T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.
PGA Professional doubles up as instructor, clothing designer
Doug Timmons is a PGA Professional from southern California.
Well, that's his day job anyway. When Timmons isn't on the practice tee, he's busily working on his apparel company, 18 GREENS. The vision of 18 GREENS, according to Timmons, is this: "A mission to take fashion to the fairways at an affordable price."
So far, the company is doing just that with clothing that certainly blends a SoCal look with a fairways feel -- and not a single item is over $75. The stylish men's polos, pants and shorts offered by 18 GREENS work just as well on the golf course as they do at a casual dinner afterward.
We recently had a chance to sit down with Timmons for a little Q&A about his double life, which as you'll see, is 100 percent golf.
PGA.com: Tell me a little about yourself. How did you get into golf? At what age did you fall in love with the game?
Timmons: I got into golf at age 15. My grandpa always wanted me to play. So, I broke my leg playing baseball and wanted to play a sport for my school team so I tried out for the team with a cast on my leg. I picked up the game fairly easy at the beginning and then I fell in love with it and was hooked.
I didn't realize it then, but it was awesome to be able to spend so much time with my grandpa and his buddies on the course. They played every 9 for coffee and I would get a Dr. Pepper. Soon I was drinking Dr. Peppers on the boys.
PGA.com: One aspect of your story that I love is the fact that you're a PGA Professional. Chances are, you've spent a lot of time in pro shops and around golf clothing. Is that where your idea for 18 GREENS was born? Was it something you wanted in your golf clothes that you just couldn't find?
Timmons: I love the game and love to help the game grow. I love to get kids and adults excited about golf. It's such an amazing game. Getting a club in a kids hands for the first time and watching them make contact is pretty cool.
The concept for what eventually became 18 GREENS was born in 1996, when I noticed there needed to be a huge shift in the market or golf was going to get stale. So making a crossover brand that related to a different demographic is where I started. I love design, business, fashion, people and golf. I really don't require a lot of sleep, so it's pedal to the metal at all times!
PGA.com: You've got a great concept with 18 Greens. The clothes are fantastic -- all of them. But your "Casual Water" pants and shorts are unique. Can you talk a little about the Casual Water line and what separates them from other golf pants/shorts on the market today?
Timmons: I actually developed the fabric. It took awhile to get it right but I think I nailed it. I have some friends that rep in the action-sports world. I took a board short, added two another materials and then heathered the fabric to make it look a little more formal. I wanted the casual to blend with formal so I named it "Casual Water Technology." You can wear the shorts from the beach to the first tee. The pants you can wear from the boardroom to the first tee.
I'm really happy with the way they turned out and they're extremely comfortable to travel in.
PGA.com: Professional golfers -- for the most part -- have to wear pants to play even when temperatures approach or are in the triple digits. For many years, that meant wearing uncomfortable polyesters or cottons that may as well have been like wearing a snowsuit. Clearly fabric technology has evolved. With the 18 GREENS materials, the pants are truly like wearing shorts. Was that your goal?
Timmons: Funny you say that. I was playing golf in Vietnam once and after the first hole it looked like I had an accident in my pants because the sweat was so bad and I don't even sweat much.
So that's when I started messing around with tech fabrics to make something lightweight and functional. When I was messing around with the board short hybrid I hit on this fabric and man did it make a comfortable pair of pants in any temperature. Of course, I'm biased, so you'll have to check them for yourself!
PGA.com: On your website, along with all the great products, you also have a link to your Golf Academy out at Encinitas Ranch Golf Course. How important is it to you to stay close to the game -- the playing and teaching aspects -- as your clothing company grows?
Timmons: I will never stop teaching, I hope. I started learning from Carl Welty. He is an amazing mentor and also Jim McLean -- Carl and Jim work closely together. I'm a student of the game and I love to study film. I was lucky that Carl gave me a job in 1995 at La Costa Golf School. It changed the course of my life. I love to teach people how to enjoy the game. I truly feel they work hand in hand. I try and make everything I do affordable so I do not keep people away because of price.
PGA.com: You're a golfer who is making clothes with the golfer in mind. What kind of feedback have you received from your peers on 18 Greens?
Timmons: So far so good. I really like feedback so everyday I keep my ears open. I'm always looking for what the new trend could be, studying the history of golf fashion and fashion itself.
I love to look at what guys like Jimmy Demaret wore and how you can make it relevant in today's world. I hope I bring little things to the market that are done just a little differently at an affordable price. I am always open to suggestions.
PGA.com: What, so far, has been the most rewarding part of starting your own clothing line?
Timmons: Seeing other people that I don't know wearing it. When I first started I used to go up to everyone and ask where they go, it but as it grew I stopped. I like to get feedback from customers and buyers -- that's how I grow as a designer and developer.
PGA.com: If you would, please tell our readers where they can go to buy 18 Greens clothing.
Timmons: Check your local pro shops, ask for it please if they do not carry it, the more they hear the more chance I have getting it in the shop. You can go to www.18greens.com and get it there if you cannot find it in shops.
I love to do high school uniforms and all high schools that get their uniforms from 18 GREENS have the opportunity to sell apparel for fundraising with a promo code and I dontate a big percentage back to the program. I also love to do logoed shirts for tournaments and charity events and I can beat most any price out there. I just want to get the product out there.
To see the great products 18 GREENS has to offer, visit www.18greens.com.
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.