Apparel Trend: Prioritizing Comfortable, Fitness-Inspired Looks

The apparel aisles at this week’s PGA Show are buzzing with energy as PGA Professionals and buyers not only celebrate the number of vendors in attendance, but the fun, youthful vibe featured in many collections. On full display are lifestyle looks that work on or off the course – specifically casual/athleisure items that have been coming on strong in the post-COVID marketplace.

“That’s definitely the trend – lifestyle apparel that can be worn around the club, if not necessarily on the course,” said Victoria Matthews, Retail Manager & Buyer at St. Andrews Country Club in Boca Raton, Florida.

This athleisure category includes hoodies, T-shirts, joggers and any number of other casual, comfort-driven pieces. Further defining the category are soft, lightweight fabrications, beautiful colors and prints that run the gamut from loud to understated – and everything in between.

“We’re continuing to see streetwear/casual pieces that transcend the golf course, including hoodies, T-shirts and headwear with larger graphics, flat bills and ropes,” said Anne Broholm, CEO of Ahead (pictured). “Items like our T-shirts and tri-blend hoodies are very popular and growing.”

Also included under the lifestyle banner is the growing loungewear category for women, including Greg Norman Collection’s Luxe Leisure group (pictured) featuring full-zip and popover hoodies and cashmere-like fleece lounge pants, and Levelwear’s Verve Athleisure collection (pictured) of hoodies, pullovers, sweatpants and T-shirts.

“Verve was a concept of a transitional activewear line for women,” said Brett Saunders, the company’s Brand Manager. “We feel with all the activities clubs are encouraging members to participate in, this fits in well as a cozy, comfy on-trend collection.”

Complementing the lifestyle-driven component of fall 2023 styling is a category of print-driven fashions geared to golf’s younger players – including those who took up the game during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Golf is now what skateboarding was for me growing up,” said Jon Major, Co-Owner of Pins and Aces, which makes fun image-driven headcovers and apparel. “The silver lining of 2020 was that golf blew up and became a sport for everyone. That’s what we care about, growing the game and making it fun and accessible.”

Also capitalizing on the youth movement in golf is Swannies, which is offering a variety of fun prints as well as lifestyle items. According to Meg O’Brien, the company’s Content Marketing Manager, there’s a growing market for a younger demographic that sees golf as a casual activity and wants to be comfortable on the course.

“Golf is about fun, and that’s what we’re trying to market toward,” she said. “It doesn’t need to be for the stodgy personality, but should be for anyone wanting to enjoy the game.”