When it comes to men’s golf attire, a pretty standard image comes to mind: tailored slacks or khakis and a polo shirt with a collar. However, long before performance golf shirts became a thing, back in the day, as in the early 1900’s, the typical golf uniform consisted of a stiff button-down shirt, a formal suit, and a tie. The material was made from thick, heavy fabrics like wool, hardly the type of apparel that allowed you to move freely on the links. Golfers looked like they were headed to a boring day at the office instead of a fun afternoon on the golf course. It wasn’t until the 1940’s that men started to ditch the suits and slipped into the short-sleeved cotton polo we’re so familiar with.
Over time, the sleek look popularized by such superstars of the sport as Arnold Palmer during the 50's and 60’s, morphed into hot, itchy fabrics in eye-bleaching patterns. It only got worse, as the boxy, one-size-fits-all aesthetic soon monopolized the scene. Eventually, the shapeless, country club-dad-bod-fit polo that we’re all way too familiar with, began to dominate the green, resulting in an army of weird-fitting golf shirts stretching over beer bellies. Doesn’t exactly inspire visions of the super fit athlete. Fortunately, performance golf shirts and polos were over the horizon (a really, really long horizon.)