The recognition of golf has surged in recent times and in the course of the pandemic, with recent golfers and the further spread of non-traditional ways to play like TopGolf helping to begin to shed the game’s stodgy status.
Grammy award-winning rapper Macklemore, best known for his hit song “Thrift Shop,” recently fell in love with golf, but found that the garments marketed to players didn’t appeal to him.
“On vacation, I got dragged out onto the golf course and didn’t need to go – I definitely hit a pair of homes,” Macklemore told CNBC’s Dominic Chu on the CNBC Small Business Playbook virtual summit on Wednesday. “Finally, I pure a five iron out of a fairway bunker, and I used to be enthralled. Like, what was that feeling? I want that again.”
Macklemore, whose real name is Ben Haggerty, said that shortly thereafter he went to a sporting goods store, but realized that “the pickings by way of golf fashion were very slim, and that is being generous.”
“Golf clothes have one archetype of a male, white dude in mind,” he said. “Golf is way greater than that.”
Golf struggled to shed that perception, even during Tiger Woods’ ascendance to becoming one in every of the best players within the history of the game.
But there may be hope that an influx of recent players will help shift that archetype. An estimated 3.2 million people played on a golf course for the primary time in 2021, up 33% from 2019 and well exceeding the number of people that flocked to the sport following Woods’ early successes in 1999 and 2000, based on The National Golf Foundation. More rounds were played last yr than ever before in history, based on NGF.
While a few of that momentum has slowed — rounds played in 2022 are down roughly 6% in comparison with last yr — that influx of recent, younger players has helped to energise the sport, Macklemore said.
“There’s a complete generation of young those that got into golf within the last one to a few years that don’t need to seem like they sell real estate, and I believe that is great,” he said.
A fan of Seventies- and Eighties-era golf fashion even before becoming a golfer, the will to fill the clothing need for golfers corresponding to himself led Macklemore to begin the Bogey Boys apparel brand.
The brand, which features items like Cheetah print knit vests, pinstriped sweaters, and colourful polos, is designed to appeal to each golfers and high-fashion lovers alike, Macklemore said, something that a lot of the standard brands within the golf-wear space don’t consider.
“I believe for thus many other brands, it’s contingent upon people playing golf, or else you are not going to wear these clothes,” he said. “Something I believe that has happened with the pandemic and golf skyrocketing is that you simply’re seeing a shred of golf fashion within the streetwear space – you’ll be able to go to [fashion website] Hypebeast and see articles on golf, that is something very recent.”
Macklemore will not be the primary golf-enthusiast entertainer to attempt to shake up the game’s look. In 2011, Justin Timberlake was named the creative director of Callaway Golf, working on the club and apparel maker’s “visual representation.” Bill Murray, famous for his role in “Caddyshack,” began William Murray Golf in 2016. NBA star Steph Curry began creating golf apparel with Under Armour in 2019, resulting in the launch of his golf line under his Curry Brand offshoot.
That uptick in recent players in addition to recent products has been a boon for golf apparel, typically led by firms like Adidas, Nike, Callaway, and Acushnet-owned Footjoy. Greater than $150 million of golf apparel was sold in April, with 21 of the last 22 months seeing sales increases month-over-month, based on golf product industry tracker Golf Datatech.
But even when the expansion of golf tapers off, Macklemore said the concentrate on fashion unlike other golf-focused apparel will still profit Bogey Boys.
“Any sport waxes and wanes, that is okay,” he said. “The garments are still going to be top-notch, the standard goes to be great, and persons are going to feel great and look great in the clothes.”