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What Your Golf Hat Says About You

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Picture a bright summer day. The sun is shining through the trees and you need something to shield your eyes from the light. A hat!

Just about every professional golfer wears one to protect themselves from sun exposure… and because they get paid big sums of money to put logos on them. The last time I checked, however, 99.9 percent of golfers aren’t fortunate enough to have endorsement deals. So why do the vast majority of golfers in the world generally wear similar hats with very similar logos?

Here’s a list of some of the favorite hats worn by golfers across the world, as well a brief description of the golfers who are probably wearing them.

Titleist Hat

5126.Screen shot 2013-04-08 at 4.01.08 PM

Usually a pretty good player. You’re obsessed with swing mechanics. Most of the other members at your course usually see you on the range with a tripod, an iPad, a launch monitor and at least three alignment rods.

  • Common Line: “Do you mind filming a swing for me?”
  • Shoots Around: 76, but you can shoot in the 90s when the swing gets “off plane.”

Beanie

Black-Slouchy-Beanie

Beanies are totally acceptable in the winter, but very few people have the confidence to wear one in the summer time… and you’re one of them. Somehow you keep your cool, both on and off the course, even though your bank account is overdrawn and your rent is past due.

  • Common Line: “Can I borrow your (insert golf item)? I lost mine.”
  • Shoots Around: 91, but you’re scary consistent.

FootJoy Bucket Hat

FJ_35814_01

You’re obsessed with both the game of golf and sun screen… the SPF 100+ stuff. The white sunscreen streaks on your nose don’t fade until the back nine. You play about twice a week and take three minutes to hit every shot.

  • Common Line: “Need any sunscreen? I have the spray-on stuff, too.”
  • Shoots Around: You always seem to shoot below 85, but it’s never pretty.

TaylorMade Hat

TaylorMade Cap

 

For a brand that literally means “made for you,” you own a hat that is worn by countless other golfers. But you love your new TaylorMade driver, and you want the whole world to know it.

  • Common Line: “I dropped my spin by 500 rpm with this driver!”
  • Shoots Around: 83, but the way you drove it you should have shot 75.

(Insert Name of Financial Institution) Visor

KPMG Visor

 

You’ve been wearing that visor for less than a week, and you’re way overconfident about a recent day trade that made you a few hundred bucks… in less than an hour, of course. Your golf game is terrible, but you play all the time. As an “entrepreneur,” you get to “make your own schedule.” Your playing partners know this before you make it to the first green, which takes a few fatted pitch shots.

  • Common Line: “How is IBM is down 5 percent today! Everyone said it was guaranteed to go up.”
  • Shoots around: 112, but 95 when you’re keeping score.

Budweiser Hat

Bud-Label-Bill-Hat-236173

 

You get hammered before you even make it to the first tee. And whether you’re teeing off at 4 p.m. or 6 a.m., everyone knows within a few minutes of meeting you that you came to the course for a good time. Your cigarillos (usually Swisher Sweets, grape flavor) send a warning to nearby golfers to watch out for shanks, skulls and slices.

  • Common Line: “(Something GolfWRX can’t print about a cart girl).”
  • Shoot Around: Doesn’t keep score, ever.

Nike/Tiger Woods Hat

tw-ultralight-tour-adjustable-golf-hat

Tiger fanatic. You were slightly depressed for the 15 months Tiger wasn’t on the PGA Tour, and you’ve watched the 2016 Hero World Challenge on DVR four times.

  • Common Line: “I’m getting close.”
  • Shoots Around: 80, but you fist pump like a tour player.

Ben Hogan “Cap”

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You’re over the age of 55 (or Bryson DeChambeau), and have read Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons and Power Golf at least three times. You’ve compiled a 50-page journal about what you need to do in your golf swing, and you’ve taped your favorite Ben Hogan quote to your bathroom mirror.

“The ultimate judge of your swing is the flight of the ball,” is your current favorite.

  • Common Line: “Would you mind if I offered you a tip about your swing?”
  • Shoots Around: You rarely break 90 (unless you’re Bryson DeChambeau), but you think your next swing change will have you shooting under par.

MLB Flat Brim Hat

hwl

You’re the guy who pulls driver on every tee box (except the par-3s). You normally out drive everyone in the group, but only hit one or two fairways per round. You’re constantly talking about your minor league days, and how things would have been different if you didn’t throw your arm out.

