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Golf polos with bold patterns: A quick chat with Bad Birdie golf

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Founded in 2017, Los Angeles-based Bad Birdie golf produces some of the most eye-popping polos ever seen on a fairway.

The company’s brazen ambition to “make the most savage golf polos in the world” and its boisterous presence on social media belies an attention to detail and careful pattern curation. It’s easy to make loud, obnoxious clothing. It’s more challenging to produce something that’s at once bold, stylish, appropriately fitted and of high quality. But that is what Jason Richardson’s company has tried to do since entering the market.

I spoke with Richardson about his eye-catching wares.

Before we get into your Bad Birdie offerings, tell me your take on the state of golf wear when you decided to enter the market?

JR: I went shopping for a polo for an upcoming tournament and was hoping to find something a little flashier/fun. I got bummed out when I realized most of the golf polos were generally the same colors/patterns. Solid pastels or stripes weren’t necessarily what I was going for, so I did some research online.

After looking at anything I could find, I realized that most golf polos are almost identical to each other. The only thing that’s really different is the branding or tech fabric. There’s a couple brands making a few edgier patterns but they still have a middle-aged, Tommy Bahama feel that’s not necessarily relevant to the younger golfer.

So building on that, what was the opportunity you saw?

JR: I saw an opportunity to make polos for the younger/trendier/bolder golfer whose style doesn’t fit into the traditional golf trends of pastels and stripes. We have a saying we use on some of our ads: “Your dad called and wants his polo back.” Most young/millennial guys who love golf are having to get their apparel from the same place their dad does. Bad Birdie sees an opportunity to fix that.

Cool. What’s your background in golf?

JR: I’ve worked in golf for a lot of my life. I started caddying when I was 12 at Forest Highlands in Flagstaff, AZ, during the summers, so learned the game while working. During high school, I worked for an eBay store that sold golf shafts that were left over from all the club fitters in Scottsdale. After college and before starting Bad Birdie I worked in advertising.

What’s Bad Birdie’s competitive advantage?

JR: There’s no other brands making performance golf polos with styles like we do. Our team is in their 20s and early 30s so we’re right in our target demographic and have a great network of friends/golfers we can bounce ideas off of. Being based in Los Angeles doesn’t hurt either, as we see a lot of the new fashion trends first.

Who’s your target consumer, and what has the response been like?

JR: 18-35-year-old males (and their significant others who buy Bad Birdie as gifts). The number one customer email we get is guys telling us how surprised they were by the number of compliments they got while wearing their Bad Birdie. Love getting those.

Any upcoming releases, plans we should know about?

JR: We have some new polos dropping in July you’ll want to keep an eye out for.

Who’s the best-dressed golfer on the PGA Tour?

JR: Until someone is wearing a Bad Birdie it’s tough to say.

Touche.

Check out Bad Birdie’s wares here, or check them out @badbirdiegolf on Twitter.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Kata kata

    May 28, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    good golf polos. we like it

  2. Mark

    May 18, 2018 at 9:43 am

    “appropriately fitted and of high quality” – but no mention of how these are achieved. Most of the time I find it hard to appreciate GolfWRX’s attempts to provide written content. I suspect the money is just not there for qualified journalists.

  3. Ric

    May 17, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    Price is the factor!
    But of course this article was never intended for the average golfer.Only the elite.Golf was never to intended for the regular person it just evolved.Now with the price of everything going up it may revert back to it’s intended purpose, “games for the rich”. What is the material? Cotton? This is another copy cat Travis Mathews etc.! I like style and some of these are cool and different but back it down on price.

    • HoustonSig

      May 18, 2018 at 9:40 am

      They’re proud. I like them, but there is no way they’re more comfortable than Peter Millar or Polo (F that Hilfiger). $50 price point and I’d be on board.

  4. James T

    May 17, 2018 at 11:12 am

    I like ’em… to a degree. A bit busy. It would be nice if they could create a few with larger patterns that don’t look like stuff crawling all over your shirt from a distance.

