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Breezy Point

Local Golf
September 24, 2017

Dress For Success
Justin Thomas day 1 of the 2017 Open Championship
+ click to enlarge
Justin Thomas day 1 of the 2017 Open Championship
By Jim McNaney


Recently the LPGA made news by amending their dress code for players to reduce the amount of "inappropriate" apparel choices being made by some. Such newly banned items were "short shorts/skirts," leggings (unless under shorts or skirts) and "racer back" tops without a collar. The reaction to this new standard was as varied as it was widespread.
As much as I might like to weigh in on this topic, my two daughters told me I should probably steer clear of it. They are probably right as usual; however a recent conversation with friends on fashion in general got me thinking.
Why is it so wrong to dress more formally these days?
Go to the airport and take a look around. People used to wear their "Sunday Best" when traveling. It was a great treat to travel by air or train and people made a big deal of it. Today, it seems like pajamas in the terminal are acceptable. My contention is we have become so used to things like air travel we take it for granted. Since it's not special anymore, we don't feel the need to dress special.
Take a look at the business world. Business casual used to mean no tie for men and women didn't need to wear formal dresses. Now it means everything from shorts and flip flops for men and leggings for women. The emphasis seems to be squarely on the casual and not the business.
Maybe that's part of the problem in golf. We seem to be okay with players trying to put comfort and individuality over class. Maybe we take it for granted that players don't feel the need to dress up because it's not a special occasion. They are, after all, just doing their jobs.
I think there in lies the problem. Doing our jobs is not special. Every now and then someone does make an effort to make things special. At this year's Open Championship, Justin Thomas made news by wearing a tie on day one. That used to be the norm. I understand that the apparel worn in the past, while classy, was not optimal for performance, but Thomas' clothing company Polo by Ralph Lauren proved that you could make "performance" apparel that looks like classic dress.
If it can be done, it should be done.
Years ago, I got to know an LPGA caddie commonly known as Fitzy. At the time I met him he was on the bag of Donna Andrews. Every Sunday, Fitzy would wear a tie. In the beginning people thought it was a bit silly but, as he explained, "We want to win. We want to make this day special so we need to dress for success!"
Fitzy was right and since we know it is possible for clothing companies like Polo, Travis Mathew and Nike can make performance products that look more formal, perhaps we should start asking for it. If we treat golf as special and dress up, maybe we will actually play better. At least we will look better. Think about it. Think about the last time you had a special presentation or a special day and you got all dressed up. We look in the mirror and tell ourselves we will succeed today. And yes... we feel good. We need that kind of attitude to play good golf. You need to tell yourself you will succeed and dressing well actually helps us do that.
So while I will not say whether I think the new regulations on the LPGA are the right thing or not, I will say that I believe that we need to make everything in life more special. From work to golf, we need to make each activity something to celebrate and if we want to play better golf... we need to dress for success.






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