Looking good on the golf course and playing well are no longer separate goals. With the popularity of “performance fabric” apparel, and stylish yet useful accessories, this summer’s golfers will look good while concentrating on the task at hand: playing better golf.
“We are finding that golfers, men and women both, don’t want to sacrifice comfort in order to look good on the course,” says Penny Ford, Golf Shop Retail Manager at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa. “They are looking for fabrics and styles that allow them to stay cool, feel comfortable, and play their best game.”
“Performance fabric” is the buzzword in the golf apparel industry. This revolutionary material, also popular in other sports, features “moisture wicking,” which absorbs perspiration and helps to keep the body dry.
And women golfers “want a more fitted shirt that gives them a more feminine look and shape,” Ford says. “Boxy” tops are out. Sleeveless tops are also increasingly popular because of their practicality. Ford says that many women used to shy away from sleeveless because they didn’t want to expose their arms completely, but they no longer seem to care as much. She says the cut is comfortable and doesn’t hold back anyone’s golf swing.
Ame Kurson, owner of sports accessories brand Ame & Lulu, agrees, saying, “It’s all about style and fit.” She also notes that in addition to fitted tops, bright colors are on-trend in both clothing and golf accessories. Kurson says her “Reef ” line of golf head covers, shoe bags, golf belts, and other coordinated accessories is increasingly popular. The “Reef ” pattern is a black-and-white print with a splash of lime green.
Ford is of the same opinion; black and white is the traditional mainstay when it comes to golf gear, but adding pop of color keeps merchandise current. “Our members tend to add color to their overall look with their accessories—belts, visors, and hats,” Ford says. She sees green, pink, and gold as popular accent colors to the more traditional black and white patterns. Ford also says that golfers are concerned with protecting their skin. “Traditional hats and visors are always an option, but the Vineyard floppy hats, which cover more of the face and neck, are popular for both men and women,” she says. “People are more aware of spending the day in the sun.” Smart move, fore sure!