Are Euros and Youngsters Changing Golf Fashion?

Golfers were all over the place yesterday.

It's that magical April weekend here in CT, the one where temperatures reach high into the 80's and everyone forgets that summer's still two months off.

I managed to play nine holes today, for the first time in a while. I didn't play particularly well but my expectations were low reasonable, and the day was gorgeous, so it turned out to be a delightful round.

The course was busy, so I had high hopes of ferreting out a fashion statement or two for the Real Guys Golf Style Contest, but I'm afraid I came up empty. Every single man was wearing some variation on "subdued polo shirt / Khaki shorts/ baseball cap" theme. And none of those variations was the least bit exciting. Don't get me wrong, a number of these guys looked somewhat hot really good... there just wasn't anything exciting happening fashion-wise. And I suppose that's not too surprising.

Though only an hour from midtown Manhattan, Danbury, CT is pure suburbia, and my course like most suburban courses is a bastion of the baby boom generation.

Last week I had an interesting conversation with John Paul Newport who's written the Wall Street Journal's weekly Golf Journal column since June 2006. He was preparing a story on new directions in golf apparel, and as a baby boomer himself... one who clearly feels most comfortable in "khaki Dockers and roomy polo shirts"... Mr. Newport was puzzled by the profusion of white belts with great big buckles... and the kaleidoscope of raucous colors and patterns that many of today's players are wearing. Because, he remarked, "ironically, it's the same buffoonish, 'Caddyshack look' my generation so consciously shunned.

Mr. Newport's golf apparel piece appeared in yesterday's WSJ. It includes an inspiring slideshow, and suggests that European influence and generational tides may be the main factors behind the changes that are now appearing on the pros, but acknowledges that those changes are not being picked up too quickly on suburban courses.

As for me, I'm going out again today. To see if I can hit a lower score...and maybe find a suburban golf style statement or two.