The Brand – Inspiration and Concept
When browsing the net for golf apparel to purchase for myself, I found I could not find anything that really appealed to me. I am a fan of Hip-Hop and I purchase and wear a lot of streetwear which is always bold, original, colourful, and expressive, and I felt there was nothing like that on the market, that really reflected my own style and personality.
Golf has a reputation for being somewhat stayed, strait-laced, and fuddy-duddy, with a reluctance to evolve or stray much from its established traditions, and I believe this is reflected in almost all of the golfing fashion and apparel currently on the market.
Here at OG Golf Apparel, we understand and respect that the game of golf is steeped in heritage and tradition, and that this forms an important part of its appeal, ethos, and culture!
However, while preserving and upholding such traditions is obviously of paramount importance as far as honouring and furthering the sport, we feel that perhaps adhering to them so strictly is actually harmful to the game and stymying its expansion.
Golf is in competition for fans, viewers, spectators, and participants both amateur and professional, with so many other sports, particularly in the US, with the NBA, NFL, and MLB. Compared to these sports, golf’s image is, as described above, at the very least, fuddy-duddy, and I would go as far as to say, “un-cool!”.
While golf has, for the most part, failed to shrug of its image as being a game that is predominantly the preserve of middle-class white men, these other sports have managed to appeal to a far wider and diverse group of people, not just in the US, but around the world.
These sports have evolved and rolled with the times in a way that golf has not, embracing movements in popular culture, and in particular, Hip-Hop Culture!
From the early 80’s to the present day, Hip-Hop music and Hip-Hop Culture, has had a material effect and influence on Sports, Sportswear and Fashion. Setting trends and defining what is cool!
It is the common thread by which each has come to be seamlessly and inextricably woven together!
Hip-Hop culture embraced sports and sportswear, with rappers and artists throughout the decades donning NFL, NBA and MLB jerseys, tracksuits, bomber jackets, basketball sneakers, snapback hats, bucket hats et al; and major sports and sportswear brands were smart enough to embrace Hip-Hop.
With Run-DMC becoming the first Hip-Hop group to collaborate with a major sportswear brand in Adidas, following the success of their hit ‘My Adidas’ – paving the way for future collaborations with artists such as Kanye and his hugely successful ‘Yeezy’ line!
However; golf is one sport which, for one reason or another, has not welcomed such a collaboration with Hip-Hop artists, style, fashion, and culture.
Snoop Dog said it best himself when visiting and playing at the Augusta National Golf Course, prior to its annual Masters Tournament in 2017, when he summed up his visit and experience by saying (to the Mail Online), that while he enjoyed the experience, he hoped to make it more ‘Hip-Hop’.
‘I know the prestigiousness of being at the Masters, so I respect it and I understand what it means to be here,’ said Snoop.
‘Hopefully I can influence them [the Masters] to invite more people like myself who are cool and who are hip hop and who are about other things and bring some flavour to the Masters and not just let it be quiet.’
At OG Golf Apparel, we could not agree with Snoop more! Golf is a game that should be for everyone! It offers something special and unique in the fact that it is a game that people of all ages and generations can play together, something almost no other sport can claim to offer! Likewise, it is a game that should be enjoyed together by people of all races, ethnicities, and genders!
However, as alluded to previously, golf in our opinion, though it has taken some steps in the right direction, still maintains the image of being an ‘elitist’ sport, mainly catering to, and played by, white middle-class men.
Much like Dapper Dan took the fashion, styles, and trends, of high fashion houses in the 1980’s, (which at the time were not catering to or “meant for” the young black and minority men and women of New York), and sampled and remixed them to create something which incorporated and reflected the thriving Hip-Hop culture and style of downtown New York; at OG Golf Apparel, we aspire to do something similar with golfing apparel.
Taking the original patterns and fashions of traditional golfing attire, your plaids, argyles, tartans, herringbones, houndstooths, and such, and remixing them; infusing the Hip-Hop Flavour Snoop referred to by interweaving the bolder, more colourful, irreverent, and expressive in your face and original styles of Hip-Hop fashion from the 80’s to now!
“At OG Golf Apparel, Hip-Hop music, culture, fashion and style, is interwoven and intertwined with the patterns and styles of traditional golfing attire, to form the fabric of our designs and brand!”
In taking inspiration from original golfing attire and original Hip-Hop style and fashion, we hope to produce (whilst honouring and paying homage to the traditions and heritage of the game) something materially different from anything else on the market, something original in itself! That’s what makes us OG (Original) Golf Apparel.
We hope that in producing such apparel, (which will diversify the golf wear market), we will appeal to, and attract, younger people of all races, ethnicities, genders, and socio-economic backgrounds, to take up and enjoy the game of golf.
It might seem a stretch to some, given how “un-cool” golf’s image remains, but polo shirts, snapback caps, and bucket hats alone, have long been a feature of Hip-Hop fashion and a staple of golfing apparel, and so we believe it’s a crossover collaboration that is already teed up and just waiting for someone to take a swing at it!
With a little bit of vision and creativity, and your support and backing, that is what we hope to be able to do here at OG Golf Apparel!