Pat Perez knew from the start that he wasn’t cut from country-club cloth (a nice ticking stripe upholstery, we’d guess). “I’ve always gotten some pushback just for being who I am,” said Pat, who had his first exposure to golf working at municipal golf course Torrey Pines in his native San Diego. “I didn’t belong to any country clubs and would show up at junior events with clubs that were too big for me and high-top sneakers.”
For some people, feeling like an outsider would have been discouraging. But it instead inspired Pat to embrace his irreverent streak. “I never fit in traditionally from the get-go, so I never even tried to go that route,” he explained. “I stayed true to myself and just let my game do the talking for me.”
“I’ve always gotten some pushback just for being who I am,” – Pat Perez
His game did talk – and so did his adopted uniform, a refreshing departure from the endless parade of neutral chinos. “Things have the ability to get boring on the course… so I decided to have some fun with my style a few years back,” said Pat. “Grew the hair out. Started wearing the flat-brim hats. Found a guy in Scottsdale who could custom-make some funky pants for me and started pairing outfits around my high-tops.”
Pat’s more concerned with being authentic than outrageous. “I tried to bring that laid-back, but stylish feel (that I love off the course),” Pat explained. “Adding some William Murray Golf polos to the equation really helped complete what I think is a unique look out there on the PGA Tour.”
Serendipitously, Pat’s early hustle has proved to be a bonding point in his relationship with golf apparel line William Murray, started by actor Bill Murray and brothers Brian Doyle, Joel, John, Andy, and Ed.
“I saw a lot of overlap regarding our core values and growing up as outsiders looking in,” said Pat. “The Murray brothers all caddied growing up, while I grew up cleaning clubs and working at (Torrey Pines), as it afforded me the opportunity to play golf for free.”
Pat continued, “The Murrays didn’t have anything given to them, and neither did I… When you have that shared common ground with someone, you feel an instant connection, as you’re the type of people who had to work for and earn everything they got.”
Pat has also picked up a few styling tricks from his sponsor. “William Murray’s button-downs have become my go-to and were the biggest surprise of the line for me,” he said. “Never expected to come across a button-down that I could wear on the course, but also wear for a night out. I think Bill feels the same, as I’ve seen a lot of pictures of him at events and premiers where he’s wearing some of the same William Murray gear he sported at Pebble Beach months back.”
High praise from a self-professed lover of “humorous t-shirts with movie quotes from the 80s.” Laid-back guys everywhere are thanking their lucky stars that Pat has proven they have a place on the golf course, too.
These days, Pat’s mindset is as relaxed as his style. “It’s taken me longer than some, but I finally learned not to be so hard on myself or to be so overly-consumed with golf and tournament outcomes,” Pat said. “Crazy as it sounds, I’ve sort of stopped caring. I love being on Tour and love the game, but over the past few years, I finally realized there are more important things in life to worry about. It’s a maturity I wish I had in my late 20’s when making the Tour, but I guess these are some of the perks that come with age. Wisdom and all that.”