If you're an avid golfer, you've accrued a wide range of golf shirts, shorts, pants and pullovers over the years. And depending on whether you're out for a casual round at your home course or a bucket-list destination, you probably tailor your outfit to match the circumstances. Back in my early-20s, the anxiety caused by a late-hour invite to a golf outing with my boss and multiple clients prompted me to rush out and buy a crisp new shirt and shorts the night before the round.
On my golf shirt shelf alone, I've got everything from a $5 clearance-rack find to a $100 pro shop splurge. Whereas the former is more of a random late-afternoon range-session standby, I'll pack the latter for a trip to an upscale destination or the final round of a tournament. In both situations, wearing each feels right to me.
As golf fashion continues to become more diverse, the upper end is not solely super-traditional anymore. Sure, more conservative brands do largely dominate, but the more trendy sporty brands are increasingly making the case that a less country-clubby look does not mean lower-quality products.
For context, I'm defining "upper end" as brands whose golf shirts tend to cost $90 or more, with $100+ price tags not out of the question. Haute-couture golfwear like the Loro Piana duds in which the European Ryder Cup team got shellacked last September probably deserves its own writeup, but for now, here are seven brands you should target for your own special-occasion golf apparel purchases.
Despite being founded in 2001, North Carolina-based Peter Millar feels like it's been around forever. Well-made products, smart aesthetics and a vast catalog have established them as a preeminent golf clothing brand, especially in the pro shops of private clubs and upscale resorts. Their Summer Comfort material is lightweight, stretchy and ideal for the bulk of the main golf season. Their Solid Performance polo ($94) is available in more than a dozen colors - chances are several will speak to you.
Holderness & Bourne
Rye, N.Y.-based H&B is even newer than Peter Millar, but founders Alex Holderness and John Bourne have made impressive inroads with their own brand of country-club-classy threads since founding their company in 2014. Reverence for Golden Age golf courses runs through their product lines - among their polo shirt offering are styles named (Perry) Maxwell ($98) and (C.B.) Macdonald ($98).
Galvin Green is big in Europe, and best-known for their pricy but practically unassailable rain gear. They have made huge strides in the U.S. in the last couple of years, and have noticed that golfers on this side of the Atlantic are particularly big fans of their polos, to the tune of a 220% sales bump in the last year in the category. Their new Mayson shirt ($109) blends European and American golf fashion sensibilities well - the subtle print is something that stateside golfers appreciate, while the slim-but-not-quite-Euro sizing will appeal to those who appreciate the brand's overseas heritage.
Also worth noting is Galvin Green's commitment to sustainability. Their home city of Växjö, Sweden is known as "The Greenest City in Europe," and many of the company's fabrics carry bluesign certification, which means that those textiles eliminate harmful chemicals throughout the manufacturing process, making them safe for the environment and workers.
Scott Morrison and Bob Conrad had talked about getting into the golf apparel business in the 1990s, while roommates and golf teammates at the University of Washington. It took a couple extra decades of other business ventures for both, but they finally are living that dream, having started Radmor in 2020. They are quality-focused and ideological - they hate both how polyester and synthetic fabrics feel as well as what they do to the environment, so their clothing focuses on high-caliber organic cotton and other plant fibers.
The brand's logo "BobRad," a golf ball peeking out of a cup, is integrated nicely into items like the Taylor Pima Performance polo ($115) - as a subtle repeated print that fits with the casual but environmentally conscious aesthetic that is common to all Morrison and Conrad's threads.
Lyle & Scott
Lyle & Scott may well be the most historically important golf apparel brand you've never heard of. Founded in Hawick, Scotland in 1874, it outfitted many of the world's best golfers from the 1970s into the 1990s, with Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman sporting L&S apparel en route to major championship success. Over time, though, the brand morphed into a more general high-fashion favorite and its focus turned away from golf. Now, however, its black-and-yellow eagle logo is back on golfwear, and the slim-fitting, lightweight, wicking Jacquard Polo ($90) should be finding its way into golfers' wardrobes soon.
The wolf logo of this trendy New York brand adorns the shirts of young golfers like Erik Van Rooyen, Justin Thomas and others. Superfans can join the pack via several levels of membership (up to the $1,000-per-year "Black Wolf" level), which grants special perks and the opportunity to buy members-only merchandise. Fans of solid colors may gravitate toward the Apache polo ($95), while those wanting to make more of a statement might look to the eye-catching pattern of the Peacocksley ($115). There's plenty of middle ground, including the shield-print Those Who Shepherd ($115).
Originally started by Brad King and Charlie Burgwyn, who played high school golf for King at Apex (N.C.) High School, Stitch began with headcovers and accessories in 2012, but has grown to include luggage, golf bags and high-quality apparel. Their logo is inspired by the iconic blue-and-orange Gulf Oil logo, and shades of blue are popular in their Spring 2022 line (polos $98-$118).