Rory McIlroy’s Custom Nike Shoes

It wasn’t a great week with the clubs for Rory McIlroy at The Honda Classic, but his shoe game was strong. Rory created a social media storm on Wednesday by sporting some never-before-seen Nike Lunar Control 3 shoes that featured a safari print and a bright red/orange swoosh.

Prints are obviously a strong trend on and off the course, and these safari prints have become an increasingly popular way to add some personality and texture footwear. Versions of Keegan Bradley’s custom Jordan golf shoes have featured elephant prints and we have seen similar prints used on basketball and soccer shoes.

Many custom items that are seen on Tour players, are usually not attainable for the amateur player, but that’s not the case with Rory’s custom kicks. Take a quick trip to Nike iD, the brand’s custom shoe and gear design site, and you too can slip on Rory’s bespoke Lunar Control 3s. Do this at your own risk, though. It is easy to drop an hour or so running through all the various options and designing multiple pairs of shoes.

Processed with MoldivIf you are looking to recreate Rory’s shoes on Nike iD, here are the specs:

Vamp: White with Black Safari Graphic
Tongue: White
Quarter: Black
Swoosh: Hot Lava
Laces: White
Flywire: Black
Midsole Topline: Black
Midsole: Grey
Sole Plate: Grey
Spike: Hot Lava

This is the first time Rory has strayed from the retail colorways with his Nike footwear and we hope to see more custom kicks from Rors and other players in the future. It is also great to see trends from street wear and other sports influencing on-course fashion. Next up, maybe we could see some of the floral prints that Nike is using on its Roshe running shoes carried over to some golf footwear. Please, Nike.

19th Hole Swag: Golf’s Inclusive Club for Style

‘Members Only’ is a phrase that is not uncommon to the game of golf. It separates the country club player from the muni golfer, and symbolizes the exclusivity of the game. You are either in or out. In the world of fashion, there is also a fine line between being in and out. However, start-up e-commerce company, 19th Hole Swag, wants you to stay in vogue by joining its inclusive (and free) members only club.

Founded by the tech-savvy Anisul Huq and actor Ryan Merriman, 19th Hole Swag is bringing stylish apparel and accessories to golfers at greatly reduced prices. With a simple email sign up, you can join the club and purchase products from top brands like Linksoul, Patrick Gibbons, Nexbelt and Rose & Fire at rock bottom prices.

I recently had the opportunity to talk with Anisul and Ryan about what golfers can expect from this Gilt-like flash sale model, their personal on-course swagger and what the future holds for 19th Hole Swag.

attentionglove2GolfThreads: I see 19th Hole Swag as a Gilt for golfers. How are you similar to Gilt? How are you different?
Anisul Huq: Funny story about that is we actually came up with this business idea by stumbling upon the book, “Invitation Only” written by the founders of Gilt Groupe and thought, “man if this had been around for the golf community when I was growing up playing, I would have been on here every day.” We were inspired by their business model and that was it. 19th Hole Swag was born.

We are similar in that we are a member’s only site that brings the hottest products at special pricing to our customers. Our distinction becomes apparent when you compare the two product assortments. All of our products are catered towards the fashion conscious athlete who has an eye for trend, but also desires the effortless comfort and look of vacation/resort styles. When coupled, these two elements perfectly embody the golf lifestyle. There has been a need for this kind of site and we are excited to become the leader of this market.

In addition, we do have one significant difference in our business model. We don’t have a warehouse or any of the overhead that comes with it. The brands send directly to our customers, so you don’t have to worry about a middleman getting their grubby little paws all over your new silky drawers. This also allows us to do everything we can to make sure that our members get the lowest prices possible.

