Tracing the rising trajectory of golf’s popularity the last few years, you’ll find a similarly angled curve representing the proliferation of brands that are speaking to the new golfer. The sport’s appeal to the next generation relies on it feeling current, and when people are able to wear things they feel equally comfortable playing golf in as they do walking around town, that goes a long way. But beyond clothing, golf is becoming a place for people with elevated taste and an eye for innovative design. That carries over to everything and anything a golfer may need to carry during their four hour journey; headcovers, tees, balls and even essentials pouches.
At the beginning of the year we rounded up the five most essential brands that are merging golf with streetwear. This time we wanted to feature some brands that might not be on your radar yet, but you should definitely keep an eye on them going forward.
Gumtree Golf & Nature Club
To say that golf and nature are intertwined is a fairly self evident statement, and yet there’s a large segment of the population that see the two in opposition. Pacific northwest brands like Seamus Golf and Mackenzie make accessories built to endure the elements, both inspired by the roots of the game in Scotland. In a slightly different vein, Gumtree Golf & Nature Club wants to shift the public perception of the sport by making apparel and accessories that both honor the outdoors and reject overproduction.
Recent drops have included a run of just 20 Japanese linen shirts with sewn-on up-cycled state flower patches, and an even more limited set of 10 headcovers up-cycled from a 1970’s waxed canvas tent in Vermont. The brand’s founder is Karsten Jurkschat, a Brooklyn resident who moved to the city from Australia where he used to work with various surf brands. Now his goal with Gumtree Golf & Nature Club is to foster a greater appreciation of nature through golf, or an appreciation of golf through nature.
Pluto of St Andrews
If you asked the average golf enthusiast what type of brand they’d like to start, there’s a good chance it would include some sort of vintage element. Similar to mainstream fashion, there’s a large appetite for second hand clothing and gear in golf from heritage brands like FootJoy, Nike and Titleist. But curating good finds is one thing, it’s another thing to make an actual brand out of it. That’s what Roberto “Tiko” Abitbol has done with Pluto of St Andrews, a brand that just launched last week.
Based out of the Home of Golf – St Andrews, Scotland – Pluto plans to sell everything from FootJoy Classics and Nike Golf irons to Supreme sweaters and Arc’Teryx jackets. Adding further layers of intrigue, there will also new products with Pluto’s logo and deadstock items with the logo printed or embroidered. Abitbol is already off to a promising start, which is no surprise given his past work at Palace.
Although people are beginning to see golf in a new light, it’s impossible to ignore the sport’s elitist country club roots. But in contrast to that, New York City based Public Drip is an ode to the public course golfer and the venues that open their doors to everyone. Although the brand was founded in 2020, its first cut and sew collection launched in the spring of 2023, a milestone moment.
Design cues are taken from traditional menswear, which is on display with pieces like the Public Athlete Polo, featuring a perforated spread collar, and classic staples like the French Terry Cardigan. And the campaign for Public Drip’s SS23 collection was fittingly shot at Van Cortlandt Golf Course in the Bronx, the oldest public golf facility in the United States.
Since its inception in 2017, Malbon Golf has been a key player in disrupting the status quo in golf fashion and paving the way for new labels that have risen since. But up until now, Malbon was primarily seen as a men’s brand. Malbon Women sees Erica and Stephen Malbon swapping the menswear line’s streetwear aesthetic for a look that could be described as coastal chic meets tenniscore, more in line with Erica’s taste.
A first look at some of the pieces was provided earlier in the year thanks to LPGA golfer Yealimi Noh, who is being sponsored by Malbon this year, and now the entire debut collection has dropped. It includes the likes of one piece dresses, some styled sleeveless with low necklines and others sleeved with high collars. There’s also a lot of mix and matching potential with pleated and frilled skirts, sweatpants and shorts and knit cardigans and vests. Color palettes are primarily comprised of neutrals with the odd red, light blue and baby link.
MANORS first launched in 2019 and is among the most exciting golf brands to come out of the UK. Although its original focus was to honor golf heritage through throwback silhouettes and patterns, after rebranding now the the label is going in a slightly different direction.
The new logos are sleek and minimal and the color choices are generally understated. And along with a greater emphasis on technical performance, pieces like the Course Crewneck Vest, Gailes Windbreaker and cycling style Frontier Tech Cap recall golf fashion of the 90s. Community building within London is also a priority as MANORS have hosted two events in the last 6 months with friends of the brand and notable creators in the golf space.
When Jain Golf first began surfacing around the end of last summer, it was a bit hard to decipher exactly what it was building towards. For many that was part of the allure. Then after the release of a coffee table book and a small golf essentials pack, later drops would include golf balls, headcovers and even baby clothing.
The central figure in all of it is Jain, golf ball-like mascot who embodies the spirit of the modern golfer. Among those shared sentiments is a desire to play the best courses, wear the trendiest golf apparel, listen to music on the course and ultimately not be defined by one’s love of the game. Most recently, the brand announced a partnership with Topgolf to stage “Camp Jain,” with more details to come. Unlike Ken, Jain can’t be fit inside a box and that’s just fine.
Radry founder Tony Knapton has described his brand as an art project disguised as a golf brand, and his design chops are evident as you peruse through the various offerings. The whimsical graphics which are all designed by Knapton include an antagonistic goose (the golfer’s worst enemy) with a ball between its beak, the Morton salt girl carrying golf clubs in the rain and the ironically and overused phrase “Live, Laugh, Love.”
For now, don’t expect to find polos or pants with belt loops. But if you’re looking for a well made and unique hat, tee shirt or headcover, Radry is a brand you’ll have to check out.
In the modern era, flower prints have become possibly the most overused design motif. And every time you see one, it makes you like it a bit less. But Fiori is redefining this classic symbol of life and regeneration. It doesn’t take an expert linguist to realize that Fiori is the Italian word for flowers, and for the brand founder Anthony Wagner, its usage is both a nod to his family heritage and the place he calls home, Southern California.
Rather than using the all-over style prints that have been worn out by almost every major golf fashion label, Fiori looks through a more artistic lens, zooming in like a biologist examining a rare budding species. Elsewhere, the simple logo of a golf ball placed inside a flower appears on more straightforward pieces, and references to Italian racing heritage are made through checkered patterns and F1-style hats. Forza Fiori.
At the most rudimentary level, golf is an outdoor sport designed for people to enjoy their time in the sun (sorry to our Scottish friends). For SUNLOVE, playing golf is less about the score you shoot and more about the connections you make.
Reinterpreting classic golf apparel through a streetwear lens, the brand’s debut collection consisted of versatile pullover jackets and windbreakers, quick-drying polos and stretchy chino and cargo pants for both men and women. Graphics are featured heavily and inspiration is taken from everything from racing shirts, to soccer kits and preppy ivy league-style uniforms.