The Cashmere Sweaters That Have Changed Golf
Golf is one of the most unusual sports in the world as its seemingly simple and loose ruleset is underpinned by a comprehensive list of decisions and rulings that makes it far more complex and restrictive than it originally appears.
This is often most easily seen in the dress codes for many golf clubs and competitions, as whilst there are not too many written rules surrounding what you can and cannot wear, there are a lot of unwritten rules and expectations that limit the ways players can express themselves on the course.
One player and one piece of cashmere clothing managed to change that, to the point that he would gain the nickname “cashmere” as a result of his fashion choices on and off of the course.
The American player Keith Mitchell was inspired by his father as well as golf greats from the past, who would traverse the course in naturally breathable materials, and once he left his college team and the initial period of PGA endorsements and the Nike sponsorship that came with them in 2020, he looked to change his look with cashmere.
He opted for a sponsorship deal not with a major sportswear manufacturer but instead with a relatively small menswear label that specialised in natural fabrics, beltless trousers and the cashmere sweater that garnered Mr Mitchell the nickname “Cashmere Keith” on the course.
Whilst these were fashions that had a history in golf, they were unusual choices in a modern sporting landscape after the rise of Tiger Woods.
This influx of attention from sportswear manufacturers shifted the style of golf fashion away from traditional silhouetted polo shirts and cashmere trousers and towards synthetic fabrics, ostentatious logos and a focus on performance over all other factors, one that seemed permanent.However, one of the top players in the world with a win on the PGA Tour and several top ten finishes this year alone focusing on luxury style and comfort and still being successful shows a potential shift in the swing of the pendulum.