Jacinta Courter, AGM, is the Golf Experience Curator for the Philadelphia Cricket Club in Flourtown, Pennsylvania.
One of the most unique components of golf is that the sport itself is a lifestyle. Someone committed to the game is completely immersed in the experience: travel, dress, socialization and now more than ever, fitness. This is the principle that makes golf retail so widely successful and is the foundation for the shift we are seeing now as athleisure grows in popularity.
The post-COVID consumer gravitates toward multiuse apparel, which has shifted the world of golf fashion toward a more versatile design concept. We’ve seen hoodies and joggers become accepted golf apparel, and continue to witness the reimagining of traditional fashions. Golf shirts are being worn to run errands, and golf vests are often the final component to one’s dinner ensemble. The blurring of these categories has made a natural progression to the fitness realm, as well. The same tech hoody you would wear to the range is the perfect layer for the gym, and for those facilities that don’t have golf fitness programming yet, what better place to start?
As retailers, we are committed to bringing a diverse selection of merchandise to our customers, and the overwhelming interest in athleisure and fitness-minded lines is not something to be ignored. With broad customer appeal and great margins, T-shirts are the perfect item to start your lifestyle wear offerings. In fact, logoed T-shirts are now essential in any golf shop. Brands like Levelwear have been ahead of the curve with their offerings of multiuse athleisure apparel for men and women.
Other brands that have been historically golf-specific are shifting to reflect this athleisure trend, as well. This has presented an approachable entry point for buyers interested in expanding their shop’s range of options. You can test the waters with companies with which you already a relationship, a similar concept to your PGA Professionals introducing golf-fitness on the lesson tee, before extensive programming or fitness trainers are even considered.
The timeless look of the cotton collared shirt has been an influential part of golf style, and we have always loved B. Draddy’s take on this staple. With consistent fresh shirt offerings, they have solidified themselves as one of the best lifestyle hybrid brands on the market with their introduction of pieces like the Proctor hoody, the Russ crewneck and the Big Daddy Cool short – all great for a workout at the gym.
Similarly, Renwick’s line has great comfortable lifestyle hybrid options. With cotton-based shirts, dresses and layering pieces, they have some of our favorite options for women that work just as well off the course as they do on.
While we are advocates for a lifestyle presence in our shop’s merchandise mix, we have expanded our offerings through a virtual flash sale program. Once a month, a new collection of products is offered to the membership for a limited time. The products featured in these sales range from Therabody to REDVANLY, and have a primary focus of offering something to our members they would not normally be able to purchase in the golf shop. It’s been a valuable way to gauge interest in new products without committing to inventory. Golf fitness is adding a new segment to the golf shop, as well as additional sources of revenue.
Golf fashion is transforming. The post-COVID consumer’s interest in athleisure and fitness has become the newest component to the golf lifestyle, and the companies we work with are taking notice. We encourage any retailer to be proactive and continue to serve their customers by expanding the range of options they will find in your shop. The programming and engagement that might follow could enhance your members’ experience.