BRAD MCNEILL, 40s, owner, A&B Paving: One simple rule: It's always better to be overdressed than underdressed. I would rather wear a tuxedo to the mall than a T-shirt to a wedding. Having said that, ties are for evening attire, usually after 7 p.m., or for formal events such as a wedding or funeral. One other thing is to always wear a sport coat. Even if you don't have a tie on, a sport coat will cover a multitude of sins. Even if you are wearing jeans, a sports coat will make you look appropriate.
SCOTT KINNAIRD, 50s, executive chairman, A La Mode Inc.: In this current era of relaxed and eclectic dress codes, it's true everything from ties to jeans will be seen at nice events. Hollywood, fame worship and questionable taste all play a part. But the son, as well as his friend, shouldn't think twice about wearing a coat and tie to his father's big night. That's less of a question about fashion and more a display of basic respect.
CLAY HEALEY, 50s, owner, AIC Title Service LLC: My gut reaction to this question is that if the invitation contains the words “lifetime achievement award” then a suit is appropriate, or at a minimum a tie and sport coat. I feel this way no matter the time of the event, the type of event or the time of year. A person's lifetime achievement is something to be respected, no matter that the achievement is (“merely”) for golf, or that the event begins in the late afternoon during the heat of the summer. For a warm summer evening, wear a summer suit. Or a summer jacket and tie.
RON JAMES, 60s, independent oil producer: Since 400 golf buddies will be gathered for cocktails, rest assured there will be a broad diversity of dress. I would ask myself a simple question: What would Arnold Palmer wear? Arnie would show up in a sport coat with an open collar. He would shy away from fellows in suit and tie knowing that they are involved in rule-making or undercover tennis players.
Take advantage of this part of the golf game where mulligans are unlimited and memories are remarkably short.