  • Common line: “I’m soooo sore. It was leg day yesterday, bro.”
  • Shoots Around: 105, but you’re really, really competitive.

Any Other Kind of Flat Brim

Hero World Challenge - Round Three

There are no 10-handicap golfers wearing flat brim hats. If you wear one, you’re either a stud or not very good at all. And you probably love energy drinks, and have at least one tattoo.

  • Common Line: “Do you think the beverage cart girl has Red Bull?”
  • Shoots Around: Under par or over 100.

No Hat

The RSM Classic - Final Round

Legendary: Ollie Schniederjans is one of the few golfers on the PGA Tour who doesn’t wear a hat.

You’re legendary at your club. You break par almost every round.

  • Common Line: “None. You don’t say much on the course.”
  • Shoots Around: 68… from the tips.

What hat do you wear to play the world’s greatest game? Let us know in the comments section below. 

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Joe is studying business at the University of Georgia. He loves golf and occasionally writes for WRX when he's not studying, hanging out in downtown Athens, playing the university course, or managing his social media marketing agency, Samuel 17. With golf participation on decline, he recently discussed how golf courses can use social media to increase revenue.

48 Comments

48 Comments

  1. Miuralovechild

    Feb 6, 2017 at 1:25 am

    Still waiting for someone to make a Miura visor and put it on Ebay.

  2. Golfraven

    Feb 2, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    Still Titleist hat dude, although I have only 2 alignment sticks (but other training gear) and use a iPhone plus. Rest it pretty correct.

  3. M Smizzzzzle

    Feb 2, 2017 at 12:04 am

    Alt facts:
    1. Titleist Hat: Dad hooked you up with everything and you think you’re going pro. You’ll work for him instead.
    2. Beanie: Stoked about new marijuana laws. Dad is ‘waiting’ for you to come around.
    3. Bucket Hat: Glad to just be alive. Dad waiting for kids to move back in any day now.
    4. TM Hat: Just bought your 4th TM set in 4 yrs. Free hat from your ‘buds’ at the shop. Dad’s CC.
    5. Visor: You got ripped off for only buying half a hat. Dad mad.
    6. BW Hat: Your brother in law throwing you a bone to join him after the softball/achilles incident. First and last round. You have twins on the way and the race is coming up.
    7. TW Hat: You wish they had 1080p when this dude was playing because watching the magic on Youtube is so F”N hard.
    8. Hogan Cap: You don’t have a close friend to tell you otherwise. Keep on going out as a single and someone’s dad eventually lets you know. Or you’re pimp AF.
    9. MLB Hat: Used to hit be good in pop warner and heard the swing is ‘basically the same.’ Dad loves his little slugger.
    10. Other Flat brims: ‘Take that thing off when you are inside’. Dad.
    11. No Hat: I’ll take you to the shop after this round if you promise you’ll keep practicing. See #1.

    • Charlie

      Feb 2, 2017 at 3:36 pm

      Great follow up. Had me cracking up

      But why do 8 out of the 11 reasons have to do with Fathers/Dads?!?!? Daddy issues anyone???

  4. M Smizzzzzle

    Feb 1, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    This one stings..

    Shoots Around: 83, but the way you drove it you should have shot 75.

  5. Brendan

    Feb 1, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    Mainly Taylormade hat guy, and other hats on occasion. 0 handicap and College Golfer

  6. ThatGuy

    Feb 1, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    No hat except in winter, 0 hcp

  7. mhendon

    Feb 1, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    Hey can we just start making hats that say XL actually XL, I’ve got a big dome.

  8. Ben

    Feb 1, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Flat bill NBA hat (kings, rockets, okc or toronto)
    Flat bill works well with sunglasses

    29 years, +3

  9. chip

    Feb 1, 2017 at 8:48 am

    Flat brim guy here. Age: 30. Handicap: 1.

  10. chip

    Feb 1, 2017 at 8:47 am

    So according to WRX, theres about a 90% chance that if you wear any type of hat, you’re either not good or just OK. WRX, this article is struggling.

  11. creeder

    Feb 1, 2017 at 4:23 am

    haha, this was a fun article and pretty accurate. i am a flat brimmed guy and yes, i can shoot in the 70s and then over 90 on the same day.

