Back to the Future: Golf Fashion

Eye-popping prints and colors scream Seventies, but performance fabrics and styling speak to today. Brands include William Murray Golf, Penguin, Travis Mathew and Tory Sport.

Eye-popping prints and colors scream Seventies, but performance fabrics and styling speak to today.

By Suzanne S. Brown


Actor Bill Murray loves golf but not its stuffiness. So he and his brothers decided to launch a men’s line in 2016. While William Murray Golf sounds traditional, the company is anything but. In addition to the classic “Murray” tartan plaid—which can show up as trim or in a pocket lining (seen above)—there are plenty of wild prints on polos, shirts and shorts. Taking his ideas a step farther, William Murray has joined Betabrand for a crowdfunding project called Bill-Bottoms. The initial design features wide-leg pants with a bold peony pattern on a blueprint background in a four-way stretch fabric with roomy front and back pockets. Promising a pair to funders paying $100 each, the campaign quickly exceeded its goal, so Betabrand will offer the pants this spring.;


Golf may or may not be a good walk spoiled, but why let sore legs and feet ruin your round, even if you only steps come between the cart and the green? With a medically proven ability to increase lower-leg blood circulation, CEPT’s lightweight and breathable compression socks, $20-$50, come in a variety of lengths, sizes and colors to allow you to feel comfortable and stylish while decreasing fatigue and swelling. Unlike cotton socks, these do not retain heat and moisture and can also come with antibacterial and odor-reducing properties.


Launched in the mid-1950s and popularized by the likes of Arnold Palmer and Bing Crosby, the Original Penguin golf shirt by Munsingwear was popular with American men for decades. Well, shirts with a Pete the Penguin logo are back for a new generation of golfers. Owned by Perry Ellis International, the company has revamped its golf line, with designer Juan Carlos Alvarez tapping the Munsingwear archives. Seen above is the Earl polo in black.

Among the retro-inspired looks: the horizontally striped 1978 polo, $89; the 1976 Captain track jacket with a wide chest stripe, $129; and bold red or blue plaid shorts, $89; or pants, $99. Also included are playful items, such as the Pete on the Beach polo in a print dotted with palm trees, umbrellas, sunglasses and penguins, $89.


Travis Mathew is the go-to brand for guys who want clothes they can wear for a round of golf followed by a round of drinks. While the line’s signature slim fit, muted palette and variations on the chest stripe are still available, men will find more color options this spring. Check out the Expat polo in American Beauty red cotton blend interlock fabric, $85, or the heather blue Shipwreck polo. $90. Brave the elements wearing the Agave jacket in a lightweight quick-dry, moisture wicking fabric, $125, shown here with A-Rall cotton blend shorts, $85.


Ecco is striving to keep golfers striding comfortably with its new mouthful of a men’s model: the Biom G 2 Boa GTX, $260. Boiled down, the Biom part refers to a shoe last style that molds anatomically the wearer’s foot for a solid, stable fit, and the Boa mechanical lacing system allows for precision adjusting. No extra charge for the cool navy blue color in Ecco’s signature yak leather, and this model has the added benefit of Gore-Tex on the upper, making the shoes waterproof.


Miami-based tennis apparel company Lucky in Love added golfwear last year. Playful printed and layered skirts anchor performance fabric tops to create looks that are both fashionable and functional. The spring Haviana collection takes inspiration from the tropics in outfits like the printed stretch top, $100, worn with solid skort with pleat detail, $98; while space-dyed fabrics provide the interest in Spaced Out’s solid top, $80 and printed skort, $90.


Among the successful collaborations between professional women golfers and apparel companies is Annika Sorenstam’s collection for Cutter & Buck. The clothes not only offer the fit and technical qualities needed on the course but have a distinctive look as well. For spring, the Annika line features a printed skort in a quick-dry UPF 50+ polyester-jersey fabric with front and back exposed zipper pockets, $95.

It coordinates with an ombre print wind- and water-resistant vest with a cape back featuring a jersey mesh under-layer, $108. For cooler weather, a color-blocked mock neck quarter zip pullover in quick-dry fabric has a printed back that matches the skirt, $93. Available in May at


With a bright blend of colors and patterns that recall the 1970s, Tory Sport’s spring collection features such items as a chevron polo in a CoolMax cotton blend, $128, worn with printed pants in a stretch tech fabric, $198. Embroidered golf-themed patches decorate the cotton canvas visor, $48, which has a moisture-wicking mesh at the forehead and a striped elastic band. The navy blue patent leather Pocket-Tee Golf Loafers, $278, are decorated with a tee holder across the instep. Worn on or off the course, the shoes are water-resistant and have rubber soles that offer flexible traction.



Suzanne S. Brown is the former fashion and features editor for The Denver Post. She also contributes to Mountain Living and Colorado Expression.

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