    I could see myself owning one or two to wear under a dress jacket when attending an upscale lounge and sipping a gin & tonic. Just for the compliments, of course.

  5. BW

    May 17, 2018 at 10:15 am

    I am certainly not the demographic that Bad Birdie are going for. I am in the upper end of their age range, but am not what anyone would consider a “bold” golfer. Khaki shorts and a nice pastel shirt are my jam! Best of luck

  6. Jared

    May 17, 2018 at 9:35 am

    These shirts are fire!! Just wish they were cheaper.

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Apparel Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Linksoul golf apparel

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Product: Linksoul golf apparel

Pitch: From Linksoul “Linksoul is more a philosophy than a brand. More of an experience than a clothing company. Linksoul is the collective life’s work of people who care about each other and enjoy collaborating. We believe in creating products we value, with the people we love, for the good of our families and our community. Our roots are in golf. We descend from a long line of golfers, craftsmen and artists. But now we fill our time with many interests, including surfing, skiing, hiking, yoga, travel, cooking, parenting, dog walking…We believe that these everyday practices teach us the most about ourselves.”

Our Take on Linksoul’s golf apparel

Linksoul, whose mantra is “Tempus Fugit” (Time Flies), primarily provides golf clothing made to be just as appropriate and comfortable to wear on the course as off of it. The company has a range of different types of polos, tee-shirts, shorts, and pants available, but it was a button-down shirt from the company which I was most intrigued to check out.

Right off the bat, the brand’s Anza Heathered Button-Down shirt impressed with its ultra-soft fabric. To complement that softness, the shirt is wonderfully light and boasts an excellent fit. The length of the shirt sleeves is ideal, so you won’t need to keep fidgeting before and after each shot, and the comfort and fit combined gives you that added flexibility in your swing. The collar fits naturally the moment you put the shirt on and marks the clear quality that went into its creation.

It seems many are on the fence about whether button-down shirts on the course are for them (I was one of those!), but my take now is that they are the ideal summer shirt on the course. In the heat, comfort has to be the number one priority, and the button-down structure gives you so much more air. With Linksoul’s Anza button-down you’ll experience maximum breathability.

Linksoul offers the shirt in six color codes (White, Black Heather, Tidepool Heather, Ink Heather, Dark Gray Heather, and Dawn Heather). For $80, considering the caliber of the shirt, the only gripe I could make is that there aren’t more exotic colors available!

The brand’s Boardwalker Shorts are another piece of apparel that I found to contain the perfect blend of comfort and quality, as well as looking great. The shorts contain a four-way stretch fabric which gives you a plethora of flexibility during your swing, while the weight of the shorts I also found to be on point. The shorts are lightweight but not so much as to take away from the durability and quality of the shorts.

 

There is plenty of mobility on offer with the Boardwalker Shorts, while I also enjoyed that the shorts are a classic style length and sit right at the knee.

You can choose from eight different color codes (Black, Chalk, Khaki, Dark Gray, True Black, Bronze, Navy, Army, and River), and the shorts retail at $76. With their no-fuss look, high quality, and a clear focus on comfort, Linksoul’s Boardwalker shorts offer everything you’d want in a pair of golf shorts.

For those that prefer to play solely in trousers, you’ll be glad to hear that the company provide the same product in a pant style—the BoardWalker Pant.

There’s a huge amount to like about the apparel Linksoul is offering up, and at prices which are extremely reasonable considering the quality provided. Their site Linksoul.com offers a multitude of polos, button-downs (in both short and long sleeve), shorts, pants, and tee-shirts. If high-quality adaptable golf apparel is your thing, then it’s a company well worth checking out.

 

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Apparel Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Air Jordan ADG golf shoes

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Product: Air Jordan ADG golf shoes (available at Dick’s and Golf Galaxy). 

Pitch: Via Jordan: “Jump up the leaderboard in the Nike Men’s Air Jordan ADG Golf Shoes. Famed for its incredible comfort and lightweight feel, the ADG features a Zoom Air unit for responsive cushioning and an integrated lacing system for a secure, supportive fit. The Integrated Traction pattern offers you enhanced grip on every terrain and the signature Jumpman logos give you extra style on the course.”

