The U.S. Open is one of the toughest tests in golf and Shinnecock Hills Golf Club did not make for an easy one. With the weather changing as quickly as the putts rolled, the pros had to be prepared for the worst at every turn. While the old adage “you’ve got to look good to play good” rings true, it’s also possible to look good and play worse. Despite some of the ugly scores being posted, the attire was anything but. Let’s break down the style trends at Shinnecock and where to buy each item so you can integrate the pieces into your own scripting.
Incorporating patterns and bright colors into your trouser rotation can be a delicate process. If you’re not mindful of the fit, balance the outfit and coordinate colors, you can end up looking like bad wallpaper. When done right, unique pants can class up a golf outfit for any occasion. The key is to keep the rest of the outfit very, very simple. Think: clean solid golf shirt with minimal details. The pants are the focus point here, so let them shine.
Justin Thomas’ Thursday Ralph Lauren 4 Way Stretch Printed Grasshoppers Pants ($165) suited the 25-year-old well. Paired with a soft pink golf shirt (Ralph Lauren Stretch Vintage Lisle Resort, $90) that popped against the navy pant, the green grasshopper print was on full display.
During the second round at Shinnecock, Sulman Raza made his pro debut in Greyson Printed Montauk Trousers ($140). The Cote of Arms print is regal without being too loud and the light blue coloway is perfect for a young pro like Raza. He topped it with a two-toned blue golf shirt (Tala Polo Emperor, $90) that matched the color of the print expertly.
If prints aren’t your speed, try some new colors. While this option is a bit more toned down than the print-alternative, the same rules should apply. Keep your shirt and accessories clean and simple. Reds, pinks and blues are always a good option that really pop in the summer. Again, tailoring is key to keeping the look clean. Baggy, colorful pants run the risk of looking like pajama bottoms, which is the last thing you want to look like you are wearing on the golf course.
Daniel Berger’s second-round look was similar to Raza’s, minus the prints and with the addition of some strong detailing. His Lacoste Sport Technical Golf Pants ($145) were a bright shade of blue that was flattering on the 25-year-old. On top, the Lacoste Sport Lettering Stretch Technical Jersey Golf Shirt ($98) in a darker shade of blue had an inner placket that matched the pant coloring, a smart move. Since both pieces were mostly solid, his custom blue gator belt also worked well. Be mindful that bold belts attract the eye to your waistline, so this is a move best fit for sleeker builds.
Rugby shirts are a trend from the 1950’s that will always be stylish. The bold horizontal stripes are preppy, athletic and great for golf. Typically rugby shirts are made with thick cotton that can withstand the most brutal scrums, but golf apparel designers have stepped up to make lightweight and technical versions that are summer-golf approved. Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson had multiple stripes in play at Shinnecock with very different approaches. Koepka’s best look was bright and duel-toned while DJ went for a darker, color blocking stripe.
Koepka wore the Nike Zonal Cooling Golf Polo ($75) all four days of the tournament. The first colorways were white and gray—nothing to phone home about. His weekend looks were much more stylish in an orange/coral on Saturday and gray/blue on Sunday. The two-tone coloring with these shades kept the look light and seasonal.
Johnson’s Thursday Adidas Ultimate Rugby Stripe Golf Polo ($75) was a simple gray and white, but the red contrasting placket lining kept it from getting boring. The relaxed fit suits the stripes, you’ll typically want to avoid tight stripes as they’ll make you look wider. He paired the shirt with a pair of gray trousers that complimented gray stripes, a great choice. On Saturday, the 2016 U.S. Open winner wore a purple and gray version of the Rugby Stripe Shirt. It’s an extremely approachable shade of purple, softened by the contrasting grays.
Subtle Patriotic Themes
Aside from team events, the U.S. Open is the perfect venue for American pros to bear our country’s colors. While it is easy to stick a flag across your golf shirt and call it patriotic fashion, sometimes the subtle style moves are the most meaningful. Simple red, white and blue solids or stripes get the USA message across without looking like that annual Old Navy Fourth of July shirt your niece wears every year.
