High-tops, jumpers and flat-brims: words you would typically never hear in the realm of golf fashion. But watching a PGA Tour event, it’s evident that the traditional khaki pant has become an endangered species. Fueling this movement is the PGA Tour pros’ realization that their personal appearance is imperative to build their brand, and new age apparel companies are more than happy to design the threads.
Rickie Fowler turned professional in 2009 and taught the tour a lesson in marketing. His bright colors and skater style took golf’s youth and millennial fans by storm. Fowler quickly became one of the Tour’s most marketable players and elevated Puma from irrelevance to major player in golf’s apparel game. In 2014 while having only one career win at the time, Fowler was able to net $8.5 million in earnings off the course, a total similar to established international stars Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose.
The year before Fowler hit the scene, golf apparel concept TravisMathew launched in Southern California with the mission of creating innovative golf apparel that looked good on and off the course. A lofty task, challenging golf’s apparel giants Nike, Adidas and Ashworth.
Fast-forward 8 years, TravisMathew has become a giant of the apparel industry through its quality product, successful Tour partnerships and social media activity.
So who’s next?
We have you covered, here are 7 up-and-coming apparel brands to keep an eye on. Each has a unique style that would make any golfer look good on the course (even if their swing doesn’t).
Maide by Bonobos
The golf offshoot of ultra-successful men’s clothing company Bonobos, Maide, carries the same motto of its parent company, “Better-Fitting, Better-Looking”. Maide was launched in 2013 and offers a full assortment of apparel, including pants, shirts, outerwear and accessories. The brand’s calling card is an exemplary fit and tremendous shopping experience that grew Bonobos into the largest clothing brand built on the web. The launch of lightweight versions of their best-selling “Highland” pant and shorts headlines the 2016 spring collection.
Founded by decorated amateur golfer John O’Donnell, Johnnie-O blends country club prep with laidback west coast style, or what they like to call “West Coast Prep.” An easy way to spot Johnnie-O is the iconic surfer logo that adorns their shirts, sweaters, shorts, pants and jackets. They have clothing for every occasion, from performance golf gear to sport coats for an evening out. Our favorite subtle feature is their “tweener button” on button-down shirts, a hidden button that lies between your second and third-from-the-top buttons for versatility.
With PGA Tour social media sensation Danny Lee in tow, Devereux looks to shape up the golf industry with its “proper threads” concept. Brothers Robert and Will Brunner set out to close the gap between men’s fashion and golf style, launching the brand in 2013. With Devereux, you can expect to find slimmer-fit clothing that you can wear on and off the golf course. The new spring line features traditional golf clothes as well as a travel blazer that doesn’t wrinkle.
The newest brand on the block is New York City-based Greyson, which was founded by Ralph Lauren’s former SVP of Design, Charlie Schaefer. With the soft launch of its new line today, Greyson apparel touts a unique wolf logo and can be spotted on PGA Tour young gun, Morgan Hoffman. Beyond golf, Greyson also carries activewear, such as the slick hoodie featured below.
Childhood friends Billy Nachman and Hobson Brown couldn’t find the perfect shirt, so they set out to create one for the world. This Austin, TX-based brand offers a fresh take on a classic design with ultra-soft 100% cotton shirts and removable collar stays to keep your collar in good shape no matter how much you play.
This emerging European brand is making waves in the states with its high-performance outerwear. In the fall, the European Ryder Cup team will be sporting Galvin Green outerwear. With the motto “designed by golfers for golfers”, Galvin Green prepares players for any element and it shows with their tour roster of 25 pros, predominately on the European circuit. The brand’s lightweight golf shirts feature spf 20 to protect golfers from the sun, while its multi-layer outerwear concept allows golfers to adapt to changing conditions, from cold to rain to wind.
Based in Nottingham England, Bunker Mentality has 6-time European Tour winner Simon Dyson sporting their threads. Bunker Mentality creates “modern British clothing”, made evident by their intricate designs and patterns. The upstart brand carries shirts, pants (or shall we say “trousers”) and outerwear, giving golfers everything they need to look dapper on the course.