Sometimes you can feel that change is coming, sometimes you just get a sense that revolution is in the air. In golf right now many can feel that. One of the themes we’re seeing is the growth of the surfer/skater golfer.
This is a group that is staking its claim in the golf world and stamping their style all over it. Imagine the disapproving tuts that would be aimed at these people from the country club stalwarts who have issues with socks that don’t reach the ankle never mind hoodies!
Step forward Chris Collick, a guy who has become the poster boy and people’s champion of this revolution. His story is fairly common in golf, started playing as a kid, was part of the junior scene at his club, then drifted away and got into something cooler.
Anyone who played golf in school has been in Chris’ shoes, people telling you that it’s an old man’s game. Tiger Woods maybe made golf a little cooler for us in those years but it was hard to convince people why golf was great. Like many, his clubs gathered dust.
Jump forward to 2018, the Open Championship was coming to Carnoustie and Chris, working for Oakley at the time, was given the chance to go to the event. This was a turning point, he could see that golf had changed, it had a new vibe.
Chris was fascinated by what gear and brands people were wearing. This one week got him hooked on golf again and he dusted off the clubs. There remained a big issue though, whilst he was loving being out playing again, he wasn’t comfortable in the committee-approved dress code that golf courses so fervently clung to.
You see, Collick is a self-confessed skater boy and as you try to get that Avril Lavigne song out of your head, think about how that look would go down in your club. He is comfortable in streetwear and wanted to bring that style to his game.
Having a love for photography and podcasting, Chris decided he was going to use these skills to challenge the status quo. He was excited about the growing movement of surfer-types in the US getting into golf.
Huge apparel brands were pushing the boundaries by working with small non-golf companies and the results were changing golf fashion. The revolution had begun.
When you talk to Chris about where golf fashion is, he is optimistic yet cautious. His opinion is that golf is going in the right direction but there remains a very fine line of what people think is acceptable and what isn’t. There is momentum but it needs to be sustained.
These collaborations are helping people see that golf isn’t as “stuffy” as they think and it is making a whole new demographic sit up and take note. Collick believes that brands need to keep pushing the boundaries with their designs to capitalise on this momentum.
Hooked Golf is a podcast that Chris has created to share the stories of the modern-day golfer. Chatting with people in the golf world from industry leaders to people who just love golf has proven to be a popular format.
He is also using this medium to discuss stories of his photography and videography work with brands he is working with. The Hooked Golf Podcast is becoming a great place to hear about where attitudes to golf and its fashion are going.
With ambassadors like Chris Collick on the scene, golf is in good hands. There is a time to celebrate the traditions of our great and historic game, there is also a time to celebrate its more casual side. At The Links Diary we believe that you can easily do both.
Words - Kenny Pallas
Photography - Chris Collick