Canada has a knack for producing some of the best golf fashion labels (think Dunning and Sligo) and top athletic wear brands (like Lulu Lemon and Roots). Longball Athletics is the latest golf apparel brand to add its name to the list, and it is starting to make a serious push across the border into the U.S. and across the pond into the U.K. (Just don’t tell Donald Trump or he’ll want to build a wall to the north, too.)
What started as a way of supporting friends and family members, who were grinding on the mini tours, has turned into a full-fledged business with robust seasonal collections for co-owners Jeff and Jared Wood. They founded the brand on a never-ending thirst for adventure, a desire for fashion and a positive attitude, and these principles come through loud and clear in Longball’s new Mountain Air Collection.
“This collection is inspired by the Rocky Mountain summer with sublimation designs that are an ode to road trips, mountain golf courses, and ice-cold mountain waters,” said Jeff Wood. “Whether you live nearby, or travel for miles to experience them, we’ve captured the lifestyle of the crisp mountain air and wide-open mountain ranges.”
If there is one shirt in the Mountain Air Collection that epitomizes what the line is all about, it is the aptly named Ridge polo. The jagged stripes across the front and the icy blues will bring visions of the sharp peaks and cool streams of the Rocky Mountains. In typical Longball fashion, the Ridge is finished with athletic details. Understated branding elements like the raised silicone chest logo, the ‘long ball’ script on the back right shoulder, and the matte gray snaps feed into the sporty vibe.
Joining the Ridge Polo in the Mountain Air Collection is the Alps Polo, and my personal favorite, the Palisade Polo. The Alps features a bold sublimated gradient print that works diagonally from the right shoulder. This ombre or dip-dyed print has been all the rage in the world of golf apparel and menswear over the past couple of years and Longball has put its own unique spin on it with this shirt.
The Palisade Polo, on the other hand, is one of the more conservative shirts in the collection. The color-blocked design fits in with contemporary golf fashion trends, and the contrasting collar and inner placket offer up a pop of color. The Palisade also showcases Longball’s upscale approach and attention to detail. With this polo, the brand opted for a cut-and-sew fabrication technique where panels of fabric are sewn together to create the color blocks. This technique has become a lost art, and it separates the Palisade from other color-blocked shirts on the market.
The Ridge, Alps, and Palisade Polos are all part of Longball’s new Premium line that features upgraded fabrics and designs. In fact, the improved fabrics were evident as soon as I opened the package. The front of each of the shirts is fabricated from a lightweight technical jersey that possesses a nice drape and the back is made from a polyester pique, which provides ventilation where you need it most. Also, you can forget about the dreaded bacon collar with Longball’s polos. The reinforced collars stand up to wash after wash.
Joining the aforementioned polos in Longball’s Premium line is the appropriately named Element Jacket. This seam-sealed, three-layer jacket is designed to handle the worst that Mother Nature can throw at you. The polyester outer layer of the Element features a durable water repellent coating to protect it from becoming saturated. Inside this tough but flexible outer shell sits a polyurethane membrane for breathability followed by a comfortable inner layer comprised of a lightweight polyester/spandex fabric.
Checking in at $120, the Element may be the best bargain in golf rain gear today. It is loaded with technology and playability features. Engineered stretch panels are built into high stress point areas, like the shoulders, elbows, and back, to help with range of motion. A laser cut vent in the middle of the back allows heat to escape, while a bungee cord at the waist blocks out unwanted wind and rain. Velcro tabs at the wrists create a custom fit and also form a gutter to channel water off the jacket and away from the hands. Longball has even put a revolutionary twist on the classic hidden pocket by using a simple laser cut edge that is reinforced with rubber fusing.
The area where Longball has made the most significant strides is with its pants and shorts. In fact, I’ve been living in the brand’s new Jar Pants this summer. They certainly possess all the style and performance that is needed for the course, but they are also a great pair of pants for the street, going to and from the gym, or just lounging on the couch.
The Jar Pants have a nice modern fit with a slight taper below the knee that is sure to appeal to a wide range of golfers. Thanks to an abundance of stretch, the Jar can offer this slimmer fit, but still deliver comfort and range of motion. A nylon/spandex fabric, elastic-y waistband, and flexible mesh pocket liners give these pants stretch for days. Add to it premium details like branded silicone grippers on the waistband to keep your shirt tucked in and a logoed zipper pull, and the Jar can easily find a home in the most discerning golfer’s wardrobe.
The Spear Shorts feature many of the same stretch and performance characteristics of the Jar Pants, but a casual 5-pocket design allows them to comfortably fit in on the course, at the skate park, or in the backyard for a barbecue with friends.
For an up and coming brand, Longball has one of the broadest product lines in the game. In addition to shirts, bottoms, and outerwear, its range of accessories is top notch. In terms of headwear, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more stylish collection of hats. Whether you like to play it conservative, trendy, or sporty, Longball has a fitted, snapback, or trucker lid for you. You’ll even find Longball scruffs (also known as buffs or snoods) to protect the neck from cold winds. The only one that likes Longball hats more than I do is my daughter. She usually runs off with them before I get a chance to wear them, so they obviously have some serious street cred with the kids, too.
As I’ve said many times, a belt can make or break any look and the best way to complete your Longball outfit is with the brand’s Croc belt. The 100% genuine leather strap gives you that great exotic skin look without having to drop the equivalent of a mortgage payment on a belt. Not to mention, the cut-to-fit system allows you to interchange straps and buckles based on your look that day.
Bold, colorful socks remain one of the biggest trends in menswear and they offer a fashionable way to add a splash of personality to your on course looks this fall. Tapered pants, like Longball’s Jar, beg for a hem with a shorter break. As a result, you’ll be flashing a bit more ankle than before. The asymmetrical stripes on the Pipes or the modern argyle pattern on the Squared are two stylish ways to dial up your look this fall. Available in either a crew length or a low-cut ankle height, these socks with a cotton/poly/spandex blend and a compression fit in the mid-foot area can easily find a home on the course, in the gym, or anywhere else.