Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin and his wife, Lisa, unveiled the team wardrobe for next month's matches at Celtic Manor in Wales. Although most of the photos have been embargoed until Sept. 19, I and a handful of others were given a comprehensive presentation of the team uniforms and off-course wear at the Hartmarx Showrooms in New York City (HMX Group is the parent company of Hickey Freeman).
The Pavins approached the Ryder Cup captaincy as a team. With Lisa Pavin handling the wardrobe responsibilities, her husband was able to focus on the other captain-related tasks (Read Guy Yocom's profile of Pavin from Golf Digest's September issue here).
(Left: *The Saturday match play ensemble, featuring a felt Ryder Cup patch) *
What's clear from the presentation is that Lisa Pavin spent a great deal of time over the last two years interacting with the various design companies to create a historically respectful, classic but modern collection using current materials. As opposed to the simple red, white and blue motif of past teams, the Pavins made an effort to infuse a fresh palette.
"I wanted to have a classic look respectful of Ryder Cup teams of the past," Lisa said.
Among the highlights:
Golf shirts, sweaters, and accessories were developed with Peter Millar. Men's suits, sport coats, tuxedoes, and trousers will be furnished by Hickey Freeman. The rainwear is being provided by Sun Mountain. Players will wear their own shoes in either black or white. Given the locale and the time of year, the Sun Mountain rain gear is going to be quite prevalent. These outfits in particular will be a departure from the classic all-black waterproofs we've seen in Ryder Cups past. A lot of thought went into selecting the appropriate typeface that'll be used on rain wear and team bags. Think New York Yankees, circa 1936. With a prominent "USA" logo and team members' names embroidered on the back, there will be no confusing players at Celtic Manor. Every detail has been considered. Even the team logos on the sweaters are placed on felt patches in the spirit of the collegiate pennants. Peter Millar founder Chris Knott and Lisa Pavin were inspired by images of iconic golfers and their wardrobes. The color palette they've chosen is very traditional. Lisa said she wanted to honor the style of past greats such as Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson. The practice uniforms feature colorful sleeveless sweaters. The black outfit for Sunday is a showstopper. The Saturday sweater selection is a marvelous cardigan in the Ben Hogan style (think Graeme McDowell on the weekend at Pebble Beach). While the uniform fit for players in recent Ryder Cups has been inconsistent, this year's choices have a trimmer tour cut. Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson will shine! Rather than a classic gray, a marvelous brown fabric has been selected as the color for the Opening Ceremony suits. The camel blazers that the players will wear getting off the plane will make them look like college professors. The historical theme has been taken so far that the Pavins have selected old-school Belding team bags and headcovers. The most conservative apparel item are the Imperial hats -- very tasteful, very classic. With the exception of the sport coats worn on the plane, all of the apparel will be pressed and hanging in each player's hotel room awaiting their arrival.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I rank the effort 10.5, and the results a 9.98. Nothing's perfect.
-- Marty Hackel