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The Country Club Collections


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#1 SPY ZINGER

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 04:59 PM

The Country Club Collections

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Close your eyes for a moment. Do you know this guy? He just walked through the doors of your home golf course, and into the pro shop. You know who I am talking about here. He smells like he just bathed in Eternity for Men. He’s wearing lavender pants he bought last night at Golf Galaxy. A pink shirt with a little bit of fur peaking out of the neck area, with the, “I’m new and haven’t been washed” creases in the collar. Flat brimmed hat, bag full of new clubs with the stickers still embedded near the end of the the shafts. Maybe even an Edel putter he paid too much for, but the custom club-maker told him the lasers never lie. He walks up to the first tee, sharpie marks his Pro-V1, and cold-tops it like a chop into the weeds. He walks to his cart, takes a sip of his bloody, and slices one 210 yards downwind-IER.

This is the uniform, costume-like look you see on the PGA Tour today. It’s becoming ever predictable, and common. So bold and colorful, it’s actually boring, because we’ve been slapped with it each and every week for quite a while now. Look, I understand the concept of school spirit, but if a cop in Minneapolis saw some of these guys walking the streets in their circle T, tour gear, they would be arrested on suspicion of escape from the county lock-up.

I have titled this editorial, The Country Club Collections. I have done this with with a purpose, and it does not mean you have to be a member of a private course, or shop at one to appreciate this collection of brands. Some of these company’s are calling this departure from the bold and beautiful, “Lifestyle” selections. That is a politically correct way of saying: golf clothes you can also show up to work in, pump gas in, take your kids to school in, go out to eat in, ....and not feel like a toolbox. And, no, you won’t feel like a FootJoy rep either, and the shirt sleeves won’t hang at your wrists.

Iliac Golf

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The story of Iliac Golf is rooted in a man that grew up Southern California and found himself competing in professional skateboarding at a young age. In fact, although I was no good whatsoever, I remember having a skateboard named after the founder of Iliac Golf, Bert LaMar. Following in the footsteps of his mother, and grandmother, both of which were skilled in the sewing craft, and his father, a designer by trade, LaMar got into design in his second career as a professional snowboarder for Vision Street Wear and Sims outerwear. LaMar attempted to make golf the ultimate trifecta in his professional sports career. However, his passion remained in apparel as well as leather goods and Iliac Golf was born.

This year, Iliac broadened their apparel portfolio with the addition of pants to their luxury line of boutique golf apparel. Prior to this year, the pants were prototype tested on the PGA Tour and only available to Iliac staffers. LaMar spent a great deal of time in the design of the pants with several revisions and meticulous attention to detail. LaMar examined over 200 patterns before settling on a finalized design. His pants incorporate two fundamental principals that are the foundation to his success; the brilliant marriage of rich tradition, and contemporary technology. Gentleman and athlete.

According to LaMar: “To me the golf pant should feel like a part of your body and be unnoticeable to the player. They need to be cool in the heat, warm in the cold, dry in the rain & humidity, and move with your swing and rhythm. Your pants should look as good on the first tee as they do on the 36th hole. They should be quiet and feel like silk next to the skin. They should be durable and withstand the elements of a tour player's lifestyle on and off the course. Your pants should reflect your style and respect for the classic vintage vibe laid out by Hogan, Palmer, Nicklaus and Snead. Your pants should be pure.”

I had a chance to preview the LDS Luxury Dry Stretch Tour Pant in black with Gingham trim. The pants themselves live up to their name, and that is luxury. Each piece of Iliac apparel is designed and crafted to perfection with remarkable attention to detail in both design and construction. With the Tour Pants, the finished feel on the legs really are different than anything on the market today. Add in the Gingham accents, Iliac leather logo, and cuff breaks, they are among the best in golf pants today. http://www.iliacgolf...hite-red-stitch

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BONOBOS-Maide Collection

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Bonobos recently launched their Maide Collection designed specifically for the golf marketplace. The designs are inspired by looks from the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s. They are lifestyle brand meaning the selections can be easily worn both on and off the golf course. They lack that uniform look that saturates the PGA Tour today. The Maide line is said to be about fit, style and function, and I believe they have accomplished these categories rather nicely. Maide has that traditional look, with a contemporary twist. Most importantly, they are offering a pair of pants this year that is without question, probably among the best in golf, and have become one of my new favorite pants.

