Favorite finds from the 2020 PGA Merchandise show
Story by B.C. Rausch
Forget the stodgy, predictable golf clothes of days gone by. Today, golf apparel is all about comfort (think athleisure) and performance fabrics. And adaptability. The mantra for many clothing companies that attended the 2020 PGA Tour Merchandise Show in Orlando is “from course to cocktails.”
What you’ll see this Spring and Summer are bright colors, micro-patterns (repeating prints make a bold statement across the entire garment), and techy fabrics, combined with style first and foremost. Brands are trying to bridge the gap between the course and the street as a way of appealing to a younger demographic. As a result, so-called “crossover pieces” (polos, weather-resistant jackets, pants with ‘give’ and stretch) are big this season and likely will be for many years.
Design-wise, nearly every golf apparel brand has prints prominent in its collection. Justin Rose, perennially ranked among the top 25 golfers in the world, has been sporting unique patterns and prints from Bonobos for the past three years, including the namesake “rose pattern,” literally a garden of flowers.
Camouflage is still very much on-trend. What started as an homage to streetwear has been adopted by designers within the more contemporary and high-end markets.
Adidas – which, like many mainstream brands, has wholeheartedly embraced athleisure – showed off its Adicross Collection at the recent PGA Merchandise Show. Along with shorts, polos, and outwear, this grouping includes warp-knit jogger pants (yes, to play golf!).
Traditional golf apparel never will go away and is still an option with many brands like POLO Ralph Lauren and Peter Millar, which are offering more understated, classic styles. Beware, though: In keeping with trends throughout the fashion industry, the cuts are trimmer and the styles more tailored.
POLO Ralph Lauren is using a recycled polyester on three of its core knits and showcasing stylish microprints. Millar continues to produce classic looks with modern details: Its Crown Crafted Collection feeds into slimmer, more tailored silhouettes.
Greyson, which prides itself on an innovative product line featuring superior tailoring and construction, also has jumped on the fresh-prints bandwagon. Its Summer Collection takes inspiration from New Orleans, with reptiles and a refreshing color palette.
Malbon Golf, a newcomer to the golf scene, has found success not just by taking on golf fashion but challenging what we think of as the golf lifestyle. The very height of modern fashion, Malbon is appealing to an all-new golf audience, including artists, rappers, and fashion lovers, many of whom love golf—and are more comfortable playing it in apparel that suits their style.
Find the latest collections from the following brands at local shops and clubhouses.
Adidas: Robert Trent Jones Oceanfront Golf Course, George Fazio Golf Course, Arthur Hills Golf Course
Peter Millar: Knickers, Robert Trent Jones Oceanfront Golf Course
Greyson: Robert Trent Jones Oceanfront Golf Course
AHEAD: Robert Trent Jones Oceanfront Golf Course, George Fazio Golf Course, Arthur Hills Golf Course
Vineyard Vines: Knickers
This will be the year of both the Ryder Cup and a presidential election, so keep your eyes open for plenty of red, white, and blue. AHEAD’s men’s offerings feature red and true navy – a timeless color combination — modernized with a hint of carbon grey. The line offers polos, over-knits, and outerwear.
CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz and Vineyard Vines have expanded their relationship this year with a new shop in Pebble Beach, California, where Nantz has a home. The Voice and the Vines first struck up a relationship in 2017 as the manufacturer began selling its Forget Me Not Collection to benefit Nantz’s National Alzheimer Center. Now, Nantz has an entire collection of his own. He is a member at Haig Point Club on Daufuskie Island.
Speaking of TV talent, Dottie Pepper regularly visits Hilton Head Island for the RBC Heritage. CBS Sports’ lead on-course analyst, Pepper typically wears apparel by Katherine Way, a Jacksonville-based apparel designer with a growing performance-wear line with technologically advanced fabrics infused with sun-screening SPF 50+.
The line also features bold prints and solids, as well as easily packable jersey fabrics in dresses, tops, and bottoms—all hand-sewn and made in the USA. The company’s slogan is “we fit real women of every silhouette.”
The Driver 63 (Limited Edition)
Royal Albartross celebrates the golf’s biggest event in style. The name refers to the lowest ever score at Augusta during the Major: shared by Nick Price and Greg Norman in 1986 and 1996 respectively. This Augusta-inspired shoe features luxurious leather and suede uppers in the iconic combination of dark green, yellow, and gold. The Driver 63 is perfect for golf rounds when style is as important as utility. As the name suggests, this shoe moves the needle with its chic, casual-meets-classic aesthetic. And making it work on the course or off is its lightweight, hybrid construction, including a cushioning insole made of shock-absorbing foam with flex grooves for dynamic motion, and an Apex sole designed for multi-directional traction and support. So, no matter how you move, it’s got you covered. Suggested retail: $249
Making a splash with a women’s line is a fairly new company, Foray, “created by women for women.” In keeping with the course-to-cocktail mantra, these are clothes you can wear just about anywhere, in awesome prints, with meticulous attention to detail, including four-way stretch, SPF, quick dry fabrics, odor-wicking, and breathability. But be quick: Each piece is a limited edition.
No good outfit is complete without a good-looking shoe. And you’ll be hard-pressed to find better footwear than from London-based Royal Albartross, whose Italian-handmade, leather golf shoes (and a range of accessories) perfectly complete any golf combination.
“We have a great variety of men’s and women’s shoes that are perfect for transitioning from the golf course to the city. We wanted to create shoes for everyday wear, that you can go straight from the course to the clubhouse,” said Alex Bartholomew, CEO of Royal Albartross.
That’s course to clubhouse to cocktails to clubbing to conquering the world. Golf attire isn’t playing by the old rules anymore, and neither should you.