As you might have guessed by now, I love sports. An interest in sports and fashion is not mutually exclusive. I even know how to play golf. I had to learn when I started dating the husband. With the December appointment of JT as Callaway Creative Director, yes, Creative Director, not just a face or a swing for the ad campaign, Callaway is gripping and ripping it, aiming for the tee.
He’s in charge of their marketing strategy. Prepare yourself for the onslaught: Golf is cool. Hmmm. I think Tiger made golf cool in the 90’s, and brought in a whole new generation that might have been put off by its country club snootiness. Lot’s of surf/skate/ski guys and gals golf now.
I don’t think they have to waste time and $$ trying to make golf cool. They simply need to design a better product. I’m not talking about their equipment. I’m talking clothes.
They’re based in Carlsbad, CA. In between LA and San Diego. They have no excuse for being so old farty. They are in the midst of surf/skate land. This culture is about pattern (mostly yarn dye stripes) and graphics for tops. And fit is key. It can’t be a big box. It needs to be a slimmer fit that still gives a guy (or gal) room to make a big swing. Think 70’s fitted polos.
J. Lindeberg tried to meld the skate aesthetic with golf, with some success.
The best look for this new Lost Boys generation they’re trying to court is already being done by the Original Penguin people. Why they haven’t done golf shirts before is beyond me. They just need to change the fabric to a sweat-wicking, UV-blocking type, call it the sport version and BOOM, increase profits without extra design work.
Women’s is a whole other problem. Let’s just say we don’t want to look like a bunch of middle-aged, overweight lesbians (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), we’d prefer looking like we do in everyday life, stylish and modern.
You can make golf clothes fun, fresh, with a nod to the past, and a modern twist. Maybe JT can make it happen. Maybe…
I certainly hope he can take the brand to something cool. You do have to understand, however, that as of right now, the average age of the Callaway customer is 55. Because of this, they’ve been spending a disproportionate amount of time focusing on traditional golf styles. I’m glad to see that they’re trying to change to change that median age because you’re right, their clothing line as it stands is TERRIBLE.
Trust me, I know the average golfer is a male in his 50’s. I’m surrounded by them when I go out to play. But think of Cary Grant, Gary Cooper, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Bobby Jones, Arnold Palmer… These are men of a certain age that ooze style in every stitch of clothing. Style is not defined by age. It’s defined by cut, fit, color, accessories, and the confidence of the wearer. These elements can easily be interpreted by Callaway to fit a more classic or a more youthful customer. And they really should given that golf clothing, for whatever reason, isn’t cheap. So, at least have it look good. Let’s just hope they do it.