Icons / July 2019

Teeing Off: Golf Style 101

We examine the style of golf’s best known figures, from famous celebrities such as Sinatra who adored golf, to the gregarious British Open Champion John Daly.

Orange might not be the most friendly of shades in menswear, but it was one of Frank Sinatra’s favourites. “Orange,” he once noted, “is the happiest colour.” And Sinatra was rarely happier than when he was on a golf course. Perhaps this is why he typically played in what he called his ‘alpaca’ - a loose, baggy-sleeved cardigan, in orange of course - that he’d buy by the dozen. He’d typically rack up a $30,000 annual bill at the Palm Springs Canyon Club for knitwear alone.

Sinatra didn’t wear orange on stage, of course. That wouldn’t have been suave or manly. But there was, and still is, something about attempting to hit a small ball with a big stick into a round hole that offers a gent license to give free vent to their inner harlequin. The effortlessly cool Dean Martin - a man so in love with the sport he typically went home right after all those Rat Pack performances, all the better to be up and on the course early next day - would occasionally lapse into checked pants and Argyle knits. Sammy Davis Jnr favoured a cardigan in bold black and red stripes. “Sammy hits a nice ball, about 90 yards,” fellow golf fanatic Bob Hope noted, “but his jewellery flies 110”.

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Josh Sims

Josh Sims is a writer on menswear, design and much else for the likes of Wallpaper, CNN, Robb Report and The Times. He's the author of several books on menswear, the latest 'The Details', published by Laurence King. He lives in London, has two small children and is permanently exhausted.