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Style evolution: Best style moments from the Players over the years

March 14, 2024
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Over the last 50 years, the Players Championship has given golf fans plenty of dramatic moments. From those heart-racing tee shots on 17 to daunting distances that aren't always worth the risk if going for it—the on-course drama is rather plentiful. And while the words "be the right club" echo in our heads, a trip down memory lane for the PGA Tour's biggest event wouldn't be complete without reminiscing on some of the best looks to grace the fairways of TPC Sawgrass' Stadium Course. Brace yourselves for an influx of plaid, argyle, and interesting headwear choices.

Al Geiberger, 1975

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PGA TOUR Archive

The eye-catching plaid pants are an easy target, but upon closer inspection, you'll grow to appreciate Geiberger's commitment to coordinating the colors of his fit. The red glove accentuates the touch of red in the trousers, creating a sense of balance with his blue polo. He tops things off with a bucket hat, proving that they are indeed a timeless accessory.

Jack Nicklaus, circa 1978

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PGA TOUR Archive

The first-ever Player's champion stuns in a vibrant scarlet red cardigan that'd we love to see reimagined with more modish finishes (perhaps some snazzy buttons or ribbed cuffs). Layered over a two-toned blue outfit, the Golden Bear (peep his glove insignia) allows his sweater to do all the talking.

Jodie Mudd, 1990

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PGA TOUR Archive

Something about this look is so quintessentially 90s chic and we're obsessed. The tour visor, the Scottish plaid, and baggy trousers act as a time capsule of arguably the best era of golf fashion. This action shot of Mudd could easily pass for a Ralph Lauren campaign from that time.

Tiger Woods, US AM 1994*

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PGA TOUR Archive

We know that this technically isn't from the Players, however, this moment was captured at TPC Sawgrass, therefore we're including it. We'd be remiss if we didn't mention this iconic Tiger look from his amateur days. Sun Day Red … we beg of you … give us a fedora option!

Jesper Parnevik, 2001/2005

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Based on these looks alone, it's no secret as to why Parnevik was named as a Malbon ambassador. The Swede has a distinct sense of style—like seriously—flipping up the brim of a hat like that is innovation at its finest. Over four years, we see bits of his style evolve, moving away from argyle sweaters and dark tones to more sporty/performance silhouettes and bolder color choices. In 2005, we also got to see a glimpse of early J.Lindeberg, and how ahead of its time it was with the split-hem pants.

Notah Begay, 2003

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Susan Micals

As simple as the overall fit may be, Notah Begay was certainly channeling his best Michael Jordan look with the silver hoop earring. We love that he went sans hat and a fully buttoned polo, that feels cool yet polished.

Adam Scott, 2003

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Susan Micals

Twenty years ago, Adam Scott became a Players champion, and he looked fresh off the runway doing so. At the time, Scott was sporting Burberry as an ambassador, rocking the various styles of the famed UK brand. Known for its menswear, Burberry dipped its toe in the golf apparel world and showed that high-end brands have a place in golf and can do relatively well. Scott's neutral-toned argyle sweater layered over a polo feels pleasantly preppy (bring back posh, tweedy golf apparel)!

Rocco Mediate, 2003

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Rusty Jarrett

Before there were stretch performance fabrics, we had oversized polos and trousers, that allowed players to keep full mobility without restriction. This is a tasteful example of what early 2000s golf fashion had to offer. From head-to-toe, Mediate creates a wonderful balance between the pieces of his fit. The true stars of the show for us are his yellow-tinted shades and crocodile skin-printed shoes. Both accessories add a layer of depth, that feels surprisingly modern. We could easily see players like Jason Day or Min Woo Lee in this exact look.

Fredrik Jacobson, 2004

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Stan Badz

Fredrik Jacobson is another great example of the earlier days of J.Lindeberg's offerings, and how they have remained consistent in delivering fun color palettes that remain modest enough for golf. With his shaggy hair peeking through his visor and sweatbands around his forearm and wrist, Jacobson debuts a refreshing and playful look.

David Peoples, 2004

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Stan Badz

This was one look we were just jazzed about! All jokes aside, we miss when players had a bit more fun with their tournament scripts. David Peoples' musically inclined polo is the clear star of the show, but he did a great job of adding texture with his alligator-skinned belt and balancing the brightness of the shirt with a dark palette on the bottom.

Kenny Perry, 2004

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Let this be our formal submission to any and all brands to release a collab with Tabasco for a red hot capsule. Perhaps he and David Peoples coordinated outfits—but we'd go as far as saying that they were the best-dressed players at the 2005 Players. It was unexpected, and sometimes those are the best moments, especially in fashion. Something so out-of-the-box and a bit random, nevertheless, cool as all get out.