GT: Why do you think this model will be successful in the golf apparel world?Anisul: In order to become a successful entrepreneur in any endeavor, you have to be the first customer of your product. We truly believe that our passion and excitement to shop on our own site will quickly propel us towards succeeding in the apparel golf world. When carefully selecting the brands we want to offer to our members, we always end up looking at each other and saying, “That stuff is awesome, I’m buying at least three of those,” or “Wow, I can’t believe I ever paid full price for that, I’m never doing that again.” If you can get the best products, from the best brands, straight from the manufacturers, at the lowest prices possible, how do you beat that?

Another reason is because of who we are and how well we know the landscape of golf. Being in the entertainment business for so long, Ryan is a master at curating what cool fashion is, and mixed with my tech skills it’s a pretty lethal combo. I grew up in the amateur tournament world and Ryan in the celebrity golf world, so we have a solid understanding on how to reach both those groups and give the people what they want.

attention6GT: What are some of the brands that members can find on your site? What type of discounts can they expect?
Ryan Merriman: We offer a range of products from brands that are already established, hot and new, as well as brands that you will find in some of the most exclusive pro shops around the country. Customers can expect to shop well-known brands like Nexbelt , Leisure Society, Antas Apparel, and Patrick Gibbons belts as well as brands fresh on the scene like Mulco watches, Rose & Fire head covers, and Linksoul by John Ashworth. All of which are at prices between 30 and 60 percent off retail.

GT: Instead of taking orders on your site, you link members directly to a brand’s site to make the purchase. What advantages are there for brands and members by doing this?
Anisul: Actually every order is transacted directly on our site. Our sales typically last between 2-3 days which is when members can take advantage of our special “swag” prices and purchase their new gear. This is not a public sale; our members are the only ones with access to the “swag” pricing – that’s a huge advantage. In between sales, members can preview products from past sales as well as see brands/assortments that will be offered during future sales.

We also want to reward the brands that work with us by growing their brand awareness and generating traffic to their site. If our members discover a product that they want on the brand’s site for which we aren’t offering at a special “swag” price, then we are all for that. Our goal is to provide value to our members and the brands working with us. Everyone wins!

quote5GT: You’ve said 19th Hole Swag’s target audience is “competitive golfers.” How do you define “competitive golfers?”
Anisul: To me being competitive in golf doesn’t mean competing against others, it means competing against yourself. Someone that strives to get better at what they do on and off the course. And that takes a certain, nonconforming style or attitude.

This type of golfer is our target audience because we’ve set out to build a site where those trying to differentiate themselves from the field, by working on themselves, can find their own unique style at 19th Hole Swag. We believe our flash sale model allows us to make a ton of different brands and products available to “competitive” golfers all across the country.

GT: In addition to reaching competitive golfers, you are also trying to introduce non-golfers to the game by showing them how fashionable golf can be. Which golf apparel brands are doing a good job of creating pieces that transition well from the course to the street?
Ryan: Golf gear can pretty seamlessly be worn on and off the course when outfitted correctly. In our opinion some of the best companies right now who’ve mastered these transitional products are G/FORE and Linksoul. G/FORE in particular is our favorite brand out there right now. Amazing colors and unmatched design and quality. They truly have taken golf fashion to a new level and are killing it. Unfortunately for us (fortunately for them) they are way too hot right now to give us the prices we want for our members, but don’t worry, we’ll get ‘em.

quote3GT: Co-founders typically have a certain ying and yang. How do your strengths and weaknesses complement each other?
Anisul: That’s a difficult question to answer because it seems in every integral part of the business our minds and personalities ham and egg it perfectly. I could probably go all day on this, but how about to answer this question I’ll give three traits of Ryan’s that make me and our company better everyday?

1. Confidence – Getting turned down flat-out sucks! But you have to get back up the next day, believe in yourself, your ability to learn from your mistakes, and get better for the next time around with the same enthusiasm as before being rejected. Ryan being in the highly competitive and mentally taxing acting business for 15+ years, it’s apparent that he’s mastered that last part. That ability to get right back up and improve oneself after being knocked down, is REAL confidence. Each time Ryan doesn’t get a deal with a brand closed, he uses it as an opportunity to learn and get better for the next one.

