For those that attended the 2015 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida for the first this year, they may have noticed that the apparel section of the Orange County Convention Center was as large as ever. The apparel section arguably takes up more floor space than golf equipment on a year-to-year basis. So what was new and exciting this year in apparel? Here are a few to watch for:
- 2UNDR – It’s not very often that you’ll see me talking about underwear, but 2UNDR has a great product. With brand ambassadors that represent various adventure sports, hockey and PGA Tour golfers, the Canadian company has built quite a loyal following for their performance underwear. The patent pending “Joey Pouch” feature is described as “…a soft and comfortable environment for your most valuable assets.” With innovative fabrics and features unique to the brand, you’ll want to get a pair and try them out yourself.
- Antigua – A long time favorite of mine, Antigua continues to be a leader in performance fabrics and quality clothing for golf. Their DESERT DRY moisture wicking technology makes for one of the best performing golf shirts available. The new DESERT DRY XTRA-LITE (D2XL) works even better to wick moisture faster and feels lighter and less restrictive on the body. Perhaps my favorite however is the DESERT DRY BAMBOO, which is a combination of their DESERT DRY moisture wicking fabrics with environmentally friendly bamboo blended fabrics to make one of the most comfortable golf shirts I’ve ever worn.
- Bobby Jones – Perhaps my favorite golfer of all time, Bobby Jones has a complete line of men’s and women’s apparel that continues to proudly represent the man who inspired the brand. From top to bottom, their apparel is classy and modest, with a few bright colors thrown in for flavor. The fabrics are top of the line and no corners were cut to make any garment. Call me old fashioned but one of my favorite pieces is from their 1930 collection. The wool double breasted cable cardigan is made of 100% Donegal Italian yard and slipping it over my shoulders instantly transports you back in time to the era of the rubber Haskell golf ball and hickory shafts.
- Sketchers Go Golf – Sketchers is pretty new to golf, but having a PGA Tour star like Matt Kuchar wearing your brand probably helps. That’s how I found out about them! The Sketchers Go Golf Pro is a hybrid shoe built for comfort without sacrificing performance. With waterproof leather uppers, Softspikes and Resalyte cushioning, it is sure to be a popular shoe. It comes in four colors and sells for about $140, which is about the middle of the pack for premium golf shoes these days.
- Ecco BIOM Hybrid 2 – Coming in at the high end of the price range is the Ecco BIOM Hybrid 2 golf shoe, selling for just under $200. But anyone who owns a pair of Ecco shoes can tell you that they are worth the price. I have 4 pairs of Ecco shoes and wear them almost exclusively for golf. The BIOM Hybrid 2 is not only one of the most comfortable golf shoes available, but they are also one of the best performing. The yak leather combined with HYDROMAX provides waterproof protection and the TPU outsole is the most durable spikeless outsole in golf.
- Oakley – Famous for their iconic sunglasses, Oakley has now become a serious player in apparel in recent years. Oakley’s golf collection for men and women is very modern and youthful, with bright colors and dramatic patterns throughout. The styles are very attractive and their clothing performs well in all conditions. If I was a pro golfer looking for a clothing sponsor, Oakley would be on my short list. The new Prizm eyewear is also impressive, giving golfers a high resolution, low glare lens to help see more detail on and around the green with full UV protection.