The public image of golf has long been linked to the stereotype of old, wealthy white guys in chinos. But if you nibble on the surface (pun intended by golf!), You will see that there is so much more to the sport and you take inspiration from it. Introducing golfcore, a term I attribute to the lover and comedian of downtown New York Lauren Servideo, who texted me after watching Tiger Woods’ new documentary: Lets supercede gorpcore and lean towards golfcore: Polo, Titleist … that seems like the most reasonable next step after Princess Diana-core.
Indeed, looking at tiger, you may find yourself drooling over Woods Nike mock collars and gallery-glam looks from Elin Nordegrens, in which she pairs oversized Chanel sunglasses with layered sporty outerwear. On Depop, there are currently hundreds of items tagged #golf Izod crewnecks, kitsch embroidered vintage polo shirts, sporty skirts, Titlelist bucket hats. Golfcore isn’t quite tennis-chic, and it’s not quite Larry David at the country club. It’s about finding a muse in the individuals who defined the sport, merged with the fact that the game itself is undergoing a transition for a younger generation.
My dad, an avid golfer, sent my brother and I to a weeklong golf camp to sleep 12-15 each summer. It was a common tennis / golf camp, roughly divided by gender: girls played tennis, boys played golf. There I was, one of the lonely ladies in the golf program, with a full bodied, goofy face in Old Navy chinos and off-brand polo shirts. While packing for camp, it was difficult for my prepubescent brain to work with the dress code requirements in the brochure. There were no cute mood board accounts like @apres_golf; there was no Depop; and even Google image search was a relatively foreign concept. With a lack of inspiration at the time, I felt I had to compromise my identity to dress like a golfer, but I fondly remember those summers.
Fortunately, there are brands out there that have made it their mission to challenge the silly look of collared shirts tucked into khakis. Golf caprice, a Chicago-based clothing brand designed for people who might love golf, are here for the long game, creating versatile, edgy clothing you can wear on and off the ties. Their pop-up store on the Lower East Side announced FREE GOLF last year! the way you say FREE KODAK (their words); which means they aim to free golf from its historically misunderstood image of a game controlled by stuffy country clubs and its wacky stereotypical style. Of course, there are dress code rules you must follow at certain classes, but Whim finds creative workarounds, offering brightly colored zippers, beautifully fitted pants, and fancy collars with abstract patterns.
Connoisseurs are also turning to Bad golf, a company founded in 2017 that makes stylish, skate-inspired golf apparel. If you squint your eyes you might mistake their logo for minimal script with Titleist one Malbons’ font choice just a little more whimsical. In addition to being sold at their flagship store on Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles, Malbon is also sold at retailers like Manor, based in Phoenix. Manors founder Jeremy Davis explained that brands like Malbon have been a kind of entry-level drug in youth golf. In other words, fashion heads and hypebeasts are drawn to clothes and end up stepping into the game as a result. It doesn’t hurt that legitimately cool people are getting more and more into golf. Beyond Michael Jordan, contemporary NBA players like Steph Curry and JR Smith, mega-stars like Drake and Harry Styles and legendary skaters like Eric Koston all love him and they look good doing it. . These are golf outsiders who are changing the game before our eyes.
The pandemic has also been huge for sports, says Emilia Esser, press and communications manager at J. Lindeberg, a Swedish clothing brand that strives to bridge the divide between sport and fashion. All types of people have taken up golf in the past year because it fits right in with the timing: it is a socially distant outdoor activity. J.Lindeberg was an early and influential player in the trend to make golf look modern, with roots in fashion and stylish golf ambassadors like Nelly Korda and Mariah Stackhouse. These are cool, charismatic players who gracefully wear JL’s bold logo and color-blocked styles, turning heads on and off the grass. Esser says she wears her J.Lindeberg golf clothes around Brooklyn and frequently receives compliments that they’re made for performance, but they also fit (and stand out) among fashion snobs. .
These new brands often pay homage to golfers who have led the way so far. Sure, there’s Tiger who forever changed the game in a larger sense, but he’s just a man. The creators of Whim cite Arnold Palmer and his quintessential cardigans as a major inspiration, as well as Gary Player and his all-black cuts. Esser by J.Lindeberg raves about the legendary Swedish golfer Jesper Parnevik and his famous pink pants. Stylist and photographer Mordechai Rubinstein (aka @mistermort) is all about the old-school look. I like the rules, I like the formality, he said to himself. It’s a chic sport. He’s more traditionalist when it comes to appreciating the style of golf, citing the vintage game’s iconic breeches and diamonds.
For now, it’s not just NBA players and musicians who are shaking things up on the course. Jason Adel, CEO of GOLF Magazine, recognizes the change in dress that occurs between the players themselves: Style matters to the next generation of golfers, who grew up wearing Air Force 1s and flat-brimmed hats, he says. They are perfect for combining the traditional golf fashion with the cool, presenting a new approach to dressing and it is important for golf to embrace this change. I did my own research to verify this claim and found a range of young professionals making names for themselves in clothing. There are players like Brooks Koepka, 30, who responded to writers and TV commentators, puzzled by his off-White zippered golf shoes, with three iconic words: His fashion, brother. Then there’s Jason Day, gracing the greens of the most revered golf tournaments with cuffed pants and high-end Jordans. There’s also personal favorite Michelle Wie, who is known to rock those ’90s bungee necklaces while she plays. As with any industry, self-expression is essential for growth and it’s refreshing to watch golf slowly but steadily adapt to its time.
Where does that leave the current state of golf fashion, and is there enough interest to fuel a mainstream trend? I wouldn’t say golf is getting cool in the typical sense of the word, says Michael Williams, golf enthusiast and founder of the OG men’s clothing blog. A continuous lean. But, he explains, as more and more people get into the sport, more and more people will make the sport their own. I think a lot of people gave golf a second chance last year and found they really enjoyed it, but they won’t go to a Dicks Sporting Goods store to buy a bunch of new golf gear, he explains. Like the next gen pros, they’ll wear what they wear and play the game however they want. The more the style of golf merges with everyday clothing, the more there could be a trend towards the traditional crossover. In the meantime, golf is a good place to find inspiration if you’re looking for something beyond the now tired normcore trend, or the arguably played Lady Di look and tennis aesthetic that have exploded over the course. of summer. Sporty slim cardigans, fitted pants, embroidered polo shirts, preppy patterned blazers mixing vintage and new, there’s a whole world of style to borrow and create your own if you’re open to it. Fore!
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