Pros: Attractive appearance, quality stitching, interchangeable buckles, fine leather
Cons: None (then again it's just a belt and buckle)
Since the 70s - and with the exception of Ian Poulter and perhaps Rickie Fowler - golf fashion has become rather sedate. Plain colored pants, shirts with a stripe or two, and somewhat more sneaker-like shoes are the norm. If you're daring you'll wear a patterned shirt or some unusual shoes. Bright colors are in, but they're usually solid prints that rely on their technicolor wonder.
The one area reasonably fit golfers are accessorizing? Their waists, with buckles and belts that show off.
New York-based Nicholas Mariano has been making belts for years, and they've recently come out with a line of interchangeable buckles and straps that are targeted at the golfer who wants to step up his fashion sense a little without going whole-Poulter.
The 18 Hole buckle - you can see the numbers 1 through 18 are placed in various sizes and orientations on the buckle of the belt - is a simple design. It's not overly large (3 3/8 x 2 inches) and it has enough "golf" on it with the numbers to let your pals know that you're up for a round without screaming "GOLF!" like so many tacky Christmas gifts. The design and size both allow you to wear the buckle on the course AND out with your wife for a night on the town.
The gold brass strap is not super-shiny, with just enough glitz to make itself noticeable. It looks good with a nice pair of jeans as well as some golf slacks or shorts. Wearing it with a suit might be pushing things, though…
Nicholas Mariano has many styles of leather straps to accent their buckles. They sent a white belt with their gold brass buckle, as white belts are (still) in style these days. The leather is quality leather - just thick enough to ensure that it won't stretch or bend oddly, and thin enough to fit all but the tiniest of belt loops. The buckle clips in easily and unclips just as easily. The leather does not appear to stretch in the buckle holes like many cheaper belts, even when you've cinched up a notch too tight.
The red dot - the signature of Nicholas Mariano - adds just a little bit of flair to what is otherwise just a plain single-colored belt. It's enough of a marker to add interest without clashing with the colors of your shirt or pants.
In the End…
Many golfers are choosing cool golf belts, and this should be at the top of their list. Nicholas Mariano's "18 Holes" buckle and belts work exceptionally well on the links and out on the town.