What a difference a year makes! Wow, this time last year PING Apparel wasn’t even on my radar. Now the brand is one of my favorites. What changed? Well, prior to 2016, PING out-licensed its apparel business. Starting with its Spring/Summer 2016 Collection, though, the Phoenix-based brand brought the business in-house. Part of the reboot was the addition of a new in-house design team with British roots, years of golf apparel industry expertise, and a high-fashion attitude. The turnaround has been nothing short of brilliant as PING has managed to marry well-tailored looks with its tradition of cutting-edge technology.
With its latest collection, PING brings us fresh takes on high-performance outerwear, 5-pocket pants and a range of polos in fashionable teals, purples, blues, and grays for the season. How much am I digging PING’s new collection? I recently wore PING’s Lennox Trousers and Karsten Polo on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive. If they are stylish enough for me to wear on national TV, then you know they are among my favorites this season.
Here’s a look at a few must-haves from PING, starting with a game-changing jacket.
Remember that Jimmy Buffet song about changes in latitudes leading to changes in attitudes? Well, PING’s Latitude Jacket will certainly change your attitude about golf in wintery conditions. While it won’t transport you to a land of palm trees and mai tais, its lightweight layer of insulation on the front panel will keep your core feeling tropical when the mercury begins to dip.
The Latitude Jacket is part of the new age of layering where heavy is no longer a requirement for warmth. Instead, this jacket uses PING’s SensorWarm™ technology to trap warm air and return it to your body without using thick and bulky layers. This lightweight layer of thermal insulation is wrapped in a water and wind resistant fabric for added protection against cold showers and biting winds.
As much as the Latitude Jacket is built for warmth, it also possesses well thought out playability and comfort features. The shoulders, back, and sleeves of the jacket are constructed from a thin and flexible polyester performance fabric. The breathability of this polyester allows excess heat to escape as temperatures climb during a morning round, while the hint of Elastane provides unfettered movement during the swing.
Here at GolfThreads, we’ve been talking about these puffer jackets and vests even before they were a full blown trend. We’ve seen a lot of them since 2013 and PING’s Latitude is one of the most stylish ones I’ve laid my eyes on. It achieves that rare blend of fashion and function, and it has everything to do with the chevron-shaped quilting on the front panel. While other brands are sticking with the typical horizontal channels or diamond quilting, PING has elevated the look of the Latitude with a design that is not only interesting but also pleasing to the eye.
Most importantly, this is the jacket that will extend the golf season for you. Rather than packing it in and sipping a hot toddy by the fire, grab the Latitude Jacket and hit the course or the practice range.
Zero Gravity Series
Sometimes Mother Nature takes it to extreme levels. In these cases, water repellent fabrics are required to stay dry, and PING’s Zero Gravity Jackets and Vests deliver the ultimate water and wind protection.
The secret to the Zero Gravity series lies with PING’s SensorDry™ technology and the Pertex Shield+ fabric. While this revolutionary material may be new to the fairways, mountain climbers and hikers have been relying on Pertex for years. In addition to being ultra lightweight and waterproof, it possesses a soft hand feel and packs down to nearly nothing. Pertex differs from other waterproof fabrics because of its dynamic breathability, which means the harder you work, the more breathable the fabric becomes.
With the Zero Gravity series, PING has taken this Pertex shell and created a full range of outerwear pieces for the course – a half-zip jacket, a short sleeve playing top, and a vest. The 4-way stretch of the fabric effortlessly moves with the swing, while stretch binding at the cuffs and hem help to block out the elements and create a secure fit. Additional mesh venting is built into the back for extra breathability and airflow where you need it most.
From a style standpoint, I like the minimalistic design. At a time when rain gear is experiencing an influx of amped-up colors and aggressive color blocked designs, PING brings us a kinder, gentler, and more sophisticated approach. Sure, the reflective logo adds a modern edge, but the modest size of the branding element keeps the design extremely clean and allows clubs to effortlessly add their own logos. Plus, the simple black or white colorways are easy to pair with any outfit.
5-pocket pants have been one of the biggest trends on the course over the last few years and PING finds itself on trend with the Lennox Trouser. This 5-pocket style aligns itself with more casual and laid-back looks that have been taking over the fairways recently.
Since PING brought its apparel line and design team in house, the brand has nailed the fit of its shirts, pants, and outerwear, and the razor-sharp fit of the Lennox Trouser is just another example of this. The cut is slim, but not skinny, which is sure to appeal to a wide range of preferences and body types. Whether you have legs like a 1-iron or an NFL running back, this pant will keep you looking smart and on trend.
The Lennox may look like a fairly basic pant from the outside, but PING’s focus on performance shines through with golf specific features like a stretchy moisture wicking fabric, mesh front pockets, and gripper tape on the waistband and right rear pocket to keep your shirt and scorecard in place. Keeping with PING’s clean aesthetic, the Lennox is finished with tonal rivets and understated logos.
Atlas, Karsten & Jonas Polos
Brands that have the ability to blend contemporary details with timeless good looks are the ones that are finding homes in my wardrobe these days. One look at PING’s range of polos with vintage four-button plackets, sophisticated button-down collars, marled textures and slim fits, and it is easy to see why a section of my closet is now dedicated to PING.
While PING’s assortment of polos for the season has something for everyone, the Atlas, Karsten, and Jonas Polos have become my go-to’s. All three use a modern mélange texture to elevate the look of classic color blocking, chest pocket, and engineer striped designs.
Again, PING’s attention to detail and new Savile Row attitude is showcased in its line of polos. The brand absolutely nailed the fit of its polos with high arm holes, narrow sleeves that hit mid-bicep, and a slim fit through the body. Consider sizing up if you prefer a more classic fit or stick with your typical size, if you like a more fitted look. Either way, you can’t go wrong.
For those of you heading to the PGA Merchandise Show, be sure to check out what PING has to offer in 2017. The well-tailored fits and high-performance fabrics make for a stylish addition to any pro shop.