Bubba Watson is about as an American golfer as they come. He’s been known to don the colors across his golf shoes, and the U.S. Open was no different with his custom G/FORE Disrupter Shoes. These hybrids were toned down compared to Watson’s typical eye-catching shoes, but the mod pattern worked very well with his subtle patriotic getup.
Watson kept the rest of his outfit simple while still maintaining the patriotic theme with a fresh-looking Oakley Aero Stripe Jacquard Polo ($75) on top and Oakley Take Pro Pant ($75 on bottom. For a little more red in his ensemble, Watson opted for a scarlet G/FORE Glove ($35). The colorful glove was a great way to highlight all the USA colors, but you should be mindful when working with bold colors in your golf glove to avoid looking cartoonish. As always, bright accessories work best with simple outfitting, like Watson’s first-round attire.
Berger’s final-round apparel was inherently patriotic, while also giving him a polished look. His Lacoste Striped Tech Jaquard Jersey Polo Shirt ($98) was a vibrant red with understated tone-on-tone stripes. Over the tailored navy Lacoste Technical Golf Pant ($145) and topped with a simple white hat, Berger’s outfit was classic and patriotic, without trying too hard.
Russell Knox went for a touch more overtly patriotic look during the final round in the Vineyard Vines Engineer Three Color Stripe Sankaty Polo ($85). The stripes vary in thickness for a more flattering look and the color block design gives the shirt a unique touch to differ from other striped golf shirts. To hit the ensemble home, Knox added the Vineyard Vines and Smathers & Branson collaboration belt ($165). The needlepoint flag whale print is fun, timely and not too loud. The base of the belt matches his Vineyard Vines Fairway Tech Pants ($125) for a perfect subtle-yet-patriotic look.
Not-So-Subtle Patriotic Themes
The simple reds, whites and blues at the U.S. Open were expertly done. Those ensembles are great all year long and easy to put together for a patriotic holiday weekend like Memorial Day or Fourth of July, but sometimes you want a little more blatant show of patriotism and professional golfers are no different. With the Fourth of July and Ryder Cup just around the corner, these firework-inducing outfits will show off that USA pride from a mile away.
Bryson DeChambeau debuted a fun custom Puma flat brim cap (Tour Driver Golf Cap, $40) with a flag on the back all week that was too cool, but the flag-waving didn’t stop there. During the final round, he upped the ante by adding the Puma Volition CK6 America Golf Polo ($75). This shirt is a part of the Puma Volition America Golf Collection that supports our military—a patch on the arm displays the Volition logo. Contrasting America lettering down the back of the shirt gives the shirt a crisp, customized feel. His Puma Stretch Pounce Golf Pants ($80) are a fan favorite on the course and during summer events. That extra stretch adds comfort and a little room for dessert.
Dylan Meyer also made his professional debut at the U.S. Open thanking his lucky stars and stripes in the Travis Mathew Gibli Pocket Polo ($85). The three-button polo is a clean dark navy that stylishly displays the flag on the pocket. The cotton-blend shirt looked light and airy on the 23-year-old and is perfect for summer barbecues and weekend rounds.
Scott Piercy’s Izod Knit Polo Shirt ($60) was another bold-yet-classic display of the stars and stripes. Full-flag shirts are fun, but this thin design is stylish and flattering while still screaming “USA.” The inner collar featuring a contrasting red pulls the look together and lightens up the blue top. While you might be tempted to add a full-flag cap on top of this look, take a cue from Piercy with his simple navy cap. It keeps the patriotic look from going overboard and just looking like a costume.
One of our favorite shirts of the tournament was Trey Mullinax’s Vineyard Vines NYC Skyline Sankaty Polo ($85). The bold colors are divided by a depiction of the New York City skyline to give the performance polo a stylish finish.