It is that time of the year again. Seemingly everyone has their ‘best of lists’ for the year and GolfThreads isn’t immune to cobbling together a list of the best-dressed golfers to tee it up in 2019.
This year we celebrate the best-dressed players by dishing out 11 Threadies. Four players make their first appearance on the list and one player repeats in the top spot for the fourth straight year.
If there is a theme for this year’s list, it is the resurgence of American golf apparel brands. With European brands setting the tone earlier in the decade, eight of this year’s Threadie winners sported American labels. Greyson Clothiers continued to gain momentum in 2019 and placed three players in the top five. American fashion houses Ralph Lauren and Peter Millar followed closely behind with two each. FootJoy continues its footwear dominance with four players on the list, but G/FORE is making its mark with three players picking up Threadies.
Before we dig into the list, we want to say thank you to all the readers, social media followers, and golf apparel and footwear brands who continue to support our little passion project. This marks our seventh complete year of talking about golf fashion. Each year has been bigger and better thanks to you. Reading your comments and engaging on social media motivate and inspire us on a daily basis. This is what keeps us going.
Without further delay, here is our list of the 11 best-dressed players of 2019. Drop a comment below. Let us know what we got right, what we got wrong, and who would be on your best-dressed list.
11. Si Woo Kim (Apparel: Peter Millar; Shoes: Nike)
Si Woo Kim makes his first appearance on our annual best-dressed list. Throughout the year he showcased Peter Millar’s slimmer cuts and more youthful attitude. Along the way, he proved that you can keep a classic vibe while working the biggest trends into your wardrobe. Fashionable florals, modern camos, and sporty color-blocked designs kept Kim looking fresh round after round.
10. Matt Wallace (Apparel: J.Lindeberg; Shoes: FootJoy)
With Camilo Villegas battling injuries and racing road bikes for the past several years, J.Lindeberg needed a top-flight player to be the front man for the brand. The Swedish fashion house found its guy with Matt Wallace.
While Villegas and the other JL young guns made waves with vibrant hues and fashion-forward designs back in the day, Wallace took a more subdued approach with monochromatic kits and muted colors. Everything Wallace slipped on in 2019 worked and once again highlighted J.Lindeberg’s commitment to blending fashion and function.
9. Brandt Snedeker (Apparel: Peter Millar; Shoes: G/FORE)
Game respects game. When we asked Billy Horschel who was on his best-dressed list, he didn’t hesitate to drop Brandt Snedeker’s name. In fact, he said Sneds does the classic southern look perfectly and has one of the best sweater collections on Tour. He went on to say that Brandt doesn’t get enough credit for his style. Well, boom! Now he is.
Sneds has been on the cusp of making our best-dressed list in the past. Trimmer five-pocket pants from Peter Millar and colored gloves and cool kicks from G/FORE earned him his first Threadie this year. Of course, the cool conditions in the majors allowed him to showcase those fashionable Peter Millar sweaters, too.
8. Danny Willett (Apparel: Descente; Shoes: G/FORE)
Our Tour Editor Michael Ruuska said it best in his Dimes & Crimes post for the second round of the PGA Championship; if there was apparel fitting, in the same way, there is club fitting, Trackman would tell us to dress like Danny Willett. Everything about his ‘fits match perfectly with our style preferences—pinpoint tailoring, well-balanced kits, cool kicks, and the desire to break out some funky designs from time to time.
In 2019, Willett convinced us why long-sleeve polos have a place in our golf wardrobes, gradients can work when done right, and a little texture goes a long way.
7. Henrik Stenson (Apparel: Hugo Boss; Shoes: FootJoy)
No one has nailed the fit of their clothing better than Henrik Stenson throughout the decade. While this isn’t a ‘best of the decade list’, Stenson was once again an example of how trousers, polos, and sweaters should fit in 2019. If you are looking to get dialed in, just go to your tailor and ask for ‘the Stenson.’ Also, be sure to copy Henrik’s monochromatic looks. When he wears head-to-toe black or navy, he is the coolest cat on the course.
6. Brian Gay (Apparel & Shoes: G/FORE)
Brian Gay may not have the flashiest game on Tour, but he isn’t afraid to make bold fashion statements on the fairways. In G/FORE, BG has found a partner that shares his desire to shake up the golf fashion status quo while still respecting the traditions of the game.
Not surprisingly, Brian Gay lived at the forefront of the biggest trends in 2019. At the Safeway Open in Napa, his plaid School Boy Trousers took our minds off old-vine zinfandels and towards the possibility of plaids making a strong comeback at the start of the new decade. At the Byron Nelson, his tuxedo striped trousers stylishly blended formal and sporty vibes into a single ‘fit. Throughout the summer, his intricate floral print polos were as artistic as they were on-trend. The occasional skull and crossbones provided a certain irreverence needed in the golf fashion world.
5. Luke Donald (Apparel: Greyson Clothiers; Shoes: Jordan Brand)
Style. Grace. Sophistication. Throughout his career, Luke Donald has been one of the best-dressed players in the game. If there was a career achievement award for golf fashion, Donald would surely have his name engraved on the trophy.
