Hypegolf List: The Best Golf Apparel Collabs of 2023

Reliving the last 12 months in golf apparel.

Golf
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Let’s flashback to 2017 when two entrepreneurs Stephen and Erica Malbon, formerly of FRANK151 magazine, started Malbon Golf in Los Angeles. At the time, golf fashion was crying out for something different. That’s not to say that Malbon invented the golf lifestyle brand. Decades earlier, fashion labels such as Burberry and Polo Ralph Lauren had attempted to shake up the industry. Only the lifestyle they were selling was one of two homes, valet parking and “my friend knows a friend who has a private jet.” Malbon, by contrast, and other micro golf brands that have followed in its wake are giving the sport new exposure to people who were previously left out of the conversation, and their products are often seen now at local munis, downtown bars and airport terminals alike.

The key to that is the nimbleness of new brands to pivot spontaneously around evolving consumer tastes and trends, and to do so authentically. The other key, of course, is the collaboration recipe, where the power of two brands is multiplied and novelty is always around the corner. Once reserved for streetwear and mainstream fashion, collaborations have become commonplace in golf, and these are the 9 that stood out to us in 2023.

Bogey Boys x adidas Golf

By the time Macklemore arrived at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February, rumors of an upcoming Bogey Boys x adidas collaboration had already begun. But it wasn’t until he rolled up to the first tee with a limited edition bag and a matching polo, both clad with the Trefoil logo and green and white checkers, that its arrival became inevitable.

Ben Haggerty, stage name Macklemore, had a lot to say about the project when we were finally able to connect in March, telling us that he didn’t want to “just slap a Bogey Boys logo on an adidas shirt.” Indeed, with each piece there was a nice mix of adidas and Bogey Boys – with two central color stories at play. The aforementioned green was used on a standout pinstripe polo, while a soft blue featured on a matching tracksuit and terry cloth romper. From the accessories, the hero piece was a leather duffle bag, cementing the story of a collection that was all about elevated yet approachable essentials.

UNDEFEATED x Malbon Golf

Malbon thrives on collaborations, in fact, it could be argued that the brand single handedly introduced the concept to the golf mainstream. Truth be told, there are few in the space that can keep up with Malbon’s prolific release schedule, and yet this drop alongside the streetwear and sneaker retailer UNDEFEATED still stands out at the end of the year.

Arriving in two deliveries, the collection included lifestyle-focused pieces such as zippered jackets, hoodies and t-shirts, as well as a wide array of travel gear and accessories. We’ve yet to see any UNDEFEATED x Malbon golf bag travel cases at a baggage claim, but it’s definitely coming.

United Arrows x TaylorMade Golf Japan

At first sight of a TaylorMade branded shiesty, Instagram was sold. There were a lot of collections released in 2023, but few were as core to streetwear as Japanese fashion label United Arrows’ collaboration with TaylorMade Japan. The silhouettes were relaxed, the colors were primarily black, white and some neon green, and design cues were taken from technical outdoor wear.

The campaign featuring LA skating legends Sean Malto, Don Nguyen and others might have been the clincher for anyone on the fence though. The cast of characters playing golf and making mischief around LA gave us GTA Los Santos vibes, but make it golf.

Golf, Mostly x Jain Golf

Collaborations don’t always need to be expansive to have an impact. Case in point, when Jain Golf linked up with Golf, Mostly in late May. For those not familiar with Golf, Mostly, it’s a golf podcast and community starring former professional golfer Michelle Wie West and golf broadcaster/personality Hally Leadbetter. Coming together with Jain Golf, a brand centered around a golf ball mascot, represented the perfect opportunity for the two woman team to collaborate on merch.

At the heart was “Jain Loves Golf, Mostly” a clever reference to Jain’s relationship with the sport. We all love golf, until we don’t, until we do again (it’s complicated). The three piece capsule included a denim hat, a crewneck sweater and a t-shirt.

Puttwell x Students Golf

Typically, the kinds of collaborations we see are between a niche brand (which provides the cool factor) and a larger corporate outfit (which lends credibility and marketing budget). We love a collaboration between two micro brands though, and that’s exactly what we got with Puttwell x Students. “Putticians” was officially the name of the collection, a combination of Puttwell’s name and Students’ smoke screen as a destination for golf practitioners. A graphic t-shirt, Students’ specialty, depicted swing diagrams, an eye with crosshairs and the motto “No Gain If You Can’t Drain.” The other item was a pair of nylon pants with an elastic waistband and co-branded poly label.

Manor PHX x Devereux Golf

We always enjoy a collaboration between a boutique retailer and a micro brand, and in this case Manor PHX was the former, while Devereux Golf was the latter. Honoring the brands’ shared southwestern ancestry, the range included five polos all emblazoned with Manor’s signature sneakers hanging from a cactus logo, as well as different interpretations on a Mojave pattern in orange, blue, light brown and white.

Burning Cart Society x adidas Golf

After teaming up with Malbon on some co-branded pieces, it became clear that adidas would be taking a different approach to its golf collaborations in 2023, and this collection with Burning Cart Society from January cemented that.

For some background, Burning Cart Society is a community for golf and conservation enthusiasts founded by professional photographer Christian Hafer. Walking rather than riding is a key message for its members, as is taking care of the golf course and the surrounding nature. And with adidas’s recent emphasis on using recycled fabrics, there was natural common ground for the two brands to focus on. Fitting this theme, t-shirts, polos and bucket hats were crafted in neutral earth tones, while graphics depicted wildflowers and fescue grasses.

Girl Skateboards x Malbon Golf

When we think about Malbon, we think about LA. And we think about LA, we think about skate culture. Well, the 90s kids who grew up idolizing Eric Koston and playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater on Playstation have expanded their horizons to golf, and the evolution of the 18 hole sport as an urban pastime has accelerated that movement. In fact, Girl Skateboards, which originated as a skating collective with Koston and friends, now has a licensed golf collection with Malbon.

Quite fittingly, the campaign was shot at one of LA’s public courses, which can feel like skateparks for golf, and front and center was pro skater Sean Malto. The hero item from the collection was a soccer-style polo in Girl’s signature green and yellow and the number 93 (the year Girl Skateboards was founded) placed beneath “Malto” in script. An accompanying golf bag has also been spotted frequently throughout the year.

TRENDYGOLF x RLX Golf

Whenever the Open Championship rolls around every summer, golf fashion brands typically use it as an opportunity to go in a vintage direction. After all, the game was invented in the British Isles, and due to the cooler temperatures (and number of sheep) people tend to wear a lot of wool and cotton.

In this instance, UK-based golf retailer TRENDYGOLF with American sportswear brand RLX Golf for a Heritage Collection, focusing on key pieces and logos from the Ralph Lauren catalog of yesteryear. The result was patterned cardigans, button-down oxford shirts, knit polos and paisley skirts, while colors were primarily tan, brown, and blue along with some flashes of red.

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