Mackenzie Walker. We guarantee this is the best golf bag you will ever own. It will also be the last golf bag you ever own. The only problem is that it's $735.00. But worth every penny, and probably a value if you consider you'll go through 4-5 ordinary bags in your lifetime.
The Towel: Available at every Ritz Carlton worldwide. Right next to the hand towels and washcloths. Anywhere from $179.00 to $3,700/night depending on room size and view. (Pictured: Ritz Carlton South Beach)
Q: I recently noticed Phil Mickelson wearing golf shirts with shorter than standard short sleeves. As a guy with short muscular arms I would love to get shirts with these extra short sleeves. Where does he get them or are they made special for him? --Ron
A: Phil Mickelson has a large endorsement deal with Callaway, so it's a very safe bet they make his shirts. And, being the #2 player in the world, he can get Callaway to make anything he wants. (Though someone at Callaway should have the courage to tell Phil to add a little material around the torso. It's looking increasingly sausage-like, with a side of manboobs.)
Anyhow, we strongly endorse shorter sleeves on polos, especially if you have pipes worthy of display. The sleeve length on many of today's golf shirts, one can't tell if they're short long-sleeves or long short-sleeves (see John Daly at last week's St. Jude Classic). But don't make this a big concern. You can have your golf shirt sleeves shortened to taste by a tailor for $10-$15. And if you're cursed with Mickelson's waistline, try to find a tailor who moonlights as a plastic surgeon.
Q: What is the MB stance on drinking beer on the golf course? I like beer as much as the next guy and have been known to enjoy a beer during a round. But I turned a buddy down during a recent round when he asked if I wanted one. Aside from any possible negative effects on my score, the reason was that I realized that about 95% of the people I see drinking beer on the course exhibit all the symptoms of a toolbag (cargo shorts, untucked shirts, Oakleys, taking way too long, etc.). So I came to the conclusion that, while drinking beer while playing may not be inherently toolbag, it becomes toolbag by association.
So what says the MB? Is drinking beer on the course ever acceptable? If not, is there an acceptable alternative alcoholic beverage? --Brett
A: Brett, you started off by asking a question, and then, after some toolbag observation and deductive reasoning, answered it on your own, correctly. Well done. As for Part 2 of your question, we never drink on the golf course as it negatively affects performance, again, as you observe. However, once we putt out on 18 it's a stampede to the bar that's sometimes a potentially life-threatening The Who-like experience.
We're all in favor of bringing back some '70s style to the course -- the MB in the header photo is wearing vintage flowered Lilly Pulitzer shorts -- but Scott Woodsworth's Loudmouth Golf is an homage gone horribly wrong:
Top: John Daly at the BMW PGA Championship at the Wentworth Club, England, over the weekend in Loudmouth Golf's "Disco Balls" pants. Looks like a clown's pajamas.
Bottom: The "Chicks Dig Loudmouth" photo gallery is a toolbag extravaganza.
Q: Well I went looking for the Dassler Kapitans (from the post on April 27, 2009) at Puma's site and they only have one size...for people with very small feet. Guess I missed the window on those. Any suggestions for a comparable alternative? Also, what is the shoe the MB has on in the current header, out of curiosity? --Gregory
A: Too bad on the Kapitans. There are a couple pair in larger sizes available on ebay for only $83.11, but in a lighter brown. Also, keep your eyes open on store.puma.com because they do restock.
For a substitute, take a look at the Roma Re-Luxe which is available in many sizes at Zappos. We've probably said this before, but Puma is redefining men's footwear, and we're totally on board. Now men just need more things to wear these with besides denim.
Regarding the golf shoes the MB is wearing in the header photo, they're Adidas "modo Delmar," and are widely unavailable. One thing we've learned about Adidas golf shoes, if you find a pair you like, buy a half-dozen of them because they will be completely gone the following season.
The primal scream is the same, the fist pump is toned down a bit, and Tiger Woods is thankfully back to wearing collard shirts on Sundays instead of the skin-tight mock turtleneck. Phil Mickelson, please take note.
Q: Does the MB have a white leather belt in his quiver? I have noticed a trend in fashion to don the WLB with certain styles or retro. Your take? --Stephen
A: Yessir, an MB has one of these arrows in his closet, and it's especially appropriate on the golf course/retro. It's not the easiest to pull off, but if there's doubt just think of Johnny Miller in 1976 on his way to a British Open title.
