Dunning Golf – Classic, “Tight”
Dunning Golf Apparel: With the golf apparel world exploding over the last few years, we are seeing companies differentiate themselves in all sorts of ways. From the wacky patterns of Loudmouth Golf, to the cool dude styling of Travis Mathew, to the companies prioritizing playability more than style, we at Three Guys have noticed that each firm will decide what is most important and then chase that mission down like a madman. This time around I was sent some apparel made by Dunning Golf, and without even reading up on their background I was able to quickly surmise their vibe: performance, performance, traditional good looks, and then some performance.
Around since 2001, Dunning Golf’s slogan is ‘Engineered for Athletes, Designed for Players’. Catchy for sure, but the takeaway is that Dunning leans more towards technical performance than it does style. That’s not to say you’ll be wearing a high-performance brown paper bag, but it is clear that their top priority is performance achieved through cutting-edge materials while maintaining the classic look. Supporting my theory is the fact that they are the first company I have seen to have a ‘Technology’ page on their website, wherein they describe the technical aspects of each garment (shorts, pants, shirts, sweaters, etc.). And to absolutely slam-dunk my theory into your cranium: Dunning does not mess around with many funky patterns or newfangled styles – their polos are either solid or striped, their shorts are either solid colors or have a subtle pattern on them, they only have one pair of pants on the shelves (solid colors of course), their sweaters are all solid colors, and all of their outerwear is solid colors only. That might sound a bit boring given all the funky stuff that is available these days, but I also think it means that they intend to let their performance do the talking.
Dunning is currently worn on Tour by Charles Howell III, Russell Knox, Roberto Castro, and Kevin Foley. Dunning is also a staple in clubhouses around the world so it is fair to say they are playing in the big leagues. It is also clear that they make good stuff; I had a polo shirt, a sweater, a pair of pants, and a belt sent my way, and there was no mistaking that every item was well made. Here’s the quick scoop: the pants and sweater looked very business-like . . . well made and definitely performance fiber-y, but nothing to really grab the attention. The belt had a clean/classic look to it that seems simple but cannot be faked by lesser quality makes. Now the shirt, the shirt looked crisp, professional, and somehow stood out as kind of badass in some weird way I have not yet encountered in my travels.
I chose a basic pattern called Stretch Pique Double Chest Stripe Polo: navy blue (called ‘halo’) with one green (‘reef’) stripe and one white (‘white’) stripe across the chest – no big deal. But somehow, this shirt pops. The quality fabric jumps right out at you, and the collar is a bit more regal than most with kind of a starched, disciplined look to it.
Simply put, the feel of the shirt is player. As dumb as it sounds, the fabric and cut lent itself to my believing that my swing was akin to a touring professional. Whether or not I “did or did not” yank my first drive deep into the woods is not of any consequence. The point is I looked and felt like a pro. Cash money!
Taking a step back to be fair to the entire outfit, Dunning Golf has developed its lines with the idea of “layering” being key to achieving comfort without sacrificing playability. Instead of throwing a big fleece on when it gets chilly, just utilize a few thinner layers to achieve the same temperature without hindering the golf swing. It makes sense, just as it did 30 years ago when my mom explained it before I went sledding. So when it was time for me to put the sweater on, this concept held true, as there was no interference with my sweet swing whatsoever and I still looked good.
Now, if we are keeping it real here at Three Guys (like you know we do), I think one would be hard-pressed to find a sweater that actually did interfere with the golf swing, unless you hockeywrestled one off of Dr. Huxtable himself. So I can’t act like Dunning Golf invented the playable sweater, but I can say that their model is sharp looking, playable, and has a lighter feel that I can only attribute to some cool high-tech material that I don’t even know about.
With regards to cost, I feel that Dunning’s price points accurately reflect the high-caliber apparel that Dunning Golf brings to the table: shirts run between $80 and $95, shorts and pants are $80 to $99, outerwear (pullovers, thermals, vests, sweaters, windshirts) range from $90 to $145, and belts are at $90.
Bottom line on Dunning Golf: this is quality apparel with a performance bent and clean, classic styling. Your swing will feel great in these clothes. And while you may not bowl over the hipsters at your club with your fashion, you will look damn sharp . . . no matter what your taste, that’s probably the most important trend there is.
Visit the Dunning Golf website for more info at http://www.dunninggolf.com/