The Local Knowlege


Game improvement: 5 slip-ons that will keep your feet styling

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.

So you think your dad's tassle loafers are a little too classic for your commute to the course, but you've long since stepped down from the helm of the S.S Fraternalus -- leaving your boat shoes to the college bros. It's time then to check out five sweet slip-ons that will take you to and from your next round in style.

Vans -- $45   


Rivieras -- $90


Swims -- $165


Supra -- $70


Seavees -- $88


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Impact: Fred Astaire, dancer/golf trick shot artist

By Alex Holmes


"The higher up you go, the more mistakes you are allowed. Right at the top, if you make enough of them, it's considered to be your style." -- Fred Astaire

On April 15, 1938, Astaire and fellow golfer, Ginger Rogers, wrap the 2 minute and 45 second tap dancing golf sequence in "Carefree" in a single take.

For a glimpse of the type of dance/golf trick shot artistry Astaire could pull off, check out this other YouTube video:

Astaire, who played to a single-digit handicap, strikes five mid-irons and six drivers in the scene. It was said that when the balls were collected after the take all the shots were concentrated in two distinct landing areas with very little dispersion. Astaire was wildly considered a style icon on and off the course in his day and will always be remembered as one of the game's most fashionable fans.

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Caution: Looking directly at Lee Westwood's shirt may cause permanent retina damage

By Luke Kerr-Dineen

Lee Westwood is wearing an extremely bright shirt on Friday at the Masters. Put on your sunglasses and take a look.

This is the second straight day he's worn a shirt that could potentially make people dizzy. On Thursday, he opted for a radioactive waste-themed outfit. Notice the reflection on his neck.

Here's a picture of him glowing from far away.

This hazardous trend seemed to start at the 2013 British Open, when he showed up on Thursday wearing a similar shirt (and matching shades).

It calmed down a bit before picking back up at Bay Hill this year (our working theory is that he was excited for the year's first major).

If you're planning on watching Westwood on Friday -- especially in person -- don't stare at him too long. Probably best to wear sunglasses. Sunblock, too. And drink lots of water, just in case.

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Impact: Quite a G'day for Adam Scott in 2013

By Alex Holmes

loop-impact-adam-scott-140411-518.jpg"If all else fails, birdie the last." -- Adam Scott

On a gray, rainy Sunday afternoon in Georgia, Scott rolled in a 25-foot birdie on the 18th to push the 2013 Masters into extra holes. Another birdie on the second sudden-death playoff secured the Aussie's green jacket and his first major victory. His title defense started impressively Thursday when Scott shot an opening 69 to sit one off the lead.

Photo: Getty Images (2013)

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Impact: Happy Birthday to the dashing Spaniard

By Alex Holmes


"I look into their eyes, shake their hand, pat their back and wish them luck, but I am thinking, 'I am going to bury you.' " -- Seve Ballesteros 

Severiano Ballesteros, the two-time Masters champion and five-time major winner, was born 57 years ago today, April 9, 1957, in Pedreña, Cantabria, Spain. Sadly, it's already been nearly three years since he passed away from brain cancer in May 2011. He will forever be remembered for his flamboyant playing style, fearless match-play guile and constant commitment to the game, and his presence was missed at Tuesday night's Champions dinner at Augusta National.

Happy birthday, Seve. We miss you.

Photo: Getty Images (1976)

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Golfers are the coolest people in the world. Here's the proof

By Max Adler

Finally, evidence from the trendiest in high style confirming what we've long suspected: golfers are the coolest people in the world.

At least that's how we're interpreting Normcore, the newest fashion phenomenon that The New York Times' Alex Williams describes as "…c. 2014, in which scruffy young urbanites swear off the tired street-style clichés of the last decade — skinny jeans, wallet chains, flannel shirts — in favor of a less-ironic (but still pretty ironic) embrace of bland, suburban anti-fashion attire. (See jeans, mom. Sneakers, white.)"

Fashion movements are a lot like bar brawls in that it's usually tough to tell who started it, and pointing fingers drags out the situation to no good end. Nevertheless, the de facto icons of the movement, as dubbed by The New York Times, include Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Jobs, and President Barack Obama when he's not wearing a suit. But to that, we say, what about Tom Lehman, Mark O'Meara, Steve Stricker and just about every golfer of the last century? Khaki pants and a white polo is our answer to stonewashed jeans and a crewneck sweatshirt.

