The LPGA’s “go global” strategy has been creating cultural exchanges of all kinds, and one of them is not for the color blind.
Earlier this year in Singapore, Jiyai Shin helped Michelle Wie into a Korean hanbok, and Ai Miyazato dressed Paula Creamer in a Japanese kimono. That was pre-tournament, of course, but even during the tournament first-round leader Chie Arimura fielded press room inquiries about her outfit, featuring a red-white-and-blue V-neck sweater with large stripes.
“My sponsor has very cute outfits,” Arimura said, touting ViVa Heart. “When we play in the U.S., we tend to wear simple outfits. But when we play in Asia, we tend to wear colorful outfits, especially in Japan, where it is more fashionable.”
Consider the eye-popping combination Na On Min donned for the pro-am at the Kraft Nabisco in 2011. The turquoise pants trimmed in orange and orange shirt trimmed in turquoise jumped off the putting green.
“Louis Castel in Korea sent me outfits for the tournament, and they are all colorful,” Min said. “One of them is yellow and blue, another one mostly pink. I love it. It’s true, on the Japanese golf tour and the Korean golf tour the players wear brighter colors.”
Christine Chun, a New York designer who has created Ladyb, a feminine apparel line targeting young women, says that women in her native Korea will spend an hour in front of a mirror dressing for golf.
“The girls there really dress up, because it is not just about your score but about mingling and representing yourself,” she said. “It’s fun, and I want to bring that to the U.S. I want all the lady golfers to be pretty.”
If this trend goes global, they’ll at least be easy to spot in a crowd.
This article first appeared in the May edition of GottaGoGolf Magazine.