This event happens twice a year and is an opportunity for industry professionals to gather and see what’s new in the world of golf and let’s face it, head south in January for a round or two when the snow is past the knee caps for those of us living above the 38th parallel. Unusually, the energy at this winter’s show was palpably effervescent – optimistic even – which is always infectious and a good thing. It’s been a long time coming.
From a design perspective, I didn’t see anything that stopped me dead in my tracks or caused my heart to race, except maybe the company making 13 colors of golf gloves – which we all know I would applaud happily, loudly and with unrestrained enthusiasm because accessories do matter. And I loved the colors. Good job G/Fore.
OH BOY, MORE KHAKI
Moving on because there’s a lot to cover, it looked to me like old silhouettes were being re-colored for the most part. And thanks for that unexpected khaki, Ralph; my heart’s still pounding. (Couldn’t the Polo folks have taken this up a notch and pulled it out of the snooze zone by pairing it with some fabulous shoes and gloves?) Add our Classic Neutral Wingtip shoes and matching gloveand baboom you’re talking.
STUDIO 54 IS CALLING
Some very edgy looks had me intrigued but confused. Studio 54 came to mind. Or Gumby Goes Golfing. Yes, I know she was just a salesperson selling somethingorother, but what the heck was it? Nineteenth Hole loungewear? Nevermind.
Then there was Loudmouth and its gobsmacking pattern and color. Pure fun. Pure what-me-worry attitude and spirit. Not for the faint of heart, but then most of the good stuff never is.
MAY WE BE SO BOLD
Then there was a line launch from Nancy Lopez and I want to give a shout out to her for remembering that women have waistlines. Yes, I know the mannequins had their outfits clipped from behind, but it tells me that someone in her camp was thinking about this comely aspect of a woman’s anatomy. And nice pink. Looks lovely with our Spectator Summer Sunrise shoes and Summer Bright golf glove.
TROUSER FITTING TUTORIAL SEMINAR OR LENGTH MATTERS
This one’s in the spirit of you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up. Enthusiastic attendees could be seen rushing this way and that to any one of a number of seminars on golf-centric topics, all extremely useful, all right on the razor-sharp edge of what a person needs to know to make it in the world of golf. Like the ‘Trouser Fitting Tutorial Seminar’ from 11:00-12:00 on Friday. You with me?
It was about the importance of properly tailoring a man’s pants for the game of golf. Duh. Imagine sixty riveting minutes of diagrams, demos and debate about that all-important game changer: the perfect inseam. (Dig deep and find your empathy ladies.) There is nothing worse, for heaven’s sake, than trying to putt that $2 Nassau with your pants dragging on the green, or worse, hiked up around your ankles luffing like a sail heading into the wind. Length matters.
Turn-around, as in fair play, was nowhere to be found though. No égalité, no fraternité for the sisterhood of women golfers despite the fact that some of us – you know who you are – could have done with an instructive seminar on the functional length of a golf skirt. No one should be exposing a view of the southwest passage when bending over to mark a putt, unless of course it’s being done for the purely strategic purpose of distracting the guy putting The Nassau. I’m principled, but flexible when it comes to The Nassau.
THE CONSPICUOUS ABSENCE OF ESTROGEN
Best for last: the panel on ‘The Elements of Style’ where attendees could learn about what was hot in golf in 2010 and what was trending for 2011. Oxymorons aside, I waited with baited breath. I listened carefully , ready to take notes, hoping to be clobbered with revelations…inspiration…whatever. Niente.
That said, I did find a couple of things sort of amusing. First, the panel finally figured out something I’ve been observing in my little corner of the golf world for a long while – as in forever – that women are wearing their own separates on the golf course instead of golf-specific clothing. Second, AND THIS IS THE KICKER, there were no women on the panel. So imagine my fascination as I listened to four men wax on about fashion trends in golf – for women. I guess these guys were basing their opinions on what they saw being offered to women in pro shops, because it sure as heck wasn’t on what they saw their women golf-buddies (wipe that smile off your face) wearing in the real world. If they’d been paying any attention at all, or done the tiniest bit of field research before taking a position on the panel to expound, they’d have known that most women’s golf clothes are so ugly that we’ve taken matters into our own hands – one pair of Banana Republic capris at a time.
SAW IT WITH MY OWN EYES
The two moderators, women both, Argy Koutsothanasis of Golf Digest and Fitness magazines and Annmarie Dodd of Khaki Crusader online magazine, asked great questions. Kudos to them and nice to see women directing the conversation about golf rig for a change. But I hope you appreciate the rich irony of me watching two women asking four men about what women seem to want in golf. Saw it with my own eyes.
So, I guess the painfully obvious needs restating – yet again – but maybe someone else could grab the bullhorn for a change? Isn’t this what got us into this ugly, uncomfortable, manly looking mess in the first place? The conspicuous absence of estrogen? It’s given us bad golf shoes and collared polo shirts in high tech fabrics yay. And Under Armour for women. Not going there.
THE BIG TREND & THANKS FOR NOTICING
So here it is ladies, news flash from the front: the BIG TREND these observant fellas (inside trackers all) see in golf these days is what they are dubbing Green-To-Street fashion. Or what we gals have known about and been doing for as long as I’ve been playing golf – wearing our own separates, the same stuff we wear on the street, to go play golf. Green-To-Street, get it? It’s just been our way of saying that we hate golf-specific clothing and prefer to do our own thing with the clothes we own and like and wear – and have been doing that for a pretty long time. Thanks for noticing.
WOMEN DESIGNING FOR WOMEN
The bright light in the tunnel, though, is that under the radar I met lots and lots of women who, like me, have started businesses to design the products for golf that we’d like to have but can’t find. And even though none of these intrepid pioneers (myself included) was invited to sit on a panel to discuss trends in women’s fashion, because the men had that topic all wrapped up, you can read more about them in the ShiShi Putter online magazine. It’s being written by Elizabeth Noblitt, who is passionate about what women are designing for women in the world of golf and who celebrates the individuality so many of us bring to the course. She tells you what’s new and where to find it and pays tribute to the fact that the cookie-cutter approach to what you wear on the links is over. Yes, even Gumbies are welcome. Great party, Elizabeth. Great crowd. Thanks!
KEEP THE CABERNET CLOSE
Snark, my evil twin has left for the day and it’s a good thing. Pollyanna Sugar Plum is at the wheel now and wants you to know that she had a great time at the show and is very glad she went – because fashion-challenged or not – golfers are a fun lot. She also asked me to tell you that she couldn’t tell for sure if the bouncy steps she observed all over the hall were a result of depression fatigue (what-the-hell-there’s-no-way-to-go-but-up) or if they reflected a general shift in the business climate. Sugarplum says it felt like the latter. And if that’s the case, the uptick’s coming and there are good days ahead for us all. (I plan to keep the cabernet close by just in case. Yours Truly, Snark)