The hot dogs or the bacon rashers?
Red for Tiger? Nike for Rory? Cobra for Bryson? Under Armour to support Jordan Speith? The Original Penguin for Cam Smith or Callaway for an outsider like Marc Warren?
Or maybe Tindall , the royal family’s golfing clothes horse who endorses Royal & Awesome.
What will you be wearing while watching the 150th Open Championship over the historic Old Course at St Andrews?
Something Shagdelic or Loudmouth?
I know what I’ll be. For the first round, in memory of early players of the game, I will be sporting a hardy but bored Scottish shepherd look with thick, gale-resistant hose and a cardigan vest coordinated with swing restricting, rain-defying Norfolk jacket. Maybe sturdy leathers shoes. Certainly a starched collar, a necktie and very practical tall coat or morning jacket and tweed flat cap.
It must not be forgotten that, in 1571, an Act of Parliament decreed the wearing of flat caps for non-nobility to be mandatory.
My wife – who is a keen golfer and nostalgic too – will doubtless be influenced by the Mother of Golf, Mary Queen of Scots, and watch most of the first round in a floor-length skirt, heels, bustle and multiple petticoats.
For the second round, we will both transition into nineteenth century apparel. I shall sit in front of the television in a button-top knitted shirt with wide armholes and knickerbockers with long putees.
My wife will wear fewer layers although not many. Her look will still be largely expeditionary and she will be dressed in a bonnet tied under the chain or a straw boater, mandatory corset, a lot of ruffled linen, still heels and, of course, gloves. Basically early Victorian riding costume.
But, after the 36 hole cut, she will come into her own in the third round and make her charge into the twentieth century where, dispensing with the millinery and showing a scandalous and quite deplorable lack of decorum, she will pay tribute to Gloria Minopno, the first woman golfer to wear trousers and the first to win a major championship using only one club.
Later in the day, as the leaders go out, to honour escalating hems and shrinking sleeve lengths, she may slip into a pair of Bermuda shorts, as first worn on tour by Sandra Spiznich in 1966. Or culottes. Although more probably some daring , once so “unladylike” khaki slacks.
I will be enjoying the freedom given by tucking my socks inside lurid flannel trousers with adaptive and forgiving waist and a white belt , worn with a conservative navy V-neck sweater/ pullover and two tone spectator shoes over a logoed polo. Of eye-catching Ronnie Corbett lozenge or Argyll design. I may also change my name by deedpoll.
In the 1950s ,to attract sponsors, Henry Cotton offered to change his name to Enrico Viyella, Enrique Vicuna, Hank Doubleknit or Henry Nylon.
For the final round and 21st century golf fashion, my wife will turn into a mutant of modern lady professionals Inbee Park and Georgina Hall and outfit herself in base layers and long sleeves, soft peak visor, Glenmuir pom pom Secret Golf socklets and “Daisy” Ruched Gingham Sleeveless Performance golf top.
Or, a quarter zip and a sports bra which doesn’t leave haspmarks at the top of the swing or the follow through.
Shunning an Adidas racerback and binning the bicycling skirt and beret, she may plump for a sleeveless Veronica or something more radical like a Wild One, Loudmouth or Awesome Golf polo teamed with a flounce skort. Or Shagdelic short shorts. Although she may decide to just go Ping.
These days for headwear she favours a reversible bucket hat.
As the last pairing comes down the last hole of the last round, I’ll be the complete modern golfer. In either a Cam Smith Filtered Flamingo or a whimsical tropical print Miami vice, retro BBQ inspired Original Penguin soft filtered tie dye polo made from 30% recyled polyester. Maybe one of their Caviars.
And a hoodie and a lot of wicking.
And stretch fabric.
But I won’t ever take off my retro Sam Snead coconut straw pork pie hat or my Green Windowpanes. Until the claret jug is lifted to the press, my legs will be encased to four inches below the knee.
To honour the great event, I will be wearing time-honoured knickers.
The late Bobby Jones and Payne Stewart wore plus two and fours. As has Ryder Cup star Ian Pulter. So did Tin Tin, PG Wodehouse’s Bertie Wooster and breek-loving royalty. Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward V111) unveiled his to the American public during a royal visit in 1924.
Spencer’s of Sowerby Bridge, Yorkshire have been making golfing and shooting knickers since 1822. For £145-200 you can have them tailor-made and hand-made out of chic Lovat, claret overcheck tweed, washable wool or dapper green windowpane.
You have to dress your best for the 150th Open. It’s an important occasion. Every golf fan must make a special effort. You should never forget and always remember who designed the famous course.”
Old Tom Morris and his son Young Tom, both winners of four Open Championships, started their brand in 1848. The Tom Morris shop is still at No 8 The Links beside the eighteenth green and a few doors away from where old Tom died bringing in the coals.
A Made in St Andrews Tom Morris Burgh knitted-vest, Canongate cotton-padded gilet and some Killermont chinos would be fitting. The Tom Morris motif – a silhouette of the older – is one every piece in the range bearing his name.
The long grey Shavian beard I can personally do without. My wife chooses what she wears and what she shaves.