Normcore is different than a typical fashion movement in that its driving force isn't to make the former year's collars and buttons look out of style, but to embody a noble ideal. Namely, that the struggle to differentiate oneself is futile and ultimately antisocial. Utopian beauty lies within conformity. Even the more radically-clad golfers - your Rickie Fowlers, Ian Poulters and Walter Hagens - strive (or strove) for creativity only within the parameters of country club code. 

Of Normcore, Williams writes: 

"The basic idea is that young alternative types had devoted so much energy to trying to define themselves as individuals, through ever-quirkier style flourishes like handlebar mustaches or esoteric pursuits like artisanal pickling, that they had lost the joy of belonging that comes with being part of the group. Normcore was about dropping the pretense and learning to throw themselves into, without detachment, whatever subcultures or activities they stumbled into, even if they were mainstream." 

Or, as New York Magazine titled their Feb. 24th story about the trend, "Fashion for Those Who Realize They're One in 7 Billion."

While we golfers count our number by only the tens of millions, we've always held as unassailable truth that no one is bigger than the game, and dress accordingly. Whether we're behind the times, or way ahead of them, is for those who care about such things to decide. We all know golf's what matters.  

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Paul Stankowski (and his belt company) can help you with your waist management

By Marty Hackel

If there's a fashion constant for me, it's that a stylish belt is critical to completing a great outfit. A lux accessory around your waist sophisticates your look without sacrificing personal style.

It's something Paul Stankowski knew when he played the PGA Tour and has adopted in launching Francis Edward. The exotic leather-goods company Stankowski (middle name: Francis) and business partner Mike Vicary (middle name: Edward) created in 2013 uses materials such as calf, lizard, bison and alligator skins to produce men's and women's belts, cash covers and, coming soon, yardage-book covers.


Superior quality and craftsmanship is why the products are available only via specialty orders (prices start at $159) and in select high-end golf shops.

Francis Edward is a reminder that veteran golfers ("I'm not retired," says Stankowski, 44, "just on pause.") don't stop playing. They just start new businesses.

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Impact: He wore plus fours, but he'll be remembered for his 2

By Alex Holmes

Countdown to Augusta - Each Friday from now through the Masters we take a look back at impactful images from the tournament's storied history.


"The more I practice, the luckier I get." -- Gene Sarazen

It's April 1935, and Gene Sarazen is playing in a nascent invitational tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. He stands in the middle of the fairway on the par-5 15th hole in the final round. Craig Wood had just tapped in for birdie on 18, and Sarazen is now three strokes back. Stuck between clubs, he pulls his turf rider 4-wood, makes a pure pass and watches as the ball carries the pond guarding the green and into the hole for a double-eagle 2. He follows the miraculous shot with three solid pars, then bests Wood in a 36-hole playoff the following day.

Sarazen's swing on the 15th became known as the "shot heard 'round the world" and helped provide the moment to turn the Augusta National Invitation Tournament into the Masters.

Photo: Getty Images (1936)
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Beer drinkers who love golf will LOVE Nike's new golf belt

By Alex Myers

On Wednesday night, Stephen Colbert listed "free beer" as one of his suggestions for growing golf. We're pretty sure Mr. Colbert would be a fan of Nike's new belt then.

Related: Golf Digest's 2014 shoe guide

As you can see from the picture posted to Twitter by @PGApro1, the new belt has a built-in bottle opener:


The belt also appears to be reversible. Is there anything it can't do?!

(h/t @pgapro1 and @darrenrovell)

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Apparel-maker Criquet is making noise with its 'high-performance' shirts

By Marty Hackel

A tongue-in-cheek tagline "high-performance shirts for the 19th hole" speaks to the mind-set of apparel-maker Criquet.

Founders Billy Nachman and Hobson Brown were drawn to vintage cotton polos their grandfathers wore and spotted what they considered a niche between "performance" and "everyday" golfwear when they started in 2010.

NewStuff-Criquet-red.jpgMade of certified organic cotton, Criquet polos (starting at $75) have removable collar stays and feature a slot pocket to hold a tee or pencil. Button-down shirts (starting at $85) also have the slot pocket, as well as what the company calls "the Bendle Sleeve," an extra layer of fabric strategically positioned at the shirt bottom to twist off the bottle top of the owner's favorite beverage.

NewStuff-Criquet-green.jpg Even their new showroom -- the Criquet Clubhouse in Austin -- conveys this "every man" theme. With tributes to Caddyshack abound, the store features HD televisions, a bbq pit and a soon-to-be driving net in the backyard for hosting major-viewing parties.

With a nod to the past and a hope of a more sustainable, stylish future, Criquet is not your grandfather's shirt. It's the one he would've proudly passed down to you.

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