No Hat Pat, sick kicks, mullets, new blues, and the most stylish spectators. We put a wrap on the fashion scene from Marco Simone.
No Hat Pat
I love a good old-fashioned golf brouhaha for the simple reason that they are typically so petty and filled with false bravado. Over the years, the Ryder Cup has always been a sure bet for producing this type of drama. But this is the first time I can remember a fashion accessory being the reason for players and caddies wanting to throw hands in the parking lot. Who knew a hat, or lack of one, would be the epicenter of Ryder Cup drama?
I don’t have much of an opinion on whether players should get paid for playing in the Ryder Cup, except if it means I need to watch more commercials on NBC, then I’m out. There are valid arguments to be made on both sides of the debate, but I just can’t get too triggered about 24 of the best golfers in the world adding a few more stacks of cash to their bank accounts or not.
As far as Patrick Cantlay going sans chapeau as an (alleged) no-pay-for-play protest, it seems like an odd choice. I mean none of the U.S. team’s hats displayed the Ryder Cup logo. Instead, they featured “USA” and American flags, so what exactly was he (allegedly) protesting? Besides, he set a precedent at the Ryder Cup two years ago by opting against a hat at Whistling Straits
Now for the incident on the 18th green and the parking lot. After being taunted with hat waves for the entire afternoon, I don’t mind Cantlay, Joe LaCava, and members of the USA team giving some back to the fans. It is all in the spirit of trash-talking and fairly harmless. I can also see where LaCava may have temporarily lost his bearings, but it needed to end when McIlroy asked him (politely or not) to back off. Chirping and gesturing at Rory while he was reading his putt just threw gas on the fire.
Now fast-forward to the video from the parking lot that provided so many gems in just a few seconds. We had Rory losing his head, his wife trying to corral him into the car while trying not to laugh, Bones wondering why he is involved, Shane Lowry acting like the bouncer at the local college bar, and Matty Fitz rolling in at the end looking like aliens just abducted the Ryder Cup. Love it!
Truckin’ to a Loss
While we’re on the topic of hats, we need to talk about these lids. Some say that Viktor Hovland’s chip-in on the opening hole Friday morning set the tone for the European romp. I say the tone was set when the U.S. decided these were winning caps. The heathered, two-tone truckers with the USA patch not only tried to combine every hat trend of the last decade into one design, but they also made the U.S. look like a seventh-grade baseball team. Besides, the aesthetic clashed with the traditional striped polos. Maybe Patrick Cantlay was just protesting bad hats.
Business in the Front, Party in the Back, Defeats All Around
Guys, if you are going to show up rockin’ mullets and splashing them all over social media, then you better show out on the fairways. Lift the trophy at the end of the week, and your ‘dos are a funny team bonding exercise. Get run off the course, and well, you are just left with bad haircuts.
Six Sick Kicks
Putting Hat Gate aside, the biggest fashion story of the week was the plethora of custom kicks. With uniforms limiting players’ fashion creativity, many turned to personal edition shoes for some drip. Here are our six favorites.
6. Shane Lowry (FootJoy)
Simple and sophisticated.
5. Collin Morikawa (Adidas Golf)
These outsoles have more pop than a firecracker on the 4th of July.
4. Brooks Koepka (Nike)
Italian ice. The red, white, and blue gradient outsole gives off Bomb Pop vibes.
3. Viktor Hovland (Puma Golf)
Not surprised to see the handy work of sneaker artist Roly Patron of Nomad Customs on the fairways. The European flag motif on the heel gave these Puma IGNITE Articulates just the right amount of swagger. A U.S.-themed version was created for Rickie Fowler, but it is still unclear whether Rickie actually played in this year’s Ryder Cup.
2. Justin Thomas (FootJoy)
Who needs drippy custom designs and personal editions when you have the FootJoy Wilcox Centennials in your shoe collection?!
1. Luke Donald & Zach Johnson (Jordan)
You really can’t beat a custom pair of AJ1s. While Luke Donald is no stranger to lacing up Jordans on and off the course, this is a new look for ZJ and his best decision of the week.
Saving the Best for First
In the unveiling of the U.S. Team’s uniforms, I called this the most intriguing fit and a low-key favorite for the week. The introduction of this vibrant sapphire blue brought a freshness to the Americans’ look. This fit was worthy of a competition day rather than being relegated to a practice round.
O Captain, My Captain
It was no surprise to see Luke Donald win the style battle of the captains. Luke has won five Threadies for being one of the most stylish players in a given year and topped our first best-dressed list back in 2012. From dark, well-tailored suits to aviator shades, Donald’s sophisticated looks had a ‘James Bond meets Top Gun’ feel throughout the week.
Don’t Get Burned Again
I’m not sure why the Europeans have adopted burnt orange as a team color, but it has been strongly featured in their uniforms for the past several Ryder Cups. In previous years, they rolled out in burnt orange polos paired with either grey or tan trousers. The results were blah with a side of blah. At Marco Simone, they used it more as an accent color and paired it with navy blue. This was easily their best execution of burnt orange to date.
Two years ago at Whistling Straits, Team USA’s layering pieces, especially the cashmere hoodies, stole the show in the cool fall temps in Wisconsin. Rome’s warm sunshine meant most of this year’s range of layers never made it out of players’ lockers. Brief exceptions in the sunrise hours gave us a glimpse at a few favorites. The only positives for Scheffler and Koepka on Saturday were their choices of a cashmere crewneck and the 2023 version of the cashmere hoodie. The stripes on the sleeve of the crewneck and chest of the hoodie added to the sporty aesthetics of the sweaters.
The Other JT and a Footballer
There were plenty of celeb sightings at Marco Simone, but Justin Timberlake and Gareth Bale showed us how to dress for spectating a big-time golf event. Both kept it simple and stylish with solid tops and bottoms. JT opted for Greyson’s Cayuse Polo and Gothic “G” Dad Hat and Bale turned to a casual, yet sporty Adidas henley polo and 5-pocket pant.