As Golf Digests Mr. Style, Marty Hackel spends his days chronicling the winners and losers at the nations biggest golf tournaments not for how they play, but for what they wear.
Hes got some opinions about spectator fashion, too.
Starting Monday, tens of thousands of golf fans will stream through Quail Hollow Club for the Wells Fargo Championship PGA tournament that runs through May 4. Some will pick their outfits based on practicality; others will spend lots of time and money planning every piece of their ensemble.
Hackel has seen it all. Hes been to Charlottes tournament enough times to know how our golfgoers stack up against the rest of the nation when it comes to fashion.
Heres his take on how we dress for golf, and his best advice about what to wear and what to leave at home if youre headed to the tournament.
Q. We like to think of ourselves as a pretty put-together city. How do our golf fans rank against other PGA spectators in terms of fashion?
A: I would say the most stylish people you usually see at the Masters. I would say as to the No. 2, Wells Fargo is well within (the better dressed) of a regular-season tournament. Its a pretty sophisticated crowd. Its a very knowledgeable crowd.
There are plenty of people who go to Wells Fargo on a social basis, and theres a certain Southern style they have. Theres a reason (high-end golf-wear label) Peter Millar is based in Raleigh. They have a great appreciation for style, and you can see that.
Q What sort of fashion mistakes do you see among tournamentgoers?
A: The people who go really wrong are the people who get out of their own comfort zone. Theyre wearing what they think they should be wearing, rather than what they feel comfortable wearing. One of the key things here is just knowing what you have to do. If youre going to sit in a hospitality tent, you can dress one way. If youre going to follow some groups, it makes sense to dress so that you can walk and enjoy yourself, and you probably want to pack a hat.
The biggest mistake women make is choosing footwear that might go with their clothes but doesnt go with the conditions (on the course). We used to joke about people wearing golf shoes at golf events, but todays golf shoes are great shoes, so a lot of people are wearing golf shoes and its an excellent thing to wear. Along with being comfortable, theyre waterproof.
Q Any must-wear items?
A: I think its important to wear a hat. Especially if its bright and sunny. Youve got to be protected. Usually people wear hats in the South, and they know to take them off when they go inside.
The challenge at this time of year is that its a bit of a lottery as to the weather. You almost have to be prepared for anything.
Q Any taboos, or any unwritten rules that will make a spectator want to go home and change? Is denim OK? How about shorts or bold logos?
A: Denim is fine. You dont want to wear shorts that are too short or pants that are too long. Both of them can be a bad choice. You dont want to overdo the logos you dont want to look like a road map. You dont have to go to school to have good taste, you just need good common sense.
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