  12. Egor

    Feb 1, 2017 at 1:26 am

    No hat or Mizuno visor, in blue of course. Not a legend (well, not a golf legend) 12 HI.

  13. Jim

    Jan 31, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    I’m beginning to wonder if there’s a correlation between ‘living’ in a golf hat from pee-wee to pro that causes hair loss & receding hairlines in so many young guys on tour…

    • S Hitter

      Feb 1, 2017 at 1:13 am

      No. That is a myth. But a correlation has been made about having wet hair all the time that could lead to hair loss. But it’s mostly just genetics, there are plenty of people who have worn hats all their lives that have full thick hair

  14. David Ciccoritti

    Jan 31, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    I don’t wear a hat and apparently I’m not doing myself any justice 🙂

  15. Philip

    Jan 31, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    Like nothing … someone make a comment about your hat fashion-wear lately? It didn’t match the orange, red and lime green outfit?

  16. Bob

    Jan 31, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    I prefer to not wear a hat but evidently my game doesn’t live up to that level. Also my dermatologist frowns on it.

  17. nate

    Jan 31, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    What about the die-hard brand hats, mizino, ping, calloway, with matching bag and clubs

    • Tom

      Feb 1, 2017 at 12:02 am

      well ya got Ping right. One outta three your a flat brimmer.

  18. Double Mocha Man

    Jan 31, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    What about the visor???!!!

  19. Brian

    Jan 31, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Titleist (MLB) hat, but I’m usually in the 80-88 range.

  20. Marco

    Jan 31, 2017 at 6:50 am

    Haha… I’m no 10 🙂

    Love my flat birm and energy drinks. Can shoot 65 as well as 110 😀

    • Scott

      Jan 31, 2017 at 9:46 am

      65 to 110? I have told you a million times to stop exaggerating.

  21. S Hitter

    Jan 31, 2017 at 2:36 am

    #8: or, you’re just a young plonker with an ugly name like Bryson

  22. MuskieCy

    Jan 31, 2017 at 12:18 am

    Anyone who cares at all about what a hat looks like is a pretender.

    I prefer contenders.

  23. Mitch

    Jan 30, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    “What are we waitin’ for these guys?”
    “Hey Whitey, where’s your hat?”

  24. LaBraeGolfer

    Jan 30, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    What if I wear a white Mizuno hat, a TW hat, a Titleist hat, a Srixon hat, a Bridgestone hat, so on and so forth. I got hats for like almost every day of the month. Except I have to keep throwing the white ones away. Sometimes I go no hat if it’s stupid hot outside or I forget it.

  25. Alex

    Jan 30, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    The no hat comment is hands down the most accurate one. The best player at my club just shows up with no hat, gets hammered, and turns in a 65. Every time. It’s unbelievable.

  26. rymail00

    Jan 30, 2017 at 9:50 pm

    When I see the Hogan hat I hink Byrson or Little Rascals….either way kinda goofy

  27. Acemandrake

    Jan 30, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    I might start rockin’ the bucket hat!

  28. George

    Jan 30, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    I wear a blank white hat. No advertising any company for me. Means I dont need approval

  29. Double Mocha Man

    Jan 30, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    I’m a “no hat” guy. Just call me “Ollie”. I wore a hat once, at Pebble Beach, in the rain. It was from a ski resort. My caddy claimed he had skied there, too. I believed him.

  30. Brad T

    Jan 30, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    look good feel good play good

  31. K dawg

    Jan 30, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    Hats from top private courses say “I am privileged enough to have played this course which means do not argue with me about anything to do with golf. In particular course design”

  32. Moose

    Jan 30, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Free U.S. Open Hat (courtesy of the USGA members program): This guy is very cheap and he drives a Mercedes.

    • teetyme

      Jan 31, 2017 at 11:46 am

      Or a BMW like me. Those hats are light and comfortable. LOL

  33. BooBunkie

    Jan 30, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    My hat says I’m NOT Ben Hogan. That hat should be retired out of respect for The Hawk.