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First up is the Berwick golf shirt. I must be brutally honest on this one, and it pains me to do so given the quality of the pants. However, the Berwick is really nothing special at all. It is a slim fitting athletic cut shirt, with sleeves that hang slightly above the bicep. It’s probably the shortest fitting sleeve hanging in my closet, but is by no means, too short or tight. It’s virtually a 50/50 cotton/poly blend and does look reasonably nice. It maintains the old school, slim unstructured collar. But at the same time, at $78, I feel they could have done much better. http://www.bonobos.c...f-polos-for-men

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In sharp contrast, the Highland Pants are clearly some of the best in golf right now. Although continuing with the classic styling of the Maide line, they are designed with modern performance fabric for breathability. An interior waistband grip keeps your shirt tucked in, even during technically flawless movement like mine. But what really sets these apart from the rest is the athletic fit which as far as I can tell, is the best combination of look, fit and comfort. They include adjustable zipper hems to allow for the desired break and drape over the shoe. The broad versatility of these pants from a fashion perspective permit wear across venues off the course. Retailing at $108, they are on the high side for pants, but their performance and incredible fit are worth the price. http://www.bonobos.c...f-pants-for-men

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Martin Golf-Timeless as the Game

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If there is anything Martin Golf is synonymous with, it’s quality. Over the past couple years, I have had the opportunity to wear a variety of selections from Martin Golf, and they never disappoint. If it hasn’t been made clear yet, I like this brand. And, I like the guy running it too. Rick Martin is an old-school traditional guy. This is reflected in his apparel line as well. But, that does not mean outdated or irrelevant in the market. Quite the opposite actually and like their byline states, I really believe their apparel and brand truly is as timeless as the game.

When I spoke to Rick Martin about his 2013 line, it was not via boardroom teleconference, or a contrived business-like setting. It was just a guy, sitting on his porch in Texas, smoking a cigar. In fact, he even stated he was an avid reader of MyGolfSpy and was citing facts from the 2013 Driver Test. As traditional as he is, Martin is a cool dude, just like one of us. As he was sitting on his porch talking with me on his cell phone, the Fed-Ex man arrived with his Scotty Cameron GoLo putter.

Martin Golf is different in that they do not sell to internet wholesalers or even local retailers. Their focus is the private country clubs, and the PGA Professionals that run them. Martin has said, the pro shop is becoming one of the last specialty retailers left in the country. Martin isn’t interested in changing this business plan and operates under the mindset that if people truly want his product, they will find a way to get it if they are not a member of a private club. He also believes in using only the finest natural fibers in his line, as feels they are superior to the tech fabrics of today.

Featured here is the True Navy 1/4 Zip Long Sleeve Interlock, the Light Charcoal Italian Merino Wind Sweater, and the Stone Classic Solid Lisle polo. Martin shirts are American cut offering generous room to move. I found them to run almost a full size larger than most selections in the apparel arena today. I normally take a large, but could probably fit into a Medium if given the opportunity. It’s been my experience in the past, and it holds true with the wind sweater, their sweaters run pretty true to size.

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Bobby Jones Apparel

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If there is one man who’s name is almost synonymous with the terms, gentleman, country club, and class, it’s Bobby Jones. As arguably one of the most famous amateur athletes in the world. To escape the fame, Jones had a desire to build a private golf sanctuary. In 1931, Jones teamed with a New York City investment dealer, Clifford Roberts and bought what has become one of the most sacred pieces of property in golf today, Augusta National Golf Club. In 1934, he founded, The Masters tournament, and the rest, as they say, is history. You know the story from here.