Rory Sabbatini, 2005

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Stan Badz

This camouflage moment did a poor job of hiding Sabbatini, making him one of the standouts in the field that year. More often than not, we see camo toned down in golf, with brands using more tonal elements as a means to make the pattern more polished or approachable; in this instance he pairs the eye-catching trousers with all-black attire, balancing out the look. Sabbatini wore these pants to show support for the U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan at the time, acting as just one instance of the South African golfer's involvement in aiding soldiers—throughout his career, he made countless donations to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund—a non-profit organization dedicated to treating soldiers who have PTSD and offering help to their families.

Shingo Katayama, 2006

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Stan Badz

At the height of his career, it was almost a guarantee that Shingo Katayama would be flaunting his distinctive cowboy hat. The peculiar choice of headwear became a bit of a schtick for the Japanese golfer, who eventually adopted the nickname Cowboy Shingo. The hats evolved over the years, from fairly simplistic white ones to daring leopard-printed ones, Katayama was bringing his unique stylistic flair to every event.

Phil Mickelson, 2007

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Sam Greenwood

En route to Lefty's win at the 2007 Players Championship, he served up one of his best on-course looks to date. The black Callaway mockneck is the prime example of casual sophistication, looking quite put together but without trying too hard.

Anthony Kim, 2007

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Chris Condon

We're happy to see Kim's return to competitive golf, and we've been waiting for the perfect moment to bring back the iconic AK belt buckle. Confidence and swagger oozed out of every facet of his game—from his swing to his fashion choices—Kim was one of the tour's biggest personalities.

Jim Furyk, 2007

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Chris Condon

There's something quite trendy about this suburban dad look from the 17-time PGA Tour winner. The full button-down bowling shirt would be an instant hit in today's market…not to mention the Adidas Tour 360s on his feet, which underwent a facelift recently.

Ian Poulter, 2007

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Sam Greenwood

You thought we'd do a style roundup and not mention Ian Poulter? As one of the most wildly dressed players on the tour, there was no shortage of looks to choose from, but this pink panther-esque one takes the cake. It's unclear what the standout piece is for us. Is it the pink and brown combination? The spiked hair? The choker? Perhaps it's all three, but what we do know is that Poluter was the best-dressed player at Sawgrass that year.

Sergio Garcia, 2007

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Chris Condon

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Caryn Levy

There's nothing we love more than color coordination and monochromatic elements in a look—Sergio Garcia executes this flawlessly with this darling kelly green fit in 2007. The true star of this look by far was his crocodile skin belt. In the full body shot, it's subtle, but upon closer inspection, it's the attention to detail that makes this so noteworthy. The vibrancy of the green contrasted by the simple touch of texture is one of our favorite outfits he's worn.

Rickie Fowler, 2013

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Chris Condon

Another obvious choice of a player who has wild on-course style is undoubtedly Rickie Fowler. Nowadays, he's toned down his color palette a fair amount, so we had to go back a decade to relish in his bold styling choices. Although his orangy hues, a nod to his days at Oklahoma State, are the most popular—this Barbie pink look was ahead of its time. (He easily could have been a part of the hit movie's press run!)

Billy Horschel, 2015

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Stan Badz

Deep orange and cobalt blue is a color combo we didn't know we needed more of. Billy Horschel pulls off the tricky color palette beautifully by allowing the colors to do all the talking. We also love the deep saturation of the blue and orange, they are vibrant and lively, and we'd argue the look wouldn't work if the tones were softer. The solid pants contrast so well against the polo in a way that isn't overwhelming by any means.

Justin Thomas, 2015

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Stan Badz

Drastically different from Rickie's all-pink look, Justin Thomas takes a softer approach to the pink theme. Sundays at the Players had an unspoken theme amongst players and fans to be a pink-out to raise awareness of breast cancer. Fashion for the sake of a good cause is always a win-win.

Si Woo Kim, 2023

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Ben Jared

We've been unable to get this sweater worn by Si Woo Kim last year out of our minds. Arranged in a diagonal pattern, figures are seen at different potions of the golf swing—a clever and unique design that we haven't seen a ton of. We also love that we get a peek at Kim's polo he layered underneath. He didn't shy away from mixing prints—and we're here for it!

Min Woo Lee, 2023

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Ben Jared

The chef was cooking up his signature look—a mockneck and racer glasses—at last year's tournament. Min Woo Lee will be sporting threads from lululemon this year, but we hope to see a reimagined version of this outfit in Jacksonville.

Fans dressed like John Daly, 2023

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Tracy Wilcox

Patrons deserve their own moment, especially when channeling the king of outlandish prints and mullets—John Daly. Cheers to 50 years, Players!