Proper Golf Attire

By Mary Ann Crimi

Proper Golf Attire

On the cover of the May issue of Golf Digest is a very stylish, trend-setting woman who I believe is a professional golfer, or perhaps a model. She is wearing

all white with the exception of modest red and gray stripes on her shoes, and matching red shoelaces. I believe her name is Paulina, or Heidi, or maybe Twiggy.

I look a little like her if you squint your eyes. I have a new purple golf shirt and a new black skort. My golf shoes are a lovely lavender, with both white and lavender shoelaces. I can wear one pair of laces or the other, or both at the same time. The shoes were a birthday present.

My closet boasts a rainbow array of golf shirts from designers A to U (Adidas to Under Armour). Yes, to look at my wardrobe you would think I had a respectable handicap. Alas, in a foursome, I am the only handicap.

This apparel in my closet is all part of the American Retirement Dream. I have to say, however, this was my husband Tony’s dream and not really mine. It began with a site called Zillow and a search for a condo just steps away from the National Golf Museum in Golf World, Florida: one bedroom, one bath, a microwave and a beer cooler.

I think his impetus for including a suitable – dare I say fashionable? – me in the ARD (American Retirement Dream) may have begun years ago when he planned a winter getaway golf trip for us in Myrtle Beach. I didn’t protest too much as the package deal included an oceanfront room and an indoor pool. However, it was a golf trip, and I was expected to play golf. We outfitted me at the local Good Will: five clubs and an overused golf bag. He didn’t think to outfit the rest of me. Neither did I – until it was too late.

On my bottom half, the best I could do was summer-weight khaki slacks. I was golf savvy enough to know I needed a shirt with a collar for the top, but here all I could muster was a wrinkle-resistant business blouse.

Oh, and did I mention I had never played before? It was one thing to plan to play with my husband, but golfers come in fours. That meant playing with two strangers. Two strangers who could actually play golf. Tony told me not to worry. We would be in Myrtle Beach. We would never see these people again.

Here is the best part of the story. The woman was gorgeous in her Liz Claiborne matching ensemble. Her husband was wearing Greg Norman, I believe. Tony was ever so handsome in Peter Millar. Liz played admirably. Tony and Greg kept pace. I can proudly say I never lost a ball. Of course, that was because I only hit grounders. Short grounders. And because I often threw my ball. And because I gave up on the tenth hole, but I had a wonderful ride in the cart.

Of course, we chatted with these golfing strangers. What do you do? Where are you from? Dundalk? Dundalk! The ‘burb just a short putt down ’95 from our house? What! Your brother-in-law runs the cleaning shop where Tony takes his dress shirts? What? I teach your sister’s daughter?

“Oh, Ms. C. What a lovely outfit you are wearing to school today! But aren’t those your GOLF CLOTHES?”

I was humiliated. Even though I know it’s only a game.

I think Tony felt badly for me, too. Shortly after that trip, on Valentine’s Day, I received my first golf shirt. I already told you that I got golf shoes for my birthday. For my anniversary I got my very own unused clubs.

Then the golf shirts began arriving at random. At first, I thought our marriage was resuming its early days – you know, flowers for no reason except an appreciation that I had conceded to be his wife. Eventually, I realized that one more shirt meant free shipping for his latest model titanium club. One new shirt arrived with monogrammed golf balls. My next shirt came with a golf video and some kind of parachute practice club.

And then one day we actually retired. I managed to expand the ARD to include two extra bedrooms and another bath. And a beach if we look south. To the east, west and north, however, we are surrounded by golf courses.

Once here, Tony offered to take me to a driving range to give me a few pointers. After about ten minutes, he assumed I was deaf to his instructions and repeated them all again, this time more loudly. I asked him to pretend I was his date instead of his wife. The next day he found an ad in the paper for a golf clinic – for me. I went. Good sport that I am, I attempted all the golf tricks.

I practiced. I used the parachute thingy-majig. And today, I can honestly say I have peaked. My average score? Honey, there is no score. I don’t do upper-level math.

But I have found a few friends who play my game. We really like driving the golf cart. We easily keep pace with the other golfers because we never, never hit over water. Or sand. And we always throw our balls or carry them with us if we start to get too tired.

After a round of golf, we often stop at the clubhouse for lunch.

And we look great. If you squint your eyes.

About this writer

  • Mary Ann Crimi has been writing since first grade but only recently has found time to revise. Retired and rested, she now meets her muse in coffee shops, at the beach, and on the porch on the border of North and South Carolina.

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3 Responses to “Proper Golf Attire”

  1. Karen says:

    This was hilarious! When I think of retiring I think ……what am I going to do all day? Do I take up golf or shopping or sightseeing? It seems like this article may have given me one of my answers. I also remember her other story about yoga… her humor!

  2. Love this article. So humorous. She strikes just the right balance between the humor of the lessons and finding the right thing to wear. after all, how good can one’s golf be if you are not dressed right? Conversely, with the right attire, why bother with scores?

  3. Karen C says:

    I have those shoes as well…mine are black and white and match my golf bag :) Mary Ann’s muses have a way of reflecting life’s experiences to which we can all relate…even if we don’t golf. I really enjoy her writings. She’s inspired me to head to the greens and throw a few balls for myself today!

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