Head games: What kind of golf hats do you wear?
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Head games: What kind of golf hats do you wear?

Jun 08, 2023

SAN JOSE - Like every other golfer, I'm trying to look cool on the course.

I'm one of the lucky ones who gets to test various styles and brands as they launch, meaning my wardrobe is constantly evolving as I find the latest and greatest. I have noticed an interesting trend in the last couple of months: when I wear trucker hats, they get noticed. Fellow golfers have been dropping the 'where'd you get that hat?' or 'oh, I like that hat!'

Funny thing is nobody comments on the traditional headgear I want to wear - my cherished logo purchases from Kauri Cliffs or Cypress Point. Maybe they're too much of a humble-brag, but I think the more likely explanation is traditional hats are becoming a bit passé. There are so many choices out there now for your head - bucket hats, trucker hats, logo hats - that only the really good ones draw attention. The rest go unnoticed.

For golfers, what's on your head is as important as what's on your body. Want your hat game to stand out? See if you agree or disagree with my thoughts on some recent trends.

Let's get one thing out of the way: I've never been a visor guy, and that's good because it appears they are going out of style. Both GolfPass and Golf Digest have noticed the trend. Check out this story:

What's happening with the traditional golf hat is a more complicated issue. I've always loved to get a sharp-looking hat from a great course I've just played to proudly wear. Sometimes, though, when when I see somebody else rocking a hat with a fancy club logo, it can feel like a turnoff. Wearing course logos on my head sometimes makes me feel like I'm just a billboard in a marketing campaign. GolfPass Senior Staff Writer Tim Gavrich feels the same way about hats that tout equipment companies. "I would never wear, say, a Titleist or PING or TaylorMade hat unless I was being paid to," Gavrich noted. "The fact that tons of golfers buy those hats and engage in free advertising for the companies that make them has always surprised me."

As I mentioned earlier, I'm enjoying the shift to new styles. I love the trucker hat look. They're different and tend to be worn by younger golfers (which I still daydream to be). A lot of new brands offer trucker hats with unique messaging and pictures. My black Louis Lloyd trucker hat and orange-and-swamp-green Alpine Mountain Ranch trucker hats are the ones that have drawn compliments. The only drawback of the trucker hat is they tend to be more rigid. They take a little longer to break in.

I'm also a big fan of bucket hats. Alas, I just don't think I can pull off the look without feeling dorky. Whenever I'm in a pro shop, I go right to the bucket hat rack to see if I can find one that not only catches my eye but fits my weirdly shaped head. I haven't had any luck yet.

Remember how I said I wanted to look young and cool? I don't consider the biggest fad in golf hats - BIG LETTERS - to be either. At media day for the U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club, every media member got a commemorative hat with BIG LETTERS spelling out GLORY or EPIC. As much as I want to love it, I just can't. It's not for me, and I hope the trend has a short-lived shelf life.

As the pandemic golf boom has introduced younger, more casual players, I'm seeing a few more frat-guy golfers wearing their hats backward. I'm no crusty old-timer - and I certainly don't condone strict golf dress codes beyond a polo - but it's a bit too casual for my tastes. Save the 'rally' caps for the stands of a ballgame when you're watching, not playing.

What's your favorite choice of golf headwear? Let us know in the comments below.

Like the way your article takes a strong, unabashed stand on the your opinions.

I guess I am a crusty old-timer--or at least am halfway there. I actually don't get too worked up about hats worn backwards. I'm not sure if public courses in my area prohibit these, or the large-lettered styles, much at all. Hmmm.

It's funny how hats seem part of our golf identities. Most golfers who consider themselves 'players,' for example, wear a branded hat from one of the big four or five equipment companies. Baseball caps seem the most common choice in New England, but-not all that often--with baseball team names.

I wear a baseball cap, usually with the name of a golf club on the front, or a visor. Once in a great while, I will get a comment on it. Color seems to be just as important as style.