Over the last several years, golf has made a beeline in the direction of "cool."
Whether it's the snazzy clothes, the fun, bold equipment, the unique accessories, or the colorful characters that play the game at the pro level, golf isn't just your grandfather's game anymore -- even if it is still pretty neat to have him in your regular foursome.
To that end, allow us to introduce you to Troy Hamilton, the founder and CEO of the Part Time Golf Company.
Hamilton makes hats, tee shirts and accessories and the brilliant company name is something I'm sure many of you reading can relate to.
Recently, we sat down for a little Q&A with Hamilton to learn more about Part Time Golf.
PGA.com: How did you come up with the idea for Part Time Golf?
Hamilton: It's a brand for the player. Not necessarily the golfer, but the person that loves to play golf.
It's all about the legion of players that play the game part time -- most of them shooting solid scores. There's a whole new demographic of Part Time Golfers that are really good! I really wanted to create a brand that players could connect with and call their own... the name and logo is essentially, them.
PGA.com: Tell me a little about the logo.
Hamilton: The logo quietly says golf in a classy, clean style without saying it at all. It's the "polo horse" of golf if you will.
It's inspired by the most recognizable stance in golf -- the crouch of lining up a putt. It's done with confidence by all that play the game regardless of their playing level. The Golf Channel has referred to it as "the million dollar stance." It's been very well received for its powerful simplicity -- especially our League version which mimics the logo of the American pro leagues.
The logos are referred to as the "icon" and "the league."
PGA.com: Can you talk a little about the style of your hats? It looks like you've got something for everyone.
Hamilton: I wanted hats that appeal to all types that have a passion for the game of golf. From the construction worker to the Wall Street executive as well as celebrities and athletes. They're hats that can be worn as your "every day" on and off the course. Simple style that aren't a "billboard" but are still a conversation piece that says you love to play golf. The same logos run across the same styles from snap-back truckers to performance Ultrafibre as well as plaids and pinstripes and the popular Pro Fitted flat brim. The Flexfit® technology used is a trusted and familiar fit, known by most people.
PGA.com: Over the last several years -- more so than ever before -- golf has become "cool" for lack of a better word. It seems like Part Time Golf epitomizes that cool essence with the hats and tees -- especially the "definition" tee -- simple, but unique. Would you agree?
Hamilton: Yes. There is a whole new bread of golfer playing the game and their golf game is intertwined in their everyday lifestyle. There is a lot of influence from the individual sports world from me as many of those sports are a passion of mine (motocross, BMX and Snowboarding). I look to align the brand with many of athletes in these "X" sports and draw from their fashion and functional styles.
PGA.com: When did the company start up and are you looking to expand your products?
Hamilton: The company started in 2009 and launched "officially" after securing the name and logos in the first part of 2010 with one hat and tee style. The website, as you see it now with the introduction of the Player Map, launched at the end of 2011. The Player Map is a unique way of connecting the customers of the brand. Registration is free and I mail you a sequentially numbered bag tag and a set of league stickers. It's a "head count" of the players around the world if you will. As it grows with members -- currently there are over 250 members in six countries -- I look to expand its social functionality and bring more golf related content and prizes to the members. Stay tuned.
And, yes. I want to expand the brand and offer a full line of functional, stylish gear as well as a women's branded line. I'm also entertaining licensing opportunities for the brand as well.
PGA.com: Any highlights for Part Time Golf so far?
Hamilton: Bill Murray has embraced the brand, wearing it at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am and can be seen wearing it on a regular basis in is day-to-day life.
It was worn by a great golfer named Derek Bohlen, a contestant of NBC/The Golf Channel's Big Break - Greenbrier. Several MLB players have requested hats, as they love the league logo to wear for their Part Time Golf games.
I've supported events for The First Tee as well as sending some hats for the kids at the Tiger Woods Learning Center.
PGA.com: Last thing, Troy. Tell me about the future of Part Time Golf.
Hamilton: I look to align the brand with celebrities, pro athletes, musicians and other prominent society figures who have a love for the game and have a passion to play Part Time Golf in their busy full-time lives. It's an "off the radar brand" that can quietly say they love golf.
To visit the Part Time Golf website, click here .
You can also follow Part Time Golf on Twitter, @iparttimegolf .
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair .