The Local Knowlege


Make the switch to spikeless golf shoes and you might not go back

I live in Manhattan, and toting my sticks on and off subway cars and in and out of cabs has turned into a real pain in the butt. In an effort to lighten my load I bought a small Sunday carry bag and tried my best to get rid of all the excess crap I'd accumulated over the last few months in my old bag. The change helped, and after discarding a banana peel, some scuffed golf balls, five of my six divot tools and a pair of boxers (don't ask) I was on the right track.

That said, the biggest loser ended up being my shoes. Whether I knotted the laces and slung them over my 3-wood, or stuffed my two FJ classics in the side pouch, my kicks were by far the heaviest piece of equipment I was hauling.

My options:
A. Carry a separate shoe bag. That didn't seem to make any sense as I maintained the weight and lost a free hand by carrying another bag.

B. Shelf the trusty classics and add a set of spikeless shoes I could wear to, from and, of course, at the golf course.

So, I picked up a pair of FJ Contour Casuals, and I've been wearing them all over all summer! They look and feel awesome. The full-grain leather and simple suede detailing mirror the minimalist designs coming out of some big-name sneaker companies. Meanwhile, they feel just as stable as my wood-soled classics on the course. I'll even wear 'em to the office if I'm gonna try and duck out early to play nine, and no one seems to be the wiser.

These types of soft, spikeless shoes are all over the tours and have started taking over a sizeable section of the classic golf-shoe market for good reason.

Here are six sweet hybrid hook-ups to check out.

FJ Contour Casual, $115


True Linkswear True Oxford, $100

loop-True-Linkswear-True-Oxford-518.jpg Ecco Street Retro, $140


G Fore Patent Leather, $265


Kikkor Micro Print, $120


Nike Lunarlon, $100


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The Lifestyle Looper: What you can -- and can't -- pick up for cheap

Admit it, we could all use a little style guidance on and off the course. And so we introduce The Lifestyle Looper, a friendly voice that can help you navigate some of life’s trickier situations.

H&M, the Swedish fast-fashion retailer, recently opened a new flagship store on Madison Ave. in midtown Manhattan, just a few blocks up the street from my office. I'd bought a bunch of basic golf gear from them in the past -- mostly some slim fit chinos and solid cotton polos -- so I popped in recently to see if I could pick up a few new basics for a bargain.

The place looked just like other H&Ms I'd been in, and the product mix didn't offer much I hadn't already checked out online. What did hit me though about it -- and other "haute-look-for-less" style stores like it (Zara, Topshop, COS, etc.) is that they do some things really well, and then some things really poorly, and there isn't much in-between. The trick for customers, then, shopping in such places is to navigate these extremes wisely and figure out what you can and can't score on the cheap.

Here's how:

The Dos

Pick up Some Trendier Pieces
The whole merchandising philosophy behind these fast-retail spots is that they can get runway looks to market faster and for a fraction of the price than designer labels. Chances are the trend will blow out before your shirt does and a $20 donation to goodwill is a lot easier to stomach than a $2,000 one.

Refresh your T-Shirt Game
You'd be hard pressed to show me a T worth buying that costs more than $35. Pick up cheap cotton t-shirts in some stripes and solids and toss 'em out when the pits start to feel funky. Rinse and repeat.

Game Improvement Seasonal Starters
Trust me, I get it, it's hard to spend money on expensive, seasonal dress clothes when faced with the proposition of only wearing them a few months out of the year. Start slow, pick up some linen trousers for less than your dry-cleaning bill and wear them on a scorcher of a casual Friday. Be careful ... you'll find it harder to go back to your worsted work-wear than you think.

The Don'ts

Stay Away From the Shoes
If they look like plastic it's probably because that's what they're made of. No one's asking you to spring for John Lobbs but $18 oxfords aren't the way to go either.

Beware of their Boxers
If you feel like having your sensitives disintegrate between your legs on a hot humid day on the course, go right-a-head and look for bargain briefs. However, if that sounds as uncomfortable hearing it as it did typing it, stick with the standard bearers -- Hanes, Jockey, etc.

