10+ Most Controversial Golf Outfits and Why They Made Headlines!

Most Controversial Golf Outfits

Golf, often perceived as a sport steeped in tradition and etiquette, has seen its fair share of controversies, not least of which involve attire.

The outfits worn by players can sometimes stir the pot, drawing attention for reasons beyond mere fashion.

Here, we delve into the most controversial golf outfits and explore the stories behind their headlines.

10+ Most Controversial Golf Outfits (Dress Code Debates)

1. John Daly’s Loudmouth Pants

John Daly, known for his flamboyant personality, took it a step further with his choice of pants.

His Loudmouth pants, featuring bold patterns and bright colors, clashed with golf’s traditional dress code, making a statement that was too loud for some purists’ tastes.

Loudmouth Pants.

2. Rickie Fowler’s All-Orange Ensemble

Rickie Fowler, with his preference for bright colors, once wore an all-orange outfit, including pants, a shirt, a hat, and shoes. 

In actuality, his monochromatic statement, back memories of his time at Oklahoma State University, was a bold move in the typically subdued golf fashion scene, drawing both admiration and criticism for its foolishness.

3. Payne Stewart’s Plus Fours

Known for wearing plus fours, a type of trousers that end four inches above the knee, paired with knee-high socks.

This throwback to early 20th-century golf attire was controversial for its stark contrast to the modern golf fashion trends, yet it became Stewart’s signature style, celebrated for honoring golf’s heritage.

4. Ian Poulter’s Union Jack Trousers

The Union Jack flag was once featured on trousers worn by Ian Poulter.

A patriotic display at an international event was seen as bold and somewhat provocative, challenging the unspoken rules of golf attire while showcasing national pride in an unmissable fashion.

5. Jesper Parnevik’s Upturned Bill Cap

The way Jesper Parnevik wore his cap was more than a fashion statement; it was a trademark look that defied conventional golf cap styles. 

Having such a distinctive style set him apart, sparking conversations about individuality versus tradition on the golf course.

6. Michelle Wie’s Athletic Wear

Michelle Wie’s preference for athletic, form-fitting attire, including leggings and skirts, has been a point of contention.

Her modern, fitness-oriented approach to golf wear has clashed with more traditional views, pushing the boundaries of what’s acceptable and expected in women’s golf fashion.

7. Doug Sanders’ Psychedelic Shirts

In the 1970s, Doug Sanders was known for his psychedelic shirts, full of bright colors and bold patterns.

At a time when golf attire was predominantly conservative, Sanders’s shirts were seen as a rebellion against the status quo, making him a fashion icon in the golf world for challenging norms.

8. Billy Horschel’s Octopus Pants

A lot of eyes were on Billy Horschel in the U.S. with his octopus-print pants. 

With its unusual choice, it was a departure from the typical solid colors or subtle patterns, sparking debates about the appropriateness of such playful designs in the solemn setting of one of golf’s major tournaments.

9. Ryan Moore’s Tie and Vest

Golf Tie and Vest Outfit.

Ryan Moore’s decision to wear a tie and vest on the course was a nod to golf’s early days.

This old-school approach was controversial for its deviation from the sport’s casual, modern dress code, blending vintage style with professional golf in a way that not everyone appreciated.

10. Lexi Thompson’s Off-the-Shoulder Top

Lexi Thompson appeared in a magazine wearing an off-the-shoulder top, a choice that, while not worn during actual play, sparked debate over what is considered appropriate attire for female golfers.

This incident highlighted the ongoing conversation about dress codes for women in golf, reflecting broader discussions on gender, professionalism, and personal expression within the sport.