Chapeau! Golf’s greatest hats

A humorous tribute to some of golf's most memorable hats

Seve Ballesteros
Seve Ballesteros
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Fergus Bisset takes a lighthearted look at some of the more unusual items of headgear sported by professional golfers over the years.

For practical and financial reasons, most professional golfers wear a hat when they take to the fairways. In general, the headgear of choice is a simple baseball cap, perhaps a visor, liberally adorned with sponsors’ logos.

But just occasionally over the years, there have been players who have opted to express their style and personality through their choice of headgear. Here we salute some of the more individualistic hat wearers in the world of pro golf:

Seve Ballesteros Here the great Spaniard displays that two hats are better than one in rainy conditions during the first round of the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale in 1991. It may be a golfing myth, but there are rumours that Seve once sported three hats during a round at the old Dunhill Cup in St Andrews – A visor, woollen hat and rain hat on top. Can anyone confirm or refute this?

Seve Ballesteros

Seve Ballesteros

Gordon Brand Jnr and Sam Torrance Gordon Brand Jnr looks on as Sam Torrance stirs his cauldron. The pair are concocting a potion they hope will produce memory loss. They’re planning to contaminate the supply in the beer tent, thereby causing the galleries to forget their outfits on day one of the 1989 Ryder Cup.

Gordon Brand Jnr and Sam Torrance

Gordon Brand Jnr and Sam Torrance

Briny Baird This was the exact moment in the Motorola Western Open of 1999 that Briny Baird realised just how bad his hat was. He’d left the house without checking a mirror and he remained blissfully unaware until he spied a reflection of himself in a water hazard on the 14th.

Briny Baird

Briny Baird

Hubert Green Known for sartorial eccentricity, Green appears in this photograph wearing a large guinea pig on his head. Sent out by tournament organisers to investigate, Jack Nicklaus is seen questioning Green about his motives.

Hubert Green and Jack Nicklaus

Hubert Green and Jack Nicklaus

Jesper Parnevik In this photo, quirky Swede Jesper Parnevik reveals how he came up with the idea of flipping the peak of his cap skywards. By the look in his eyes, it appears he might be rather close to coming up with another bright idea.

Jesper Parnevik

Jesper Parnevik

Mark Roe It’s believed that Mark made this hat himself by stitching together 56 different sweat bands that he collected from the lost and found at his local health club… Or maybe not.

Mark Roe

Mark Roe

Peter Gustafsson and Pelle Edberg Well this is rather embarrassing isn’t it? It seems neither man can bring himself to tell the other that he doesn’t like his headwear. Actually, Gustafsson doesn’t want to risk speaking up in case Edberg has, in fact, just suffered a traumatic head injury. And Edberg is struggling to look at Gustafsson because he has a phobia of the Flower Pot Men stemming from his childhood.

Peter Gustafsson and Pelle Edberg

Peter Gustafsson and Pelle Edberg

Robert Allenby A strange choice of headwear from Australia’s Robert Allenby during the 2002 U.S. Masters. It’s health and safety gone mad! There’s a joke to be made about Hawaii here, but best to steer clear.

Robert Allenby

Robert Allenby

Rory Sabbatini Here Sabbatini picks up an award from the Association of South African hat-wearers. This devilish little number took the annual prize for novelty headpiece ahead of a miniature sombrero and a dayglo sou’wester. Oh no, actually he’s receiving the trophy for winning the 2011 Honda Classic.

Rory Sabbatini

Rory Sabbatini

Tom Kite Tom Kite has worn some pretty bad hats in his time. Here he takes a moment, during the 1993 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, to reflect on a selection of them. It looks as though there’s almost a tear in his eye as he recalls: massive visors, panamas, fedoras even the occasional boater. Great days Tom, great days.

Tom Kite

Tom Kite

Tommy Horton The Englishman had rushed to the course from his second job working on the deli counter at Morrisons and hadn’t had time to change. I’ll have six beef sausages and a couple of scotch eggs please Tommy.

Tommy Horton

Tommy Horton

 

Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and it was concentrated by his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?