With spring reluctantly beginning to suggest itself in parts of the country, you and most every other golfer will shortly be taking annual assessment of your equipment and collateral gear. New clubs will be demoed and purchased, balls restocked and shoes shined. Now would also be a good time to clean out some of those old golf shirts crammed into the dresser drawer.
Chances are, there’s a lot of unnecessary fabric in there. We’re not just talking about having too many shirts—we know their mysterious ability to multiply over time—but rather, there’s probably too much of each shirt.
For some reason the American male golfer reflexively reaches for the XL any time he’s making a purchase. It may take the guesswork out of shopping, but it’s made us look like a nation of sloven, frumpish-looking golfers trying to hide beneath billowing folds of Nylon and Elastine. Do we need any more help in appearing out of shape? And think of the waste! For god’s sake, sirs, there are people in Northern climates freezing for want of those extra yards of material draped around your waist and arms!
The Checklist has never understood how golfers who obsess about equipment and technology, who spend hundreds if not
thousands of dollars to have their bag custom fit from driver through putter and who are meticulous about the brand of ball they play, will carelessly buy shirts off the rack at sizes too large. If we can inspire you with one thought while shopping this season it is this: Fit.
To be fair, most golf shirt manufacturers do us no favors in assuming that we’re all barrel-shaped and prefer wearing curtains for sleeves. But take note: Just as too large a suit makes you look like a schmuck in the board room and court room, the same is true for the locker room when you wear a golf shirt built for two.
It takes no extra time to dress for golf as you would for any other proper occasion, only awareness that yes, size does matter. Some men require an XL or larger—you know who you are—but the rest of us would appear much slimmer and of-the-times by downsizing to a large or medium. (In all honesty, considering the way many brands are cut, most of us should start with a small and work from there).
If you have an average build, a good place to start shopping for trimmed shirts that fit well is fairwaystyles.com, an online store that carries sharp, tailored brands such as Travis Mathew, J. Lindeberg and Ian Poulter.
Otherwise, if you’re sticking with the Ashworths or Cutter & Bucks of the industry, at least
try to move down one size. Pay attention to the length of the sleeve—it should stop at least one to three inches above the elbow with a minimum of flapping.
You play better when you feel better, and you feel better when you look better. The easiest way to immediately look better is to pay attention to fit.