Luke captures his fifth Threadie in 2019 and it had everything to do with his sweaters. While performance layers have dominated the scene in recent years, Donald and Greyson single-handedly revived the golf sweater this year with bold and interesting designs.
Donald’s knitwear first grabbed our attention on the shores of Monterey Bay. An intarsia Old English ‘G’ in the opening round brought an edgy, gothic attitude to Pebble Beach. His time at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship was highlighted by an urban camo pattern consisting of a mixture of cool blues one day and Greyson’s signature G.O.A.T. pattern done in a rich wine and navy blue combo another day.
4. Justin Thomas (Apparel: Ralph Lauren; Shoes: FootJoy)
Give one of the best-dressed players in the game more to work with and great things are bound to happen. Such is the case when Ralph Lauren opened its RLX side of the closet to JT. While this allowed Thomas to mix high-performance RLX polos and outerwear pieces into his wardrobe, he did it in a way that stayed true to the timeless attitude he has traditionally brought to the course.
Justin also gets extra style points this year for playing fashion designer by dropping his own capsule collection in collaboration with Ralph Lauren at the U.S. Open. One look at the collection and it was easy to see the influences from player and brand. Traditional solids and stripes were blended with edgy camos to create modern, yet sophisticated looks. The patriotic red, white, and blue color palette not only played to the theme of the tournament but also tied to Ralph Lauren’s strong American fashion heritage.
3. Sam Ryder (Apparel: Greyson Clothiers)
Sam Ryder is one of those guys that has us searching Getty Images to get style inspiration for our weekend rounds. No matter your personal style, you are likely to find a connection with Ryder’s variety of looks. He can dial up a daring ‘fit with eye-catching prints and joggers one day and then play it cool the next with a classic striped shirt and solid pants.
Ryder’s fashion range extends beyond his Greyson threads to his footwear. Not only did he lace up everything from old-school brogues to new-school trainers, but he was also spotted in multiple brands including G/FORE, Nike, and FootJoy. Based on his choice of kicks, he brought a different vibe, whether sporty, classic or trendy, to the course every day.
2. Erik van Rooyen (Apparel: Greyson Clothiers; Shoes: ECCO)
An early 2019 move to Greyson helped turn van Rooyen into the golf fashion Cinderella story of the year. Along the way, he showed the depth and breadth of Greyson’s collections while also showing off his sartorial versatility.
At golf’s biggest events, van Rooyen showed up and showed out. He first jumped on our radar at the PGA Championship in Greyson’s G.O.A.T. polo, a fitting name and a hint at what he had up his stylish sleeves for the year. At the U.S. Open, it was his well-tailored emerald green pants and Greyson’s Pack Leader Sweater with a large wolf head (a design that signifies, strength, independence, and leadership) that grabbed our attention. It wasn’t until van Rooyen vaulted up the Open Championship leaderboard with a second-round 68 in a pair of joggers did the mainstream golf media catch on to his style flexes. By that time, we were driving the EVR bandwagon all the way to a top spot on our best-dressed list.
We get it; van Rooyen’s bold polos, patterned sweaters, and joggers (gasp!) might not be for everyone. But at a time when golf fashion has fallen into a predictable rut of ‘sameness’, EVR’s ‘fits stand out for all the right reasons. He effortlessly blends a juxtaposition of styles. He taps into the modern streetwear and athleisure vibes while maintaining a luxurious haberdashery attitude. Plus, van Rooyen has the swagger to match his fashionable threads. When asked about his joggers at the Open Championship, he responded with, “If you’re going to wear it, you’ve got to own it. I feel like I’m owning it.” There is no doubt; Erik van Rooyen owned it in 2019.
1. Billy Horschel (Apparel: Ralph Lauren; Shoes: FootJoy)
Billy Horschel grabs the top spot on our best-dressed list for an unfathomable fourth straight year. At this point, we have run out of superlatives to describe his golf fashion excellence. Since arriving on Tour, he has found a home in the top spots of our best-dressed lists. If there is a golf style icon for the second half of this decade, clearly it is Billy Horschel.
One of the highlights of 2019 for the GolfThreads crew was sitting down with Billy for a lengthy Q&A earlier this year. What we learned is Horschel has an eye for fashion details that shows in his meticulous appearance. He designs his own FootJoy kicks, takes to social media to drop style tips, and even has his own best-dressed list (which looks a lot like our list…great style minds think alike).
For 2019, Horschel seamlessly added new elements to his style repertoire. In addition to his RLX threads, Ralph Lauren outfitted him in pieces from the Polo Golf line. This allowed him to stretch his sartorial range with more classically-inspired looks and natural fabrics. In the Fall, he gave us “Bearded Billy” as he took to the course in well-groomed facial hair.
With many of the majors taking place in cool conditions, Horschel’s most memorable kits provided the layering inspiration we needed for the year. At the U.S. Open, Horschel gave us a youthful take on the classic cardigan in the opening round and a contemporary interpretation of the preppy cricket sweater the following day. At the Open Championship, he went outside the traditional golf fashion box with a modern cashmere hoodie.