The Money brands
We highlight the men’s and women’s apparel brands
that sell best in green grass and resort shops.
BY JACK CRITTENDEN
hen today’s PGA Tour players tee off, they
bring with them not only the latest in
golf club technology but also the latest in
apparel design and technology.
Jordan Spieth in his navy blue Under
Armour clothing. Rory McIlroy in his dark
gray Nike polo and modern tech-woven
pants. Rickie Fowler in his orange Puma
Performance fabrics have not only
changed the way the pros look. The technology has shifted the market for what sells
in golf course and country club shops.
Today, sales are dominated by the big
performance-apparel brands such as
Nike, Adidas, Under Armour and Puma.
Combined, these big brands make up an
estimated 35 percent of the men’s market
and 30 percent of the women’s market in
But that doesn’t mean there is no place
for the more traditional brands, or even the
newer, cutting-edge brands.
“You always need to be trying new
things,” said Tracy Moffatt, a retail consul-
tant based in Florida. “The clubs that carry
the same brands every year are hurting
For example, she said, Fairway & Greene
was one of the top-selling brands 10 years
ago, but it has fallen as Nike, Adidas and
now Under Armour gain popularity. A
shop that still relies heavily on Fairway &
Greene is likely not enjoying strong sales.
Moffatt recommends that one-fourth of
a store’s stock be new brands or new product lines — even more if the club sells a lot
of women’s wear.
And that does not mean more perfor-
Nike continues to dominate the
golf apparel market. The marketing
juggernaut has the top tour players,
cutting-edge designs and the latest in
fabric technology. At the Masters this
year, Nike introduced bold new polo
designs that featured blade collars
and roll collars, as well as what it
called “radical” footwear. The blade
collar is perhaps the first big step in
collars since Nike pushed the mock
turtleneck 10 years ago. Nike polos
range from $60 to $115.
mance brands. She said most shops are
good with two, maybe three, tech lines.
Beyond that, a shop needs a good mix of
high-end and moderately priced inventory.
“A shop really needs to get to know their
members and what they like,” Moffatt said,
recommending that store managers survey
their customers. “It is a big mistake to think
that every shop is the same.”
The good news is that a shop doesn’t
need to make a huge investment in new
brands. It can test out a few items and see
if they sell.
But how do you decide what to try? Golf
Inc. has put together this apparel-brand
overview to give buyers a quick look at the
best-selling lines and some up-and-coming
brands in golf.
We start with the big performance-apparel brands and then focus on men’s
brands that perform well in golf shops, followed by women’s brands that do well.