2. Judgment – Ryan is a master at knowing what good and bad fashion is. He curates the products and brands and I trust his judgment completely.

3. Intelligible – Ryan has an incredible ability to communicate effectively with anyone. Not many things more important in this world than the ability to communicate.

Ryan: Anisul is a genius when it comes to all things technology; I can barely master checking my email let alone do what he can do on a computer. But aside from his technical skills, he is extremely passionate about what we are trying to do. I couldn’t think of a better person to have as a business partner; the cat flat-out gets it done. I honestly don’t know how many hours he sleeps, but it’s not much. The success of 19th Hole Swag is extremely important to both of us, but I have to give Anisul credit. He really has the entrepreneurial drive and vision that is needed to make 19th Hole Swag a leader in the golf apparel world.

cart3GT: How would you describe your on-course styles? What are your favorite brands to wear on the course?
Anisul: A good part about my complexion (Bengali) is that I can pull off just about anything. So I’ll dabble in a little bit of everything. But my go-to is probably the “Looks retired, you don’t know this yet, but I’m about to hustle you” look. You know, the bucket hat/Hawaiian/shorts/sneakers/long socks combo. Yes, I ball on the course in basketball sneakers.

Ryan: My on course style usually involves G/FORE gloves and shoes, Peak Vision shades and I always rock my Nexbelt. As far as pants and shirts go, it depends on the day. Sometimes it’s loud and fun and other times it’s more understated and sleek like a birdie assassin, but always swagalicious.

GT: What was your experience like shopping for fashionable golf apparel in the Midwest?
Ryan: Growing up in the country is amazing, but fashion on the course is pretty straightforward and tends to be an afterthought. That’s why I love what we are doing at 19th Hole Swag. With just a click of a button you can get badass stuff from all over the country. It’s like walking into 20 pro shops with different gear on every rack at wholesale prices, basically golf heaven. Another great thing about us is we aren’t pushing last year’s hand me downs. We just find cool new products that we want to see more of. If you want a green polo and khaki pants go to a golf close out store. If you want new and unique gear then join us at 19th Hole Swag.

GT: Where do you see 19th Hole Swag a year from now?
Ryan: By next year I see becoming a household name in the golfing world. It’s simple…golfers love looking good and they love a great deal. That is exactly what we provide.

I also want to be a place where people feel united as members. Not a country club, but a golfers club for men, women, teens, and anyone that loves this game. I truly believe looking good, feeling good and playing good go hand in hand.

quote419th Hole Swag on the web:
19th Hole Swag on Twitter: @19thHoleSwag
19th Hole Swag on Facebook:

J.Lindeberg & Bespoken Bring Mod-Style Back to the Fairways

The question I was asked most often at the PGA Merchandise Show was, “What’s caught your eye?”

Without a doubt, the answer at the top of my list was the J.Lindeberg Golf x Bespoken collaboration that resulted in a 12-piece English Mod-style capsule collection for Autumn/Winter 2015.

JLindebergBespokenpFor those of you unfamiliar with Bespoken just know that GQ Magazine awarded the label the Best New Menswear Designer Award in 2013. Last I checked, the folks at GQ know a thing or two about men’s fashion, so if my word isn’t good enough for you, theirs should be.

See Also: J.Lindeberg Golf Launches the Luxe Collection

Bespoken was founded in New York in 2008 by London born brothers, Sam and Liam Fayed. They grew up working in their father’s business, renowned English shirt maker Turnbull & Asser, where they honed their craft. At Bespoken, Sam and Liam have created a line that features top-shelf craftsmanship while pushing a modern aesthetic with downtown sensibilities.

Photo credit: J.Lindeberg

Photo credit: J.Lindeberg

When designing the Bespoken for J.Lindeberg Collection, Sam and Liam turned to the English mod style of the 1960’s for inspiration. “We were really inspired by old photographs of the Beatles and Rolling Stones playing golf in the 60s and 70s. They took their personal style to the golf course, and it was interesting to us to see mod-style taken from London streets on to green fairways.”

