Sure, Rickie Fowler got to where he is now—the 45th ranked golfer in the world, the reigning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, and perhaps the game’s most exciting young gun since a kid named Tiger first hit the scene—primarily on the strength of his long drives and unorthodox swing.
But what really makes the 22-year-old Fowler stand out from the rest of the crowded pack of pros on the PGA Tour is his audacious style. To be blunt, Fowler dresses loud: Blindingly bright neon shirts, fitted flat-brimmed caps turned backwards, and zigzagged shoes are all par for the course. Whereas most other golfers might look insane sporting such fashions, Fowler uses his look to exude confidence every time he steps on the green.
Men’s Health: You don’t always think of golf as a sport that requires its athletes to be incredibly fit. Describe your fitness regimen, and what you need to do in order to stay strong while playing.
Rickie Fowler: I’ve been focusing on my fitness ever since I started playing golf as an amateur and all through college, but I’ve definitely honed it a lot more in the last year or so since I turned pro. Now I work with a trainer, Chris Noss, who works with a lot of other guys on the PGA Tour. The week before a tournament, I usually get a lot of cardio in—often something fun, like mountain biking. And honestly, I won’t do a whole lot in the gym. You want to build up endurance for a long week, so it definitely helps to be in shape all week long so you can finish up on Sunday. Mentally and physically, the game can be a major grind at times. So it’s more about keeping my body moving, just to make sure I’m staying in shape and that I’m not in the gym grinding it out with weights and getting sore for a tournament. Now, a lot of the workout stuff we do throughout the year is more about injury prevention. You know, making sure the body’s working right. We never want anything to causing any kinks or restraints on the swing. Then the off-season is when we’ll try to strengthen up a little bit.
MH: What kind of exercises can you recommend to guys who want to improve their game?
RF: Well, lately we’ve been doing a lot of cardio on the spin bike. I like getting on there for a good 30 minutes, because I always get off of it feeling great and breaking a really good sweat. That’s probably one of my favorites. Besides that, we do a lot of work with bands, whether it’s restriction stuff or using the bands for just light resistance. You want to make sure to do a lot of band work that involves lunging, transverse motion, and a lot of tri-plane movement. It all opens up the hips, and obviously with your swing hips are pretty involved. You want to make sure the whole body’s moving and staying loose, and any work with the bands and cardio will accomplish that. That’s my favorite stuff, at least.
MH: Was it a conscious decision of yours to be so associated with your style?
RF: Early on, my mom was really the one who helped me pick out things to wear. I guess she didn’t want me to be caught up in looking like everyone else—you know, not necessarily boring, but very traditional clothing. I grew up riding and racing dirt bikes. Riding and racing gear is pretty colorful usually, and almost always has some sort of design. So with that background, I didn’t want to be wearing just plain clothing on the golf course. When I turned pro and signed with Puma, it was the perfect fit for me. They were looking for someone with an edgy background, and it’s a great fit both ways.
MH: How important is it for a man to have style?
RF: I think it really helps your confidence. If you feel good with what you’re wearing, it’s going to make you feel good about yourself. And any time you can do that, it’s going to help you in pretty much anything you do. That could be on the golf course, or in the way you carry yourself, whether that’s in the office, or the business world, or anywhere else. When you know you look good, you’re always going to walk around with your head higher.
MH: So how can we develop our own individual style?
RF: I’d have to say, start out pretty simple. Don’t go over the top too quickly. See, I worked my way up. I didn’t all of a sudden come out wearing all orange or anything. I started out maybe wearing a crazy belt and working it into a simpler outfit, or a crazy pair of shoes, or a cool hat and working it into an outfit. So first, try to find a bold shirt that stands out, meaning it has a lot of color or a cool design. Then keep the rest of the outfit kind of mellow from there. You don’t want to get head-to-toe all crazy like me just yet.