After a one-year hiatus, GolfThreads’ Threadies have made a triumphant return. We’ve ranked the 10 best dressed players to stroll the fairways in 2016 and handed out virtual trophies to each. In the process, we’ve saved you from boring monologs littered with bad jokes and acceptance speeches with endless lists of thank yous.
As we look back at 2016, this will go down as the most interesting and controversial year in golf fashion that we can remember. Many screamed that joggers, high-tops, and blade collars would destroy the game, but here we are. The game of golf has survived just fine with the influx of progressive looks and maybe even shed some of the stodgy stereotypes it has rightfully acquired over the years.
Taking a look at our list of the 10 best dressed players, we have a new number one and for the first time, a player from the PGA Tour Champions (great style knows no age). In the process, Ralph Lauren and Puma Golf win the battle of apparel brands with each label outfitting two of our top 10. FootJoy dominated the shoe count by landing six players on this year’s list.
What do you think about GolfThreads’ selections? Who would you have in your top 10? Contribute your own list in the comments area below, or hit us up in social media.
Let’s start handing out some Threadies!
10. Adam Scott (Apparel: Uniqlo; Shoes: FootJoy)
Just when it felt like Adam Scott’s basic looks were feeling a bit stale, he kicked it up a notch with brighter colors, contemporary color-blocked designs and contrasting plackets and collars. Scott remains one of the best clothes hangers in the game of golf, and he is one of the few players that can make a pair of khakis look fresh.
A mid-season footwear switch to FootJoy’s Pro/SL shoe was a perfect complement to his effortless style. Not to mention, that conventional length putter is a much better look than the broomstick he had been wielding the last few years.
9. Rickie Fowler (Apparel & Shoes: Puma Golf)
Nobody moves the golf fashion needle quite like Rickie Fowler. At a time when ‘growing the game’ is the hottest buzz phrase in the golf industry, Fowler is doing his part by using his progressive style to introduce a new generation to the game.
It didn’t take Rickie long to turn the golf fashion industry on its ear in 2016 as he stepped out in high-tops and joggers at Kapalua for the first tournament of the calendar year. While there was no shortage of opinions on Fowler’s attire, there was no denying that he owned this look. High-tops and joggers became his signature look this year, the same way the color orange and flat bill hats were part of his signature outfit in previous years. Sure, others tried to imitate Rickie’s outside-the-box threads, but none could pull off this fashion forward look quite like him. (Yes, we’re talking to you, Rory and Adam.)
We can’t wait to see what Fowler has up his sleeve for 2017.
8. Luke Donald (Apparel: RLX Ralph Lauren; Shoes: FootJoy)
Back in the day, East Coast hip-hop duo Nice & Smooth rapped, “Sometimes I rhyme slow, sometimes I rhyme quick.” Much like Greg Nice and Smooth B, Luke Donald has the ability to switch up his styles at the drop of a tee — and he does it flawlessly. In 2016, we saw him dial up looks with vibrant oranges, greens, purples, and yellows. On the flip side, we also saw him sporting plenty of modern takes on classic looks.
As versatile as Donald’s style is, a few constants are clean silhouettes, well-balanced colors, great fitting pieces, on trend belts, high-tech fabrics, and killer kicks.
7. Jesper Parnevik (Apparel & Shoes: Puma Golf)
Jesper makes history by becoming the first 50+ year-old player to land on our best dressed list. Frankly, not having him on our previous lists is a blatant oversight on our part, but maybe we will make it up by dropping a lifetime achievement award on the stylish Swede at some point.
Parnevik started this whole golf fashion renaissance that we’ve been experiencing for the last decade. If it wasn’t for him rockin’ those drainpipe pants, bright pastels, and bold plaids in the early 2000’s, we may still be sporting pleated khakis and shirts with sleeves that hit mid-forearm, rather than mid-bicep.
These days, Parnevik proves that your sense of style doesn’t have to decrease as your age increases. He continues to crank out fresh kits with fashion forward fits and vibrant colors. He’s even returned to his signature look with the flipped up bill. Keep being you, Jesper. Golf fashion needs you.
6. Graeme McDowell (Apparel: G-Mac Apparel; Shoes: ECCO)
Known for his modern interpretations of classic looks, Graeme McDowell has been a GolfThreads’ favorite for years and a mainstay on our best dressed lists. 2016 brought a subtle change and an evolution to McDowell’s style, though, as he began working more athletic looks and high-performance fabrics into his wardrobe. In true McDowell fashion, he took ultra-modern prints and color-blocked designs and made them look timeless, sophisticated and elegant.
