The U.S. Wins 2&1
It was a record-setting performance for the U.S. with 19 points. The Americans also came out on top of the fashion competition with a 2&1 victory. The variety of looks showcased by the U.S. trumped the European’s templatized kits. Not to mention, the numerous interchangeable layering options for the U.S. allowed players to pick and choose based on personal styles and weather conditions.
Friday’s navy blue fit with red engineered stripes set a strong tone for the Americans out of the blocks. I was most concerned about the team’s Saturday kit, but it turned out to be their best of the week. The script called for a tonal camo polo and pinstripe pants. A pattern with stripes? Hmmm…The Americans flipped the script and smartly opted for a solid trouser with the camo top. This made for an easy style victory over the European’s grey and burnt orange.
I gave a slight edge to the Europeans for the final round as they found their style sweet spot with the blue trousers and gold accents. Although the Americans looked good, a navy blue hat would have framed their look better than the red lid.
Boyz n the Hoodies
The best and most-talked about layering piece was the American’s cashmere hoodie. It was no surprise the younger players gravitated towards this more modern option. A key to the American’s sartorial success was keeping it simple and this hoodie exemplified that design philosophy with the subtle tipping around the hood.
This week also showcased the pros and cons of hoodies on the course. On the plus side, hoodies are on-trend and a reflection of the more athletic and casual direction the game is heading. Koepka and Berger even flipped up their hoods for extra warmth early on Saturday. On the negative side, players were battling the hoods at times during the windy conditions on Saturday afternoon. As much as I like wearing hoodies on the course, I wish more brands could find a way to keep them in place when teeing up a ball or during a swing. Solo Golf makes the only hood I’ve found that stays in place.
Name that Sweater
It is interesting how a result can impact an opinion. After a big win, players’ names on the back of a sweater are seen as a boss move. A loss would have brought back bad memories of those (allegedly) leaky U.S. rain jackets with the names across the shoulders at the 2010 Ryder Cup.
Naming a best-dressed player is difficult when everyone is wearing the same kits. However, Patrick Cantlay rose above the rest. Whether classic, modern, or sporty, he owned every look in the Americans’ script. Of course, going sans lid is always a big style flex.
Jordan & Ralph
I said it after the 2018 Ryder Cup and I’ll say it again–Jordan Spieth looks great in Ralph Lauren. I’m not sure what it is; maybe the cut, maybe the drape, or maybe it is an All-American guy in an All-American color palette. Whatever it is, it works and he seems to have a certain comfort level in the gear. Just saying…
With uniforms not providing much individuality, players expressed their creativity through their shoes, many of which were created by our favorite sneaker artist Roly Padron, a.k.a. @nomad_customs. The most elaborate belonged to Justin Thomas who bounced between FootJoy Premiere Series Packards with an American flag motif and an Uncle Sam, Statue of Liberty, and bald eagle design. Roly showed no favorites, either. He was also responsible for the European flag artwork on Tyrrell Hatton’s adidas CodeChaos and Vice-Captain Luke Donald’s Jordan ADG3s.
The dope kicks weren’t limited to the players. Jordan Spieth’s caddie, Michael Greller, rocked patriotic colorways of the Curry 9s, while Paul Casey’s looper, Johnny “Long Socks” McLaren laced up these Air Jordan 1s.
I’m not sure why the Europeans adopted this burnt orange as a uniform color. You’ll remember they wore it on Saturday in 2018, too. I’m not saying they need to dress in blue and yellow every day, but this color reminds me of the shag carpet in my parents’ family room in 1980. I remember the days when Olazabal was stalking the fairways in soft pink polos and simple black and white kits. Let’s get back to more of that and less burnt orange.
I get it; Loro Piana is an ultra-lux brand. The fabrics, quality, and tailoring are top-shelf. If you’re looking to pick up a European Team polo, it will set you back a car payment, and a nice one at that. If my exchange rate math is correct, the team’s entire Sunday fit (polo, trousers, belt, and sweater) checks in at a mere $4450 and that doesn’t include the $2800 rain jacket.
I’m not one to get triggered about the cost of golf apparel. This is a golf fashion blog after all. I just find the optics of this to be interesting. For an industry that has talked about being more accessible, affordable, and inclusive, this collection was none of those things.
Suited and Booted
The Americans may have won the on-course fashion battle, but the Europeans cruised to victory with the tailored ensembles at the Opening Ceremony. Full disclaimer; the fact that I’m more of a suit guy rather than a sport coat guy may have something to do with this.
The Long & the Short of It
Can someone show Bryson how to tie a tie? He’s the longest hitter on Tour but his neckwear came up more than a little short.
Remember the 2016 Ryder Cup when the Americans were outclassed by the Europeans at the Opening Ceremony in their matching Tom Ford sunglasses? Guys like Tiger and Bubba rolled into Hazeltine and paired sporty wrap-arounds with their tailored threads. This year, the Americans stepped up their games. Koepka opted for the iconic Ray-Ban Clubmaster and Bryson slipped on a Wayfarer-style frame. (If you know the brand, drop it in the comments below.)
I’ve thrown my share of fashion jabs at MJ over the years, but he nailed the ’90s retro look with these Oakley Sutro Lites.
If ever a golfer was born to wear a beanie, it is Tommy Fleetwood. I don’t care if it is 95 degrees, this needs to be his permanent look.