Q: I'm unclear on your turtleneck position. Are saying it was only ok in 1968 and for chaps much more MB than I'll ever be? I have a navy tall mock turtleneck (taller than a mock but not enough to fold over) that I love. Not MB? --Scott
A: We're saying McQueen, Player, and Newkirk helped make the turtleneck forever cool. If you don't have enough material to fold over, or let flop down in an artfully disheveled way, then you ought to keep it in your closet. Or perhaps burn it. Anything even veering towards mock should be avoided or you might start looking like Tiger Woods. And that ain't good.
The winner -- total toolbag Paul Azinger -- is wearing a mock turtleneck. The loser -- MB-ish Nick Faldo -- in an artfully disheveled collared shirt.
It's one thing for Mr. Azinger to be unstylish -- that's par for the course with him -- but does he need to dress up the entire team in that awful outfit?
In spite of the lopsided victory, that photo will not stand the test of time. In 20 years people won't be looking at the winning 2008 Ryder Cup team and say, "Geez, those guys really had style back then." Exactly the opposite.
The Shark's signature final-round folds remain the same, but thankfully his wardrobe has changed. Eschewing bright colors and patterns in favor of neutrals, now he chokes in style. Might this style evolution be the influence of new bride Chris Evert?
Top: Norman at his last triumph in 1993 at Royal St. George's, looking quite peculiar
Bottom Left: Norman on Saturday in white polo with ivory cashmere v-neck
Q: MB: Ball caps? Nope, never worn them. Flip it backwards? Are you kidding me? Visors? Yup. Wear 'em. Even feel like a bastard at times. How 'bout you? Visors? I'm talking on the golf course, and off. --C.D.
A: The highly-destructive Tiger Woods Apparel Effect has contributed to making visors quite rare these days. MB strongly endorses them, but only when both of these rules are met:
1. You're on a golf course, and 2. You've got the locks to show off.
(Clockwise from upper left: Fred Couples, Trevor Immelman, Phil Mickelson, Tommy Armour III.)
The Masters is the official start of golf season, though it's never too early to add to the list of World's Worst-Dressed Golfers. Congratulations to Briny Baird for vaulting into 2nd place, right behind clubhouse leader Jim Furyk.
Greg Norman is the only player in history to successfully pull off the straw hat, and we've already demonstrated the career-limiting effect of the popped collar. To no one's surprise, Briny Baird has never won an event in 253 PGA Tour starts.
Jeers to Saks Fifth Avenue for letting this one go out the door:
1. Left-handed golf club not the best option for right-handed golfer. 2. Cross-handed grip typically only used for putting stroke, not bunker shot. 3. Caddy/domestic partner laying in bunker an obvious 2-stroke penalty.
Two weeks ago Phil Mickelson surprised the golfing world by unveiling a synthetic black mock turtleneck at the FBR Open (top). Surprising because he's lost some of his trademark man-boob look, but also because he copied the dreadful, un-MB synthetic mock turtleneck look of his nemesis, Tiger Woods. Mickelson promptly lost in a playoff to J.B. Holmes.
Yesterday, Mickelson shrugged off the shirt's bad luck -- and awful style -- again wearing the synthetic black mock turtleneck, and won by two shots at Riviera.
It wasn't just man vs. boys on Sunday at the FedExCup championship, it was man vs. slob. While Woods looks like he could play strong safety on Sundays, Mark Calcavecchia looks more like head coaching material.
Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods lead the Magnificent Bastard field of World's Worst-Dressed Golfers, but Arron Oberholser is making a hard Sunday charge with his tapered, creased pants and short/long-sleeve mock turtlenecks that look like underwear.
Tiger Woods, the world's best golfer and 2nd-worst-dressed, continues to unleash his and Nike, Inc.'s abominable "style" on the golfing world. Johnny Miller, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Arnold Palmer — if they were all dead — would be rolling in their graves. Stay tuned (to ABC) over the weekend to see the latest Nike synthetic mock turtleneck styles.
3 oz rye whiskey
1 oz sweet vermouth, preferably Dolin
3 dashes Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel-Aged bitters
Stir over ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with a pearl onion.