In 2003, the Bobby Jones Golf Company was founded by way of a licensing agreement with the Jones family. The company began with an equipment line designed by Jesse Ortiz. The brand, and it’s apparel line is designed with three principals in mind: quality, class, and luxury. Without question, the brand and it’s apparel products live up to these principals and are among the best in golf. There are few brands in golf apparel today where you can recognize the quality of the garmets just holding them in your hand. The fibers that make up the pieces just feel different, look different, and wear differently than almost everything else you’ve tried before. This was my inagural look at the Bobby Jones brand, and it made a solid first impression.
Bobby Jones represents a classic, elegant lifestyle in the spirit of the Bobby Jones golf heritage. A luxury collection that embraces a modern approach to sportswear.

Featured below is the Feedstripe Polo in Daiquiri (red). The Feedstripe is made from 100% Egyptian cotton and feels incredible next to the skin. This three button polo features a solid rib knit collar, Bobby Jones logo embroidered under the placket, and is machine washable. This polo is at the high end of pricing with an MSRP at $98.50, and fits true to size in an American cut. http://www.bobbyjone...eedstripe-polo/

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The second polo featured is the XH20 Solid Mesh Dri-Balance Polo in Navy. As the name suggests, although a company rooted in tradition, their selections also incorporate modern fabric technology. The XH20 is designed to keep you cooler and drier by way of a patented moisture management system, Coolplus, wicking moisture from the body to the outside of the shirt to dry. A shirt that proves modern performance wear can still look traditional and classy all the same. This is an American cut shirt with an MSRP of $82.50. http://www.bobbyjone...i-balance-polo/

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The XH20 in navy can be layered nicely with the Tournament Tattersall V Neck Vest. The Tattersall is a 12 gauge knit with jersey construction made from 100% Pima Cotton. It features a rib knit on the collar, sleeves, and hem. This translates into a very soft, well constructed vest when the weather calls for an added layer without the feeling of bulk. The tattersall fits true to size in an American cut, much like the rest of the selections in this line. MSRP is $155. http://www.bobbyjone...ll-v-neck-vest/

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No on-course outfit would be complete without shorts or pants on the legs. The Flat Front Trousers are constructed from 55% cotton and 45% Tencel (think rayon). However, the inside of the pants features a cotton lining for feel and comfort. The pants can be ordered by waste size and ship with an unfinished hem. That means, you’ll have to bring these to a tailor to finish off the length. With an MSRP of $135, this will add about $10 more dollars to the total cost of the pants. I like this feature because more often than not, one companies inseam of 32” does not always match another’s in the same measurement. It’s almost like shaft flex. In the end, I find this option in pants to be more desirable because I know the length will be exactly to my liking. I prefer my golf pants to hang just slightly higher than normal do they are not dragging or getting into the grass, sand, or moisture on course. http://www.bobbyjone...ouser-50600650/

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When I first examined the Nanotek Flat Front Tech Short from Bobby Jones, I thought they were identical in construction to the Trousers. But upon closer look, it’s not the case at all. The shorts are constructed from Nanotex polyester which is said to be spill resistant, moisture wicking and (although a Zinger does not need it), odor neutralizing fabric. To the eye, they look like traditional cotton shorts, but pack all of the latest technology modern fabric. Although these fit true to size, you may consider going down an inch in size as the shorts include the Tekfit stretch waistband. Really cool technology here that really feels comfortable around the waist designed to move with you. The Nanotek shorts have an MSRP of $89.50. http://www.bobbyjone...ont-tech-short/

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#2 JohnBarry

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 05:36 PM

Great write up my brotha!!!
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#3 SPY ZINGER

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 06:39 PM

Great write up my brotha!!!

Thanks JB!
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#4 JohnBarry

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 08:39 PM

Love the Maide Pants, but I guess you could have figured that out without me saying so!
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#5 SPY ZINGER

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 04:27 AM

Love the Maide Pants, but I guess you could have figured that out without me saying so!

Do you have a pair JB? They are spectacular!
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#6 sai-jin

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 06:49 AM

wow... impressive photos and essay1!!