Jewelry, Don't Even Think About It.
Just because your girlfriend can pluck out some diamonds from the rough doesn't mean you can, too. Picking out some plastic costume jewelry is not a gift, that's her hobby. As for you, it's wise to stick to the pricier bits here and there's no way around that one, sorry.

Follow the dos, pick your spots and figure out how to add the right well-priced pieces into your game this year.

Here are six steals from H&M we're still feelin' for the rest of the summer season. All styles available at

Black Slim Stripe Pocket T, $12.95 

Denim Shirt, $29.95 

Stone Linen Trousers $29.95 

Orange Sailor Stripe T, $5.95


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Game improvement: Hawaiian shirts aren't only for luaus

No matter who you are, chances are you've got some gear in your game that could use an update. While we don't advise retooling everything at once, trading up a few staples at a time is the ticket to solid style. Each week we'll pull a dud from the dark depths of every man's collection and suggest a simple substitute. Check your nostalgia at the door -- it's time for your tune up.

Hawaiian shirts are trending everywhere from Prada to Patagonia this season and they are among the best ways to step up your summer-style game. If you're really feeling bold, we don't see why you wouldn't be able to add these florals to your foursome, too. Here's how to make the Hawaiian look work on and off the course.

1. Granddad's beach button-down won't work. Contemporary iterations of Hawaiian shirts are slimmed down and shorter than the classic designs. They'll still fit comfortably, but no one looks good swimming in a boxy shirt.

2. Hit it solid. The shirt will make a statement on its own so keep the bottom half of your outfit solid and simple. Jeans, navy chinos, white shorts, etc.

3. Do not tuck it in. Yes, you heard me, even on the golf course. This laid-back style is meant to be worn outside your shorts. Now, granted, you don't want look like a schlub. But if your clothes are washed, wrinkle free and fit well, I see no reason to enforce the tuck rule here. You may have some problems at some real swank clubs with this one, but hopefully these rules start to bend soon enough.

A colorful Hawaiian shirt is a cool way to add a little life -- and levity -- to your game. Check out five of my favorites. And remember real men wear pink -- and real men with great style can shoot 58 wear flowers (h/t Ryo Ishikawa).

Zanerobe Hawaiian Shirt, $90


Black Island Life Button Down, $80


Bonobos Surf Print, $75 


H&M Hawaiian Shirt, $30


Penfield Floral Block Hawaiian, $51

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Billy Horschel's pants continue to be an inspiration to all of us

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Billy Horschel was eight shots off the lead when he teed off in the final round of the PGA Championship. Will he claim his first major championship this week? Probably not. But with pants like these, does it really matter?

horschel-pants-505.jpgFor those interested, the RLX Golf pants, described as Camouflage-Frog Greens Pants, are available on for $125. Let's have a closer look at that pattern, which Horschel's father, Billy Sr., is also sporting in a shorts version.

Horschel not only continues to be one of the style icons of the PGA Tour, but he seems to have found a niche among pants featuring water-dwelling creatures.

You'll recall at the 2013 U.S. Open he wore these octopus pants.

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Five PGA Championship outfits we're looking forward to seeing

By Marty Hackel

The year's final major, the PGA Championship, is here. And while we're looking forward to watching some great golf, here are some outfits you're not going to want to miss, either:

rory-mcilroy-pga-championship-scripting.jpgRory's on a roll and looks to be a major force this week. We would like to point out, however, that he plays better when he dresses with more impact and contrast. Notice how striking the full image of Rory is, but I'm a bit concerned about the grey on grey. I'll be interested to see how this week pans out for the World No. 1.


rickie-fowler-pga-championship-scripting.jpgRickie Fowler is always one of our favorites because his clothing has energy and he wears it with such confidence. His Thursday graphic polo will jump off your TV screen. Well done!


We love Billy Horschel's menu for the entire week. It's going to look great on TV because, as always, his selections are bold and fun. Let's hope he makes it to the weekend, because his best look is the Sunday camouflage frog green trousers.

