By Jeffrey A. Rendall, Images courtesy of Antigua Golf
PEORIA, AZ – It’s safe to say, many of us look back on turning thirty with a sense of amusement – about how we dreaded getting ‘old,’ with our college days in the past and paranoid delusions that all of life’s good times were back there with them.
But there are also those who look forward to the milestone, and in the case of one golf apparel company, thirty years are something to be downright proud of. Sports apparel manufacturer Antigua is one of those entities that looked back on three decades in business with a sense of accomplishment – and they should, since they’ve been around longer than practically all the rest.
For those of us somewhat beyond the thirty-year age group, we now see that age and experience also brings wisdom – and in Antigua’s case, you can see it when you wear their products.
Sean Gregg is Antigua’s Head Designer, and he agrees that turning thirty is a point of pride: “Our thirty years of being an authentic golf brand give us a keen insight into what the golfer is looking for in apparel. We’ve always been very consumer driven and conservative with our advertising spending to ensure that the customer is getting a better quality product for a better price than our competitors, especially the sporting goods brands.”
“And after thirty years of making genuine golf apparel, longer than any other golf apparel company, there’s a strong established consumer base that consistently seeks out the Antigua brand based on their positive experiences with wearing our products,” Gregg said proudly.
Perhaps Antigua’s example proves there’s life – and fun – after thirty. So much for all the needless worry we went through upon approaching the age.
But there’s more to it than just a number, there’s the value in accumulated knowledge – which is especially strong in the competitive golf apparel industry, populated with many quality brands and some big, established names behind them. Even here, Gregg says Antigua has an advantage: “We understand that golf is a sport, and that’s key. We continuously look at the sports industry (tennis, running, soccer, etc.) as a whole for fabric direction and inspiration – and then look to make the transition into golf so the consumer clearly knows that what he or she is buying is golf apparel.”
“We are constantly pushing the envelope in the development of new fabrics, ensuring that we are staying current and contemporary in both style and color,” Gregg added.
Like you’d expect from a leader in a competitive industry, Gregg says Antigua’s research and development makes their products stand apart. Antigua’s Desert Dry fabrics (and their soon to be introduced Desert Dry Xtra-Lite fabrics) are designed to functionally perform from a constructional wicking process done at the knitting stage. The products then go through an additional treatment in the finishing process to maximize the wicking and performance functions of all of Antigua’s garments.
In other words, wear the shirts, and expect to be dry. How many times have we started a golf round and already found a shirt soaked with sweat? Here in the ever-so-humid Mid-Atlantic, that’s a feeling that’s more common than we’d like. We’re thankful that there are designers like Gregg who are working to bring us some relief.
But what does it mean to get better ‘performance’ from a golf shirt?
“Greater performance is simply, more comfort on the course,” Gregg answered. “Moisture wicking keeps you dry, which in turn enhances your ability to perform. The fact that the performance fabrics also don’t fade or wrinkle also provides easy care and longer life for the garment – added benefits that make for greater performance of both the product and the player.”
Gregg says Antigua is always looking for what’s best for the player wearing their products. For example, for Spring 2010, the company is introducing the next evolution in performance fabrics with the launch of the Desert Dry Xtra-Lite (D2XL) which will be lighter than their existing light weight Desert Dry apparel. It will be quicker, lighter on the body, trap less heat and be less restrictive – all in an effort to perform better.
So we know that golf apparel is keeping up with the times technologically – but what about fashion? As the workplace moves to a more casual, ‘comfortable’ emphasis, is the golf industry moving in that direction?
“Golf has always been a fairly traditional sport, but social lifestyle changes like the acceptance of casual looks in the workplace and fashion trends in the form of performance styling offer the ability to create options in golf apparel that weren’t previously available,” Gregg lectured.
He continues, “This ‘casual’ acceptance in the workplace has actually worked to the advantage of golf apparel manufacturers like ourselves who focus on making golf apparel more versatile, to work both on and off the course – because it’s actually the golf polo shirt that’s typically what’s come to be accepted as business casual.”
