We all know Adidas, Nike, Greg Norman, Under Armour, and Oakley. These are amongst the finest sports and active apparel brands in the world. They set the stage of looking good, feeling great, and performing your best while staying comfortable. But there’s some new players in town, err on the links, that flip the script when it comes to eye-catching style, sport performance, and high-end fabrics. The trend over the last couple of years has been to create a line that can be worn from the course, to the bar, on the boat, at dinner, and everywhere in between; and not look (or smell) like you just played 18 holes. These new brands contain tech fabrics that repel moisture, control odor, offer protection from the sun, and never wrinkle. They also launder really well, never shrink, and you can throw your iron away.
Straight Down Mike Rowley founded Straight Down in 1989. What started as a small t-shirt company shortly grew into a full-range golf and lifestyle apparel brand that is now worn by some of the top athletes in the industry. “Our love of golf translates into the products we make. We live and breathe the game.” For over 30 years, this family owned business has built a brand that respects the tradition, history and spirit of golf. The goal for 2021 was to produce 95% of their polos using recycled polyester. Their most popular styles are constructed of Eco2Cotton fabric. This material is made using recycled cotton fibers from discarded t-shirts. The aim is to reduce plastic pollutions in oceans and turn waste materials into durable goods that can last for decades. Straight Down now manufactures men’s and women’s apparel, shoes, luggage, belts, hats, and golf bags. You can remain low key with solids and earth tones, or you can turn it up as high as you want with outrageous prints like cocktails, guitars, and airplanes. Straight Down at Golf HQ
Bad Birdie Speaking of outrageous prints, Bad Birdie answers the call. “At Bad Birdie we design standout golf apparel that’s comfortable as all hell without compromising on performance or good vibes. We do it this way because, quite frankly, we think it’s what the game needs. So if you’re looking for a good game, and a better time then we’re going to get along juuuuust fine. All to say, this probably isn’t your grandpa’s golf brand.” As seen on the popular business start-up TV show, Shark Tank, Bad Birdie screams fun fashion. And while they may not be for everyone, everyone should be for Bad Birdie. Mix in a flamingo, banana, or wildlife print into the rotation. You won’t be sorry, especially with the combo of 4-way stretch materials and UPF 50+ protection from the rays. Not to mention, I feel they have one of the coolest logos in golf.
IBKUL The brand’s sole purpose was to become the ultimate in men’s and women’s sun protection apparel. IBKUL features UPF 50, the exclusive IceFil cooling element, underarm mesh treatment along with wicking and anti-microbial features in exclusive prints and patterns. Stay cool, comfortable on the hottest humid days so you can perform your best in IBKÜL™. Founded in 2015 and caters to golfers, tennis players, yoga enthusiasts, equestrians and ‘women going to the supermarket’ who still want to feel good and look their best. A wide variety of solids are offered, but many of their prints encapsulate the spirit of Miami; bright and fun. The state-of-the-art textiles and performance-driven garments help IBKUL take the athleisure game to new, modern heights. Keep Cool With IBKUL
Travis Mathew Founded in 2007 and based in Southern California, Travis Mathew is an established and progressive men’s sportswear brand producing apparel for work and play that is rooted in and drawing its inspiration from all aspects of Southern California culture and lifestyle. TM set the tone and was one of the first brands to achieve the perfect balance of work and play. With a well-known list of celebrities and athletes making up their roster of ambassadors, Travis Mathew’s social media footprint is large. They are a total lifestyle brand with a line of shoes by Cuater, accessories, and incredibly creative headwear. In other words, Travis Mathew makes clothes you can actually live in.
Linksoul LinkSoul is more of a philosophy than a brand, and more of an experience than a clothing company. It is the collective life’s work of a great group of people that care about each other and enjoy collaborating. Remember Ashworth, the go-to golf apparel brand in the 90’s and early 2000’s? John Ashworth is the co-founder. The name comes from an expression of the connection found through years of playing golf…link soul. Artists, craftsmen, explorers, and golfers have come together to offer a timeless collection of apparel. The brand is rooted in golf, but we all have other interests like skiing, surfing, yoga, and travel. Linksoul even wants you to be comfortable walking your dog. Look your best, perform your best, be your best. Selling world-class apparel is not the only mission at hand here. The company recently saved a local, historical muni in California called Goat Hill Park. After 2 years of a major refurbish, Goat Hill is now one of the most accessible public courses in the country. When it comes to patterns and designs, Linksoul is little more tame than the others, but the style and comfort is anything but.
Enjoy the game and each other,
Seth Zipay – Head Golf Professional