RLX Ralph Lauren

Related: 11 burning questions for the PGA Championship

jordan-spieth-pga-championship-scripting.jpg We've been giving Jordan a lot of grief this year about his tentative color selections, but he's batting .750 in our style book this week as three of the four feature the alpine color and only Saturday contrasts against the other three; a utilitarian choice as that Saturday white shirt features ColdBlack technology, which reflects the sun's rays and will keep him cooler.


Justin Rose's Ashworth selections are consistent and well-merchandised, with three of the four days keeping this light purple color highly visible. You could easily make an effective display with his four selections.


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Game improvement: Changing the pace with your polos

By Alex Holmes

No matter who you are, chances are you've got some gear in your game that could use an update. While we don't advise retooling everything at once, trading up a few staples at a time is the ticket to solid style. Each week we'll pull a dud from the dark depths of every man's collection and suggest a simple substitute. Check your nostalgia at the door -- it's time for your tune up.

By now you've probably amassed a mountain of pique polos in every size, shape and color. So many, in fact that you could probably live out your last days on the links without picking up another. If you are, however, open to a little change of pace in your polos might I suggest this sartorial set up.


H&M Silk Blend Polo, $29.95

You see, the term polo is just a design descriptor and has nothing to do with what the shirt is made from. Sure, 99 percent of the market consists of banded-sleeve cotton piques, but I've encountered all sorts of styles in everything from cotton to cashmere.

No matter how swaggy your style, a lot of these finer fabrics make for quite the pricey polo. That is until now. As silly as it sounds to a golfer, the polo has become quite the trendy silhouette this season and retailers, from low-end to lux, are rolling out all sorts of these short sleeves by the busload. This silk blend stunner from H&M is my winner by far. Wear an undershirt wherever you decide to play in your polo, but aside from that, standard style rules apply. This season, add some sartorial swagger to your game with this silk blend polo and show the rest of your foursome how to suit up in style.

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How you can make your way in today's flat-brim world

By Alex Holmes

It's not just Rickie, Rory and Keegan rocking the flat-brim fitteds anymore. I've seen tons of guys on all types of tracks picking up the SoCal style and shading the sun with some really good looks lately.

Two tips:

1. If you're going with some of the stronger shades, say Nike's venom green or Puma's vibrant orange, do not try to connect the look with shoes and a belt in the same color. The hat/belt/shoe thing may make a statement on TV but, off camera it makes you look like spent way too much time putting your outfit together that morning.

2. Play it backwards. Flatter, shorter brims look better backwards than the traditional rounded ones do. If you wear your hat backwards off the course, why not wear it that way on it? If someone says something like "It's against the dress code to wear your hat backwards at Bushwood!" ask him/her why and let me know what he/she says. I never figured that one out …

Check out six of our favorite styles and pick up some fresh flat brims to add to your rotation on and off the course.


Hats listed clockwise from top:

Oakley Flat Brim Trucker, Black and Red, $24

Nike Flat Brim Fitted, Venom Green,

Puma Greenskeeper, Heather Gray, $26

Linksoul Make Par Flat Brim Trucker, Navy, $29

Nike Retro Flat Brim, Gray Tonal Camo, $24

Pume Monoline 210 Flat Brim, Vibrant Orange, $26

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A company that can help you buckle down on your choice of belts

By Marty Hackel

loop-beltology-vertical-300.jpgThis is a really cool story about two people who are single-handedly starting a new trend in belts. Andrew Heffernan and Anna Lundberg met while students at Parsons design school and they wanted to create a comfortable belt that was able to be worn by anyone of any size at any time.

Enter Beltology

Like The Tie Bar or Happy Socks, Lundberg and Heffernan have built their business with a specific product classification, taking a simple idea and making a tremendous impact on a piece of clothing that has gone rather untouched for a very long time.

Seeing incredible growth in men's accessories, they've designed a stretch woven belt that avoids the sizing issue by eliminating the need for holes. The elasticity means more comfort and the lack of holes also helps protect it from wearing out. A nice plus. All of the belts are hand finished, and it's versatile enough to be worn in both formal and casual settings. 