#7 JohnBarry

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 03:55 PM

I do have a pair, the green ones
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#8 SPY ZINGER

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 06:36 PM

Thanks SAI

A friend of mine has the green pair. And he's a packer fan...
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#9 furu

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 07:38 PM

Very good article :)

How do the Iliac pants fit? Can you compare them to other brands?
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#10 SPY ZINGER

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 08:02 PM

Very good article :)

How do the Iliac pants fit? Can you compare them to other brands?

They are custom ordered to your exact measurements. For example, if you want a 35.25" waist, you can order or as such. Same with length. The pants are built for you. Regular fitting, not overly slim nor baggy at all. Very nice material and well constructed.
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#11 R.P. Jacobs II

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 07:45 PM

First off, great write-up Zinger!! Excellent job!

I have been a Bobby Jones fan since the shirts hit the club in 2003-04. For about 6-7 years, until probably '10-11, they were the prettiest, best constructed shirt in our shop. Back then the Bobby Jones Collection shirts went for $125. In about '08-09, I'm not really sure of the year, they introduced the Players collection, which, in our club went for $75. Different cotton & much more polyester and they did not have the trademark golfer on the neck, though they had some different designs/patterns. They didn't sell in our club. Funny, the $125 shirts, they couldn't keep em on the table. The $75 shirts, they hadda clearance them in the fall, lol. A vain, fickle group, that country club set, lol.

However, even the great Bobby Jones Collection/company is not immune to the economic pressures and drop in sales that marked the industry. Ya see, that trademark golfer between the buttons reeked of elegance and vanity. It was a piece of fabric, with a background pattern different from the shirt, on both sides of the "V neck" and between the buttons was the golfer, beautifully stitched in thread matching a color in the shirt, two on each side.

It was this trademark neck that gave the wearer of a Bobby Jones shirt away. And yes, just like the star on a Benz, the crown on a Rolex or the cat on the hood of a Jag, it told the individual that you were talking to, if they golfed and/or were into clothes, that you paid 2-3 times what most do for a shirt that you're going to drench in sweat and probably get dirty & grimy playin this game called golf.

My point? Like everyone else, Bobby Jones cut costs. And they did it, IMHO, in the worst possible place!

Yep, you guessed it. In the neck with their trademark golfer. I've enclosed a pic of the original shirt with the fabric and golfer on both sides and a shirt from two seasons ago, and you can see the current shirts above. Then, they went with the fabric strip/golfer on the one side(right) with two stitched golfers then they went to the stitched fabric on the right side with one stitched golfer between the middle and top buttons.

Then, they did away with the reinforced stitched fabric altogether and now just stitch the golfer between the middle and top button and it is stitched right on the shirt. And the price has dropped to around $100.

And I bought my last Bobby Jones shirt two years ago. And it's me. Zinger's write-up on Bobby Jones and their Collection is spot on. It's still good stuff. But it ain't what it used ta be. And it's kinda funny(or sad, lol, depending how ya look at it) cuz as I said, my club was the #1 private club in sales for the Bobby Jones Collection for 6 straight years(2005-11) in PA, though sales are of 35% over the past two years, while sales in the shop overall and specifically in the Men's golf shirts stayed about the same, with a slight drop last year.

And the pro didn't get it when I explained what I've said here, and another member was entering his score in the box while we were talking, and as he walked by us he said, "Richard hit the nail on the head. I've bought my last Bobby Jones shirt."

It's a damn shame. I gotta think that Bob Jones, based on what I've read on the man, wouldn't approve. People will pay for status. Oh my, how they will pay. And those collars meant more than the company will ever realize! And, make no mistake, the Bob Jones Collection is still a very nice piece of clothing, however, if you bought the old stuff, whether it be a shirt or sweater, then you know exactly what I'm saying. It looks different and it feels different.

However, if you've never bought Bob Jones stuff before, you'll like it. It's still the more expensive clothing in most shops. It just ain't what it used to be. But then, what the hell is?

