Golf

Classic look or fashion clash? What do you think of Colonial’s famous plaid jacket?

The crowning moment of each tournament at Colonial Country Club is when the winner is presented with a plaid jacket.

The man behind those gloriously colored tartan patterns is Barry Smith, owner of William Barry Distinctive Apparel, a Fort Worth business that for 30 years has outfitted the best golfer at the Fort Worth event.

Smith will again outfit the winner of this year’s Charles Schwab Challenge at the end of the final round, which is scheduled for Sunday.

Smith, who also happens to be a member of Colonial Country Club, which also provides its members with a plaid jacket.

So how does Smith manage to outfit the tournament winner within minutes of his victory?

Actually, figuring out the winner’s size on minutes notice is little more than an educated guess, he said.

The club keeps the coats for many of its past champions on hand. As the final hole is played, Smith and an assistant go into their supply of jackets and pick one that they think will fit best on the winner, and that’s the jacket that is used for the ceremony on television.

The winner gets his actual custom-fit jacket about five weeks later.

“’After the ceremony, I will measure the champion in the locker room, before we go to the chairman’s reception,” Smith said, adding that he takes about 20 measurements.

Colonial began making jackets with a distinctive plaid design in 1952, as a tribute to the Scottish heritage of the game of golf.

The tartan wool material used for the jackets comes from the United Kingdom.

The jackets aren’t for sale. To get one, you need to win the tournament — or join Colonial Country Club.

Although plaid is sometimes a punch line in fashion circles, Smith says the golfers he has outfitted have all relished the opportunity to wear it.

And Smith loves to wear his — even when the weather is a bit sticky, as it is expected to be the rest of this week.

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Gordon Dickson joined the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1997. He is passionate about hard news reporting, and his beats include transportation, growth, urban planning, aviation, real estate, jobs, business trends. He is originally from El Paso, and loves food, soccer and long drives.
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