By Jeffrey A. Rendall; Images Courtesy of Dockers Tour
IRVINE, CA -- You see it at almost every golf facility you play these days – at least the upscale courses. “Appropriate dress required, no blue jeans, cut-off shorts or T-shirts permitted on the course or the clubhouse.” While this ‘restriction’ isn’t a problem for the vast majority of us, it still eliminates the very ‘luxury’ perk that wearing blue jeans, cut-offs or t-shirts represents – that being, unabashed comfort.
For many, clothes are an extension of their personalities, be it nouveau, chic and attention grabbing, pressed and conservative, or frumpy, slovenly and disheveled. Some people dress to impress, while others just throw on whatever’s residing next to the nightstand from last Tuesday’s meeting.
But one common thread pervading all fashion types is comfort – you can have your individual ‘style,’ yet everyone still wants to feel good wearing it, too.
It certainly holds true for the golf course, in the same way – you want style and comfort. If it comes at a decent price, that’s a bonus.
|Blue White - Tour Collection - Blue Grass, Style: Seattle Slow. $52.00|
That’s why we looked into Dockers Tour. Most people already know that the Dockers brand is part of jeans pioneer Levi-Strauss, and in our world of sharp-but-casual and dress-down business functions, a pair of Dockers is required wardrobe. Since we’re familiar with Dockers, couldn’t we also wear them when playing golf?
“We decided to partner with Newport Sportswear to introduce a Dockers golf line because eight out of ten golfers already had a pair of Dockers in their closet,” said Barnum Mow, President and CEO of Dockers Tour, which was re-introduced at the beginning of last year (2003), after its predecessor, Dockers Golf, failed to establish a niche in the highly competitive golf apparel industry.
“Prior to last year, you didn’t see Dockers in the golf market, and it couldn’t be found at golf destination resorts, sporting retailers or off-course retailers. Meanwhile, Newport Sportswear had plenty of expertise in the golf market, so they had the exclusive license for this area – resorts, sports retailers, etc…,” Mow continued.
“Seeing as Corporate Levis wanted to get into the golf market, it made sense to work with Newport on producing Dockers Tour,” Mow said.
Mow was also a good man to lead the new entity, having previously worked for Bugle Boy for eighteen years as a senior executive.
|Chest Stripe - Tour Collection - Black Stallion, Style: Count Fleet. $52|
That’s right, Mow knows clothes.
Mow’s accumulated apparel industry knowledge (along with Dockers Tour’s designer Dave Roderick, founder of Avid Golf) works well with the game we all love, golf.
But all the experience in the world wouldn’t amount to a hill-o-threads if the product’s not superior. And while we won’t claim we like Dockers Tour better than some of the other brands we’ve bought before, we will say that DT provides a heck of a lot of value for the money. Many times you’ll browse the pro shop for an attractive shirt and see at or near three figures for the exchange. Not so with Dockers Tour, which maxes out at seventy bucks -- and most of its line is significantly lower than that.
Mow says it’s brand recognition and consistency that sets Dockers Tour apart: “Since so many golfers are already familiar with Dockers, they’re certain that buying a Dockers Tour product will provide them with value, durability and comfort. They’ll also garner from that experience that Dockers Tour fits consistently across the board. They are consistent from pant to pant and shirt to shirt.”
“When someone knows their size, they can confidently walk into a store, pick out a pair and know it will fit the same way the others have – they don’t even need to try it on. When you combine that consistency with a very affordable price and built in value, you’ve got something that people are going to buy,” Mow concluded.
|Del Mar - Half Zip Sweater Polo, 100% Cotton, Double Flat Back Rib, $50.00|
Again, there’s only value if there’s quality. Lots of clothes will fit, but will they perform? After all, the duds won’t swing the club for you, but they can help keep that comfort level at a place where you’ll hit those playable shots on your own. And there’s always the question of keeping them looking nice. Nothing like being out on the course with a client and being forced to carry a ketchup stain around with you on the back nine after a little mishap at the snack-bar at the turn.
Dockers Tour provides the answers.
“All our performance polos contain ‘Spotlifter’ (and ‘Staindefender’ for twill pants) technology,” Mow explained. “Like the name implies, Spotlifter is a soft, comfortable fabric that’s treated with DuPont Teflon, and Dockers Tour is the only product on the market that has it. With this technology, many oil and water based liquids such as orange juice, soda and milk bead up to minimize staining – it helps eliminate or reduce stains when clothes are washed.”
It might even help you remove the blemish at moment of ‘accident.’ Almost sounds like a clear-coat wax you put on your car. Bead away, baby.
There’s more: “This fabric also provides UV and antimicrobial protection, moisture wicking and mosquito repellency,” Mow added.
|Tuscany - L/S Drop Needle Stitch Crew Neck Sweater 100% cotton, $50.00|
Sunscreen and bug repellant in a golf shirt, that’s a relief. It’s bad enough to have to slop that stuff on before you play, so at least you can spare yourself the garment protected areas. In all fairness, most golf apparel keeps the sun and bugs away, but these are just a few additional performance features of Dockers Tour.
Perhaps most important, Dockers Tour is more than just industry talk and promises. Wearing and washing the clothes (both pants and shirts) has shown the desired results. The shirts are 100% cotton, which has definitely helped out on these hot summer days. And many a time I’ve come home from the course, looked at the clothes and thought ‘what’s that?’ only to have the mystery blotch disappear upon the item’s re-emergence from the dryer a couple hours later.
Face it, golf courses are dirty places, especially if you hit it in areas that we tend to do. Like skiers have ‘out of bounds,’ where you shouldn’t go… well, so do we, on a golf course. For those moments when venturing off course in pursuit of a wayward ball, Spotlifter technology is one keen ally to have in your golf arsenal. You won’t need to worry about the potential pitfalls as much when you get some sort of strange substance on the clothes now. It’ll be gone by the next tee time.
As you’d expect, there’s also a pretty solid selection of colors and styles to choose from Dockers Tour. Looking towards the future, the Spring 2005 selection will offer bright fashion colors – orange, lime and hot green, as well as the standard black, navy and khaki as core colors that will always be available. Fall of 2005 will feature a slightly more fitted version in the shirt, which seems to be the style these days.
In case you’ve got a desire to wear sharp colors like Jesper Parnevik, Ian Poulter or Fredrik Jacobson, or don a fitted product like Tiger (and show off your physique), Dockers Tour may be the answer.*
|Carmel - Half Zip Sweater Vest, 78% Cotton/22 % Wool Mesh Lining Drop Needle Stitch, $70.00|
I’m just glad Dockers has a golf brand again. Dress casual’s always been okay with me, and Dockers’ comfort and quality has indeed been consistent. Now that it’s back on the golf course, maybe the golf came will ‘fit’ in the same way – I can only hope so.
*(Note: these players do not endorse or wear Dockers Tour.)
See links below for other recent product reviews.
Tel: 949 260-8700
President/CEO: Barnum Mow
Website: Under Development.
Dockers Tour should be available in a Golf or Sportswear shop near you. Questions should be forwarded to the above telephone number.
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