Photo credit: J.Lindeberg

Photo credit: J.Lindeberg

The brilliance of the Bespoken for J.Lindeberg Collection is its sophisticated fusion of juxtaposing styles. It blends J.Lindeberg’s fashion forward thinking and modern golf silhouette with Bespoken’s Savile Row, high fashion point of view. One look at this collection and you’ll see a sartorial depth that you won’t find in other golf apparel collections. Classic looking glen plaid tartans are combined with modern taped seams, monochromatic contrast details, and refined fabrics, like Loro Piana stretch wool. The pieces are sophisticated and complex, yet simple and easy to wear.

“The taped seams on the tailoring and knitwear, as well as the polka dot print and tartans, are interesting modern ideas for the golf course,” said Liam Fayed. “We wanted the J. Lindeberg guy to have comfortable and functional garments, but lend a versatile sophistication to his wardrobe.”

See Also: Revisiting J.Lindeberg Golf’s Luxe Collection

‘Versatile sophistication’ are key words, as one of the biggest trends in golf fashion is wearing apparel on the course that doesn’t look like golf clothing. As I’ve said before, the days of over-styled golf kits are over. Effortless style is in and you’ll be hard pressed to find a collection that navigates between modern city life and the links as easily as this one from J.Lindeberg and Bespoken.

Photo credit: J.Lindeberg

Photo credit: J.Lindeberg

The showcase piece in the collection, in my opinion, is the water-resistant Loro Piana varsity-style jacket that will be a stylish addition to any fashion-conscious guy’s wardrobe. A knit blazer turned heads at the PGA Show and makes for a strong transition piece to take you from the clubhouse to the cube. Wool trousers with slim cargo pockets and cuffed shorts are unique pieces that are well tailored and easily move from course to street. Taped seam details put a technical spin on classic looking polos and knitwear. Rounding out the collection is a pair of stunning woven leather brogues with old school kilties from Nebuloni.

IMG_4284This is J.Lindeberg’s second luxury golf capsule collection. I wrote about the first one that was designed by JL’s in-house fashion team a couple of times last fall (here and here). The idea behind these capsule collections is brilliant as they allow JL to go outside the box to create collections that are unique to the world of golf apparel. Since they are independent from the label’s golf seasonal collections, they bring a different point of view to golf fashion.

Photo credit: J.Lindeberg

Photo credit: J.Lindeberg

Look for the Bespoken for J.Lindeberg Collection to hit retailers and high-end green grass shops in August of this year.

Photo credit: J.Lindeberg

Photo credit: J.Lindeberg

Criquet Shirts: 10 Questions with Billy Nachman & Hobson Brown

‘Effortless style’ is the theme for golf fashion in 2015. The days of blinged-out, over-styled golf outfits are over. If you are looking to get on-trend this year, then Criquet Shirts’ vintage, preppy polos are for you. Made from 100% organic cotton, Criquet’s polos play as well on the first tee as they do at a cook out or the pub. In other words, they’ll make you look like a stylish Jack Nicklaus on the course, but you won’t look like a techy jacka$$ off of it.

I recently had a chance to chat with childhood friends and Criquet Shirts’ co-founders Billy Nachman and Hobson Brown about the ‘perfect polo shirt’, their new line of button-downs, poorly dressed football columnists, and the best spots in Austin for barbecue, beer and golf.

(Image via Criquet Shirts' Facebook account)

(Image via Criquet Shirts’ Facebook account)

GolfThreads: Rumor has it that a couple of wardrobe tragedies — the loss of your favorite polo shirts — led to the birth of Criquet Shirts. Is this true?