    • Tom

      Feb 1, 2017 at 12:15 am

      so should fast cars outta respect for Benny Parsons

  34. Justwellsy

    Jan 30, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    you forgot the snap back vs flexfit argument… or even worse, the velcro back. For the sake of this argument, no hats with team insignias will be considered, only “golf” brand hats. Velcro back guys are either really good or really bad, there’s no in between. Flex Fit guys are the guys that want to look good on the course. They don’t necessarily achieve their goal, but they’ve consciously thought about it and how other people perceive them is very important. Snap back guy either has a huge dome or is budget conscious. I myself wear a 7 3/4 hat so it’s very tough to find a flexfit hat that doesn’t choke my brain. Oh, and fitted hat guy?? That’s reserved for bald guys who wear “baseball coach” Oakley sunglasses. For us mere mortals, these hats just don’t breathe enough. Full analysis and selection chart to follow when WRX hires me as a staff writer.

  35. KRo88

    Jan 30, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    what about a hat from a nice golf course public/private. or from the Masters?

    • Joe Burnett

      Jan 30, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      Considering I’m usually a Masters hat guy myself, I would argue these tend to be the “best-looking” athletic guys on the course.

  36. Bobtrumpet

    Jan 30, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Ben Hogan “Cap”

    … or if you’re Ty Webb.

  37. Blakester

    Jan 30, 2017 at 11:59 am

    If I had the game to back it up I’d rock the Chi Chi Rodriguez panama hat or some kind of casual fedora on the golf course. I don’t ever wear them in real life (unless I’m on the beach) but they protect your ears better from the sun and would set one apart from all the ball caps out there.

  38. chinchbugs

    Jan 30, 2017 at 11:56 am

    “You’re a funny kid ya know…what time you due back in Boys Town?”

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Hall-of-Famer and career Grand Slam winner Gary Player joins host Michael Williams for an exclusive one-on-one interview at the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf tournament and Big Cedar Lodge in Branson, Missouri. Player talks about the past and future of the game, including his take on everything from reigning in the golf ball and golf courses, to advocating for more testing for performance enhancing drugs on the Tour. Steve Friedlander of Big Cedar Lodge also appears.

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Let’s Retire Old Man Par: A Modest Proposal

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In 1729, Jonathan Swift wrote a satirical essay entitled “A modest proposal,” in which he suggested that the Irish eat their own children. As might be expected, the piece drew a great deal of discussion and controversy. He was of course not serious, but simply attempting to make a point. As you will read this piece contains “A Modest Proposal” as well, but it is not intended to be satirical. I am for the record dead serious.

The golf industry is wringing its hands, trying to find a way to bring new players into the game, while at the same time keeping those that are in the game from leaving. They have initiated any number of programs designed for this purpose. How successful have they been? I would venture that they have barely moved the needle.

Barriers to the game

What we do know is that today there are three major barriers that confront the industry. They are first, the time required to play the game; second the costs associated with playing the game; and third the difficulty of the game.

There are among those adults that start the game, three distinct different groups:

  1. Those who would like to start playing golf but for any number of reasons decided not to take up the game.
  2. Those who once played more frequently but have reduced the number of rounds that they play.
  3. Those who started to play the game but then after a short period decided to leave it.

Those who leave the game

Those in the golf industry, the hand-wringers, have developed any number of programs to bring new players to the game. I would ask the question, “What is the point, when almost an equal number of players that start playing the game each year, decide to give it up within a span of a few months.

Does it make any sense to continue to put water into a bucket when there is a hole in the bottom? Of course not, but that is effectively what is being done. The first question to be ask, why do these new players quit the playing after a short time? In my opinion, the number No. 1 reason is the method of scoring being used.

Were an exit poll to be conducted asking these people why they quit playing, I seriously doubt they would answer truthfully. Who would want to admit that they were discouraged by their inability to succeed at any endeavor? The two answers that would be given the most often would be 1) that golf is too expensive to play; or 2) that they simply didn’t have time.  In this case both answers serve to preserve the individual’s dignity. And who could blame them?

The concept of par

Why did these individuals find the game difficult? The short answer is that while golf is a hard game to learn, there  is a more compelling reason.  I would venture, that the underlying reason they quit the game is that it ceased to be fun because of how they viewed their performance. And for one central reason… the concept of par. The idea that an amateur golfer, especially a beginner, should measure their level of success against an imaginary set of numbers that represents what an expert player would score on each hole is on the surface ridiculous.

You might imagine a beginning player scoring an eight on a par-four hole after hitting six good shots and then two putting for an eight. In the context of their ability, they should be ecstatic — but of course they are not (because as their playing partner reminds them) they were four-over par on that hole. The time has come for Old Man Par to retire. And retire permanently. He is killing the game.