Again, excellent write-up Zinger


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What's Inside My Sun Mountain H2N0 Stand Bag:

-TMaG RBZ ST 2 Tour(Breast Cancer Pink Head by WalkerJames) 10.5*, Graphite Design Tour AD 9003 S(74gr)

-Adams Speedline XTD Super LS VST 3FM(Breast Cancer Fill) 15*, RT Tech Midas S(88gr)

-Adams Idea XTD Super LS VST Hybrid 19*, Fubuki AX 350

-Mizzy MP-68(4i-8i),TT DG TI S400, +1/2", +2*

-SCOR 43*,47*,51*,55*,59*, Genious 12 Firm +,  +1/2"

-Scotty Studio Select Fastback Custom 1.5, 35", 350gr HW(Not from the shop, notta Tour Issue/Circle T, just a poor ass retail model B))-Breast Cancer Fill

-Golf Pride Decade Multi-Compound Cord, Mizzy Blue/Black

-Stones Tour B330-S

-Shoes: A bunch, depends on my slacks, lol
___________
"Sometimes I am selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am occasionally out of control and at times, difficult to deal with. But, if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best!"

-Marilyn Monroe

-I just so happened to have been born the year that Ms. Monroe made this prophetic statement...RP II


#12 JohnBarry

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 03:46 PM

Great points RP, I would rather search Ebay for older Bobby Jone's shirts than buy new ones.
John Barry
Bring the Funk, Back to Golf

The Golfer's Trip

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#13 SPY ZINGER

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 10:32 PM

Good information, this was my first look at Bobby Jones, so I was not aware of the previous collars.
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#14 R.P. Jacobs II

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 01:37 AM

Good information, this was my first look at Bobby Jones, so I was not aware of the previous collars.

You review of the Jones collection was excelent and accurate, and they still make great stuff. My opinion is obviously biased and I still buy the sweaters and vests, just not the shirts. John brought up a great point about lookin on the Bay, cuz I never thought of that.

Some of the outlet malls have Bobby Jones stores and they still have some of the older shirts that I spoke of, though obviously the sizes are limited.

Thanx for the thread Zinger and John, thanx for the suggestion.


Fairways & Greens 4ever
:mizuno-small:

What's Inside My Sun Mountain H2N0 Stand Bag:

-TMaG RBZ ST 2 Tour(Breast Cancer Pink Head by WalkerJames) 10.5*, Graphite Design Tour AD 9003 S(74gr)

-Adams Speedline XTD Super LS VST 3FM(Breast Cancer Fill) 15*, RT Tech Midas S(88gr)

-Adams Idea XTD Super LS VST Hybrid 19*, Fubuki AX 350

-Mizzy MP-68(4i-8i),TT DG TI S400, +1/2", +2*

-SCOR 43*,47*,51*,55*,59*, Genious 12 Firm +,  +1/2"

-Scotty Studio Select Fastback Custom 1.5, 35", 350gr HW(Not from the shop, notta Tour Issue/Circle T, just a poor ass retail model B))-Breast Cancer Fill

-Golf Pride Decade Multi-Compound Cord, Mizzy Blue/Black

-Stones Tour B330-S

-Shoes: A bunch, depends on my slacks, lol
___________
"Sometimes I am selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am occasionally out of control and at times, difficult to deal with. But, if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best!"

-Marilyn Monroe

-I just so happened to have been born the year that Ms. Monroe made this prophetic statement...RP II


#15 finalist

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 02:41 AM

I blame it on Puma-Fowler.

Fashion is always a cycle and the bright POP Puma is getting tired. I'm as guilty as anyone of spending way too much money on golf clothes the past 5 years that I'm just now starting to not favor. I think Travis Mathews and several other companies positioned themselves well as a sort of anti Rickie Fowler. It was bound to happen, it was only a matter of time. Just as the 1970s polyester, mono-outfits faded into 1980s stuff. Now is the time for old fashion horizontal stripes and solid manly colors. We'll survive, and Marty Hackel will continue to push $200 polos and $500 pants.
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