A Golf Apparel Expert Shares Her Favorite Fits From the PGA Championship

There’s no bigger stage in golf than a Major Championship. Which means . . . what better time to wear your most dapper apparel on the course?

You’ll notice at the PGA Championship this week at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, the world’s best are doing just that, with new brands on display, 1-of-1 belts and old school looks that are bringing a breath of fresh air to golf clothing.

And PGA of America Golf Professional Caroline Basarab knows a good look when she sees one. As the Director of Retail for Reynolds Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Georgia, and a two-time PGA of America Merchandiser of the Year, Basarab is one of the best in the golf business when it comes to fashion.

So, we had her watch some coverage of Rounds 1 and 2 at the PGA Championship and give us her favorite fits. Some are unique, some are new and some . . . well some are just downright dapper.

Xander Schauffele

How could we not start with our 36-hole leader who went on a historic tear during Round 1. Not only was Schauffele breaking records, he was doing it in style, according to Basarab.

“Xander is wearing Descente now, which is a really unique, old school Japanese clothing brand. His pants were what I noticed right away,” says Basarab. “They were a little looser which isn’t how a lot of the guys wear their pants these days. The tight, tailored fit is what you see mostly, but Xander’s pants were looser.

“Another thing I was really impressed by was the color — it was like a crayon maroon purple. Too many of the guys wear white, gray or navy. Xander’s choice for this maroonish purple was a really sharp look.”

Phil Mickelson

The 2005 PGA Champion was sporting one of the most unique accessories of any competitor at Valhalla.

“That ostrich belt he had,” Basarab says, “no one else in the field had that belt. Guaranteed. It was a really cool accessory to complement his apparel.”

Basarab also liked Mickelson’s sunglass choice, adding, “They weren’t your typical sport Oakleys. It was more of a sophisticated look, which goes well with his belt choice!”

Justin Thomas

Back home in his native Louisville, Thomas wanted to make sure he had all things firing when it came to his apparel and the scripting did not disappoint from Greyson Clothiers.

“Justin’s printed shirts with buttons on the collars; I really liked that combination,” says Basarab. “The prints are subtle enough to be bold, but also not so in your face. And the buttons on the collars make the polos unique and help the collar appear crisp. If it gets a little cooler on the weekend, he always sports a really sleek hoodie so I’m excited to see that, too.”

Jason Day

How could we not talk about Day and his new Malbon Golf lineup? His eclectic shirts, pants — and how could we forget the vests — have stood out in a way that no other real apparel line has in recent memory. The 2015 PGA Champion, Basarab adds, is really at the forefront of what is an already happening shift to streetwear on the golf course.

“There’s always been two schools of thought on it,” she adds. “The first is you’re in conservative dress attire, honoring the heritage of the game. The country club, private, resort sort of look. Then there’s the more relaxed view, which Jason is really bringing mainstream as we’ve seen. My take? It’s all about playing golf. If you’re enjoying golf, what does it matter what you wear if you’re having fun and are a good representation of the game?”

Tiger Woods

We save the best for last when it comes to fun fits. Aside from Day, the golfer making the most noise in the apparel space has been the four-time PGA Champion Tiger Woods. Announcing his new clothing line, Sun Day Red, in LA earlier this year, items are starting to hit market and people are happy to scoop them up.

And Tiger continues to sport some really fun scriptings in his Major Championship appearances, like a coral colored polo and 1-of-1 vest uniquely suited for the legend himself. 

“In the first round, he had this white vest on that was really interesting,” says Basarab. “The vest had like these markings or different colored threads that made it look like a Tiger claw was scratching through the vest. That was a really different thing that I’ve yet to see.

“I love the new logo, too. Tiger is an icon — so whatever logo is associated with him will also be iconic.”

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