For someone who doesn’t get to play but maybe 3-5 rounds a year these days, I still love the game of golf. That passion has been reflected here on Jeans & Ties over the past couple years, specifically when it comes to the tournament teeing off this week: The Masters. Two years ago, I wrote about the timeless memento I picked up in Augusta a decade ago. And last year, J&T friend Stuart Burkhalter wrote a brilliant essay about his first trek to The National.
Today, I want to spotlight some golf brands producing quality apparel that look good both on and off the course and that largely shun the nonsensical neon trend that tore through the golf world recently. I needed someone who knew what he was talking about, so I asked J&T reader (and fellow Long Beach resident) Andy Garms for his recommendations. Garms is an avid golfer, an 8-handicap and estimates he played 40 rounds all over Southern California last year. So Garms, you have the honors…
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Aside from looking forward to playing and scouring the internet for decent green fees and course reviews, I spend an embarrassing amount of time considering what to wear for each weekend round. I like to take the time and support someone other than the large conglomerate sporting entities and wear some lesser known brands that have the modern golfer in mind. The challenge is to put together an ensemble that mixes modern and traditional, to not mismatch colors and patterns, to not wear something distracting enough to force the cart girl to drive into a pond.
Luckily there are plenty of options for what to wear, whether it’s a round on the local muni, a company outing or the special country club invite. Travis Mathew has made a significant impact on the golf community with clever marketing and significant social media presence. The company is based in Huntington Beach, and their stuff looks as good on the fairway as it does in the office, at happy hour or walking the pier with your lady. I have a lightweight Travis Mathew jacket that I wear almost every day, no matter the occasion. And of course I have a variety of golf shirts that fit me just right. Travis Mathew apparel features a modern slimming cut and wicking materials, an improvement from the heavyweight, boxy golf shirts and pleated khakis we should have been ashamed to wear.
Lesser-known but equally fantastic is Matte Grey. This brand is also based in Orange County and caters to the modern, stylish player. I almost hate giving away one of my favorite “secrets” but their apparel is too sharp to keep to myself. I splurged during a year-end sale and bolstered my golf wardrobe with a variety of collared shirts, shorts, pullovers and pants. (This might be my favorite.) While I wait through another six-hour Southern California round, I might as well look good doing it.
In an effort to find other new brands, I discovered Criquet. The Austin-based brand’s golf shirts are more traditional, but still offer a better fit than the apparel of yesteryear. The 100% organic cotton is soft yet sturdy, perfect for an early morning eighteen or a twilight weekday nine after sneaking out of the office. (Editor’s Note: Some of their signature Players shirts are on sale here.)
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Hey, it’s Dom again. Two more golf-related notes. First, for those of you wanting a green jacket of your own, my friends at Criquet produced this amazing terry-cloth toweling jacket just in time for The Masters. (I think it’d be a sweet prize for the winner of your friendly-and-definitely-not-for-cash golf pool.) And over at Hudson Sutler, they are trying to convince the powers-that-be in Augusta that the real green jacket deserves a better garment bag. No lie, one winner carried it off in a garbage bag. End the oversight and go sign their petition.