(Bloomberg) -- Fore! Look out, golfers. The opportunity to transcend awful sporting apparel is available, now more than ever.
Even if you make it out to a public course only once in a while, you know what I’m talking about, having seen how very, very awful things can be: polyester polos, ancient cleats, drab Dockers. And the scene can be worse yet at private clubs, with members competing not only on the links but also to see who can throw the most money away on an overpriced pro-shop kit offering false promises of technical properties. The caddies do a good job of keeping a straight face.
But now mass-market retailers are teaming with top professionals to supply great gear that is both stylish and comfortable. And specialty shops are teeing up stuff that is very special indeed.
Take, for instance, the recent Uniqlo X Adam Scott collaboration, which brings together the Japanese chain and an Australian athlete formerly ranked No. 1. They’re offering svelte polos and trousers attractive enough to wear to the office, despite being made from a quick-drying technical fabric.
Then there’s Linksoul, founded by golf-apparel icon John Ashworth. In his first incarnation, as founder of an eponymous brand that was huge in the 1990s, he charted a path away from the bad plaids of the Caddyshack era. Now, he is designing golf clothes that crossover into streetwear, as in the case of denim slacks and t-shirts emblazoned with the Linksoul slogan: “Make Par, Not War.”
Resort brand Devereux is earning good reviews for its polos. Athletic experts appreciate the technical properties of the company’s performance pique (92 percent polyester, 8 percent spandex), while fashionable duffers love the attention to detail manifest in sharp colors, shapely collars, and interesting prints
Speaking of Caddyshack, I should point out that Linksoul proudly counts Bill Murray among its customers. Speaking of Bill Murrary, please note that the Lost in Translation actor’s own line of sporting apparel, William Murray Golf Collection, just got a great write-up on the PGA Tour’s website: The top seller in the collection has been the Old Fashioned Polo (above), which pulls inspiration from the fictitious Suntory ad campaign in the movie.
To round out your elevated golf outfit, consider a pair of shoes from J.M. Weston. Their ready-to-wear models cost $970 without spikes, and $1,340 with them, though not too many people are buying spikes these days, according to David Berrios, the company’s U.S. director. Too many courses are worried about tearing up the greens. For autumn, try Weston’s traditional Golf model in a box/suede combo.
But what to wear it with?
“Some of our guys wear Argyle sweaters and chinos,” Berrios says, “and some guys are wearing denim slacks and polos.”