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Thanks to a flood of direct-to-consumer brands entering the golf space, players looking to showcase their sartorial sensibilities on the fairway have myriad options beyond what the cookie-cutter mass market lines and high-end luxury labels are offering.
“Clothing is our way of showing the world our stripes. What you wear says a lot about who you are, so we want to inherently showcase ourselves in the best light possible, however is most true to us and clothing does that,” Dan Sullivan, who helms Solo Golf, a D2C brand based in new England focused on layering and outerwear, says.
“It is my mission to keep broadening the horizon of what golf wear can be.” Sullivan, whose bestseller is a hooded vest, explains. “I live in New England and if you walk outside in the Fall, you’ll see a guy wearing a pair of chinos, a flannel and a merino hoodie. Wear that on a golf course. You are more than welcome. You don’t have to put on this crazy outfit to show-up to your course. There is so much opportunity to do really cool things within fashion in golf,” he adds.
Solo Golf is opening a 700 square-foot pop-up pro shop just a quarter mile from the Country Club at Brookline in June to coincide with the U.S. Open. Fans attending the event in the affluent Boston suburb who arrive by public transit will walk right by the store on their way to the tournament.
“My goal was to get as close as we possibly can and do it in a fun way, create an environment where people will want to come visit. We are going to be having parties and launch events—a lot of exciting things will be happening at the pro shop,” Sullivan says.
“I really want to showcase all of the independent brands that are doing really exciting and cool things in golf. I think one of the big things in golf, is the ability to create a culture around the sport beyond what it already currently has and that is my goal with this is,” he adds.
Sullivan describes the store as having a sleek and modern aesthetic, more akin to an art gallery than a traditional pro shop. While it will only be open for three weeks, the plan is to repeat the pop-up on a rolling basis in a variety of locations.
Hypebeast, a digital media and e-commerce platform that prides itself on being on the cutting edge of contemporary lifestyle trends, is also bullish on golf retail. The company which recently announced they’ll be going public later this year through a SPAC deal with Iron Spark I Inc. is opening a Hypegolf Clubhouse pop-up boutique in Manhattan on May 14th. The SoHo store will carry apparel from approximately 20 emerging brands including Bogey Boys, Malbon, and Metalwood Studio and will also feature a golf simulator and host viewing parties and panel discussions.
“The golf retail experience needs excitement and we are pushing golf lifestyle brands forward through our lens. The concept is unique in the market and New York is the place to start,” Hypebeast CEO Kevin Ma says.
“There is so much potential in pushing the golf culture forward. Over the years, it has evolved to be a more inclusive game, and I believe this is good for the industry. We launched the Hypegolf Invitational in Miami and Japan last year, and the reception was fantastic. It further gave us the confidence to make the game of golf more accessible through fun and immersive experiences. On a personal level, I have been playing golf frequently, and I genuinely want our community to discover more about the game of golf at the Hypegolf Clubhouse pop-up” he adds.
While the dates and locations are still to be decided, the company is currently exploring repeating the pop-up Clubhouse concept in several international markets.