The Loop

A scientific hierarchy of shelf lives for logoed golf shirts

November 19, 2016

A few weeks back, Deadspin's Drew Magary approached the topic of championship gear. Mainly, how long could a fan wear clothing that celebrates their team's triumph? It's an interesting discussion, one that we thought applicable to our world. But rather than a team championship, we used logos for our topic. After all, how often do you see fellow golfers donning wardrobe that showcases a symbol of a course they played or tournament they attended? Some can be impressive, while others fall flat. Where does your lineup of logo attire rank? Here is our scientific hierarchy of shelf lives for golf shirts:


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Shelf Life: It should never leave the closet

A shirt that holds zero personal affiliation or connection

That was very sweet of your parents to buy a Hard Rock Cafe polo during their trip to Vegas, but that shirt brings no prestige to the table.

Shelf Life: Two years

A no-name course you once played

This might jump a spot or two if it was purchased to commemorate a memorable story, like a hole-in-one or your buddy tossing his sticks into the pond after a four-jack.

Your company’s shirt

Congrats on having pride in your career. Conversely, you're not special; most people have an employer/job.

An outing

Bonus points if you're the host or organizer of the event.


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Shelf Life: Three years

Any lower-tiered professional event

Getting to see the PGA Tour in person is a treat, even if the tournament in question was the 84 Lumber Classic.

A resort

This is a broad category; we're not referring to Bandon or Pinehurst, but your run-of-the-mill vacation spots.

PGA Tour logo

I understand that a sect of these shirts are from TPC courses. Yet, seems a tad weird to wear a sport's league logo, yes? Not like you see a ton of people rock a shirt only emblazoned with the NFL shield.


Shelf Life: Four years

Your home club

Members love to wear their crest with pride off the course. I suppose that's one way to justify the $20,000 investment for 30 rounds a year.

St. Andrews

Perhaps the most controversial spot on the list, as it's the undisputed Home of Golf. And forget its stature in the game; the town of St. Andrews might be one of my favorite places on earth, period. Keeping that in mind, there are so many counterfeit, knockoff St. Andrews items on the market that they devalue its esteem. Moreover, I've seen plenty of non-golfers wear ensembles baring the St. Andrews emblem, further hurting the brand. Kudos if you've stepped foot on the sacred ground, but it falls short in our rankings.

A top-tiered professional event

This would be the Players, a WGC event, Memorial, Tour Championship. Not only did you see the pros in action, but what you saw mattered.


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Shelf Life: Five years

British Open, PGA Championship

The Open holds higher eminence to me, but understand that may not hold true across the rest of the country, so we group these two majors together. To some degree, you're wearing history on your chest.

Alma mater

It likely means more to you than anyone else, yet it's one of the few items on the list that you have an emotional stake in.

An exclusive top course you've played

Anything on Golf Digest's 100 Greatest Courses -- or that makes your group go, "Wow, you played there?" -- qualifies.

Ryder Cup

Helping the cause: It's played once every four years in the United States, making it somewhat of a collector's item. Working against you: It's an exhibition, and often played at so-so courses.

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Stephen Szurlej

Shelf Life: Seven years

An exclusive or top course outside the United States

Your Royal Dornochs, Ballybunions, Kingston Heaths. You get on one of these joints, you are living life right, my friend.

U.S. Open

It's our nation's tournament, often contested at the best venues we have to offer. The shirt receives a bump if it's from a gem like Oakmont or Shinnecock Hills (see photo above).

Shelf Life: 10 years

A SUPER exclusive course

The list is short but distinguished: Pine Valley, Cypress Point, Seminole. Click here for the full rundown. One of the few shirts that instills instant jealousy.

Shelf Life: Wear it until it disintegrates

The Masters

A logo unlike any other.