The Local Knowlege

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A woven dress shirt you could wear to the range during lunch and no one would be the wiser

Golf-apparel brands often copy good ideas from mainstream clothing makers, so why can't it work the other way? In launching Mizzen + Main, Kevin Lavelle saw the benefits of performance fabrics in knitted golf shirts and carried them over into an innovative line of woven button-down dress shirts.

loop-mizzen-main-450.jpgThe applications are subtle but make the tailored tops ($125) versatile. The material's moisture-wicking properties keep perspiration from showing. And because the shirts don't wrinkle, they're useful on business trips and for playing golf.

Lavelle and Derek Schuster (a Penn State graduate who somehow took inspiration from a lecture I gave when he was in school a few years ago) have teamed to put Mizzen + Main shirts in 50 golf shops nationwide.

For more, go to mizzenandmain.com.

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Don't feel guilty about letting your kids get soaked on the course anymore

A few spring showers aren't about to hold back pent-up juniors eager to get the golf season started. Galway Bay specializes in rainwear (I see PGA Tour officials and caddies wearing them all the time, which says something about the quality of the product), and offers Teflon-coated, seam-sealed waterproof items for kids as well. 

The all-weather rain pants ($99) come with adjustable legs that can be lengthened so growing boys and girls get more than a few months out of them. The pants come in 26-, 28- and 30-inch waists and are lined from the knee down for warmth.

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Galway Bay's rain shorts ($89) can be worn alone, but the extra half-inch material at the leg lets children wear them over regular shorts so they're covered. The shorts' four-pocket design has four inches of stretch in the waist to help hold them up.

The company also has a small size in its short-sleeve rain jacket ($149) and a mesh-lined bucket hat ($39) that Johnny or Janie can slip in a golf bag if needed.

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Think Lululemon is just a women's apparel brand? Don't tell PGA Tour caddies

Tour players are typically the ones influencing golf fashion. The team at Lululemon, however, has tour caddies to thank for the growing popularly of its men's apparel line.

The company most commonly associated with women's athletic wear (ask your wife or girl friend, they'll know the name) expanded into men's products a few years ago, starting with underwear before venturing into shorts, pants and polos. Using moisture-wicking materials with stretch fabric and flat-seam construction, the company created comfortable products, particularly for those who do a lot of walking in warm weather -- the general working conditions for tour caddies.

Word spread among loopers -- Scott Vail, caddie for Brandt Snedeker, is a convert -- about the products. Suffice it to say, the performance of the clothes offset any potential anxiety of Lululemon being "just for women."

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The ABC pants ($125 in five colors) come in a five-pocket design with an easy access pocket for your cellphone, as do the ABC shorts ($78 in six colors). The Union Polo shirt ($78) is anti-microbial and offers UVA protection.

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Style

Robert Rock is wearing an interesting sweater at the Trophee Hassan II

Robert Rock, long regarded as the man with the best hair in golf, is apparently trying to make a name for himself in the sweater department. He busted out this number on Thursday at the European Tour's Trophee Hassan II event.


What do you think? Too jazzy? 

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Style

When it comes to style, Arnold Palmer was the king of casual cool

On the long and illustrious list of stylish men of the 20th century, Arnold Palmer’s name is undoubtedly close to the top. And although I wish I could tell you that golf’s King of Cool developed his look purely through strict attention to the fit and finish of his clothes, anyone who saw Palmer play in his prime or that’s looked through old photographs of the King knows otherwise. Palmer operated with a sort of nonchalant elegance that was likely a product of a good number of things, most intangible and a few innate.

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This is not to discount the details that Arnie -- knowingly or not -- mastered with impressive consistency. His three-button polo seemed to always be entirely unbuttoned, allowing the collar to lie loosely, but never sloppily, around his neck.  His sleeves hugged his biceps and banded halfway down his upper arm, never too long or too short. The cut of his Munsingwear polo shirts tucked neatly into his flat front, sharp fit trousers without billowing above his belt buckle, nor pulling too tightly across his chest. So while Palmer’s style neither starts nor ends with his attention to the details, it’s important to remember he always nailed them nonetheless. Ultimately the best way to describe the way Arnold Palmer wore his clothes is that he dressed like a man who paid close attention to them when he put them on, then completely forgot about them shortly thereafter.

