Golf fashion is, thankfully, being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. It's been a slow process, and half the tour still dresses in the exact same way your dad probably does on the golf course, but steps are being taken.
As a new generation of promising talent and sunday hackers emerges (each as fashion conscious as the other), most of the major sportswear players are now making a roaring trade in sneaker-inspired golf shoes. Likewise, new upstarts are bringing street style to the course, while some of the sport's most storied brands have also both taken measures to ensure that their hyper-modern approach to sportswear is also starting to be seen in the golfing world as well.
Put simply, there's never been a more exciting (or fashionable) time to be in to Golf, and these are the brands leading the charge.
The watch sponsorship is to many players on the PGA tour what a sneaker deal is to someone in the NBA. Just about every major watch company has a stake in pro golf. While most watchmakers simply adorn their players with timepieces, TAG have displayed a unique appreciation for the sport and its players in developing their own high-end Golf GPS watch.
Offered complete with an accompanying app capable of tracking your scores, hole location and shot distances, it's aimed at being just about the most complete (and flex-worthy) golfing companion you can buy. For the more classically-minded, rugged models like the TAG Heuer Aquaracer are also built to withstand all manner of goings on out on the links.
2019 has become something of a defining year for the Swoosh, however, as it fully turned its attention to redefining concepts of golf style through bringing fashionable names to the course for the first time. They first made headlines by teaming up with Stone Island to bring a little high-fashion glamour to Rory McIlroy's get-up for this weekend's Open Championship.
Stone Island, the legendary italian outerwear brand, is one of those weird brands that seems to toe the line between retaining a genuine desire to produce functional garments and the level of exclusivity that's kept it popular with everyone from Football Casuals to hip-hop icons alike. Drake is a noted fan.
However, Nike's true internet-breaking moment came at the Tour Championship in August, where world number 1 Brooks Koepka confused traditionalists and delighted hypebeasts by stepping out in an unreleased pair of Nike x Off-White golf shoes.
Under Armour have also quietly established themselves as one of the most fashionable companies on tour in recent years on the back of this, finding great success from their partnership with American prodigy Jordan Spieth, but now they've upped the street-cred stakes by unveiling a capsule collection with NBA future legend and three point king, Steph Curry.
The collection itself, dubbed the Range Unlimited Collection by Under Armour, features pretty much everything you'd expect in a fashion-forward golf collection. The traditional golf shirt is given a bold twist with an all-over tropical print, while the pants thankfully get a much more modern update with a skinny, cropped fit that would almost go well with a pair of sneakers.
Curry rounds this off with course-regulation long printed socks and a blacked out, golf-ready take on his Curry 6 basketball shoe. For ultimate steeze once you depart the 18th green and step into the clubhouse, a classic coach's jacket is also thrown in for good measure.
“You want to be able to make bold statements with some loud prints… it still has the performance technology with Iso-Chill that makes you feel cool out there on the course,” Curry said at the collection's unveiling at the Mission Hills Golf Course in China.
“There is always a performance element to making athletes better and that is what we do at Under Armour, so blending those two perspectives was what made this capsule different from anything else you’ve seen.”
Curry, aside from the notorious golf fiend that is Michael Jordan, has revealed himself as one of the hottest golfers in the NBA in recent years. A 5-handicap, he made his tour debut at the Ellie Mae Classic last year, surpassing expectations by shooting a total of 8 over for the 36 holes in which he played.
Bringing a Cali-inspired streetwear vibe to proceedings, Malbon is the kind of brand that would emerge if the people behind Golf Wang actually, well, played golf. Credited as a brand helping to take the 'old white man' out of golf, Malbon's collections fuse moden, graphic-heavy design with country club staples like polos, technical pants and v-neck sweaters. They also focus on off-the-course gear, entering into Reigning Champ territory with French Terry sweaters and trackpants, and count both Nike and PUMA among their recent collaborators.
The brand that re-introduced millennial golfers to flat-brim caps is still kicking on with their disruptive behaviour, having first stormed into the sport with a direct-to-consumer model of selling premium golf balls. They've since expanded this out to a fully-encompassing range of Gen-Y ready golf gear, from clean, street inspired apparel, to bags and even umbrellas.