Billy Nachman: Absolutely…we have definitely loved and lost. My favorite was an old golf shirt that I found in my grandfather’s closet after he passed. It was a navy, 4-button placket, hard collared shirt similar to those that Jack, Seve and Arnie used to sport back in the day. It had a coolness that none of my other golf shirts had. It was a shirt that I was as pumped to wear off the course, as I was on it. Unfortunately, my cousin Tucker was paying close attention, and with some sticky fingers, now has possession of the shirt that we both refer to as Dr. Jack!

GT: You’ve been on a quest to create the perfect polo shirt. What are the components of the perfect polo to you?

BN: The 3 major components to creating a shirt are style, material, and detail. We believe that we have found the perfect composition of the three. For the material, we have chosen 100% Certified Organic Cotton. It’s super soft and breathable, and is versatile enough for both the 18th and the 19th holes, unlike many of the performance blends. Unique and functional details, such as our removable collar stays (NO BACON COLLAR), and our deep chest pocket with a flap, are the perfect marriage of form and function. Finally, stylistically, we believe the vintage vibe of the 4-button placket golf shirt is just cooler looking than any other shirt you see on the market.

(Image via Criquet Shirts Facebook account)

(Image via Criquet Shirts Facebook account)

GT: Would you classify your shirts as golf shirts that can be worn off the course or polo shirts that can be worn on the course?

BN: Hmmm…great question!!! I think half of our customers would say one and the other half would say the other. We take a lot of pride in creating a product that satisfies the needs of all of our customers, whether they play everyday, are weekend warriors or just show up at the 19th hole.

GT: Vintage shirts have made a return to the fairways over the last few years. What do you attribute this to?

BN: We all know style is cyclical, so the fact that the vintage shirt has made its way back to the course is not a real surprise. That being said, I also believe that golf has a unique relationship to its history, and apparel, such as our Players Shirt, bring back memories of some of the sports greatest moments and players. Jack Nicklaus (’86 Masters), Tom Watson (’77 Open Championship), Seve Ballesteros (’79 Open Championship), Ben Crenshaw (’84 Masters)… The list goes on and on.

(Image via Criquet Shirts Facebook account)

(Image via Criquet Shirts Facebook account)

GT: Natural fabrics have also made a return to the game. Your shirts are made from organic cotton. What are the benefits of playing golf in natural fabrics?

BN: We have always felt that cotton shirts just feel better against the skin. They breathe better, they don’t stain or trap smells like many of the synthetic blends, and they wear and look better off the course. For us, cotton is a no-brainer.

(Image via Criquet Shirts Facebook account)

(Image via Criquet Shirts Facebook account)

GT: You recently expanded your range of shirts to include button downs. Talk a little bit about your button downs.

Hobson Brown: Much like our Players Shirts, our button downs are styled after the classics. We chose colors and developed patterns that we felt could stand the test of time. We chose super soft organic cotton and added some extra detailing, like a deep chest pocket with a slot for your sunglasses or pen.

They’re sweet shirts and have become a big part of our closets. Sometimes we even go super old school and wear them on the course, ala Frank Sinatra.

(Image via Criquet Shirts Facebook account)

(Image via Criquet Shirts Facebook account)

GT: You recently opened the Criquet Clubhouse showroom in Austin. What can Criquet customers expect from the Clubhouse experience?

HB: They can expect to get to know us personally, roll a few putts, hit a few drives (yes, we have Austin’s shortest driving range) and enjoy a few Hops and Grain ales. Oh yeah, and try on a few shirts.

Seriously, the Clubhouse has been a great way to connect with our customers and become a bigger part of the Austin community. Plus, everyone loves our Bill Murray mural.

GT: You posted an open letter to football columnist Peter King on your blog where you implored him to “ditch the dri-fit t’s” and you offered to send him five Criquet polos. What was the impetus for this letter and did he take you up on the offer?

HB: We’re glad you saw that, but sadly, Peter did not. The writer of that blog, Jeans and Ties, is a good friend of Peter’s and has become a good friend of ours, too. When we read about Peter’s situation – he wears dri-fit t-shrits and sweatpants in public for crying out loud, we tried to help him out. We’re afraid that he may be a lost cause. Sorry Peter’s wife.

(Image via Criquet Shirts Facebook account)

(Image via Criquet Shirts Facebook account)

GT: Austin is one of my favorite cities. What recommendations do you have for visitors? Best music? Best beer? Best barbecue? Best golf?

HB: Our first recommendation is to definitely not come in the summer. Late fall and early spring are the best times to visit.

They’re some great small hotels here – we’d recommend the San Jose Hotel which is close to the Clubhouse and right across the street from one of the greatest and most intimate music venues in the country, The Continental Club. James McMurtry, son of Texas icon Larry, has a standing gig there every midnight on Wednesday, plus another Clubhouse favorite, Ramsay Midwood, plays there pretty frequently as well.

We’d be remiss not to mention the White Horse Tavern, too. The White Horse is our favorite honky tonk and home to badass singer songwriters like Leo Randeau. They also have this eccentric cowboy dude who rides all around town on a white horse. Awesome marketing.

Best beer goes to Hops and Grain and Pinthouse Pizza. Austin has a ton of microbrews to choose from, but Hops and Grain is the only one that is located in city limits. Their taproom, the Greenhouse, is open daily and is the only place to taste one of their monthly rotating “Greenhouse IPAs”. Luckily, H&G is our Clubhouse beer sponsor, so we should have plenty on hand should anyone plan a visit.

We also highly recommend Pinthouse Pizza. It’s a brewery and wood-fired pizza restaurant with you guessed it, delicious pizza and beer. They also have Galaga and Golden Tee, which puts them over the top in our book.

If you can handle the lines, the best barbecue is Franklin’s. There’s a reason people line up for hours every morning and it sells out every day. We also like newcomer Black’s and the upstairs bar at Lambert’s, where you can catch a live show during happy hour.

The best golf goes to the private Austin Golf Club. It’s a Coore and Crenshaw design, which also happens to be Ben’s home course. That’s saying something. It’s just golf, walking only, with zero housing development on it. Soul golfing at its finest.

What’s next for Criquet Shirts?

HB: Our short-term plan is to dominate the top half of the body. Pants are overrated. We just launched three styles of organic cotton/cashmere sweaters, which have been a big hit. We’ve got awesome new Players Shirts, both short sleeve and long sleeve, coming out this spring and some surprises too.

Long term, we are aiming to create a brand that is rooted in classic styles with a progressive and fun mindset. A “Country Club Patagonia” if you will.

Criquet Shirts on the web:
Criquet Shirts on Twitter: @CriquetShirts
Criquet Shirts on Facebook: CriquetShirts
Criquet Shirts on Instagram: @criquetshirts

2015 PGA Merchandise Show Apparel Recap

After three busy and totally fun days at the PGA Merchandise Show, I’m back in Cali. I put together a daily recap for the PGA TOUR, which you can check out here, but here is a little more depth on a few things that caught my eye on the apparel side.

J.Lindeberg x Bespoken Capsule Collection
What have you seen that you really like? Who is doing something different? Those were the two questions I was asked most often over the three days, and the J.Lindeberg x Bespoken collaboration was at the top of the list.

JLindebergBespokenpFor Autumn/Winter 2014, J.Lindeberg launched its first luxury golf capsule collection that pulled inspiration from the high-fashion side of the house. For Autumn/Winter 2015, JL has teamed up with Bespoken, a New York menswear label, to create another stunning luxury golf collection. If you are unfamiliar with Bespoken, just know that they were awarded the Best New Menswear Designer Award in 2013 by GQ.

The 12-piece capsule collection was inspired by the English mod style of the 1960s and it brilliantly blends classic patterns (glen plaid tartans) and refined fabrics (Loro Piana stretch wool) with contemporary details (taped seams). The result is a collection that bridges the gap between high fashion and function while also providing an air of sophistication.

