(RE-POST FROM JEANS & TIES)
With the Masters set to tee off in Augusta, here’s a look at a few golf lifestyle brands putting out quality apparel to wear both on and off the course.
For someone who doesn’t get to play but maybe 3-5 rounds a year these days, I still love the game of golf. That passion has been reflected here on Jeans & Ties over the past couple years, specifically when it comes to the tournament teeing off this week: The Masters. Two years ago, I wrote about the timeless memento I picked up in Augusta a decade ago. And last year, J&T friend Stuart Burkhalter wrote a brilliant essay about his first trek to The National.
Today, I want to spotlight some golf brands producing quality apparel that look good both on and off the course and that largely shun the nonsensical neon trend that tore through the golf world recently. I needed someone who knew what he was talking about, so I asked J&T reader (and fellow Long Beach resident) Andy Garms for his recommendations. Garms is an avid golfer, an 8-handicap and estimates he played 40 rounds all over Southern California last year. So Garms, you have the honors…
Aside from looking forward to playing and scouring the internet for decent green fees and course reviews, I spend an embarrassing amount of time considering what to wear for each weekend round. I like to take the time and support brands other than the large conglomerate sporting entities and wear some lesser known labels that have the modern golfer in mind. The challenge is to put together an ensemble that mixes modern and traditional, to not mismatch colors and patterns, to not wear something distracting enough to force the cart girl to drive into a pond.
Luckily there are plenty of options for what to wear, whether it’s a round on the local muni, a company outing or the special country club invite. Travis Mathew has made a significant impact on the golf community with clever marketing and significant social media presence. The company is based in Huntington Beach, and their stuff looks as good on the fairway as it does in the office, at happy hour or walking the pier with your lady. I have a lightweight Travis Mathew jacket that I wear almost every day, no matter the occasion. I also have a variety of golf shirts that fit me just right. Travis Mathew apparel features a modern slimming cut and wicking materials, an improvement from the heavyweight, boxy golf shirts and pleated khakis we should have been ashamed to wear.
Lesser-known but equally fantastic is Matte Grey. This brand is also based in Orange County and caters to the modern, stylish player. I almost hate giving away one of my favorite “secrets” but their apparel is too sharp to keep to myself. I splurged during a year-end sale and bolstered my golf wardrobe with a variety of collared shirts, shorts, pullovers and pants. (This might be my favorite.) While waiting through another six-hour Southern California round, I might as well look good doing it.
In an effort to find other new brands, I discovered Criquet. The Austin-based brand’s golf shirts are more traditional, but still offer a better fit than the apparel of yesteryear. The 100% organic cotton is soft yet sturdy, perfect for an early morning eighteen or a twilight weekday nine after sneaking out of the office. (Note: Some of their signature Players shirts are on sale here.)
Thanks to Dom and the terrific Jeans & Ties website for giving me a chance to expand my corner of the internet. We both share a passion for exploration and agree that Long Beach isn’t such a bad place after all. But we aren’t offended if you’d rather just cruise along the 405 and skip over our hidden industrial, eclectic, artistic, captivating gem hidden in plain site along the coast.
The Masters is one of the four major championships in professional golf. Scheduled for the first full week of April, it is the first of the majors to be played each year. Unlike the other major championships, the Masters is held each year at the same location, Augusta National Golf Club, a private golf club in the city of Augusta, Georgia. The Masters was started by Clifford Roberts and Bobby Jones. Jones designed Augusta National with course architect Alister MacKenzie. The tournament is an official money event on the PGA Tour, the European Tour, and the Japan Golf Tour. The field of players is smaller than those of the other major championships because it is an invitational event, held by the Augusta National Golf Club.
The tournament has a number of traditions. Since 1949, a green jacket has been awarded to the champion, who must return it to the clubhouse one year after his victory, although it remains his personal property and is stored with other champions’ jackets in a specially designated cloakroom. In most instances, only a first-time and currently reigning champion may remove his jacket from the club grounds. A golfer who wins the event multiple times uses the same green jacket awarded upon his initial win. The Champions Dinner, inaugurated by Ben Hogan in 1952, is held on the Tuesday before each tournament, and is open only to past champions and certain board members of the Augusta National Golf Club. Beginning in 1963, legendary golfers, usually past champions, have hit an honorary tee shot on the morning of the first round to commence play. These have included Fred McLeod, Jock Hutchinson, Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Gary Player. Since 1960, a semi-social contest at the par-3 course has been played on Wednesday, the day before the first round.
Nicklaus has the most Masters wins, with six between 1963 and 1986. Palmer and Tiger Woods won four each, and five have won three titles at Augusta: Jimmy Demaret, Sam Snead, Gary Player, Nick Faldo, and Phil Mickelson. Gary Player, from South Africa, was the first non-American player to win the tournament, in 1961; the second was Seve Ballesteros of Spain, the champion in 1980 and 1983.
The idea for Augusta National originated with Bobby Jones, who wanted to build a golf course after his retirement from the game. He sought advice from Clifford Roberts, who later became the chairman of the club. They came across a piece of land in Augusta, Georgia, of which Jones said: “Perfect! And to think this ground has been lying here all these years waiting for someone to come along and lay a golf course upon it.” The land had been an indigo plantation in the early nineteenth century and a plant nursery since 1857. Jones hired Alister MacKenzie to help design the course, and work began in 1931. The course formally opened in 1933, but MacKenzie died before the first Masters Tournament was played.
The green jacket is only allowed to be removed from Augusta National by the reigning champion, after which it must remain at the club. Exceptions to this rule include Gary Player, who in his joy of winning mistakenly took his jacket home to South Africa after his 1961 victory. Seve Ballesteros who, in an interview with Peter Alliss from his home in Pedreña, showed one of his two green jackets in his trophy room; and Henry Picard, whose jacket was removed from the club before the tradition was well established, remained in his closet for a number of years, and is now on display at Canterbury Golf Club where he was the club professional for many years.
By tradition, the winner of the previous year’s Masters Tournament puts the jacket on the current winner at the end of the tournament. In 1966, Jack Nicklaus became the first player to win in consecutive years and he donned the jacket himself. When Nick Faldo (in 1990) and Tiger Woods (in 2002) repeated as champions, the chairman of Augusta National put the jacket on them.
There are several awards presented to players who perform exceptional feats during the tournament. The player who has the daily lowest score receives a crystal vase, while players who score a hole-in-one or a double eagle win a large crystal bowl. For each eagle a player makes he receives a pair of crystal goblets.
In addition to the green jacket, winners of the tournament receive a gold medal. They have their names engraved on the actual silver Masters trophy, introduced in 1961, which depicts the clubhouse. This trophy remains at Augusta National; since 1993 winners have received a sterling silver replica. The runner-up receives a silver medal, introduced in 1951. Beginning in 1978, a silver salver was added as an award for the runner-up.
Full Entry at Wikipedia