The term “hot stove league” originated with baseball. It refers to the sport’s “off-season” and conjures an image of its fans gathering around a hot stove during the cold winter months, discussing their favorite baseball teams and players. The “hot stove” is also known for the wave of activity (including rumors and speculation) of player contract negotiations, re-signings, free-agency, and trades.
There is not much of a layoff on the PGA Tour so when the calendar flips to the new year we get an abbreviated version of golf’s hot stove league. For those of us who closely follow golf fashion, the Hawaii-swing, and Sentry Tournament of Champions, in particular, is akin to the Baseball Winter Meetings; it’s our first opportunity to not only peek at new gear but also check out which players have changed apparel sponsor.
The Times They Are a-Changin’
Jon Rahm (TravisMathew/Cuater)
The biggest news of the week was Jon Rahm, the number two player in the world, signing a deal to wear TravisMathew and Cuater. (This is similar to signing a middle-of-the order slugger). However, everyone was scratching their heads when Rahm laced up the Concord, No Denim, and Cool Grey versions (respectively) of the Jordan 11s. It was reported here and confirmed by TravisMathew that he would be wearing The Moneymaker and The Ringer shoes by Cuater. My sources tell me that the shape of Rahm’s feet requires him to have extremely customized shoes. We should be seeing him in Cuater soon as they are working with him to get the exact specs he needs in his footwear.
If Jon Rahm was the biggest hot stove story, Patrick Reed was a close second. We posted a picture on Instagram last week from Golf Channel of Reed wearing a G/FORE hat and shirt on the range at Kapalua. The caption was, “Apparently Patrick Reed will be wearing G/FORE this year?” This received a bevy of passionate responses (to say the least). It was quickly clarified that Reed is an apparel and footwear free-agent and purchased the gear himself, just like the rest of us. Good for him. I actually thought Patrick looked good on Thursday and Friday. Saturday and Sunday? Not so much. Stay tuned for updates on this developing storyline 😉
Andrew Landry (Vineyard Vines & FootJoy)
As soon as I saw Andrew Landry in Vineyard Vines I texted Greg and we both agreed this was a perfect player/brand pairing. Landry’s sartorial skills are sneaky-good. He is like that number-two, slap-hitter who gets the job done with little fanfare and always helps his team win. Landry will be a great addition for Vineyard Vines. I’m excited to see more from this duo.
Marc Leishman (KJUS & Callaway Footwear)
I feel like Marc Leishman has been wearing IZOD forever. It’s strange to see him in something else, although I can’t blame him for making the switch to KJUS. They make some of the best technical apparel on the market. KJUS was acquired by the Acushnet Company in Summer 2019, yet they have a greater appeal to golfers outside of the United States. Australian Marc Leishman is a top 30 golfer in the world and should bring a great deal of exposure to KJUS (stateside and abroad) with his incredibly consistent play.
In Maui, locals celebrate the end of the workweek with “Aloha Friday”. At the Sentry TOC, players, caddies, volunteers, and even TV broadcasters participate in the local tradition by wearing Hawaiian-patterned clothing at Kapalua. When players participate in the Aloha Friday tradition, Sentry Insurance donates $1,000 for each piece of Hawaiian-patterned clothing players wear. Here are some of my favorite Aloha Friday looks.
Lanto Griffin (Galvin Green & FootJoy)
Galvin Green offered us a sneak peek from their upcoming Fall collection. From a distance, this polo looks like a fantastic floral print, but it is actually a pixelated design that creates a righteous Aloha pattern. Will pixelated graphic prints be a trend in 2021?
Billy Horschel (Ralph Lauren Golf & FootJoy)
Loyal reader, Larry pointed out that these pants looks like his grandmother’s couch. Billy Horschel is the ONLY man alive who can make a print from his grandmother’s couch look good.
Brian Gay (G/FORE)
Our guy, Brian Gay, kept things traditional for Aloha Friday and went un-tucked. Fantastic kit; the solid light blue G/FORE polo and the Debossed Gallivanter’s were the perfect complements to his trousers.
Bryson DeChambeau (Puma Golf)
Puma always does a great job of getting into the spirit of an event. The first of their eight “Tracks” capsule collections is called Daybreak and was inspired by palm trees and Hawaiian sunrises. The next one will be released in a few weeks at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same
Scottie Scheffler (Nike Golf)
Nike has generated a lot of buzz the past few weeks with their anticipated 2021 shoe releases, especially the much-hyped Infrared version of the Air Max 90 G. However, I will be really curious to see what happens with the Roshe Tour which I don’t think they are making anymore. This is one of the most popular shoes with their Tour pros, including Scottie Scheffler. Are there more new releases to come? Hmmm…
Sergio Garcia & Joaquin Niemann (Adidas Golf)
My pet peeve is when two guys in the same pairing wear the same outfit. It drives me irrationally crazy. Anyhow, I digress. I will pass on the zippered-placket but take one of each hat, please.