If there's an accessory PGA Tour pros give more thought to than average golfers, it's the belt. It's not just something that holds up their pants. A belt serves as an important fashion accessory. With Beltology's collection of fun belts, now you can start with the belt and plan your wardrobe around these fun looks. The company's mission is clear: Don't just wear belts -- embrace them.

Interested in more stories on apparel? Signup to receive Golf Digestix, a weekly digital magazine that offers the latest news, new product introductions and behind-the-scenes looks at all things fashion.



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Game improvement: Recharge your whites

By Alex Holmes

No matter who you are, chances are you've got some gear in your game that could use an update. While we don't advise retooling everything at once, trading up a few staples at a time is the ticket to solid style. Each week we'll pull a dud from the dark depths of every man's collection and suggest a simple substitute. Check your nostalgia at the door -- it's time for your tune up.

Deep into the heart of summer and a few weeks removed from Wimbledon, I figured it was high time to address summer's most suitable shade -- white. Weather you're on the beach, the boat or the back nine, there are a ton of great white options to take you through the summer in style. 

The rules? They're aren't many -- depending on what your wearing white will go with pretty much anything. (Just watch out for red wine and red lips and you should be in the clear.)

Check out some of our summer staples and re-charge your whites for the last leg of the season.

Uniqlo Extended Placket Polo, $29.90

loop-Uniqlo-White-Polo-Extended-518.jpgIf you've been following the style content on the Loop you know we love ourselves some Uniqlo, and this polo's yet another reason why. You can never go wrong with well-priced, well-fitting basics with just the right amount of detail. This white polo is the only one you'll need to wear this summer.

Levis White 501, $68

loop-Levis-White-501-518.jpgWearing white is one of the easiest ways to dress up your denim. Wear these with a simple stripe shirt and a navy blazer and you've got casual Friday nailed through September. **The whole "no white after Labor Day" thing was made up by somebody's mom. Wear it right and white can last you through winter.

Patrik Ervell White Club Collar Oxford, $110

loop-Patrik-Ervell-White-Oxford-518.jpgA white oxford shirt is one of most integral pieces in a man's wardrobe. If your current one is starting to muffin top a bit out of your trousers, it's time for an update. The club collar and button pocket offers just the right amount of interest in this menswear mainstay.

RLX Cypress Tech Bermuda, $79.50

loop-RLX-Cypress-Short-518.jpgThe only issue with white is that it will show off even the smallest dirt and divot stains. The polyester tech shorts from RLX look sharp but more importantly will continue to look that way wash after wash after wash.

Me Undies, $20

loop-Me-Undies-518.jpgSave the fundies for valentines day and keep the undergarments light and white for summer. Me Undies is a new start up that sends you fresh basics made from organic fibers on subscription every other month.

Take a peak in your closet and figure out which of your whites are in need of an upgrade and start working your new gear into your game on and off the course this season.

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5 watches under $100 to put in play this summer

By Alex Holmes

If you can rock the Rolex than by all means wear it with pride but there are also a bunch of fun and inexpensive pieces out on the market these days that can add some serious style to your game on and off the course.

There was a time when men would make a big to-do about matching watch bands to shoes or accessories and yes, if your wearing your tux make sure everything you’ve got on is on the dark and dressy side. For the other 364 days out of the year, I wouldn’t worry to much about it. I’ve been wearing my weekend watch with my suit this summer and think the contrast looks pretty cool.

So, whether you’re rolling on a budget and want to pick up a new time piece or you already have your day-to-day dial and just want a fun knock-around clock for the weekend, check out five watches under a C-note to put into play this summer.

Seiko Navy Automatic, $55

loop-Seiko-311.jpgAdidas White Peachtree Digital, $65


Fossil Aeroflight, $90

loop-watches-Fossil-Aeroflight-518.jpgTimex Weekender, $45

Swatch Lemon Profond, $90


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