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Palmer is an icon of the mid-century American aesthetic that is so often romanticized; what he wore and how he wore it contributed to his larger than life look, but it was only part of the equation. He was as equally strong and silent as he was affable and emotive -- an unflappable competitor with a gracious and kind smile. His balance of boyish charm and rugged masculinity endeared him to men and women alike and made him one of the most marketable men in sports. He embodied a sense of casual cool that was as easy to see as it was difficult to emulate. 

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The King will always be a true icon of men’s style because of the comfort and confidence he portrayed with and without a club in his hands. You can’t coach confidence, nor is it inherent. Very much like golf itself, pure style has very little to do with perfection and everything to do with owning the traits and talents that you have and that you’ve honed. It’s a constant pursuit, one with proud moments as well as moments you’d like a mulligan on, too. Arnold Palmer may have looked like he dressed perfectly, but he didn’t, and he certainly didn’t swing a golf club without idiosyncrasy. Palmer played the cards in his hand, but he walked, talked, smiled and certainly played in a way that made you think he was holding the entire deck. 

This week, as the tour heads to Arnie’s backyard for his namesake tournament, I’ll raise my Arnold Palmer to Arnold Palmer, the legend of American style.

Photos by Getty Images

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How to give a nod to the floral trend without going full botanical gardens

Several designer collections have made floral prints a major motif for Spring 2015. As it turns out, the fairway may not be that far from the runway as we've already seen nods to the botanical style on players and in pieces from this season's RLX golf collection. If you're feeling the florals for spring but aren't sure where to begin, we suggest starting small with a top-down approach.

Enter the Aloha Press Hawaiian Print 6 Panel Rope Snapback hat from Haus of Grey.

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Founded by third-generation professional golfer and UCLA All-American Travis Johnson, Haus of Grey is a golf-apparel and accessories cooperative designed to develop products across various brands to bridge the lifestyles between contemporary golf and casual wear.

The Aloha Press Snapback is the latest launch from Haus's menswear sub-brand, Matte Grey, and it feels like its freshest offering. The guys at Grey managed to take an old rope-brim cap (think Lee Trevino) and re-create it in eight vibrant Hawaiian print patterns. The result is a unique piece that's equal parts 1970s and street while being well-balanced. The hat also looks like it's got a bit of a shorter brim, which I always find makes it easier to wear backwards if that's your style. On or off the course, these look like an interesting add to any guy's collection.

Appropriately enough, lets offer a hat tip to Minorhouse Blog for first turning us on to these hats.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all about the full-on floral trend, and you'll read plenty more about polos, pants and even raingear this season. But if you're looking for a first step, the Aloha Press Snapbacks are a great place to start.

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Photo courtesy of HausofGrey.com

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Style

Yes, there is such a thing as golf performance underwear

If the phrase "golf performance underwear" causes you to snicker, get in line. The folks at 2UNDR, which launched a collection of athletically engineered briefs this year, have heard all the double-entendres you can imagine—and even use a few in their marketing—with some playful hashtags on social media (#assetmanagement).

loop-stix-2undr-packaging-560.jpgBefore writing them off, however, they ask you to try a pair to see what they're talking about. We did, and were impressed. All four 2UNDR styles are designed to increase comfort (thanks to what the company calls the Joey Pouch) and decrease unwanted skin contact, particularly in warmer weather conditions.

loop-stix-2-under-boxer-300.jpgThe DayShift is the core cotton product, and the SwingShift ($24.95 each) is made with a rayon-blend material. The GearShift and PowerShift ($29.95) are compression-style underwear that use Garmatex fabric to wick away sweat and decrease temperatures by 3 to 6 degrees.

Part of the proceeds from specialty models will go to cancer research.

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Bored at work? Design your next pair of golf spikes on Nike.com

If you’ve got some down time at your desk and you’ve already worked through your normal workday websites, might I suggest trying your hand at golf shoe design? It will surely stimulate some creativity and you might net yourself a new pair of Nikes.

