Lessons in Golf Garb
What's Hot for Golf Fashion this Season
By Jackelyn Crawford
While golf may fall into the conservative category of sports, golf fashion for 2012 is a whole other animal. Not an eagle, albatross, or plain old birdie, but a bold, bright and maybe even fluorescent peacock.
"There's a younger and more casual feel than we've seen in the past few years on the golf apparel side," said Chris Hudec, buyer of golf apparel for Sport Chek, who filled us in on the hottest trends in golf fashion this season. "Expect to see bright colours, bright plaids and fluorescents making their way back."
According to Hudec, top brands are showing their vibrant colours in different ways. The Nike Golf swoop has gone bright pink, the atmosphere at Oakley is looking fluorescent lime, and Puma is all about orange play.
So, why all the eye-popping pigments? Well, they do seem to match well with greens, liven up the dull look of sand traps and coordinate with the golden-hued beverages at the nineteenth hole. But mostly, as Hudec confirmed, companies are putting out products that emulate the youth and style of the fresh-faced pros they're sponsoring.
For Puma, that pro is Rickie Fowler, 2010 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, who's been known to golf in head-to-toe orange. The current Puma line takes on the persona of Fowler, described by Hudec as a "surf kid from California" with a young and edgy vibe."
"He had the choice to race BMX motorcycles or play golf, and he chose golf."
Oakley also stands behind a young whippersnapper, 22-year-old Rory McIlroy, who represents both youth and a near-number-one ranking.
Along with colours, comfort is at the forefront of fads.
"Everyone has gone towards a technical fabric with a super lightweight, breathable and moisture-wicking component," Hudec explained, mentioning most brands sell products with the goal of keeping you cool on the course (body-temperature-wise, that is - no garment can quell the anger from a missed swing). Under Armour even provides products that incorporate coldblack, a dye developed by Schoeller Technologies that actually resists and reflects UV rays, meaning the harder the sun beats down on you, the cooler you feel.
At Golf Town on King Street West, we asked some of the early-bird shoppers what they think of these trends in golf threads.
"I like them," said Alex, an insurance broker in his early 30s who stocks up on the latest styles every season. "They seem to be what all the pros are wearing, and you have to look professional out there."
Others like to stick to their own sense of individuality, shirking what's "in" for their own preferences, like Mark, a 48-year-old film exec who sticks to mild colours, and identifies as both "not a neon" and "not a Rickie Fowler."
Still, no matter how many options are out there for the golf fashionista, or fashion-mister, some players pick their outfits based on one thing. Natin, a 38-year-old working in marketing, explained what matters to him when picking out a golf outfit.
"It depends on what's clean."