From Polos to Prints: The Aussie Transformation of Golf Fashion & Culture

By Daniel Bateup – Golf Business Australia

I had the pleasure of recently attending the LIV Golf League event at the Grange Golf Club in South Australia. While the star-studded event generated interest from 37 countries and all walks of the industry, it was the unique apparel worn by both players and spectators that caught my eye.

The golfing scene and its fashion have truly transformed. "Alternative" boutique brands such as Birds of Condor, Golf Gods, and Hickory Apparel are now sharing the spotlight with traditional sportswear giants and conservative pro-shop brands, offering streetwear, individuality, and humour in their designs.

Brighter, Louder, Untucked! What’s next for golf fashion?

This rise of boutique golf apparel brands indicates a broader shift towards inclusivity and diversity within the sport. Golf is no longer just for stuffy and conservative elite but appeals to a diverse and stylish new audience.

Personality has become the most critical factor in golf apparel, with younger generations adding colour and pattern to the once buttoned-up clothing stereotype while maintaining the tradition's integrity. Innovative brands are now targeting specific demographics, and Instagram has had a massive impact on what people wear.

Alternative brands like these are not just about golf; they are about building a brand, disrupting the status quo, and promoting social change. They are catering to the non-traditional market of players that the industry has struggled to reach, and they are doing so with an ethos of inclusivity, diversity, and sustainability.

And they are a growing market, particularly Down Under, with names like Play Fair Golf, Breaking The Yips, Shortees Golf, AussieBeefGolf, More Greens Golf, Mounttee Golf, Big Dog Golf Co., The Fellas Golf, Average Golfer Club, Clutch & Co, Walker Golf and Envee Industries making a name for themselves in the industry.

Australian trailblazer leading the way...

A great example of brands embracing this trend is the recent collaboration between Birds of Condor and iconic Australian fashion brand COOGI. Together they created a limited-edition release for fashion-conscious golfers worldwide. These Australian-born brands are leading the way in this new wave, creating edgy and distinctive apparel that appeals to golfers who want to stand out from the crowd & be a part of a lifestyle.

The emergence of streetwear in the broader fashion landscape has infiltrated the golf world, bringing with it a sense of individuality and irreverence that was once lacking.

Byron Bay founded Birds of Condor is globally recognised and offers a fresh alternative to the mainstream. The brand is bringing fresh trends to golf and is inspired by dreamy days and takes inspiration from beach and street culture. COOGI, on the other hand, is known for its vibrant colour palette, luxury knits, and ties to vintage hip-hop and streetwear.

“Art, music, and good times are the core ingredients of everything we do here at “Birds”. Pulling inspo from life outside of the golfing world, staying true to what inspires us as the individuals that make up the brand, and finding opportunities to join forces with other epic brands are helping us bring the fun and max vibes. Coogi was one of those collaborations that hit every mark for us in that regard, said Frankie Kimpton, Birds of Condor Founder & Creative Director.

The collaboration between these two brands speaks volumes about the resurgence of golf and the aspirational nature of the sport to an increasingly diverse and stylish new audience. Apparel prices may raise eyebrows, but in my eyes, the unique designs, quality, and performance are well worth the investment if they will make people more inclined to pick up a club.


Is it a golf fashion revolution of just a fad?

I think this trend towards a more diverse and inclusive golfing culture is an exciting development for the sport. Golf participation rates are on the rise, with more and more young people and women taking up the sport.

As the industry continues to evolve, there is a new generation of golfers who value style, individuality, and inclusivity. Brands like Birds of Condor are leading the charge, creating apparel that is as functional as it is fashionable, and appealing to golfers who want to stand out from the crowd. The golf market is changing, and I am excited to see what fashion can do to entice a new generation of golfers.

What are YOUR thoughts? Will the alternative golf apparel revolution see a rise in golf's popularity with future generations? I would love to receive your thoughts.

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