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Nike ID, a personalized design platform on Nike.com, has existed for years and allows you to “customize” a set of kicks, albeit with some pretty strict parameters, to his or her liking.

The Lunar Control 3, developed with insights from World No. 1 Rory McIlory, was released January 1 and became available on the ID catalog later that month. I think the Lunar 3 has one of the best looks in Nike’s line of golf spikes and thus makes for a great foundation on which to start your own pair . For those of you who have never made a set of Nike IDs before the interface is pretty easy to use and it feels like they add different details and accents with each new launch.

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You can see 360 degree renderings of your work as well as share photos of your masterpieces with your friends. Be careful, it’s surprisingly easy to blow some serious minutes coordinating vamps, fly-wires, tongues, shoe laces, etc., with the multiple color and pattern permutations available on the site. Golf Digest assumes no responsibility for missed deadlines. 

The sneaks top out at around $210 bucks -- about $40 more than the standard Lunar 3 color ways -- and they’re not returnable so make sure you know your size. I’ll be honest, I’ve never actually bought any of the shoes I’ve designed and that’s probably because they end up looking like this . . .

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AH-Lunar-Control-3-ID-White-Out-560.jpgSo whether you’re a real sneaker-head looking for truly limited release gear or just a dude trying not to look bored out of his mind, give shoe design a crack at Nike.com. You might be surprised with what you come up with.

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Looking for new pants? Follow the trend on tour and go to the matte

So far in 2015 we've seen two trouser trends worth working into your own game. The first is the white trouser, and the second is the matte-finish trouser.

Unlike with your standard wool or cotton trousers, matte-finished fabrics, either through treatment, washing or the shape of the fiber, come across with less of the high/low color disparity that give traditional fabrics their sense of depth and luster. And while flat and dull often denotes tired and old (relax Grandpa, I'm talking trousers here), the finish feels pretty contemporary these days.

Brands from all over the golf's spectrum, including Nike, Under Armour, Travis Mathew, have started pairing matte-finish trousers with their polos for subtle style upgrades to standard looks. We're all for the move, both on and off the course.

Here's how to work this look into your wardrobe.

1. Some of the big brands are starting to use high-intensity pop colors and neons to accent their outfits. If you dig the style but are still figuring out how to wear it, use the flatter-finish trouser to balance out the high-voltage colors in your shirt or shoes.

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2. Classic cotton or wool trousers can look a little awkward with today's sneaker-style golf shoes, but matte-finish bottoms can strike the best balance between sartorial and sporty. If you've transitioned away from traditional spikes, try taking the next step with a five-pocket trouser with a matte look.

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3. Similarly, these flat-feeling pants tend to look better with non-conventional belts. Give your workhorse leather strap a rest and pick up nylon or braided belt with some cool hardware to keep your contemporary vibe going strong from the waist down.

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4. Finally, re-focus your fit. Buying a new pair of pants is a great time to recalibrate the way your pants fit. Make sure, no matter what trouser you try out, you cut down on the excess fabric in the seat, thigh and leg, and that the bottoms come to rest right on top of your shoes. This likley means you'll need to have your pants altered slightly; trust us, $20 to a tailor is well worth looking and feeling your best.

If you feel like adding some subtle upgrades to your wardrobe, pick up a pair of matte-finish pants and don't hesitate to put them into play on and off the course this season.

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Style

A former Olympic downhill skier is making a run at golf apparel

The inspiration for Norwegian Olympic downhill gold medalist Lesse Kjus to start an outerwear company with partner Didi Serena didn't come on the ski slopes but on a golf course in 2000.

Fifteen years later, KJUS apparel (pronounced "use") is expanding its golf line beyond the rainwear launched in 2012 to an assortment of mid-layer offerings, vests, pants and polos.

The company, in attendance at last month's PGA Merchandise Show, prides itself on maintaining a clean, modern look, using lightweight, stretch fabrics.

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An example is the Dorian CL Jacket ($249, above). You can fold this water-resistant windbreaker tightly in your golf bag and leave it there for weather emergencies. When the need arises, it will come no worse for wear. Its ergonomic sleeves and Y-tech cut offering let you swing freely in even the windiest conditions.

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