July 13, 2021

Fashion-Forward Golf Apparel Continues to Become the Standard

Golf apparel is getting an upgrade. After years of standard polos and skirts, Kenny Flowers, Calliope Golf and Renwick are helping to lead the way in putting a new spin on golf apparel with stylish, athletic and comfortable collections.

With the COVID-19 pandemic putting a stop to just about everything in 2020, golf was one of the few sports that could still be played while remaining safe. That realization led to an influx of new players and breathed new life into golf apparel.

Kenny Flowers—an upscale tropical clothing and lifestyle brand putting a fresh spin on Hawaiian shirts, resort looks, and men’s and women’s swimwear—recently released a fashion-forward collection designed for men and women on the golf course.

“Golf took off in 2020 as a great socially distanced activity, and I realized that Kenny Flowers could fill a void in the golf-apparel industry by launching the first line of high-quality matching golf shirts for men and women,” said Kenny Haisfield, chief executive officer and founder of Kenny Flowers. “As a brand that’s known for unique prints that make a statement—and is all about embracing the feeling of vacation—we wanted to give our customers the chance to feel fresh on the fairway too.”

The new line by Kenny Flowers incorporates stylish patterns, unique prints and colorful options. The Twilight Special is black with white palm trees, The Birdies of Paradise sports bright-colored parrots, and The Leopards of Leisure features fresh coconuts. The line of golf apparel is currently available online for $88 a polo.

The shirts also feature the first-ever built-in tee holder, eco-friendly recycled fabric, coconut buttons, UPF 40+, as well as anti-odor, moisture-wicking, quick-dry, anti-microbial and wrinkle-resistant properties.

“When shopping for golf shirts, it’s important to have versatility for any course and any weather,” Haisfield said. “KF polos have a fun, upscale feel with athletic stretch to keep you at the top of your game. Plus, they’re made from sustainable materials and are as stylish as anything on the market.

Calliope Golf, a Spokane, Wash., fashion brand dedicated to the modern woman golfer, is moving golf apparel forward with details such as edgy leather, sporty-and-chic vibes, and pretty-in-pink patterns. To put it simply, Calliope Golf, like Kenny Flowers, mixes function with fashion.

“The change has been relatively constant leading up to the pandemic, but I do think we’re going to see more entrants into the golf-apparel space post-pandemic as the sport continues to evolve and grow,” said CEO of Calliope Golf Cassy Isaacs. “More companies are recognizing the need for women’s golf clothing to be trendier and more fashionable. I think we’re going to see a lot of really great trends in women’s golf fashion over the next couple of years.”

With a new demographic of golf players, the result has been apparel with newer cuts and fits in addition to more-technical fabrics that include dynamic stretch and UV protection. Isaacs said that women want to be the best dressed out on the course and want anything that isn’t outdated.

“Women are tired of wearing the same golf polos and the same horrible patterns that have been consistent in women’s golf fashion for years,” Isaacs said. “They want new, trendier designs and better fits. We want to look good out on the golf course, just like we want to look good when going out on a date.”

Calliope Golf features belt bags, sleek skirts with five styles to choose from and lockets to contain a ball marker. The pieces retail for $32 to $72.

“We’ve been working tirelessly on creating products that are both fashionable and functional,” Isaacs said. “We take a golf-leisure approach and try our best to create products that women can wear or use both on and off the golf course—skirts and skorts that have functional pockets, classy and urban-style polos that are fitted and flattering, and unique accessories like magnetic locket bracelets and golf-specific belt bags that hold all essentials for women.”

Renwick, a Bedford, N.Y., golf-apparel brand founded by the sister entrepreneur duo of Sarah and Pippa Renwick, was inspired by their mother’s and father’s 1970s collared golf polos, with the brand featuring elevated classics for on and off the course. The collection features sleeveless T-shirts to collared shirts and dresses and is made with 100 percent Peruvian cotton.

“Starting a brand like Renwick has been a dream of ours for a long time as the gap in the market has not only affected us but our mother and other friends and family,” said the Renwick sisters. “We are excited to have launched right as the sport is seeing a comeback and with so many more women playing. Renwick is for women by women, and we aim for our collection to focus on and be what women actually need and want within their golf apparel and life apparel.”

Although recently launched, the brand’s short-sleeve polo in eight colorways has already become a hit. The relaxed fit, three-button placket, chest pocket, cap sleeve and shirttail hem all compliment each other for an on-fleek look.

“We launched about four months ago with a mission to offer women a new selection of golf apparel that they can wear on and off the course,” the sisters said. “The [Short Sleeve Polo] provides a sense of timelessness and purpose for women who live a lifestyle of being on-the-go and pairs well with everything.”

The pandemic was also an opportunity for designers and brands to take a step back and create new styles and colorways to help their products stand out. The new demand has led to increased sales and growth.

“Many courses reported a record number of rounds and a record number of first-time golfers to the game, especially women,” Isaacs said. “This has been such a tremendous boost for the sport and will likely help continue the growth of the game for years to come. The hope is that the women who did try it out during the pandemic will continue to be a part of and help grow the game over the years.”