Our favorite looks from the DI women’s golf championship
The NCAA Division I women's golf national championship is in full swing in Scottsdale, Ariz. Stanford’s Rose Zhang won her second individual national title Monday and the top eight teams began the match-play portion of the tournament Tuesday. While college golf tournaments typically are a blur of Nike Dri-Fit apparel that focus on performance and uniformed look over style, the 2023 National Championship has brought some surprisingly on-trend looks from the best college golfers in the country. From stylish golf apparel with a ton of school spirit to fashion-forward golf shoes and accessories with a nod to their team colors, here are our favorite team looks from tournament play at Grayhawk Golf Club.
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SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MAY 22: Huai-Chien Hsu of the Texas Longhorns signals to her team after the final round of the Division I Women's Individual Stroke Play Golf Championship at Grayhawk Golf Club on May 22, 2023 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Justin Tafoya/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
One of the easiest ways to spice up any look is by adding a statement shoe, and NCAA athletes are experts in adding personality to uniformed looks by upping their shoe game. The University of Texas, Austin is our front-runner for the best college golf shoes. These special edition 'Hook 'em' Nike Blazers are a twist on the vintage 1977 classic with a bit of Texas twang. That infamous rusty orange fits well with the profile of the modern-athletic-styled shoe—we're left wondering when we can grab a pair.
We first saw the Nike Blazer Mids on Michelle Wie West at the 2015 Evian Championship and we'll admit that weren't the most attractive-looking shoe; they favored snowboots more than golf shoes. Nike has obviously gone back to the drawing board since then, but it's still unclear if this version of Blazers will serve as the team shoe next season, nevertheless, we're big fans. As of right now, the team has been spotted wearing the Nike Air Max 1 '86 OG golf shoes in a custom white, orange, and black colorway.
Another team that is consistent with a strong shoe game and on-trend outfits is Stanford. Players wore solid Nike shorts and skirts throughout the tournament, making way for a mix of solids and patterns for tops. The Stanford Cardinal's unofficial mascot (The Stanford Tree) has made its appearance at basketball and football games, yet it's not often that we see the golf teams embrace the wacky symbol of school spirit.
SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MAY 21: Sadie Englemann Of the Stanford Cardinal putts the ball during the third round of the Division I Women's Individual Stroke Play Golf Championship at Grayhawk Golf Club on May 21, 2023 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Justin Tafoya/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
We've usually seen Stanford's golf team in the traditional black and red polos, with the occasional stripes for pizzazz, but this new polo with a micro-printed tree motif paired with white bottoms and a red hat is a great look for the defending champs. At first glance, the trees resemble the beloved tree logo of Pebble Beach, but upon further inspection, we've concluded that Stanford is embracing the natural foliage of their hometown Palo Alto, Calif.
Unlike other schools that rep one brand for every article of clothing and shoes, LSU has broken the mold stylishly, utilizing a variety of brands to showcase their purple and gold color combo. Wearing the emerging golfer staple, lululemon for apparel, the Tigers looked athletic, comfortable and like modern golfers in a range of collared and non-collared options.
Above left and right: LSU's Ingrid Linblad; Center: LSU's Latanna Stone
Also mixing up the traditional one-shoe-per-team look, LSU players add their own flair with a variety of shoe selections. Players like Ingrid Lindblad and Latanna Stone have kept it simple with the go-to silhouette of an all-white shoe from FootJoy. Others have sported the FootJoy Traditions shoe but in a custom white and purple colorway with the LSU logo on the heel.
In earlier parts of the spring season, the Lady Tigers have been spotted wearing the Nike Air Jordan 1 Low Gs in purple, whereas head coach Garrett Runion has been rocking them for the natty. Regardless if you're a fan of LSU, the AJ1s have been one of the most popular golf shoes since their release date.
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Apparel-wise, you'll be hard-pressed to find a team not sporting Nike Dri-FIT in some capacity, and we don't blame them, for most golfers, Nike is an easy go-to, but for style and on-course outfitting inspiration purposes — it can become repetitive. Teams like Wake Forest add unique twists to their apparel, taking simple pieces to the next level with bold, overstated logos showing off their school pride. The Demon Deacons have been rocking collar-less v-neck tees with "WAKE", "WF", and "DEACS" on down the back. Bonus points for the collarless v-neck look the team sported to mix up the traditional golf shirt rota over the weekend.
The Wake Forest gold, which is often more of a paler yellow, has served as an excellent accent color and one that stands out in a sea of red — five of the top eight schools that advanced have red as one of their school colors, so it's a nice refresher.
And while this look wasn’t seen at the D1 women’s golf championships, it’s noteworthy in the women’s golf space to add that Malbon Golf recently released a women’s-specific collaborative collection with Nike in which University of Southern California's sophomore Amari Avery helped launch with her younger sister Alona Avery.
The collection features simple pieces, that can be styled together to create monochromatic looks with varying silhouettes. Head-to-toe monochromatic looks are growing increasingly popular, and this year's championship has seen plenty of them. Avery's own team pulled out an all-black ensemble that forwent USC's traditional gold and cardinal red combo. Wake Forest, Stanford, Southern Methodist University, San Jose State, and a few other teams have taken a stab at the trend and pulled it off quite nicely.
Above, from left to right: Hannah Darling (South Carolina); Michelle Zhang (SMU); Amari Avery (USC); Sera Hasegawa (Baylor)
Above, from left to right: Napat Lertsadwattana (New Mexico); Wake Forest celebrating after defeating Stanford to advance to match play finals; Maddison Hinson-Tolchard (Oklahoma State); Lucia Lopez-Ortega (San Jose State)
More in the women’s golf space is expected from Malbon this year, but it’s a great trend to see young female golfers involved with the style overhaul that’s been much needed in the space.
Like USC's Amari Avery, other players too are getting involved with popular brands. Stanford standouts Rose Zhang and Rachel Heck were among the first collegiate athletes to take advantage of the NCAA rule change that gave students the opportunity to profit off their name, image and likeness (NIL).
Zhang signed with Adidas, while Heck signed with Nike last year which aligns with her team’s on-trend Nike looks. NIL offers up opportunities for college athletes to engage in activities, including endorsement deals, leveraging social media for pay, getting compensated for coaching, making personal appearances and signing autographs. For a lot of these young women, it's a way for them to garner more money and attention outside of golf — which notoriously has dedicated more resources to men's golf. For players like Zhang, who has been nearly unbeatable in her college career, it steers women's golf in the right direction. Not only are these young women stylish, but they back it up with their play, too.