Our take on Air Jordan ADG golf shoes

Confined to the feet of Keegan Bradley for years, the iconic sneaker brand seems to have proof of concept in the golf space, as evidenced by the growing roster of tour players (Pat Perez, Harold Varner III), and numerous retail offerings.

We got to test one of said retail offerings: the just-released spikeless Air Jordan ADG. Now, the Jordan style may not be for every golfer (can’t imagine them catching on in Tuesday morning senior leagues across the nation), but if you like the look of Js on the court or street, you’ll love the look of these. Indeed, you’ll probably love the look of all Jordan offerings for the fairway, as the company has done an excellent job of bringing its aesthetic to golf, rather than the opposite (if that makes sense…tacking the Jumpman logo on a pair of saddle shoes was never going to work).

So, appearance wise, the elephant print leather upper and other signature brand elements look great (and the translucent sole is an awesome touch). However, when it comes to golf shoes, particularly of the spikeless variety, we’re always concerned about stability during the swing (both in terms of contact with the ground and within the shoe internally) and appropriate support/comfort for the five-plus mile trek that is a round of golf.

On both of the aforementioned fronts, these shoes are superb. You can feel the comfort and support the instant your heel hits the Jumpan Golf logo on the insole, and the shoes do everything you’d ask a spikeless shoe to do on course. Highly recommended; we look forward to seeing what his Airness’ cordwainers come up with next.

A look at the white colorway, via Jordan, below. 

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Apparel Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Callaway Golf Apparel

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Callaway apparel?

Yes, apparel, seriously.

Go ahead you can admit it, as will I. When you think of Callaway what generally comes to mind is hard goods golf gear, things like Epic Flash drivers and Chrome Soft balls. Personally I never really thought too hard about their apparel before, BUT one encounter with the lineup and I can assure you that when you think of Callaway you will think of shirts and apparel being as high on your must-try list as Apex Irons.

In the golf apparel game, there are a lot of players. From boutique brands geared towards the extreme high end to more “value” offerings that hit the mark on price but have almost no chance of holding up over a full season of use. To gain traction and find your “zone” as an apparel company you have to separate yourself, whether it be through distinctive cuts, patterns & designs, fabrics, quality, or finding the right ways & places to distribute. For Callaway Golf Apparel whatever combination of these they are doing, they are doing it very right! From quality to distribution, they are crushing it. Seriously!

How much are they “crushing it” you might ask… How about to the tune of over 690 percent year over year. Yes, that’s NOT a TYPO – 690 percent! Thanks to a glowing Q1 report (something you can easily access since they are a publicly traded company) Callaway’s apparel is leaps and bounds ahead of where they used to be for a number of reasons:

  • High-quality fabrics
  • Great cuts
  • Attention to detail

Since this is a spotlight on the apparel, I’m going to focus on my favorite pieces in the line – the polos. As I have said before there are a few things I look for in a nice golf shirt; overall fit (this dad bod has still gotta look good on the course), style choices, and quality fabric — I’d rather spend a bit more money for a classically tailored well-made shirt than something that is inexpensive but won’t last five cycles through the wash.

The highlights for these shirts are in the variety of options, the quality fit, and little extra details that allow these to be placed alongside some of the most recognized brands in off-course retail and pro shops around the country. Sleeve length is perfect and comfortable — no need for the old shoulder hike before every shot. The fabrics have stretch but not too much that the shirt feels flimsy, which a big no-no for me. Flimsy fabrics and poor seems are the typical issue with very value friendly brands but there’s none of that here! The collars don’t have stays but the way they are designed, cut, and reinforced keeps them looking firm and right where they should be.

Last but not least, Callaway’s full lineup of apparel has a huge selection of sizes for both men and women to make sure no matter your measurements you can find the outfits that fit your shape so you can feel comfortable on and off the course. If you don’t have access to a retailer you can shop their website.

 

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