Cut through the San Francisco fog and traverse the city’s hilly terrain and you’ll come to the State Apparel Urban Clubhouse. It is nestled on the border of San Francisco’s Marina and Cow Hollow districts, two areas buoyed by the latest tech boom. It is just blocks from the bay and Crissy Field where young entrepreneurs work off their artisan cocktails and startup stress. There is a vibrant energy here. It’s an energy fueled by optimism, stock options, and a ‘work hard, play harder’ attitude. The streets, lined with trendy restaurants, athleisure shops, and boutiques, tell you everything you need to know about this effervescent community.
Outside the Urban Clubhouse, you’ll be greeted with a standing sign that reads, ‘Golfwear Made in S.F.’ First, stop and appreciate the view of the bay. Next, step inside the clubhouse where the pristine white walls and fixtures create the perfect backdrop for State Apparel’s stylish threads. Racks of polos, pants, t-shirts, and belts line the perimeter of the shop. Collaborative efforts from the likes of Seamus, Jones, Smathers & Branson, and MacKenzie make cameo appearances throughout. It is well stocked, yet open and airy.
Of course, as you walk through the shop an obvious question will pop into your mind. In this day and age, why would a small golf apparel brand open a brick and mortar store in a high rent district rather than relying on e-commerce?
The answer is simple. State Apparel founder Jason Yip has created a shopping experience at the Urban Clubhouse that goes beyond swiping a credit card in exchange for a new golf outfit. He’s built a home for golfers away from the course. You can stop by and take a few swings in the simulator, pop open a cold local brew, or sip a top-shelf bourbon while browsing the latest pieces in State Apparel’s collection. In a short amount of time, the Urban Clubhouse has woven itself into the fabric of the area (pun intended). Events like a speaker series on golf architecture and wedge stamping parties have helped to create a ‘clubhouse’ vibe and have connected the store with the surrounding community. Furthering this connection to the city is the fact that State Apparel garms are manufactured in San Francisco.
Unlike many other major cities where golf is an afterthought, San Francisco is home to some of the best courses in the country. The Olympic Club has hosted five U.S. Opens. San Francisco Golf Club could host a U.S. Open tomorrow if it so desired. TPC Harding Park hosted the 2009 Presidents Cup and will do the same for the 2020 PGA Championship and 2025 Ryder Cup. The Presidio Golf Course is an old military track that is as legit as they come. And just outside the city sits Sharp Park Golf Course, an old Alister MacKenzie designed muni and the latest Tom Doak-led restoration project. The fight to save and restore Sharp Park has been a long and arduous battle, one fully supported by State Apparel through the sale of ‘Save Sharp Park’ headcovers, cycling jerseys, and other merch.
This rich golfing tradition combined with a temperate climate means year-round golf and plenty of golfers to outfit. Not to mention the flood of tourists looking to pick up a fresh and uniquely San Francisco kit before heading down the coast to Pebble Beach. State Apparel clothing transcends the course, too. Yip tells me one of his best customers isn’t a golfer, but a hiker who appreciates the performance of the brand’s technical fabrics when hitting the trails.
Longtime GolfThreads readers know I’ve been onboard with State Apparel since the beginning. With a water-resistant fabric and cleaning elements on the cuffs and pockets, the brand’s Competition Pants are absolute game changers for sub-optimal days on the course. They have been my go-to cold/wet weather pants the past few winters.
See Also: Ridin’ Dirty in State Apparel
In addition to core products like the Competition Pants, you’ll always find an influx of new styles and colors at the Urban Clubhouse. As a smaller brand, State Apparel isn’t beholden to the typical spring/summer and fall/winter collections. Instead, fresh looks are continuously rolling into the shop. For example, the lightweight Clubhouse Pants and Tempo Shorts have been strong sellers during the warm summer and early fall months.
Another new piece is the Green Collar Polo. The shirt feeds into the brand’s focus on sustainability while honoring the greenskeepers of the world. A portion of the sales is donated to Audubon International’s award-winning Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf. You’ll be surprised how soft this technical polo is, especially when you discover it is constructed from recycled polyester.
Rounding out the new items is a fresh selection of lids and the webbed Medalist Belt with a modern v-ring buckle. For casual days off the course, check out the Ringer t-shirt. The contrasting neckline and sleeve cuffs offer a contemporary take on an old school style. Also, keep an eye out for the arrival of women’s pieces in the very near future.