Sunday, August 5, 2012

What to Wear to the PGA Golf Tournament at Kiawah

PGA at Kiawah

This week, the PGA Championship golf tournament will be played near my hometown on Kiawah Island's gorgeous Ocean Course. I have been to The Masters and even to the World Cup in 2003, which was held at Kiawah as well.  So, I know what guests should wear for these shindigs.  Many spectators, though, do not.  Let's clear it all up now for this major championship and many more to come. 

What Men Should Wear to Golf Tournaments

For men, the formula is very simple - khakis or nice shorts with a golf shirt, that being a knit short-sleeved shirt with a collar.  Choose neutral, solid colors, though some conservative stripes would be okay.  A tucked in shirt and belt would score extra points. Remember that your look should be reserved and respectable, not flashy.  A nice, plain cap will keep the sun out of your eyes.  For shoes, wear some sturdy sandals or simple tennis shoes.  If you have some comfy loafers, we will know that you are a true Southerner.  Absolutely no spikes - wearing golf shoes as a spectator is extremely uncool.  At all costs avoid the following:
  • jeans
  • cut-offs
  • tank tops!
  • graphic tee shirts and, in fact, any kind of tee shirt
  • loud colors (please leave the orange Clemson rags at home)
  • flip-flops

What Women Should Wear to Golf Tournaments

It gets more complicated for the fairer sex.  Ladies, put away your tube tops, high heels and red lipstick - this is definitely not the place.  If you are coming to the golf tournament to troll for a man, I am not going to fault you.  But, if you dress like a cheap tart in order to do so, you are crossing the line.

As with Southern favorites like the Kentucky Derby and Carolina Cup, you want to look nice.  It is a special occasion.  Contrary to those two events, though, you also have to be comfortable enough to walk around a good bit.  There is a fine line here for you to be sensible yet stylish, modest yet attractive, and classy yet fun.  So, how do you do it?  I think a list of Do's and Don'ts will serve as the best guide:

  • tasteful sundress (three-finger rule for strap width)
  • preppy shorts/skort and top
  • capris and cute sleeveless blouse
  • visor (sporty look) or simple wide-rimmed hat (more feminine)
  • sturdy sandals or other cute, comfortable flats
  • small purse with long straps
  • clown make-up (heavy make-up and outdoors do not mix)
  • tight clothing
  • loud colors (even if chartreuse green is your best color)
  • thong we can detect
  • spandex!
  • tube top
  • low-cut top
  • spaghetti straps
  • I can't believe I have to mention this one - bikini top
  • jeans
  • Daisy Duke shorts
  • flip-flops
  • heels (dirt and grass - you are walking around in dirt and grass)
  • big bulky purse

So, many of you may be pouting because you really don't want to look like a frumpy nerd, either.  Accessorize for a pretty and feminine look - a chunky necklace, fun belt, or neat earrings may do the trick.

A final word of advice is to check the weather forecast.  You may need to bring an umbrella or rain poncho.  It will be muddy out there if it has rained recently.  Have a lovely time, y'all!

PGA Update: Friday, August 10th

The weather finally allowed me to get out to the golf course today.  These are some observations, not all fashion related:

  • 99.5% of the men wore shirts with collars and were dressed for the occasion.  Nice job! Of the thousands of men I saw, only 3 tee shirts and 1 tank top.
  • 95% of the women were dressed appropriately.  I only saw a few tight tank tops - a bright orange one that stood out like a sore thumb, and a white one with lots of lobster red skin around it.  Note: Don't forget the sunscreen!
  • Most women wore caps or visors, though a few had wide-rimmed hats.
  • Most women wore modest shorts and a sporty top, though the occasional sundress looked very nice.
  • A thin rain poncho works better than an umbrella.  You have to close the umbrella when golfers are playing.
  • No photos or videos on tournament days!  (Silent texting allowed)
  • There really were not that many children there, though juniors are encouraged to come.  Maybe they all came to the practice rounds.
  • Get on the road early, or plan to arrive midday.  Around 9am, there is bumper to bumper traffic the whole way out to the island.
  • The bus ride from the parking lot to the golf course takes 25 minutes, but you get to watch a video about Kiawah and the PGA.
  • Leave the course by 4:00pm.  If you leave around 5pm or so, you will wait a hour just to get on the bus, and then even longer to get out of the parking lot.
Have fun - only two days left!