Real men now equip themselves with golf gear in pink, poppy, key lime and any conceivable color wheel concoction, but what about women? And how do our color choices reflect and impact our attitude toward the game?
Pink appeared to be the new power color in golf -- judging by Masters champ Bubba Watson’s taste in both couture and Ping G20 driver.
But then Cobra Golf released a vibrant orange AMP driver as an homage to its popular tour rep, Rickie Fowler, who covers himself in neon orange to match his big stick.
Meanwhile, over on the LPGA, Mika Miyazato favors Rickie-blushed golf balls and grips -- because her nickname, “Mikan,” means “tangerine” in Japanese. Suzann Pettersen seems to prefer flesh tones (if her stint as a nude model for ESPN The Magazine’s 2012 Body Issue is any indication).
And then, of course, there’s the legacy of Tiger Woods, who long ago made red and black synonymous with Sunday and perhaps pioneered the concept of “power colors” in golf.
“Tiger [wears his power colors] with some purpose,” said Mark Woodman, president of Color Marketing Group, a nonprofit association that forecasts color and design trends. “He probably needed some stronger reds the last couple of years, but he seems to be doing a little better.”
Athletes are nothing if not superstitious, so it’s hardly surprising that golfers would include favorite pigments among their many fetishes. Cobra, which aims to liven up the stodgy old game via innovative and creative products, gets that.
“Color is something that can make some golfers happy and allows them to bring a piece of themselves out in their equipment,” said Tom Preece, Cobra’s vice-president of research and development. “This positive impact could lead to better play and even more fun on the course.”
Looking good, scoring low?
My member-guest partner and I put the color-fun equation to a test. After breaking out our loudest Loudmouth fashions for the occasion, we proceeded to fire a better-ball 76 (gross) and torch the field by six strokes. Wearing my conventional golf duds the next day, I put the field to sleep by impersonating a 40-handicapper 18 long, raggedy holes.
That doesn’t surprise to Wes Brasher, founder and chief executive of colorful equipment vendor Pure Grips, which sponsors the 2012 Oakley Pro-Am Series. During a recent event in Dallas, an Al Czervik look-alike stole the show -- and the trophy.
“He was dressed in bright plaid pants and pink and green from head to toe,” Brasher recalled. “All color-coordinated, he was definitely there to make a statement and he did so with his game; he won.”
When Brasher inquired about his outfit, the winner told him, “‘I feel like if I look good, I feel like I play good.’”
All of which is to say that, though my gear is typically achromatic (despite a short-lived experiment with rainbow-colored Wilson Hope balls and royal blue grips some time back), there just might be something to this color thing.
Cobra takes up the brush
For sure, the creative minds at Cobra, who are serious about helping golfers enjoy themselves during those six-hour rounds at the muni, believe color has an impact. The company, in conjunction with design experts from its Puma apparel and footwear side, surveys consumers and its pro players about color combinations, and investigates future trends in chromaticity, graphics, and design.