Retail Opportunities:
What Was Hot at The PGA Show?

When the golf industry gathered last month at the PGA Show in Orlando, top PGA of America Golf Professionals and buyers had their pick of athletically inspired garments that complement the growing golf/fitness trend, including T-shirts, hoodies, jogger-style bottoms, leggings and several other workout driven styles. These styles were not only on display by a handful of golf vendors but by the majority of them.

“Athleisure is hot and has a good presence here,” says Cathy Amelink, AGM, Director of Retail at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Maryland. “I’m going to be bringing in Vuori, and Peter Millar has a great athletic brand in the line – Active Crown – with joggers, running shorts and T-shirts. I move things around between the golf and racquet sports shop.”

Part of the fall trend in athleisure is providing layering items with warmth and insulation that allow golfers to play longer into the year. As these athleisure garments become more mainstream, golf shops are not only selling to serious athletes but also to golfers and non-golfers who wear hoodies, joggers and other layering items for their daily activities.

Holderness & Bourne, a leader in the marketplace, featured its first-ever T-shirt style, as well as new lightweight, heathered performance hoodies; while Ahead presented garments like the Pinwheel Pullover in a lightweight fabrication, Breakers Pullover with a jacquard pattern and lightweight feel and Neptune Henley, described by the company as “an ideal mix of warmth, texture and style, especially on colder days.”

Under Armour’s concentration on athletic looks was evident throughout its booth in items like the Drive Pro Hybrid Hood with durable woven overlays, open hand pockets and three-piece hood; the Drive Storm SF Hoodie water-repellent lineup in a full-zip, quarter-zip, crew and half-zip and Infrared CGI Mock, an under layer whose thermo-conductive coating is designed to absorb and retain body heat.

“We do a lot with athleisure – joggers, outerwear, waffle hoodies,” said Chris Krause, PGA of America Head Golf Professional at Yahnundasis Golf Club in New Hartford, New York. “It kitschy, cool, kind of a California vibe. Women and men will buy it in the golf shop for on or off the course.”

Antigua presented a new “buffed fleece” collection for maximum luxury, comfort and ease of movement for any activity. And Donald Ross’s seasonal SPORT collection featured a hoody crafted from merino and cashmere and a stylish new technical piece from the Expedition series.

Meanwhile, Scales Gear’s new active performance line included long- and short-sleeve hoodies, quarter zips and polos with moisture wicking and UPF 50+ protection, while tasc Performance touted the new Montrose Performance Pant in a knit fabric that combines the classic look and performance of a traditional golf pant with the comfort and style of an everyday jogger.

“Athleisure is still a great category and growing very well for us. The growth of pickleball is helping to keep it strong,” said Dave Leveille, tasc’s VP of Marketing. “Hoodies and other fitness products – anything you can walk or run in geared to outdoor activities – is of interest, as even post-pandemic, people continue to move toward casual dressing.”

On the women’s side, SanSoleil presented a new mélange hoodie with a higher neckline and thumbholes for warmth, while Tail Activewear focused on fit, fabric and fashion in new performance pieces like the Eleanor jogger with zippers at the ankles and a drawstring waist to control the fit. In addition, Polo Ralph Lauren presented a Long-Sleeve Washable Cashmere Hoodie, Featherweight Cypress Short with nine-inch inseam and tailored fit and Long-Sleeve Recycled Lightweight Airflow Quarter-Zip Pullover – all part of its goal to “bring an elevated look to a fresh performance offering.”

“I feel athleisure is definitely a major part of the business now – tech hoodies, tech T-shirts we can sell for $70 or $80,” said Beth Mozzachio, AGM, Director of Retail at Jupiter Hills Club in Tequesta, Florida. “The more categories I can offer them, especially items like leggings, joggers and hoodies, the more I can sell them in the golf shop.”