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The Worst-Dressed Golfers Ever

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The 2014 Ryder Cup starts here, so now’s as good a time as any to reflect on some of the fiercest clashes in golfing history.

We’re not talking about the War On The Shore, the Battle of Brookline or the Miracle Of Medinah. No, we’re talking colour clashes, busy trousers, and nonsensical headwear in a sport where sartorial tastelessness is par for the course.

Here’s a round-up of the very worst offenders…

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The 2014 European Ryder Cup Team

The European team's jackets recall many design classics. British Rail-era train carriage upholstery, Travelodge carpet, the labels of Highland Spring mineral water. That they're wearing them at all is clearly a mistake, though. We can see how it happened: "And another thing, did you order the jackets?" "Check." It's a simple misunderstanding.

Tastelessness score: Eagle

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The 1999 US Ryder Cup Team

Whatever the fall-out from the USA’s sensational comeback win at Brookline in 1999, as far as we’re concerned, nothing should tear attention away from those shirts. There’s a reason they kept their jackets on in the official photo.

Tastelessness score: Eagle

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Ian Poulter Europe

Ian Poulter is well-known for his horrendous attire. Quite apart from the dodgy Union Jack cardy and bawdy slacks pictured above, at 2008’s Johnnie Walker Classic the World number 38 paired a shiny orange polo shirt with chocolate brown trousers. A decision that made him look like a Special Edition KitKat. We live in hope that he’ll ‘take a break’ from the garish wardrobe this week.

Tastelessness score: Eagle

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John Daly USA

Being a recovered alcoholic hasn’t stopped the gregarious Daly from launching his own range of pre-mixed vodka cocktails. However, it’s arguably the Californian’s love of golf brand Loudmouth and their lurid selection of trousers that’s in worse taste. Try not to look directly at them. Not unless you want to melt your retinas. Still, they’re just awful enough to take the edge off his two albums of country music.

Tastelessness score: Hole-in-one

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Rickie Fowler USA

Rickie Fowler’s coursewear is often so loud that it should be issued with a noise abatement order. This particular outfit is so obnoxiously orange that it is tantamount to yelling “GO AWAY” at every person who approaches. Ideal for night golf, though.

Tastelessness score: Eagle

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Payne Stewart USA

The late Payne Stewart was committed to traditional golf fashions. An advocate of knickerbockers and their three-quarter-length variant, plus-fours, he also sported an extensive range of flat caps. In many ways, his enthusiasm for eccentric threads is to blame for the monstrosities we see today. In contrast to his “look” (somewhere between Andy Capp and Tintin), Stewart was feted for having an incredibly stylish swing. How ironic.

Tastelessness score: Eagle

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Shingo Katayama Japan

A big noise on the Japan Golf Tour, Katayama is notorious in his home nation for his extreme headwear. “Cowboy Shingo” normally sports a cowboy hat or a baseball cap. Sometimes, though, he favours something more often worn by staff on the deli counter at Morrison’s. However, 27 wins on the Japan Tour (and a 4th place at the Masters in 2009), suggest Katayama is far less likely to slice anything.

Tastelessness score: Par

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Billy Casper USA

Bad golf fashion is as old as the hills the game is played on. Take, for instance, this pair of dreadful trousers, as worn by two-time US Open and one-time Masters champion Billy Casper. Images of Casper committing fashion faux pas are hard to come by. However, study the bottom left of this book cover and you'll see he's nailing an early incarnation of "the Rickie Fowler", in rancid off-mustard. Plus, we're anecdotally assured that his taste in jumpers made Val Doonican look like some kind of haute couture exemplar.

Tastelessness score: Eagle

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Duffy Waldorf USA

It’s amazing to think how snooty golf clubs get about some stuff. No jeans on the course. No spikes in the clubhouse. No parking in the Club Captain’s special space. Dressing like Rodney Dangerfield at a Hawaiian BBQ, however? Carry on!

Tastelessness score: Par

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Jason Gore USA

While there are times when Ryder Cup golf can be like an elaborate game of chess, Jason Gore, you don’t need to actually wear a chessboard.

Tastelessness score: Hole-in-one

[Images: Rex, Getty, Wiki Commons, YouTube]

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