My last post was a review of the best dressed players on tour. Now the calendar has changed to 2013. Let’s look ahead to the top trends in the game for the coming year.

1. The Return of Cotton
LL Cool J once rapped, “Don’t call it a come back. I’ve been here for years.” The same can be said about cotton. Pushed aside for the past decade by high-tech performance fabrics, cotton is back and better than ever. This isn’t your dad’s cotton, though. Gone are the days of the scratchy and stiff cotton polo shirts. Brands like Leisure Society and Linksoul are making cotton polos that are soft, luxurious and stretchy. Travis Mathew and J.Lindeberg are adding performance elements to cotton shirts. Travis Mathew combines a 60/40 blend of cotton and polyester in many of their shirts that it calls the “perfection blend”. J.Lindeberg’s new spring includes cotton shirts lined with performance fabrics.

2. Thin to Win
As golfers, we’ve been walking around with large belt buckles and wide straps for the last few years, but the trend for 2013 will be thinner belt straps and smaller buckles (see Luke Donald and Jonathan Byrd). This doesn’t mean that your belt needs to lack personality. 59 Belts with its “Mini” series and Bettinardi both offer stylish buckles, custom options and thin straps in a variety of colors.

3. Shorter Short Sleeves
The cuffs of your short sleeve shirts should hit the middle of your biceps, so if sleeves are within a couple inches of your elbow, it is time to visit a tailor. Use players like Keegan Bradley and Luke Donald as examples of where your shirt sleeves should hit in 2013.

4. Street and Barefoot Shoes
As amateurs, we always want to wear what the pros wear. Even though street and barefoot shoes have been around for a few years, they are picking up momentum on the PGA Tour as most of the major brands now have at least one style of street or barefoot shoes in their lines. This means we will see more amateurs walking the fairways with these shoes in 2013.

I’m on my third pair True Linkswear shoes. They are so comfortable that I often forget to take them off at the end my rounds. If you haven’t tried street or barefoot style shoes, resolve to do so in 2013.

5. Classic Retro Headcovers
Living in a fast-paced digital world, it is refreshing to turn back the clock to simpler times. Brands like Stitch Golf, Cru Golf, Back 9 and Iliac are taking us back to Palmer/Nicklaus era with all leather retro-classic headcovers in a variety of colors. If you’re looking to give your bag a different look in 2013 or just looking to get rid of those huge billboards most OEMs call headcovers, then consider these simple, classy and stylish headcovers.

6. Golf Club and Shaft Style
I remember picking up a plain forged irons and persimmon drivers and thinking how beautiful they were. The game has changed and so has the design of clubs.

Recently, the cavities in cavity-back irons have become busier with bright colors and intricate graphics. Taylor Made introduced the white R11 driver and fairway woods. Adams went silver. Bubba Watson has a pink Ping driver and Rickie Fowler swings an orange Cobra driver.

Now Taylor Made has taken it a step further. The R1 and RBZ Stage 2 drivers and fairway woods have designs on the crowns. Adams (owned by Taylor Made) have also incorporated designs on the crowns of their woods. Callaway will offer driver heads in a variety of colors.

Shaft manufacturers are putting more effort into the aesthetics of shafts with various colors and graphics. On discussion forums, initial comments on pre-released shafts are about the look of the shafts rather than the performance.

Clearly, golf style is extending well beyond apparel and footwear in 2013, but how a club performs is still the deciding factor for most serious gofers. So what do you don’t like the color or graphics on the driver that performs the best for you? Check out club makers like Continental Golf and get it relished to a more traditional look.

Here’s hoping your 2013 is filled with stylish birdies. What other trends do you see in the game for 2013?

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