Perceived failure

In another scenario, the beginning player scores sixty for nine holes, which is an excellent score given the short amount of time they might have spent playing the game. And yet their nine-hole score was 24-over par. How would that make you feel? Would you be encouraged or discouraged? You might imagine yourself back in school and regardless of the amount of work that you put into a given class you always receive an “F.” At some point, would you give up?

Why should every golfer be judged by the same standard when there is such inequality in their ability? The equivalent would be placing a high school freshman in a graduate-level college course, expecting that they could perform at the same level as the other graduate students. The disparity in knowledge, based on age and experience, is precisely the reason why there are different grades in school. The same disparity exists among golfers. In this case, the difference being the ability to perform on the golf course as opposed to the classroom.

What about the second group of players that now plays less than they did in the past? Could it be that they are no longer having fun playing the game?And then there is the third group, those that consider playing the game but abandon it for another sport. Could it be that they are intimidated by the scoring system, knowing that as a beginner par is an absolute impossibility?

Old man par 

The legendary Bobby Jones was the first to coin, perhaps with the help of his friend O.B. Keillor, the phrase “Old Man Par.” Jones was, of course, the greatest amateur to have ever played the game. He won the Grand Slam in 1930, retiring then at the age of 28.

The time has come to retire “Old Man Par” and devise a new system for measuring a golfer’s progress in the game. I know that those in the USGA. would reject the concept immediately for fear of, and here is a $10 word used primarily by attorneys, “bifurcate” the game. What that word essentially means in this context in having more than one standard. The USGA is responsible for preserving the nature of the game, but at the same time it should be equally concerned with preserving the future of the game.

Personal par

What I would suggest is a system based on the principle of what might be termed “personal par.” This was essentially the system that was used to groom a young Tiger Woods. As a young child, he was not capable of reaching the longer holes in regulation, making par a virtual impossibility. Consequently, his coach wisely devised a system in which par was adjusted upward based on his ability at a given point in time. This served to keep the young child feeling good about his performance and subsequent progress.

This is the type of system that needs to be devised for the health of the game. The system would begin at a nine-hole level using a par of thirty-six as a basis. The actual numbers are not as important as the basic concept. There would be within the nine-hole and the eighteen-hole groups five different levels as follows with assigned par for each hole and eighteen holes roughly equal with the player’s ability.

As players improved, they would graduate from one level to another based on their total score. The handicap system would work in similar fashion as it does now with a single modification. The strokes give from one player to another would depend on the level in which they fall and the par assigned to that level.

The personal par handicap system would not be as exacting as it is presently used, but it would be sufficient to allow players to be reasonable competitive without any significant sacrifice. There would then be two scoring systems then, allowing players to choose which one they wanted to use. Or a recommendation might be given that until they reach a given scoring threshold that they use the personal par scoring system.

There would, of course, be the usual concern with something new being injected into the system, but the proposed change would be no greater than when the system of equitable scoring was introduced or when courses were first assigned a course rating number.

A few years ago, when life-long teacher and educator Dr. Gary Wiren was inducted into the Golf Teacher’s Hall of Fame, he wanted to pass along a single piece of advice to those teachers in the room. “Gentleman,” he started and then paused for emphasis. “We must find a way to make the game more fun for our students.”

I’m in full agreement with Dr. Wiren. The question is, “What is the best way to accomplish that goal?” I believe that that the first step in that direction is to change the scoring system so that golfers experience more satisfaction and accomplishment. That is what makes learning fun.

And so, I would have you consider “The Modest Proposal” that I have put forward. And rather than attempting to find reasons why a revised scoring system couldn’t never work, for the benefit of the game, look for the same number of reason why it could work. The time has come for Old Man Par, as we know him, to retire. He has served us well, but he has become an anarchism. He is as obsolete as the horse and buggy. Let’s hand him his gold watch and let him enjoy his golden years in peace.

And at the same time, let’s welcome the “new kid on the block” who will pave the way for the next generation of golfers pioneering a scoring system that promises to make the game more “fun.”

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TG2: What’s the most annoying breach of golf etiquette?

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Follow @tg2wrx on Instagram to enter the Bettinardi inovai 5.0 center-shaft putter giveaway.

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