Alas, yet another area where golf influences life. It goes far beyond the clubhouse.
And seeing as Antigua’s got a wealth of experience, they would seem to be better able to predict what’s coming up. We asked Gregg how he sees golf fashion in five years, and his answer tied in the past as well as prognosticated the future.
“Simply put, we see it being different from how it looks today,” Gregg speculated. “If you go back five years, we saw the insurgence of performance apparel in golf. It came abruptly into the golf market and exploded quickly and now has become widely accepted by mainstream golf. Performance synthetic fabrics made in pointelle meshes and bright colors used in color and fabric blocking details are not readily accepted by the golf industry as a whole.”
It’s true, golf fashions are a lot more ‘exotic’ than in the past, accepted by Tour players and golfers of all types. Prior to the emergence of brightly colored ‘performance’ styles, apparel was much more subdued, primarily in 100% cotton and cotton mercerized products – which are no longer the first choice of players because of their overall acceptance of ‘performance’ wear.
Given a choice, players are choosing to be dry – it only makes sense. But now they can be dry and colorful, that’s the difference.
As far as the future of golf apparel, Gregg sees the golf fashion cycle changing again, highlighted by products like Antigua’s spring and summer ’10 collections, which are bringing performance fabrics to the proverbial ‘next level.’
“Where the onset of performance golf five years ago was clearly and understandably inspired by sports apparel detailing, bright colors and innovative cut and sewn styling which was quite successful – we now see these same fabrics being able to translate into warm colors and sophisticated styling. For our 2010 golf collections, we’ve created what we call ‘contemporary performance’ and consider it to be the next evolution of golf apparel,” Gregg added.
Naturally, it’s impossible to pinpoint what things will look like in five years, but Gregg thinks it will be determined by trends (by technology both in fabrics and medias), by the economy, and even the weather – if it continues to be erratic. Finally, there’s the social climate of the time.
The only thing that’s certain is that it will be different than it is now.
There’s one other aspect of Antigua apparel that deserves mention, and that’s the ease of taking care of it – and this is seconded by Antigua’s Tour staff, which says it travels well. “All of our products are light weight and easy to care for, making their life on the road easier. They’ve all said that our focusing on the function and fashion of our performance product lets them keep their focus on their game – where it should be,” Gregg said.
As for the Antigua products in 2009, we found them to be true to Gregg’s words: they’re stylish and comfortable. Having worn them on several hot days and in various circumstances on and off the course, we can plainly say that not only do the Antigua garments look superior, they also ‘perform’ to your expectations – they keep you dry, don’t require a lot of ironing and most of all, keep you up to date in fashion.
The 100% polyester material also ‘feels’ just as soft as cotton, without the cling you’ll get when the shirt gets moist.
With such quality, we’ll let Gregg have the last word: “Without exception, Antigua is very proud of marking its 30-year anniversary this year as a genuine golf apparel brand and we look ahead to the next thirty years where we can continue to achieve positive influences on the golf apparel industry and continue to receive positive responses by the players who continue to wear our products worldwide.”
With Antigua, it’s now safe to trust something over thirty.
16651 N 84th Ave
Peoria, AZ 85382
Catalogs are available through the Antigua Website
The Antigua brand of apparel and Accessories has been a leader in the golf industry for 30 years.
Thousands of pro-shops nationwide carry the beautiful product line and numerous golf events on the various professional tours trust Antigua to provide Pro-Am gifts retail merchandise and custom embroidered uniforms. Antigua is a preferred supplier of the PGA of America and a presenting sponsor of PGA Retirement Plus.
|Related Links||Comments on this article?|
Maryland National Golf Club
Hollow Creek Golf Club
Rocky Gap Resort
PB Dye Golf Club in Ijamsville
Whiskey Creek Golf Club
E-mail Jeff Rendall, Editor: