Payne Stewart and the 25 Best Dressed Golfers of All Time
Building a Track and Field dynasty is one of the hardest things to do for a coach. With only 12 scholarships to give out he has to choose wisely on who gets those scholarships and not lean to heavily on one event group.
The Ducks men have made mistakes in that area, leaning too heavily on distance runners and not building a deep Sprint Corps. But things are starting to change.
Head Coach Vin Lanana and his assistants Robert Johnson and Andy Powell have started to more evenly distribute those 12 scholarships between the eight event groups—short sprints, long sprints, hurdles, mid-distance, long distance, jumps and throws.
Let's take a look at Oregon's 2011 recruiting class.
No particular order. I will be doing the women sometime next week.
25. Paula Creamer
What better place to start than with the only female on the list?
Pink has become a big part of Paula Creamer's game, and it's not just her clothes. It starts there, but it also goes to things like golf balls and club covers.
Not unlike many golfers on this list, her attire actually overshadows her actual game. She is one of the more accomplished women's golfers in the world, but the pink outfits get a lot of the attention when her name comes up.
Conversely, maybe the pink outfits help her. Golf is largely a mental game, so if wearing pink gives Creamer a sense of confidence, who's to say how big or little of an impact it's made on her career?
24. Ben Curtis
As we've seen with the recent lockout discussions, people in this country (myself included) love football.
It's the most popular sport in the country, so wearing a golf shirt and hat with the logo of the local team is a very nice way to get the local fans behind you.
Really, there is nothing to it. It's a contract with the NFL that not only gets Ben Curtis money and notoriety, but also the support of the local galleries. When you stop and think about it, it's pretty smart.
23. Adam Scott
Let me give the single, male readers a piece of advice. If you go to a golf tournament in hopes of finding a date, follow Adam Scott's group.
There's nothing that stands out too much about his attire, but he wears it in a way that helps him stand out.
That's not to diminish Scott as a golfer in any way. With 19 worldwide wins, he is more than just a good looking, well dressed guy. His game has certainly done the talking for him.
22. Camilo Villegas/Chris DiMarco
Call me a sucker if you want to, but I am a big fan of college football. Also, while I am not a huge fan of Florida, I have always liked Tim Tebow.
This was also a nice way to show unity between two golfers of different ages and different backgrounds. Sure, it's simple, but so what?
As for Villegas, he is not unlike Scott, although his clothes are usually a little brighter. He made a name for himself early his career with strong performances, but also a strong sense of style. When he broke through and won, people already knew who he was.
21. David Duval
As an adult, I know that there are reasons for Duval wearing the big sunglasses that aren't centered exclusively around style. But had I known those reasons as a kid, it wouldn't have mattered.
Here's what I knew about Duval when I was a kid, just becoming a golf fan: He was one of the best golfers in the world and he looked cool doing it.
That's all that mattered.
20. Billy Mayfair
Maybe he was just sucking up to the rowdiest crowd in the world, but who cares?
In 2009, Billy Mayfair donned an Arizona Cardinals jersey on the 16th hole at the TPC at Scottsdale. This was significant because it was just before the Cardinals were going to play in what is to date, their only Super Bowl.
In 2011, he put on a Pat Tillman jersey from his Arizona State days. Like Tillman, Mayfair attended Arizona State. To put icing on the cake, many of the rowdy fans on the 16th hole attend or attended ASU.
The stage was perfect, and Mayfair nearly aced the hole, lipping his tee shot out.
19. Graeme McDowell
Graeme McDowell is included here for a reason similar to Mayfair. He doesn't have a career of being a particularly noteworthy dresser, but he has one moment where his outfit was a top-notch tribute.
The 2011 Players Championship served as a tremendous tribute to the recently deceased Seve Ballesteros.
Pick a moment that stands out. The red ribbons worn by all of the golfers to pay tribute to Seve and his Spanish heritage was a nice touch.
Tim Clark asking for the Spanish flag to be waived instead of the South African flag was a nice gesture.
Neither of those two gestures were at all surprising.
Graeme McDowell's Sunday gesture was not surprising either, as he dressed like Ballesteros with a navy blue shirt and pants.
He wasn't the only one to do that, but he gets the nod here because he did so from the final pairing on Sunday.
In the grand scheme of things, the Players Championship in 2011 was not only a great tournament, but also a great tribute to one of the best golfers the world has ever seen.
The PGA Tour and its players deserve a nice tip of the cap for this one.
18. Fred Couples
Before seeing him swing a golf club, it wouldn't be hard to mistake Fred Couples as a guy who doesn't play a lot of golf.
He doesn't wear a glove and he frequently wears deck shoes.
Now, he has one of the prettiest swings the game has ever seen, so the thought that he doesn't play a lot wouldn't last long.
I am sure that wearing no glove and deck shoes helps Couples golf better. It would make no sense for anyone whose living depends on playing golf to do anything to intentionally hinder themselves.
But Couples just looks so relaxed on the golf course. As accomplished as he is, Couples isn't one of the best golfers in the history of the game, he just has the most laid back look the game has ever seen.
17. Tommy Gainey
Gainey is unlike Couples in just about every way.
They are similar in that neither have a "traditional" golf look. But Gainey's swing is far from classic, which is where he differs from Couples.
He is also different because where Couples wears no glove, Gainey wears two. This is what gave him the simple nickname of "Tommy Two-Gloves," which became known to fans when he was on The Big Break.
Like with Couples, wearing two gloves does not put Gainey at a disadvantage, he does it because it helps him.
But before Gainey ever played in a tour event, he was known because of his two gloves. Sure, the gloves are a part of equipment, but they are also a part of the wardrobe.
16. Ryo Ishikawa
Although his red pants stand out, this inclusion is more of for overall look.
His outfits and hair have already inspired a driver cover, which is pretty impressive given his age.
As for the outfits, it's a nice tribute to his homeland. He has the game to make him stand out, but his outfits made him well known before we ever saw him swing a club.
15. Bobby Jones
Jones is included to represent any golfer pre-1930.
It was a much different look that had to hinder the golfers and their swings. Include the inferior equipment, and it's hard to imagine even the best golfers in the world breaking 80.
Somehow they managed to, but the look that they gave us was so different than anything we have been used to for a long time.
14. John Daly
Everything about John Daly stands out.
For a while, the sponsors on his shirts resembled what you would see in NASCAR.
Now, his look is loud. His shirts and hats are bright and his pants are multi-colored.
When he is on the golf course, Daly stand out, even when he's struggling. Even if his look doesn't meet your personal taste, it's hard to argue with anyone who stands out at all times.
13. Duffy Waldorf
At 48 years old, Duffy Waldorf is clearly past his prime.
He may not have much of a name to younger golf fans, but in his prime, Waldorf always found a way to make himself known.
His golf balls were always different, as his wife and kids would write reminders to him on them.
As far as clothing goes, his shirts and hats were always bright colored and easy to spot.
Golfers can look robotic at times, as they can all look very similar to each other. It may not be fair to call them robots, but without hearing them talk, they can give that appearance.
So, it's refreshing to see a golfer like Waldorf, who was never mistaken as the world's best golfer, show that he doesn't take himself too seriously.
12. 1999 US Ryder Cup Team
These shirts were worn on what may be the most memorable day of golf there has ever been, and they are almost as hard to forget as Justin Leonard's winning putt. Okay, maybe not, but you get the point.
In principle, the idea was a good one, to have a picture of all of the USA's successful Ryder Cup teams. The Americans had dropped two Ryder Cups in a row and although it wasn't known when the shirts were thought of, they would be trailing by four points on Ryder Cup Sunday.
Unfortunately, ideas frequently look better in the imagination than they do in reality, and that's what seemed to happen here.
If nothing else, how does a team representing a country whose flag is red, white, and blue end up with an outfit that doesn't have even a trace of any of those colors?
Nevertheless, it stands out. Maybe the shirts just distracted the European golfers enough to get them out of their game. That's the explanation I am going with.
11. Ben Hogan
This is just another nod to the golfers of the past. Hogan isn't as old as Bobby Jones, but the look then was still a lot different.
We've seen Hogan in wool caps and in the picture here, we see him dressed very dapper, with the Claret Jug in his arms.
There is nothing wrong with the way we dress today, but it is nice to be reminded of past eras, where everyone always seemed to at least wear a jacket whenever they were in public.
10. Sam Snead
Sam Snead wore the straw hats for his entire career. That's not exactly a common look on the golf course, but he made it work.
Another thing that Snead would do when he was playing poorly was play barefoot. Like using no gloves (or two gloves), playing barefoot was more of a swing-aid than fashion statement, but for the sake of this list, it works as both.
When we look back at Snead's life and career, we certainly remember all that he accomplished. But when looking back at his career, we also think about things like the bare feet and the straw hats.
9. Greg Norman
Greg Norman is another golfer who will be remembered for a lot of things.
His sense of style may or may not be the first thing that people think of, but it definitely was there.
In addition to being a golfer, The Great White Shark is also something of an entrepreneur.
He has a high-end line of clothing, which is an immediate sign that he is making an impression on someone.
Lastly, the hats (like the one seen above) are quite memorable. This was in an era where golfers were starting to wear baseball hats more often.
It's not that Norman never wore baseball hats, but these hats are more associated with him.
Yes, we'll always remember the great moments and heartbreaking losses that Norman had; but his sense of style has given us more to remember.
8. Rickie Fowler
Rickie Fowler has a lot of potential. He's touted as the future of American golf and honestly, it's hard to argue against that.
But as of right now, he hasn't won anything as a professional. Still, he's one of the most identifiable golfers in the world.
We know about the bright clothes and big Puma hats. We know that he likes to wear his hat backwards during interviews, except at Augusta.
Fowler has a bright future in the game of golf, but it's hard to imagine a time that his outfits won't be quick to come to our minds when we hear his name.
7. Ian Poulter
Over the last few years, Ian Poulter has become one of the best golfers in the world.
Still, we have known all about Poulter for a longer period of time. He was always good, he was just disproportionately well known. Only recently has that ratio evened out.
He's gone with the Rod Stewart look in the past, with both his hair and outfits.
What I will always remember is when he wore pants designed like the American Flag for the US Open. Of course, a month later, the Brit wore pants designed like the Union Jack at the British Open.
It's certainly hard to say that someone who wears pants like that isn't trying to be recognized before the tournament even started. Mission accomplished.
6. Ryan Moore
Ryan Moore finds this high a position because while golfers of past eras had to wear dress shirts and ties, modern golfers don't.
At one point, Moore even turned down sponsorship deals so that he could wear his own clothes.
Looks like the one in this picture serve as a great tribute to the golfers of the past, and that will always score points with me.
5. Jack Nicklaus
The reason Nicklaus is on this list is simple. The reason he is this high on the list is simple.
The Golden Bear has more green jackets than anyone. The green jacket is is the greatest article of clothing in golf. Any questions?
4. Jesper Parnevik
Jesper Parnevik's father was a circus clown. His father told him that whatever he did in life, he needed to find a way to stand out.
Parnevik has done that, making a name for himself all around the world.
Whether it's playing in one of the windiest tournaments of the season but wearing pants tight enough to not flap in the wind, wearing his hat with the bill up, or the more recent disco look, Parnevik has always stood out in any crowd that he was a part of.
3. Gary Player
Gary Player, the Black Knight. The name just sounds cool.
It's not that Player was a particularly intimidating person. In addition to being fairly diminutive, he has been one of the classiest players the game has ever seen. It's hard to believe that intimidation was ever going be a big factor.
But if the black outfits were used to give himself a mental edge, it's hard to say that it didn't work. With nine majors, including the career grand slam, Player is one of the best golfers the game has ever seen.
No, it's not to say that the black clothes won him any tournaments, it was just consistent with him all throughout his career.
2. Tiger Woods
Those who haven't been following golf for long may not have an appreciation of this, but perhaps more than anything, the red shirt is symbolic of one of the best golfers the game has ever seen.
When you're at Yankee Stadium and you hear the opening riff to Metallica's Enter Sandman, you know that Mariano Rivera is coming into the game. More importantly, you know the game is over and the other team knows it too.
The red shirt on Sunday was similar. When you saw him in that red shirt on Sunday, the tournament was over.
Tiger always wears red on Sunday. It's not just when he's winning or in contention. Similarly, Enter Sandman always plays at Yankee Stadium when Rivera enters the game. The Yankees could be down 10-0 and that song will still be played.
This is more about symbolism. The red shirt and Tiger Woods just go hand in hand. Look at any major he's won, Look at any tournament he's won. What shirt is he wearing?
1. Payne Stewart
His death in 1999 was probably the saddest day the sport of golf has ever seen. Frankly, it's one of the saddest days that any sport has ever seen.
The amount of tributes that his friends and competitors came out with in the following weeks spoke volumes about how well liked he was on tour, and how memorable he was.
Stewart once said that when he practiced in normal clothes, nobody recognized him, no matter how good he was playing. Conversely, if he wore the knickers and hat, everyone knew exactly who it was.
After his death, many golfers wore some variation of his trademark outfits.
Stewart's look was just so different than anything that anyone else was wearing. Today, we may look at a guy like Rickie Fowler or Ian Poulter and notice their outfits, but they are wearing the same clothes as everyone else, just in a louder way.
Ryan Moore may be the closest modern golfer to Stewart, but even then, you need to be looking right at him to know that it's him. None of that was the case with Stewart.
You could spot him across a golf course and know exactly who it was. He found a way to make himself notable to fans while at the same time paying a great tribute to the history of the game.
It's absolutely no surprise to me that he was so loved by his competitors, and why even those who played with him for a short time continue to speak so highly of him.
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