Chanelle Wangari hits her tee shot rocking bright colors during the 46th Boys and Girls Junior PGA Championship (Photo by Rachel Harris/PGA of America)
Winning one PGA of America National Award is a feat that eludes most PGA Professionals. Josue Reyes earned two such awards during his 14-year tenure as PGA Director of Retail for the Destination Kohler family of facilities in Wisconsin including 2020 PGA Merchandiser of the Year - Resort Category. Reyes recently started his own company, providing e-commerce, design, direct sourcing, private label, warehouse and fulfillment and embroidery and printing services. He also offers personalization, corporate gifts and a one-of-a-kind personal shopping experience.
I chatted with Josue to learn about what’s cool in golf fashion and what’s trending in golf shops these days. He says prints are all the rage in 2022, as designers and manufacturers are getting more creative than ever. Entering the fray just a few years ago, prints were just subtle patterns and shapes, and have now become landscapes of fruity drinks, pink flamingos, tropical toucans, a plethora of palm trees and plump and prickly pineapples. These are NOT your father's or mother’s golf shirt.
New lines like Sunday Swagger are moving the needle on innovation, colors and style, while golf shop staples like Peter Millar, johnnie-O and POLO Ralph Lauren are joining the party and celebrating the game with unique designs, light fabrics and a fun vibe. Reyes says that many brands are making prints their marquee item.
Fall fashion seems like it’s all about the hoodie! Companies like tasc & Greyson offer a lightweight hoodie that is as fashionable playing golf, as it is functional while apple-picking or trick-or-treating. When you see young PGA Tour stars like Justin Thomas wearing a hoodie or Rickie Fowler sporting a new style of joggers, look for them in your local golf shop soon after.
Josue says the excitement around golf fashion will continue in 2023, as the trend setters continue to do what they do, and the more traditional brands get on board with what today’s golfer is looking for. The solid cotton golf shirt is a dinosaur in many golf shops. Even older golfers, who might not appreciate things like a shorter sleeve for a more athletic look, are seeking a light, cool and clean feel, quite a divergence from the traditional solid cotton golf shirt. For them, it’s about fit, form and comfort. After all, everybody likes to look good and feel good, of course!
Reyes predicts it will be more about the added activities that can be enjoyed in today’s fashion-forward golf apparel. Many golf shops are making room on their shelves for such lifestyle pieces that members can wear to their yoga class, gym session or to just hang out around the house. Leggings and joggers for women & men are hot items in golf shops, and are increasingly being worn on the course, as well as off.
Whether you play golf, hit the spa or enjoy the gym, we’re starting to see more targeted categories like the activewear that Reyes highlights here. Even the most golf-specific of vendors are putting out products and apparel that is either multi-functional or not associated with golf at all. Reyes indicates that we will see continued growth in these areas. Look for golf shops to carry swimwear, loungewear and even non-golf accessories. This expansion of product categories creates new revenue streams for golf shops, and these new items will help drive sales of golf-specific items as well, as non-golfers and social members are frequenting their club’s golf shop more than they have before. Look for your local golf shop to mirror the boutique retail space around the corner.