The game of golf has become more athletic. We see it with Tour players like Billy Horschel and Bud Cauley, who last weekend posted videos of themselves doing 42” box jumps to Instagram. We see it with flexible sneaker-style shoes, and we see it with high tech on-course apparel. Sure, we have talked a lot about prints, braided belts and 5-pocket pants here at GolfThreads, but this athletic movement has been the biggest influence on golf fashion over the last few years.
The latest brand to jump on this trend and throw its stretchy, moisture wicking apparel into the ring is Longball Inc. Longball was created by three young Canadians who are passionate about the game of golf and the lifestyle that goes along with it. While grinding away at their 9 to 5s, they were looking for a way to stay connected with the game while supporting one of their longtime friends who was turning professional. From there, they brewed Longball with the vision of breaking the mold of traditional golf fashion for men and women while embracing the ‘work hard and play harder’ lifestyle.
With a name like ‘Longball,’ you would expect its apparel to be fun, bold, aggressive and athletic. Did it live up to its name? I played several rounds in Longball’s range of polos, shorts, socks and hats, and here are my thoughts.
The Bullet Short
The Bullet Short is my favorite piece in Longball’s collection. It is loaded with well-thought-out features and stylish details to keep you looking and feeling your best on the course.
Let’s face it. Most technical shorts are constructed from lightweight polyester fabric, and that is the case with the Bullet Short. Where the Bullet really excels and distances itself from other shorts in the market, though, is through built-in ventilation features. Longball has cut small laser perforations throughout the inner thighs to allow heat to escape and air to circulate through an area where you need it most. If you have ever experienced unpleasant chaffing on the inner thighs over the course of 18 or 36 holes, you’ll appreciate these laser-cut perforations. Building on the ventilation features, the Bullet Short also includes mesh-lined pockets to help prevent the pockets from sticking to your thighs on hot and humid days.
Athletic taping is one of the biggest trends in performance apparel and Longball uses it as a modern way of incorporating piping around the pockets. The reflective taping borders the edges of the front pockets and the rear pockets, which creates an eye-catching and sporty look. One thing that I like about the rear pocket design is that you can either tuck the flaps in or flip them out. This allows you to amp the look of the Bullet Short up or down depending on your mood.
The Dinger & Pure Polos
Heather fabrics have been a huge trend in athletic wear, and Longball’s Dinger and Pure polos play into this craze. We’ve seen the sneaker companies (think Nike, Adidas, Under Armour) successfully using heather fabrics over the last few seasons in their on- and off-course apparel, and Longball’s designs certainly earn a spot in the foursome with the big boys. The technical mélange fabric features subtle variations in color that adds texture and dimension to any look. Sporty details like branded metal snaps, reflective, no-stitch logos, and a bonded collar enhance the high tech looks of the Dinger and the Pure Polos.
Similar to the Bullet Short, the Dinger and Pure Polos are built for performance. Both are fabricated from a lightweight, breathable multi-stretch polyester material that maximizes range of motion. The contrasting sleeves on the Dinger not only create a modern aesthetic, but they also highlight one of the strong playability features that is built into the shirt — a lack of shoulder seams. The absence of shoulder seams actually helps you to hit the ‘long ball’ by increasing mobility. It also eliminates the dreaded sleeve tug that we see from players at all levels.
Both of these polos have a slightly slimmer fit than the other polos in Longball’s collection. I won’t classify the fit as slim or tailored, but more of an athletic fit with a nice drape. Drape is one of those subtle details that is often overlooked in how clothing fits. It describes the way a garment falls or hangs, and the drape can make or break a piece of clothing. The drape of the Dinger and Pure Polos is quite flattering in that it has a slimming effect and smooths out the humps and bumps of the ever-so trendy ‘Dad bod.’ Both of these polos fit true to size, so order your normal size and go hit the long ball.
The Crown, Bounce & Spark Polos
The Crown features intersecting black, grey and blue stripes in a diagonal pattern across the chest and on the left sleeve. The same color combination makes an appearance on the Bounce in the form of alternating thick and thin diagonal stripes. The Spark is really in a league by itself when it comes to high-octane looks. The sun burst pattern of grey, blue and green rays is sure to turn heads.
These three polos are fabricated from a different material than the Dinger and Pure Polos. The fabric on the Crown, Bounce and Spark Polos is more of a pique weave compared to the jersey fabric on the Dinger and Pure Polos. This weave allows for more circulation and increased ventilation in hot and humid conditions.
Wearing bold patterned socks is one of the biggest trends in menswear and golf apparel over the last few years. With hems getting shorter and guys showing more ankle, colorful socks are a great way to inject a bit of color into an outfit without being over the top. The fact that the guys at Longball have included the Step and Glide socks in their collection tells me about their level of detail when it comes to style. These crew cut styles with a compression fit in the mid-foot can easily find a home on the course, street or office. For a more athletic, and slightly more subdued vibe, be sure to check out the ankle length Quick style.
No matter your preferred hat style — structured, slouch, trucker, flat bill, visor, driving, beanie or bobble — Longball has a hat for you in colors that complement any Longball polo. I really can’t think of a brand that has such a diverse range of headwear as Longball, and Yupoong, the maker of those popular FlexFit hats, makes many of the brand’s hats.
We don’t talk much about ladies apparel here at GolfThreads, but it is a huge segment of the golf fashion market and one that continues to grow. In addition to Longball’s range of men’s apparel, the label also has a full line of ladies wear that includes polos, sleeveless polos, t-shirts, shorts, skirts, pants and outerwear — all of which have similar high performance fabrics to their counterparts on the men’s side.