PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. — Tony Finau has been thinking a lot about what he’ll be wearing at Riviera Country Club on Friday. Not the clothes he will compete in at the Genesis Invitational, but rather the clothes he will arrive in. Shoes, socks, shirt. Purse, earphones, any other accessory. This is the preoccupation required, it seems, to become a golf trailblazer.
When Finau pulls in from the player parking lot on Friday morning, the PGA Tour videographers will be upon him as soon as he opens his car door. They’ll notice his sneakers, zoom in on his necklace, pan with him as he struts around. And then 30 seconds later, he’ll walk into the clubhouse and become Finau the golfer again. By the way, this is his entire creation, hoping to bring the craze for pre-game outfits made popular by other sports into the world of golf, one set of Jordans at a time . Finau Fresh is what he calls it, another way to show off his personality, his hobbies and maybe convince a few other pros to do it alongside him.
“No matter what people thought about it, that’s how I roll,” Finau said earlier this week. “That’s what I like to do. I’m very comfortable doing something like that, dressing like that to go to the golf course because when I’m not playing tournament golf, I pretty much dress like a basketball player.
As we saw two weeks ago when Finau Fresh debuted in Torrey Pines, this is not a man who loves shirts. Instead, we’ll see glamor with its late arrivals. Air Force Ones and knee high socks. A designer blazer paired with dressy shorts. Things you would see on GQ.com way more than on GOLF.com.
“You even just saw Joe Burrow wearing this super cute tiger costume at the Super Bowl,” Finau said of his inspirations. “It’s kind of just adding your flair to your pre-game tantrums.”
This week, Finau’s outfit will include a tribute to Kobe Bryant, the basketball legend who spent his entire career in Los Angeles. As for specific details, he stated the obvious: you’ll have to come back on Friday to find out.
Overall, Finau’s idea is simple in nature. Create a look, introduce yourself, strut your stuff in the parking lot. He admitted he had been thinking about making it a staple for years, but was a little scared to take the plunge. But NBA players have been targeting their fashionable starters for decades. It’s a constant conversation in their dressing rooms. There are Instagram accounts with hundreds of thousands of fully dedicated followers pre-game NBA kits. Professional golfers? They dress for the day in their hotel room and sometimes head straight to the practice field.
“There’s no doubt I was nervous,” Finau said. “You know, I’m not very comfortable walking in front of cameras without a golf club in my hands. It’s a little awkward. I think that’s why it took the time there had since it was ingrained in my head until it came to fruition.
“I think the most important thing is to get over that initial fear of what people might think and just be you. At the end of the day, that was it. My wife took me through She thinks I’m someone who could be successful.
Finau’s wife, Alayna, obviously helps with pep talks and, if he’s fair, probably has as much influence on the final outfit as he does. But like most pros who visualize their routines, Finau wouldn’t want his Friday to look any different on paper — he just hopes it does well on Instagram. He coordinates with the Tour’s content team so they know when he’s stopping. He comes in, they tape him – he improves his leg, by the way – and then it’s up to them to get to work. About an hour after arriving, the montage is accompanied by original music and the message is sent as Finau hits golf balls at the driving range. If another player wants the same treatment, all they have to do is ask. Finau wants Brooks Koepka in on the action, or anyone really.
The response has been good so far, Finau thinks, and he sincerely hopes it will spread. But if not, so be it. It’s more about showing who he is that something else. But for fans who want more of this content, the key to it all actually lies to the golf course. These outfits and corresponding content will continue to appear whenever Finau has a late start time. You are guaranteed to have one on each departure, either Thursday or Friday. The better you play, the later the tee times on weekends. More contention, more content, more ‘Finau Fresh’ cuts.