Even if you don’t love golf, it’s hard not to like Rickie Fowler. In addition to wearing some of the freshest clothing the golf world has ever seen, he dabbles in race car driving, stars in legitimately amusing TV commercials and has a rad, Japanese-honoring middle name (Yutaka). Plus, he recently donated around $100,000 to tornado victims in Oklahoma, the state where he played his college golf. On the cusp of the U.S. Open, the 24-year-old Twitter fanatic and Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts pitchman talks fashion, Tiger and pressure putts. And Caddyshack, obviously.
“Tiger’s always giving me a hard time about some of my bright colors,
so it would be fun to send him out
in some bright stuff one day.”
MADE MAN: You’re known for your bold clothing on the course. What would you say to the guy who’s a bit hesitant to wear crazier colors when he’s playing golf?
RICKIE FOWLER: Go out and have fun with it. If you don’t feel comfortable in it, then I wouldn’t wear it. That’s probably one of the reasons why I don’t wear traditional clothing. It’s just not me. It doesn’t fit who I am. One of Puma’s sayings is: look good, feel good, play good. If you don’t feel good with what you’re wearing, it’s a little harder to play well.
MM: What are a couple of items you won’t wear on a golf course?
RF: Other than Ryder Cup, I can’t remember the last time I wore cream or khaki pants. That’s a little too traditional for me, so I stay away from it. I’ll wear all-black sometimes, but it has to have a little edge to it.
MM: Are you equally flashy off the course? What do you wear on a non-golf day?
RF: I’m a big either shorts and V-neck or jeans and V-neck guy. If I’m home in Florida kicking back, it’s probably board shorts, V-neck and flip-flops.
MM: Who’s the one player on the tour who could use a style makeover?
RF: Tiger’s always giving me a hard time about some of my bright colors, so it would be fun to send him out in some bright stuff one day.
“Why don’t you try tangerine sometime, Tiger?”
MM: Something a lot of people might not know about you is that you’re part Japanese. Do you know any Japanese, or was Japanese culture part of your upbringing at all?
RF: I don’t know any Japanese. But I got some of the culture growing up. My mom is the one that’s half Japanese, and then my grandpa, who’s full Japanese, is the one who introduced me to golf. We also did a lot of fishing together, so I definitely spent a lot of time around him.
MM: On Twitter you call yourself a “future race car driver.” Care to explain?
RF: Well, I grew up riding and racing dirt bikes. I’ve always been on wheels, always been around speed and action sports. I do a little bit of driving now, just for fun. I have a GT3 RS and a GT-R that I take to the track a bit. Down the road, I definitely want to get more involved, get some more driving time in. I probably wouldn’t do anything like NASCAR or Formula One. More just local smaller stuff. Go out, get some time behind the wheel and get the adrenaline rush.
MM: OK, a guy has an eight-foot putt for a million dollars. What’s your advice for him?
RF: Make sure you’re lined up correctly. Figure out how hard you’re going to hit it. Take a deep breath and then hit a good putt. The more simple you keep it, the better.
Clearly, these fans appreciate bold clothing. That, or Rickie just holed a big putt.
MM: Say a guy wants to drive the ball farther. What’s one thing he can do to increase his drive?
RF: Flexibility and some time in the gym definitely help. I spend a lot of time on the table with my soft tissue guy, doing anything from massage to ART (active release technique) to stretching. Sometimes you need someone in there kind of working out your muscles and making sure everything’s moving properly. [Editor’s note: If you don’t happen to have your own soft tissue guy, consider investing in a foam roller.]
MM: Better golf movie: Happy Gilmore or Caddyshack?
RF: Caddyshack. I mean, I can’t argue with Happy Gilmore, it’s a great one. And Tin Cup’s up there too. But as far as goofy and funny, Caddyshack nails it.