‘Growing the game’ has been the hottest buzz phrase in the golf industry over the last few years, and a huge focus for that growth has centered on getting more juniors involved in the game. Thanks to programs like Augusta National’s Drive, Chip & Putt, the PGA’s Junior Golf League, the LPGA/USGA Girls Golf, and The First Tee Junior Golf Program, the number of kids playing golf rose by 20% between 2010 and 2015 according to the World Golf Foundation.
A large part of that growth can be attributed to girls picking up the game at an alarming rate. The National Golf Foundation says that the number of girls playing golf increased from 500,000 in 2011 to 800,000 in 2013. That’s a 60% increase in just two years, and some estimates show that the number may have hit 1 million in 2014.
I’m happy to say that my daughter contributed to the increase. As much fun as she has playing golf, finding stylish, age appropriate, and high-performance golf apparel has been a struggle. Sure, the big sneaker brands have junior collections that allow girls to dress like little Lexis or mini Michelles, but the number of brands producing unique designs for kids is few and far between. Take that a step further and the number fully dedicated to creating fashionable threads for girls is even smaller. The exception, though, is Turtles & Tees.
Turtles & Tees was born from founder Kris Bartholomew’s never-ending search for fun, functional, and affordable golf apparel for her daughter, and her daughter’s passion for helping sea turtles. Not only do many of the pieces in the brand’s collections feature turtle and nautical prints, but Turtles & Tees also donates a portion of sales to organizations like the Tampa Bay Green Consortium, Love a Sea Turtle, Stow It-Don’t Throw It, and the Mote Marine Laboratory. There’s nothing like looking good on the course and supporting a worthy cause at the same time. It is truly a win/win.
In addition to the cute prints, the Turtles & Tees collection features a fun and energetic palette of vibrant blues, greens, yellows, and pinks that girls want to wear. All of these colors complement each other, which means many of the tops, bottoms, outerwear pieces, and accessories can easily be mixed and matched for a seemingly endless number of unique looks.
The shirts in the collection include classic Cap Sleeve and Sleeveless Polos along with modern and sporty racerback tanks. My daughter loves the comfort of the shirts, and this has everything to do with the fabric. The lightweight moisture-wicking polyester has just the right amount of stretch to provide range of motion without losing its shape.
From a style standpoint, the details on the Cap Sleeve Polos really separate Turtles & Tees from other junior brands in the market. The three-button placket with tonal buttons feeds into the clean and timeless aesthetic that I like, while my daughter is drawn to the bold print under the collar and inside the back yoke. The shorter sleeves and the ruching at the shoulders not only add feminine elements to the design, but they also enhance the playability of the shirts by freeing up the arms and shoulders during the swing.
The Kara Racerback Tanks are the most versatile pieces in the Turtles & Tees collection. You may buy them for your daughter to wear on the course, but she’ll soon be wearing them on the tennis court, soccer pitch, and lacrosse field. Again, it’s the subtle details that elevate the look of the tanks. The trim around the shoulders, neck and upper back adds a pop of personality and takes these otherwise solid colored tops to the next level. Plus, a built-in shelf bra allows them to be layered under a polo on the golf course and then worn on their own on the court or field.
The clean designs and solid colors of the tops allow the focus to fall on the range of Turtles & Tees’ printed shorts, skorts, and capris. Getting my daughter to wear a dress or a skirt is no easy feat, so the Cameron Short is right up her alley. These well-appointed shorts have all the bells and whistles and offer the perfect combination of fashion and function. An adjustable inner waistband is just like the one found in my daughter’s favorite jeans and from a parent’s perspective, it allows them to be purchased a little big and adjusted to a smaller size.
Before getting the Cameron Shorts, my daughter always played golf in running shorts. Although they were comfortable and possessed high-performance qualities, they were missing golf specific features, like pockets. As a result, I was always holding her glove, ball marker, and tees. (I didn’t even get a good tip at the end of the round.) The Cameron Shorts, though, have two rear pockets for a glove, two deep front pockets for tees and ball markers, and a hidden ticket pocket. Plus, the all-over embroidered pattern is cute, on trend and offers a luxurious look.
If a skort is more your daughter’s style, then she will love the Sydney Skort. Much like the Cameron Shorts, this skort has an adjustable inner waistband, two rear pockets, and a hidden tee pocket under the waistband. A contrasting liner and ergonomic hem enhance the playability and comfort. What really makes the Sydney Skort stand out, though, is the large and colorful prints and the thick grosgrain ribbon belt. Both make bold fashion statements and increase the cuteness factor.
Joining the Sydney Turtles & Tees’ collection is the Christina Skort. This skort is perfect for the active girl who moves from activity to activity throughout the day. The clean lines and stylish back pleats are reminiscent of a classic tennis skirt, while the technical fabric gives it a modern performance edge. The color coordinating elastic waistband and inside short are built for comfort and the small rear pocket offers a convenient place for storing tees and ball markers. If your daughter is a multi-sport star, then this is the skort for her.
Of everything in the Turtles & Tees collection, the range of outerwear is my daughter’s favorite. Sure, some of this has to do with the fact that layers are required year round here in Northern California, but it also has to do with the fun, youthful, and athletic vibe that the pullovers and jackets provide.
The Alyssa ¼-Zip Pullover is a highly versatile mid-layer piece that is as functional as it is fashionable. The color blocking at the shoulders and across the back allow it to easily transition from the 18th green to center court. The seafoam/navy and navy/berry colorways coordinate nicely with the various prints in the collection. The Alyssa not only looks great with tights, shorts, or skorts, but it can also be paired with jeans for a sporty aesthetic around town.
When Mother Nature turns on the fan, the Alexia Wind Jacket and the aptly named Windbreaker are stylish options that can be worn on their own or layered over the Alyssa Pullover for extra warmth. Both feature contrasting color blocked panels on the side, two zippered pockets for storage, and linings that coordinate with the prints in the collection. The linings are also fabricated from a polyester mesh that allows excess heat to escape. The Windbreaker has the added benefit of vents under the arms and across the back and the Alexia includes a water-resistant outer shell to protect against light showers.
Accessories are a huge part of the women’s golf fashion world and Turtles and Tees have created some cool options for girls to add to their wardrobes. The hats and headbands check in at a lower price point than those at Lululemon, Ivivva, and Athleta Girl, plus they are in sync with the colors and prints in the rest of the Turtles & Tees collection. One of the more grown up accessories is a clutch with the brand’s Tee’s Squared print. The clear exterior of the built-in cell phone pocket allows girls to easily see messages on their phones without removing them from the clutch.
For Spring/Summer 2017, expect Turtles & Tees to unveil bold new prints for the season. Look for a cute yellow and pink elephant print (Take a Swing), a multi-colored abstract dot pattern (Dots in One), and a fun monkey and palm tree print (Monkey Love). The Tee’s Squared print remains in the collection with a new salmon and jade colorway.
Making a return appearance for the season are the Cap Sleeve Polo, Sleeveless Polo, Kara Racerback Tank, Sydney Skort, Cameron Short, and Alyssa Pullover. The new Leah Hoodie brings a street-savvy layering piece to the mix and the new Tara Skort features side and rear pockets in a timeless design.
Look for Turtles & Tees on the web at TurtlesAndTees.com and in your local golf and tennis shops.
Turtles & Tees on the web: TurtlesAndTees.com
Turtles & Tees on Facebook: @turtlesandtees
Turtles & Tees on Instagram: @turtlesandtees
Turtles & Tees on Twitter: @turtlesandtees
Hope you are going to have a masters column this week.