Even more impressive is McDowell’s involvement in his apparel company. While other players on this list may have some small level of input on designs and fabrics, McDowell is intimately involved in the design process. As a result, there is a real authenticity to his clothing, whether it’s the dress shirt collars, color palettes, or genealogical influences.
In the footwear department, McDowell’s collaboration with ECCO resulted in the G-Mac World Class Special Edition shoe. Handcrafted in Portugal, these stylish kicks featured a premium leather outsole, leather lining, old school stacked heel with G-Mac’s logo, gold-colored eyelets, and yes, metal spikes. Straight up boss!
5. Morgan Hoffmann (Apparel: Greyson Clothiers; Shoes FootJoy)
Which player drove the most traffic to GolfThreads in 2016? Well, okay, the answer is Jordan Spieth. But, the player not named Jordan Spieth to drive the most traffic was Morgan Hoffmann. That’s the level of buzz that Hoffmann and his apparel sponsor Greyson Clothiers have created.
Whether it was botanical prints, tonal camos, pin dots, leopards, or intricate microfloral prints, Hoffmann and Greyson created a stir on the fairways this year. Although Hoffmann’s kits were bold and eye-catching, they also possessed a sophisticated attitude — one you’d expect to find in the bespoke shops of Savile Row. Unlike the apparel scripts from the big brands, Hoffmann’s scripts for the majors were inspired by the history of events and locations. They told a story and had a sartorial depth that you don’t often find in golf apparel. Those custom spectator shoes were really sweet, too.
4. Henrik Stenson (Apparel: Hugo Boss; Shoes: FootJoy)
What would a best dressed list be without Henrik Stenson? We asked ourselves that question and decided it would be a rather short list.
We are running out of things to say about Henrik Stenson’s style game. He is still one of the sharpest dressed players in the world. It is rare that this guy ever has an off day in the style department. Whether it’s monochromatic looks, graphical prints, or exquisitely tailored gear, Stenson always seems to hit on the latest trends.
Tailoring remains Stenson’s greatest strength. His shirts are trim, but not tight, and the sleeves are hemmed to hit at the mid-bicep. His pants have a modern taper and just sweep the tops of his shoes. Perfection!
3. Ryo Ishikawa (Apparel & Shoes: Callaway)
Ishikawa previously topped our best dressed list, but he tumbles two spots this year. His fall from the pinnacle of golf fashion has more to do with a back injury than any sartorial missteps. We simply didn’t see enough of Ryo in 2016.
That being said, Ishikawa is still the most creative dresser and biggest risk taker in the game. The Bashful Prince is anything but shy about bringing the hottest menswear trends from the fashion runways to the lush fairways. He also throws caution to the wind by pushing many of those old fashion rules to the side. Don’t pair prints and patterns together? Whatever! Ryo is able to pull it off with ease by scaling micro and macro patterns.
2. Robert Rock (Apparel: Wolsey; Shoes: FootJoy)
Guys who know how to dress don’t necessarily follow the latest trends. Instead, they take bits and pieces and carefully incorporate them into their own personal style. This is exactly what Robert Rock did this past year.
In 2016, we talked a lot about players who put a modern spin on classic looks, but Rock flipped the storyline. Known for his classic style, he took ultra modern camo patterns, graphical prints, and color blocked designs and made them look timeless, sophisticated and elegant.
While Rock may be best known for being one of the few professional golfers to go sans hat, he did work in an old school driving cap towards the end of the season – a perfect complement to his classic style.
1. Billy Horschel (Apparel: RLX; Shoes: FootJoy)
Whenever Billy Horschel tees it up, he is likely the best dressed player on the course. Sure, he may turn heads with those crazy print trousers, but his sartorial genius is showcased by his ability to effortlessly blend a juxtaposition of styles. He can dial it up with bold patterns, keep it classic with preppy stripes, or go modern with color-blocked designs. And, of course, those vintage brogues complete every outfit in style.
While it is difficult to narrow down Horschel’s best looks of the year, the safari print trousers at the BMW Championship, the pink gingham pants at the U.S. Open, and the navy quilted jacket at the Open Championship were particularly memorable.
The secret to Horschel’s success lies in his ability to balance daring colors and patterns by pairing loud tropical print pants with solid colored shirts and by grounding colorful striped shirts with neutral colored pants. He also shows some serious swagger by using his belts as an extension of his shirts – a pro move if we ever saw one.