More to come on this.

Devereux Paris @ Night Collection
Pop the champagne. Break out the caviar. Devereux’s Paris @ Night Collection is a winner in our book. This collection for AW15 features some ‘couture’ details, like rounded club collars, hidden plackets and button-down collars, and cut-and-sew designs that pay tribute to Paris’ high-fashion scene.

Photo Jan 23, 8 32 01 AM More than anything, though, we are diggin’ the color palette that includes a gothic purple, an energetic French blue (or bleu, if you prefer), a steely grey, a navy blue and black.

The Newcomers

G/FORE isn’t new to the golf market, but it is new to the apparel game. The label’s colored gloves have been the choice of fashion-conscious golfers, and its shoes and socks have been a breath of fresh air in the footwear category.

G/FORE Polo G/FORE SweaterAt the PGA Merchandise Show, G/FORE not only created a stir with a pair of mannequins that needed to ‘get a room’, but also with the introduction of a new range of cotton polos and wool knitwear.

G/FORE’s debut apparel collection allows golfers to dial their looks up or down with a mix of classic solids, powerful color blocked pieces and trendy camo patterns. Vibrant pinks, bright reds, deep purples and grassy greens pop against a backdrop of traditional navy blues, greys and black. G/FORE’s Autumn 2015 Collection is a must-try when it hits retail starting July.

AG Green Label
AG, famous for its designer denim, announced that it was entering the golf apparel market earlier this month with the creation of AG Green Label and the signing of Camilo Villegas. At the PGA Merchandise Show, the brand launched its Spring 2015 Collection and introduced its Autumn/Winter 2015 Collection. Quite the month.

AG Green LabelDesigner, Alexander Dimitrijevic, walked me through the latter, which features a very clean, modern aesthetic and rich color palette to help golfers stand out for the right reasons. The range of polos includes 100% pima cotton, cotton/poly blends and 100% polyester. Faux collars, 50s style merino wool polos, open weaves for ventilation and Japanese technical fabrics are some of the unique things that AG Green Label is bringing to the fairways.

State Apparel
State Apparel was a newcomer at the PGA Merchandise Show, but was not a newcomer to us. We interviewed founder Jason Yip and reviewed the brand’s shirts and pants last fall.

State ApparelState Apparel’s clothing is probably the most unique in the world of golf apparel. The shirts and pants have wiping panels integrated into the design, allowing players to clean their hands, clubs, and golf balls right on their shirts and pants. To date, State Apparel has produced pieces in classic colors. However, its Golden Gate Collection, which hits this summer takes it up a notch (or two) with modern color blocked and printed polos. The navy pants look sweet, too.

The Big Boys

Nike Golf
Nike’s focus for 2015 is all about lightweight fabrics, maximizing range of motion and offering comfort in a variety of conditions. So, what will Tiger and Rory be wearing?

Tiger Woods 2015 ApparelLook for Tiger to sport classic pieces in 2015 with a lightweight, super stretchy knit on the front of his shirts. In talking with Merritt Richardson from Nike Golf’s apparel team, I learned that Tiger prefers a snap placket, laser perforated collars, the kimono chassis for range of motion and taping down the spine and at the shoulders to give him a sense of where he is at address. Nike also designed the Cypress 1/2 Zip Cover Up for Tiger that has shield properties for wind and water resistance. The most unique aspect of this cover up, though, is the collar, which has a different shape than what we have seen in the world of golf. It was actually inspired by a baseball jacket to eliminate distraction at the neckline.

Nike ApparelRory McIlroy teed it up in Abu Dhabi a couple of weeks ago and we liked what we saw. Rory is definitely more fashion forward than Tiger and he has a strong understanding of how golf apparel should be tailored. Rory’s showcase polo for 2015 is Nike’s Major Moment Polo, which is constructed with an engineered 3-D knit and Dri-FIT fabric. Two of the details we really like on the ribbed collar of this polo is the ventilation that has been worked into the design and collar stays that Nike has included to keep the collar from rolling.

Rory’s cover ups got a lot of attention at the Open Championship last summer, and Nike has kicked up the design for this year with engineered knit sleeves for range of motion and venting on the sides and back.

Keep an eye out for this blue force color, too. It looks sharp.

Puma Golf
Sophisticated and subtle are two of the themes for Puma in 2015. That doesn’t mean Rickie Fowler’s vibrant orange is going away, though. Instead look for it to be used more strategically as a pop of color in a stripe or a sublimated graphic. Many of the bold patterns have been toned down for 2015, too. Softer and more traditional herringbones and melange patterns will work their way into Puma’s collections this year. You will also notice a difference in the fit, as more width has been added to chest and some length has been added to the sleeves.
Puma Golf 2015Looking ahead to fall, Puma’s warming story is Power Warm, which features a unique ceramic-based print that traps body heat in the print and returns it back to the body. Puma says this technology can increase your microclimate by as much as 4 degrees celsius.

So Fly! Tiger Woods’ 2015 Shoe Utilizes Nike’s Flyweave Technology

The long awaited Tiger Woods TW ’15 shoe was introduced by Nike Golf on Tuesday, and it is the first golf shoe to feature the brand’s Flyweave technology.

Nike_TW15_Flyweave_Detail_37234The TW ’15 is the latest collaboration between Tiger Woods and Tobie Hatfield, Nike Senior Director of Athlete Innovation. Woods wanted a shoe that was more stable and more flexible, so Hatfield integrated Dynamic Flywire into a Flyweave upper. This Flyweave material, first used in a basketball shoe in 2014, allowed Hatfield to create an upper for Woods that is both strong and supportive.

“Nike keeps answering the bell every time I want to push the envelope. The new Flyweave technology provides even more stability and support for my foot, and when you pair that with the Free-inspired outsole, I noticed I can push off the ground better and finish my swing with power.”
— Tiger Woods

Nike_TW15_FREE_Inspired_Outsole_37230To address Tiger’s flexibility demands, the Nike Free-inspired outsole received a few improvements on the TW ’15 to provide a golf-specific natural range of motion. Hatfield designed it to sit 3mm lower than the TW ’14 to maximize ground contact and feel. Combined with four replacement spikes, Hatfield utilized Integrated Traction in the toe area of the shoe for extra gripping power. The result is a shoe that is stable, supportive, flexible and lightweight (10% lighter than the TW’14 to be exact).

“Tiger epitomizes power. His power starts with natural motion, which begins with unleashing the foot from the ground up. Flyweave gives you that flexibility coupled with support.”
— Tobie Hatfield, Nike Senior Director of Athlete Innovation

TW15_BP31439_Graded_v1_37254Aesthetically, Hatfield’s design was inspired by Woods’ personal love of diving and spearfishing. His first sketch (above) of the shoe featured star-shaped traction, similar to a starfish. The traction elements in the toe are shaped like octopus beaks, and the rubber in the tip and the heel are inspired by shark scales.

The Nike TW ’15 is available in three colorways (University Red/Black, Metallic Silver/Black and Black/White) on March 5th with pre-orders beginning February 12th. A limited number will be available on beginning February 2nd.

Next Stop: The PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando

Courtesy of The PGA of America

Courtesy of The PGA of America

GolfThreads is headed to the PGA Merchandise Show tonight. My red-eye flight is scheduled to touch down before 6am tomorrow. After chugging a few shots of espresso,  I’ll be set for three days of meetings with the top apparel and footwear brands in the golf industry starting at 9am.

Nike Golf Booth

Courtesy of The PGA of America

Give GolfThreads a follow on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. I’ll be posting updates over the three days of the show. I’ll also be doing daily recaps for the PGA Tour as part of my Style Insider coverage. Be sure to stop back here for updates and recaps, as well.

Tom Morris Booth

Courtesy of The PGA of America